This is the scope that scrap built.

(Digital photo by Ed Small)
When you make a 20" scope, you have lots of leftovers. The 20" rings leave center circles big enough to cut out a 16" and a 12.5" ring set. The 5 x 5 foot baltic birch sheets leave you with material for a 12.5" mirror box. Leftover 1" square steel tubing for the cell was enough to make a 12.5" cell Of course there's always a lot of leftover formica and material to line the cage.

Meanwhile, I had an old upright piano in the basement. It was here when we bought the house. It had a dozen dead keys and had been painted yellow by the former owner. I checked it out on the internet and found that it wasn't worth saving... but it did have a lot of good wood in it. So I started disassembling it and found that nearly everything came apart with bolts or big screws. Under the keyboard, I found the inspector's name on a slip of paper - built in 1909.

I took off big panels from the front, top, and sides. It was mostly made of glued-up poplar blocks with thick mahogany veneer. Some paint stripper yielded a set of 18" x 1" flat veneered boards. .. perfect for a rocker box and trunnion set. I finished it with Mahogany stain and Polyurethane varnish, which brought out the deep reds in this hundred year old wood

I ordered a BVC blank, Astrosystems focuser, and a Protostar diagonal and spider. Making the mirror was a nice way to spend those long cloudy Northeast Ohio November nights.

(Digital photo by Ed Small)
For a finder, I added a thin foam hood to a Daisy BB gun sight. (to avoid dew)
The upper tube clamps were a scaled-down version of the offset angle brackets I used on the 20.
Here's a close-up showing the epoxied bolt and brackets, hacksawed from aluminum angle stock

The 1" aluminum tubes were $1 shower curtain rods from a surplus store.
Following a suggestion on the ATM list, I used black truck bed spray paint on the poles.
It's perfect for this job, leaving a tough, flat, pebbled surface.

(Digital photo by Ed Small)
The lower clamps were made from scraps of baltic birch and oak trim left over from paneling the family room. They were made with only a miter saw and a drill press - easy and low-tech. One trick is to add a bead of hot melt glue inside on the pole gripping surface. Here they are before assembly

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