Saturday, November 28, 2009

Inserts and brackets installed

After painting the handles with glossy black enamel paint, it was time to put the inserts into the rocker sides for the stainless steel eye-bolts. To make insertion of the eye-bolts easier, I bored out the holes with a 7/16th-inch drill bit, then used a magnet to remove the metal shavings that remained in the tubing. I drilled four 1/2-inch holes through the rocker sides using a template to accurately place the holes. Then I used a 3/8-inch by 16 thread per inch bolt and nut to drive the inserts into the holes after coating them with epoxy. This was done to prevent them from coming back out. The brackets were made by welding a 2 and a 1-inch wide by 1/8-inch thick flat bar together. That was accomplished with first an outside corner, than a fillet weld on the inside corner, then rounding off the outside so it will fit in place. A miter saw with a cut off wheel was then used to cut off two sections which were then drilled for the mounting bolts, primed and then painted with glossy black enamel paint. I had a left over hole in the altitude bearings so I used them and them drilled a two pairs of 3/8th-inch holes in the mirror box. I then inserted more threaded inserts, again coating them with epoxy. Stainless steel fasteners hold the brackets in place. The altitude bearings are now braced and no longer are springy while the telescope is aimed near the horizon. Because of paint sticking to the bottom of the mirror box sides that contact the rocker, I sanded the affected areas then applied a thin coat of polyurethane. I've also purchased four 3/8-inch stainless steel eye-bolts and used them to test fit the handles to see if they fit the rocker box correctly, which they do. When the wheels are in place, lifting the handles a couple of inches then pushing or pulling will be all that's needed to move the telescope.

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