Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Rocker box

After completing the mirror box with the exception of adding the pole blocks to it, I turned my attention to making the rocker box. The first attempt to make it failed because the plywood I used warped in the bottom and side, forcing me to start over. That forced me to cut off an inch from the one side that was still usable, which I used as a pattern to make a new side with my router and 3/4-inch top bearing trim bit. I also cut off the front corner of the mirror box to ensure it would not hit the bottom of the rocker box. However, I had taken into account the fact the collimation bolts could strike and crush the azimuth encoder for any digital setting circles I will install. I bonded the sides to a single sheet of 3/4-inch plywood with a 12-inch diameter hole routed in the center. Then the front and back pieces, made of 1/2-inch plywood were added. To the bottom of the rocker box I then glued a 20-inch diameter circular piece of 3/4-inch plywood. Now I have a stable rocker box and plenty or clearance for protecting the encoder and primary mirror as well from damage. The next steps will be boring a 1/2-inch hole for the azimuth pivot bolt, rounding off all outside edges, adding laminate to the rocker bottom then painting the inside of the rocker flat black. The final steps will be varnishing the outside and inserting threaded inserts into which the wheel barrow handles will thread.

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