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Putting in a Telescope Pier

 

    After upgrading to a Celestron CGE Pro mount, I immediately decided that it needed to be installed on a telescope pier.  It weighs in at about 75lbs without a scope or counterweights and it comes with a tripod, but setting it up and assembling it is very tedious.  You don't want to be doing this, believe me.

    So, time for a pier.  After doing a little bit of research on the web to see what others had done I decided what would work for me.  Before I could pour the caisson for the pier to set on I needed to see if I could build my own, (after having had just purchased the mount, money was a little tight.)  I visited a welding shop and dug around through their 'junk' until, Viola!  A very nice piece of old well casing 7" in diameter.

    

    It still had pipe threads on one end which would work nicely for a pipe collar to screw onto so I could adjust it's axis for the initial polar alignment whenintstalled.

    I had them to cut the pipe's length to 42" (36" would have been better.)  Next I was ready for the rest of the parts.

    I went to a machine shop and gaves them the dimensions for the rest.  The bottom plate is 1/2" plate steel, 14" in diameter.  The stabilizer fins worked out to 3"wide, by 16" tall cut out of 1/4 inch steel.  The top plate and leveling plate are both 12" in diameter cut out of 3/8 inch steel.

    I found a 7' pipe collar at a local oil well supplier, which needed to be cut in half, and have a hole drilled in the side where a nut and bolt could be welded on to use for a 'set' screw for the initial polar alignment.

   To attach the bottom plate to the concrete caisson and the leveling plate to the top plate, I used 3/4" 'all thread rod,' which worked nicely.

 

 

   

 

  Before assembling the pier, I used the bottom plate for a template to hold the all thread rod in place while the concrete set up.

 

 

 

 

        

 

    For my concete forum, I used the middle of a vinyl/plastic, 55 gallon drum that used to contain detergent in it that was going to be disposed of at a car wash.  I cut a section 18 inches long out of the middle of the drum, which was 24 inches in diameter.

 

 

    

 

     It took 6, 80lb bags of concrete mix, plus a couple of scoops out of the 7th bag, or  almost exactly 500lbs worth to fill the forum.  After it was finished curing, I simply cut away the forum using a reciprocating saw.

 

 

 

Ready for the mount.

    Before I could mount the CGE Pro, I needed an adapter plate, which I found readily available here.

http://www.pierplates.com/

The Bottom Line

  • 7" x 42" Pier Pipe  $35.00
  • 7' Pipe Collar  $55.00
  • Top Plate, Bottom Plate and Leveling Plate  $112.00
  • All Thread Rod, Nuts, Paint, etc.  $40.00
  • Pier Adapter Plate (including shipping)  $213.00
  • Concrete  $28.00
  • Total Cost  $483.00

 

    If you are thinking about building your own pier and have any questions regarding how I did anything on this page feel free to contact me via my contact page.

 

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