I wanted to stop having to carry my tripod and mount into the garden and then going through the alignment process every time I used my telescope. Having a mount ready to use will reduce the risk of injury given the weights involved and the time in setting up.
I settled on a breeze block construction for the following reasons:
- It is simple to make
- Is reasonably low cost
- Is quick to complete
The list of items used were:
|Hollow Blocks||3x 215x440mm||£5.40||Jewsons|
|M10 Bolts||10||£2.19||Tool Station|
|M10 Washers||20||£2.58||Tool Station|
|M 10 Nuts||50||£2.69||Tool Station|
|M 12 and washers||10||£11.20||Amazon|
|9mm plywood||2x 610x1220mm||£29.94||B&Q|
|Cement||20kg x2||£15.58||Tool Station|
The construction took a day and a half including painting etc.
I made a simple pattern for drilling which I reversed when required, to align the holes.
A 12mm masonry bit was used to drill the breeze blocks to allow some ‘wiggle room’ for the 10mm x 100mm bolts connecting the blocks. In addition I used Gorilla glue to help secure the blocks.(Less belt and braces more bolts and glue).
I used the same drill bit for the 12mm hole to attach the SkyWatcher metal pier extension.
The base block was laid horizontally for stability and two bricks placed inside the holes before concreting. I decided to make a wooden ‘sleeve’ to cover the blocks:
- because it looked nicer and
- to give a smoother surface for the cover to slide over and reduce the risk of tearing the fabric.
I used masonry paint for the blocks to provide some waterproofing and also used this on the wood as well.
I already had a short SkyWatcher pier (21cm high) which was used to give the height required.
The cover was chosen to allow the telescope to be left on the mount or not.
To finish I made a circle around the pier using an edging strip and filled the area with stones to allow drainage and give a nice finish
The Jewson breeze blocks were very roughly cast but good enough given I was covering them with a wooden ‘sleeve’. Other suppliers may have smoother blocks which could be more suitable if you don’t want to cover them up saving time and money.
The use of the horizontal block was my choice as it was cheap, relatively easy to drill and provided a solid, heavy platform for the pier. It also allowed the concrete to flow into the large holes for extra security and stability.
3rd April 2022