Quantcast
  • We invite you to join UKWorkshop.
    Members can turn off viewing Ads!

Telescope storage HELP needed

UKworkshop.co.uk

Help Support UKworkshop.co.uk:

A

Anonymous

Guest
Hi all

I have a problem with a potential project and so am turning to some knowledgeable friends for help :wink:

Basically, my telescope is too big and too heavy to store in the upstairs study and carry down for observing. Thus, it is not used as much as I would like. :cry:

I have a solution. Build an airtight (dust tight) cupboard in my workshop/garage!! I could make it ceiling height and store tools etc. in the top non-airtight sections too :D Simple you might say.

Here is the problem. How to make the airtight door?

I guess the cupboard will be 18mm MDF, possibly attached to a frame of some sort. I can seal the cupboard door with some foam or rubber tape from B&Q. But, what should I make the door from and how?
It needs to be rigid and not twist so that I get a good seal - but not too heavy. I think MDF on it's own will not have sufficient torsional stiffness.

The lower (telescope) storage bit would be about 1m deep (front to back) about 0.5m wide and about 1.5m tall

any advice?
 

StevieB

Established Member
Joined
29 Apr 2003
Messages
1,708
Reaction score
32
Location
Chatteris, Cambridgeshire
Hmm, afraid I dont know much about telescopes per se! As for airtight seals though, on the incubators we have at work the doors to these are metal with a glass inner plate that clips onto the rubber seal. Could you not use a piece of plate glass with ground edges as your door? If it needs to be hinged without drilling the glass could you mount the glass in an oversized frame, protrude the rubber seal from the cupboard so the frame goes outside it but the glass contacts it?

I assume an airtight bag to store the telescope in is not feasible? Or a UPVC door ready made?

Only other thing I can think of is to have a rubber gasket as you say, but to screw a door/cover in place and remove the screws each time you want to open it. Bit of a pain and longevity may be a problem but it would be airtight!

Steve.
 

Pete W

Established Member
Joined
31 Jan 2004
Messages
911
Reaction score
0
Location
London UK
I hardly feel qualified to be giving advice here, but something like this should work:

1. Have the door close into a rebate all the way around (something like the way a router plate sits in a table top).
2. Line the rebate with draught-excluder foam.
3. If the face of the door is flush to the surrounding frame, a bolt or some kind of catch top and bottom of the door will hold the door secure against the foam.

This ought to guard against a warping door, and be dust-tight.

You'll always have a problem of dust being drawn into the cupboard every time you open and close the door, but a simple dust sheet over the 'scope should be sufficient to protect against that.

An idea, at least?
 

RogerS

Established Member
Joined
20 Feb 2004
Messages
17,391
Reaction score
78
Location
In the eternally wet North
How about a rebate as already suggested, sealed with the 'sealed' type of window/door foam. For the door, use MDF but secure it with wooden handles and lugs (two top and two bottom) that you twist by using the handle, twist tatanslated through the MDF to the lugs inside which move up a slight slope to tighten?

Or instead of wooden lugs use something from the large selection of kitchen carcass fittings...I've got some where you tighten down using a scewdriver in the head of the gubbins. It has an internal spiral that tightens down on the metal attached to the frame.
 

jasonB

Established Member
Joined
26 Nov 2004
Messages
5,044
Reaction score
0
Location
Surrey
I paint model figure and keep them in airtight display cases. The layon doors have a groove for a rubber draught strip that closes against the carcase. I lock works OK for a 2x3ft door but a catch top & bottom would be better for bigger doors. I would make the doors from 18mm MDF styles & rails with a 6mm MDF panel.

Jason
 

Chris Knight

Established Member
Joined
14 Jan 2004
Messages
6,641
Reaction score
3
Location
SE London - NW Kent
Tony,

At the David Stanley auction, there were some special old wooden planes - a sort of moulding plane precisely designed for the purpose of making airtight seals - basically a sort of matching tongue and groove set. I think such a profile with a rubber strip in the groove and the "compression type" latches with a lever (there's a special name that I forget at the moment) would work perfectly.
 

tim

Established Member
Joined
5 Nov 2004
Messages
2,307
Reaction score
0
Location
Herefordshire
Tony,

If you look in the Trend catalogue you will see that they supply cutters and seals that wouldl do the trick. Alternatively, there are simple O seal strips that have a push fit section. The 'push fit bit normally can be cut with a TS kerf. Lots of suppliers make them - one that springs to mind is Ironmongery Direct.

Obviously, all of these require latches as well that hold the door in place. I personally woudl use a removebale panel rather than a door though so you can get a tight fit alround.

Cheers

Tim
 

Bean

Established Member
Joined
12 Jan 2004
Messages
1,518
Reaction score
0
Location
scouting about
Tony
Its all there, Tim's suggestion of
If you look in the Trend catalogue you will see that they supply cutters and seals that wouldl do the trick. Alternatively, there are simple O seal strips that have a push fit section. The 'push fit bit normally can be cut with a TS kerf. Lots of suppliers make them - one that springs to mind is Ironmongery Direct.

