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Home-made table for my Alt-Az mount


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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."

  • The table had to be easily installed and removed
  • It had to be relatively small
  • It had to hold at least 3 eyepieces
  • It had to be able to be rotated around the mount as the scope is moved

Below are some images of the final product with notes on its construction. Click on the pictures for larger images.

tableusesidethm.jpg (69956 bytes) 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.

tablethm.jpg (54752 bytes) 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.

tableinstallthm.jpg (57397 bytes) 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.

hookthm.jpg (49133 bytes) 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. 

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