6 inch dob telescope
The Builder
Projects Page
Building a
Rocker Box
Mirror Cell
Secondary Holder

Other projects:
Folding Table
Observing Chair

Observing Chair

Bino Chair

Adirondack Chair
Josh's Stool

My Buddy Shane
Chuck Fellows
Newt Software
Siebert Optics
Orion Telescopes

Building the Rocker Box

Coopered Tube Telescope
The basic wood material used for this telescope. Two 18" laminated ponderosa pine table tops, 1/4" x 6" x 48" poplar and oak, 3/4" x 12" x 24" oak plank all purchased at Lowe's. The table tops make the base and azimuth joint. The 1/4" poplar and oak are used for the tube slats. The oak plank is for the various parts of the base. Not shown is one 3/4" x 12" x 6' laminated knotty pine was used for the rocker box.
Coopered Tube Telescope

Coopered Tube Telescope

The rocker box is made of laminated knotty pine, chosen to follow the laminated theme set by the coopered tube. My daughter chose the direction of the lamination grain in relation to the tube. The front and rear panels were cut so that top panels would sandwich the split rings providing support for the portion that clamps to the tube. Brass piano hinge was used on the bottom and brass latches on the top. The box was assembled to a cube using 90 degree corner clamps, glue and brass screws flushed. After assembly the box was sanded on all sides until seams were all flush. The tube was used to draw the circles for the holes and then cut tight with a jig saw. The holes were then sanded smooth with a drum sander which opened them up until the tube just slid through. At this point I marked the box and cut it on the table saw, leaving a small portion uncut on either side of both holes. The hinges and latches were mounted and the cuts completed with a jig saw. This made for a perfect seam gap when closed up. Keep in mind the cut when the screws are installed. I placed screws in the center of the top boards and wound up having to cut my box slightly off center to miss them. All outside edges were rounded with a router prior to finishing.
Coopered Tube Telescope
I looked at lots of methods for making the pivot points, even bought some teflon pads for this and then had an idea. PVC pipe and felt. 3" PVC pipe was cut 1 1/2" long on the radial arm saw and installed sandwiched between the rocker box and the wheels. See the section on building the base for more info on these.
Coopered Tube Telescope
8" wheels cut out of 3/4" oak plywood. I drew the circle with a compass, cut them out with a jigsaw and then sanded to the line on a disk sander. Not just decorative, these wheels sandwich the PVC pipe pivot points. They are attached with a single 5/16" x 2 1/2" oval head counter sunk machine screw through the center of the wheels. I used a nylon lock nut on the inside of the box to keep them from backing out.
Coopered Tube Telescope
Adhesive backed brown felt was applied to the inside of the circles to provide enough friction to keep the tube from slipping.
Coopered Tube Telescope       Coopered Tube Telescope