Obviously, all of these require latches as well that hold the door in place. I personally woudl use a removebale panel rather than a door though so you can get a tight fit alround.
And Chris's
I think such a profile with a rubber strip in the groove and the "compression type" latches with a lever (there's a special name that I forget at the moment) would work perfectly.
have done the hard work for you the levers need to be a wedge, think ships cargo hold doors( a rotating wedge) or simply an ordinary wedge to apply a force on the door and push it into the seal.

If the door did not seal quite as well as you want a small positive pressure inside the compartment should keep the dust out.

Bean
 

frank

Established Member
Joined
10 Sep 2003
Messages
938
Reaction score
0
Location
cheshire
tony look at your fridge door its just a rubber seal and thats air tight
 

dickm

Established Member
Joined
25 Oct 2004
Messages
4,521
Reaction score
14
Location
North of Aberdeen
frank":3nzboobn said:
tony look at your fridge door its just a rubber seal and thats air tight
Mentioning a fridge made me wonder whether the storage should actually be <too> airtight? Leaving a fridge off, but closed, you seem to get quite bad condensation inside. If you put the telescope, cold, into a well sealed store, is there not a similar danger of severe condensation?
 

Woodythepecker

Established Member
Joined
30 Jul 2004
Messages
686
Reaction score
0
Tony, i could be way off line here but what about a double glazed door and frame?
The handle on our door has two positions and when you push it up into the second lock mode it pulls the door and seals tight to the frame, which stops any draughts coming in.
I realise that this might not be completely air tight but i am sure it would be sealed enough to keep any dust out.

On top of this you can sometimes pick these doors and frames up for a decent price in the free adds.

I hope you solve your problem.

Regards

Woody
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Thanks for the replies you lot. Very interesting reading and loads of ideas :D

My original concern was the torsional rigidity of the door but the seals and locks may be the more important consideration.

The telescope has covers on all optical bits but it would be possible for dust to actually get inside the tube as this is open to hte atmosphere behind the main mirror - when one use sit, the air inside the scope needs to be the same temperature as the ambient air or the image is distorted. I usually leave it out for an hour before using it to allow the temps to balance

i am also concerend about dust coating the motorised mounts and drives

Dickm's point is quite intersting. Condensation might be an issue :? Possibly, I should put vents in there with a piece of 1 micro meter filter across it?

I think I'll try this and monitor it loads for the first few weeks
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Tony,

How about making a bag of some kind from a heavy fabric to prevent dust getting anywhere near the scope before it goes into the workshop environment?

The difficulty I can foresee is that a workshop, no matter how clean, always manages to have dust settling around it. If you open an airtight door in that environment, how many seconds will it take for dust to sneak its way in? I'd consider preventing that before I got into the workshop if it were me...

Cheers,

Lee
 

Alf

Established Member
Joined
22 Oct 2003
Messages
12,079
Reaction score
0
Location
Up the proverbial creek
<waves> Hey up, stranger! :D I was going to email you to see if you were still in the land of the sawdust making - um, been thinking to do it for the last, er, six months or more in fact... :oops: Been busy, I hope?

Cheers, Alf
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Thanks AG

I would prefer to keep away from the bag idea if I can as the main reason for even considering this cupboard is to make it easier to get the scope outside and set up; it is both big and heavy

I am mainly concerned about dust moving around inside the cupboard and suspect that you are right and that this will happen regardless of any attempts to stop it :roll:
 

DaveL

Established Member
Joined
19 Oct 2002
Messages
4,674
Reaction score
0
Location
Sudbury, Suffolk
Tony,

Do you have a compressor?
You could make your cupboard with a good door and seal and then fit a small pipe from the compressor at the back. Open the valve on the air feed to just give a gentle flow not a dust lifting blast, before you open the door. The small positive pressure inside the cupboard should stop the in rush of dusty air as the door is opened. The flow of clean air should also stop dusty air being exchanged for the volume of the scope as you remove it from the cupboard.

Well I thought it was worth thinking about. :roll:
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Tony,

How about finding another room for the box to go in then? You're essentially asking how can you store an instrument technology that abhors dust in an environment that is about as dusty as you find in the domestic setting :?

So, here's some ideas for other places...

A nice storage trunk in the hall.
A box on the outside of the house somewhere.
A full-on observatory...
A box in your shed (if you've got one)
A tall cupboard in your kitchen.

OR...

A box that the 'scope goes into before it goes into the workshop, sealed as per various other thoughts. Pop some big wheels on it and it'll be an easy option too.

Finally, for a real off-the-wall approach, sell the telescope, download all the outer-space pictures you want from the NASA websites, and spend your money on more tools. The plus-side of this approach is you'll have more space in your workshop too :p


Alf, the FT is ***still*** in a state of very near completion. I'm wondering about entering it as an alternative to a Tracy Emin piece in the Turner Prize. Emptying an ash-tray into the drawer would do it :shock:

Cheers,

Lee - who knows how to make a 1-month project into a 3 year one :oops:
 

Latest posts

Top