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How to Make a Telescope Mount page 4: finishing the cradle

There are only a few parts to the cradle but there are some important things you should know. I will show you.


Let's Put it together

You screw together the three pieces. Pretty simple. But make sure that you use flat head screws. Flat head screws sit flush with the surface of the wood. They don't stick up. If they stick up they might get caught on something when you rotate the cradle.

Screw together the parts

If you are unfamiliar with how flat head screws work here is a quick tutorial.

You drill hole large enough for the screw to go in.

Drill a  hole

Then you use a drill bit called a countersink on the hole.

Countersink the hole

It creates a conical indentation for the screw to sit in.

The conical shaped countersink

There you go. When you put the screw in it the screw sits flush or a little below the surface of the wood. This way the screw doesn't stick up and interfere with anything.

The screw sits flush


The cradle is assembled

How do you measure those big half circle holes at the top?

That's easy. For this build we are using something called a 1-1/2 x 3 PVC Drum Trap. It is a plastic plumbing part you can buy at the Home Depot or Lowes, right off the shelf. It isn't some kind of a special part. A very common plumbing part.

You use that as a guide to trace the half circles on the top of cradle. And notice in the picture Made the circle a little bit larger than the part, particularly at the edge. That little bit of extra room is important. I will show you why later in the tutorial. For now use the part as a template and trace a circle making the circle about 1/16 to 1/8 larger than the part.

Measure for the cut out

Then go ahead and cut about an inch off that drum trap. The blue you see on my part is tape. That works as a guide so I can keep the cut straight.


Cut off an inch slice

Here you go.

The inch wide ring

Try it in the cradle.

Test fit it

Then cut it in half and screw each half into place on the cradle. And notice how there is a little bit of space there on each end of it. A bit of space between the pvc and the wood.

Notice the desired gaps

And use countersinks and flat head screws on these parts. It is important that the screws sit below the surface of the PVC. Otherwise the telescope will not rotate.

The screw must sit flush


NextLet's continue and finish it by making the part that goes on the tube of the telescope