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How to Make a Telescope Mount Page 5 : Finishing it by adapting the tube

Ok, the only thing remaining to do is adapt the tube by adding the pivoting parts to it. And that will be it your telescope will be complete.


Put the mirror and an eyepiece in the telescope and balance it on some kind of a circular tube. Move it back and forth until it is balanced. You want to find the center of balance of the telescope. Mark that spot.

Find the center of balance

Now we are going to mount these two pieces to the tube centered right over that center of balance. These are called 2" x 3" floor drains. I bought them off the shelf at the home depot. They are made of PVC and are very common. The metal screen part with the label comes right off. Undo the screws and take those metal screens off.

Then drill out two holes in each of the pvc pieces. They are clearance holes for nuts and bolts.

The two PVC floor drains


Then drill out two holes in each of the pvc pieces. They are clearance holes for nuts and bolts.

Drill out holes for mounting

Note that before you do any work on the telescope tube you should take the mirror and the eyepiece out! Do not drill or work on the tube with those parts in. You could damage them!

Use those parts as templates to mark the telescope tube. You want those PVC drains to be centered right on the center of balance on the tube. Drill out clearance holes for bolts. I used 10-32 bolts.

Measure and drill holes in the tube


Mount the floor drains

It's important that you mount those pvc pivots in a particular orientation on the tube in relation to the eyepiece. Do it as shown in the next picture. This orientation will make it much more comfortable to look through the eyepiece

Where to mount the floor drains

Now screw on those pvc pieces. Use nuts, bolts and washers.

Mount the drains on the tube

Now put the telescope onto the mount! Yay! You are just about done. Test it. Move the telescope up and down. Does it move smoothly? But more importantly does it stay in place securely when you are not touching it? Does it stay exactly where you move it?

You can tighten this up so it has excellent action and an excellent firm feel.


Put on cradle and test it



You do this by squeezing thin pieces of wood in that gap we left between the wood and the pvc. These thin pieces of wood are shims. You can force them further down to make it tighter and tighter.

Add shims if needed


It's done. But let's paint it. I recommend you paint the inside of the cabinet white. This is so that it is a little bit easier to see in there at night in the dark when you are using the telescope.

Paint the inside of the cabinet white


And paint the outside a darker color. Have fun with it. You have probably noticed that I painted stars, galaxies and nebulae on mine.

paint the outside, cradle and cabinet

And that's it! Your telescope is completed. Yay!

The completed telescope


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