Saturday, December 12, 2009

Handles completed

After searching area suppliers and the Internet, I found a pair of suitable 8-inch pneumatic wheels with ball bearing hubs for the wheel barrow handles. I painted them with Krylon glossy black enamel paint, then made two bumpers that act as spacers from leftover Brazilian cherry I used to build my dresser. First I drilled a 7/8th-inch hole deep enough to mostly accommodate the lock nuts, then I drilled a 7/16th-inch hole the rest of the way through.

After three coats of polyurethane, I bought some stainless steel 1/2-inch all-thread, 3/8 and 1/2-inch washers, and lock nuts. First I ran the hex nuts that came with the eye bolts all the way to the head of the bolts. Then at each hole in the handles I slipped a flat washer onto the bolt, inserted it through the handle, then the wooden bumper, another flat washer then the lock nut. A socket wrench and deep well socket was then used to drive the lock nut all the way down the eye-bolts until it's just short of tightly holding the bumpers to the handles. The eye-bolts and bumpers are now captive on the handles and will not fall off and get lost in the grass.

Attaching the wheels required first the sawing of two 5 and 1/2-inch sections of the half-inch stainless steel all-thread, then filing the ends to accept lock nuts. Two lock nuts hold the all-thread onto the handle. Next a stainless steel flat washer, then the wheel, then another flat washer followed by a 1/2-inch Nylon insert lock-nut secures the wheels in place on the handles. A pair of 3/4-inch open end wrenches dogged the nuts tightly in place but allows the wheels to turn freely.

Now as a result, I can roll the rocker box and mirror box around with ease, without breaking my back. the finishing touches were the addition of some foam pipe insulation to the ends of the handles to make gripping them in cold weather kinder to my hands. The next steps are to attach the pole blocks to the mirror box with stainless steel carriage bolts, washers, nuts and internally threaded knobs temporarily and to add "keepers" to prevent the mirror box from sliding off the rocker box when the telescope is pointed near the horizon. I will make those from Brazilian cherry still left over.

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