After using my home-made alt-az mount a couple of times, I decided I wanted a small table to hold some eyepieces and charts for use while observing. After thinking about it for a while I came up with the following "wish list."
Below are some images of the final product with notes on its construction. Click on the pictures for larger images.
|The final table set up and ready for use.
I based the final size of the table on an
opened set of Sky Spot finder charts and my LightWedge illuminator (not shown). I
also built a small wedge that can be placed on the table to tilt charts and notepads
towards the user. The wedge is simply a piece of plywood with 2 "L" brackets
attached to the back.
|A bare-bones look at the table.
The table is made from a 1/2" piece of plywood. The eyepiece area has a 1 X 3 piece of wood attached on top of the plywood. This gives the table a nice lip to keep things from rolling off and allows for deeper holes for the eyepieces. The holes are 1 1/4" and I've left room for a possible 2" hole for larger eyepieces in the future. The top and right-hand sides have small pieces of aluminum angle attached to keep things from falling off in those directions.
|Installing and removing the table.
The table installs by simply tilting it and hooking it to the mount. The angle at which I attached the hook was pretty much dictated by the clearance required to mount the table. The bottom of the table rests on a plastic collar that is attached to the mount with a hose clamp.
|A close-up view of the hook
The hook is designed to hang bicycles and stepladders on a wall. I used triangles of 3/4" plywood to attach the hook to the table. Initially I used one piece, but I decided to add a second one later for strength. A 3" semicircle was cut into the table for the mount to sit in. I lined the cutout with a thin piece of teflon to act as a bearing surface.