How to Make A Wood Case For A Telescope.


An example of cases made by amateurs . cr Cloudy Nights Forum

Telescopes depend on the precise angles established between mirrors and lenses to give you a clear image. Impact from carrying or rough treatment in storage can knock scopes about.
Parts go out of alignment, causing the mirrors and lenses to be out of focus. You can prevent this by careful handling. A foam-lined, wood storage case will help the protect your telescope from minor bumps and bangs, so your next star-gazing session won’t be wasted on telescope repairs.

Instructions on Building the Box

Another beautiful hardwood case. The box is fully lined with dark green felt and the corners are inlaid with lighter hardwood splines.

  • Collapse the telescope down as far is goes and lay it on a piece of 1-inch foam. Draw a rectangle around the telescope with a marker and carpenter’s square, leaving 1/2 inch of foam around the telescope, inside the rectangle. Trace around the telescope as well. Measure the height of the telescope while it is laying flat, using a tape measure.

  • 2

    Cut your foam rectangle out with a utility knife. Cut another rectangle of the same size for the top of the box, plus one for every inch of the telescope’s height. Trace the outline of the telescope onto all but two of the foam rectangles and cut them out, using the utility knife.

  • 3

    Cut two pieces of 1/2-inch plywood the same size as the foam rectangle, using a table saw, for the top and bottom of the case. Cut two pieces as wide as the height of the telescope, plus 1 inch, and as long as the long edge of the top and bottom pieces, for the sides. Cut two pieces as wide as the sides and as long as the short dimension of the top and bottom, for the ends.

  • 4

    Apply glue along the edges of the top piece. Lay it flat on your work surface. Fit one end piece to one narrow end of the top panel, with its corners aligned to the corners of the top, and its bottom edge flush with the face of the top panel. Nail through the end piece into the edge of the top with three 1-1/4-inch pin nails. Attach the other end in the same way.

  • 5

    Apply glue to the upright edges of the two end pieces. Fit the long sides onto the box, with the ends flush with the outside faces of the end pieces and the bottom edge flush with the face of the top panel. Nail through them into the edge of the top and the two ends, one nail every 4 inches.

  • 6

    Apply glue along the edges of the remaining bottom panel and fit it into the open face of your box so that its outside face is flush with the edges of the side and end pieces. Nail it in place as you did the top.

Creating the Lid

Another example of an amateur made carry box

  • 7

    Set the table saw fence 1 inch from the blade and set the blade as high as it will go. Start the saw and run the box over the blade, cutting one long side, with the top of the box against the fence. Install two 1-inch box hinges on this long side, bridging the cut, two inches in from each end. Attach the hinges with 1/2-inch wood screws in every hole.

  • 8

    Cut the two ends and the remaining long side on the table saw in the same way to create a 1-inch high lid. Position a hook latch in the center of the long side opposite the hinges, with the hook attached to the lid portion and the eye on the lower box portion. Use the screws that come with the latch to attach it.

  • 9

    Place one uncut foam piece in the bottom of the box, then stack the cut outline pieces in on top of it. Apply spray adhesive to the remaining uncut piece and fit it into the top of the box. Set the telescope into the cutout foam and close the lid, placing the hook of the latch in the eye to lock the lid closed.


How to Create Foam Case Inserts

Protecting fragile tools, such as video, photographic and electronic equipment, is essential to their maintenance. Expensive flight cases and protective crates provide general structural support and protect from heavy impact. Inside those cases, another layer of protection is advisable to keep those sensitive instruments safe. Closed cell foam is an excellent product to provide that protection. An inch or two of foam can be the thing that saves your tools from expensive repairs or replacement.

    • Choose foam in a thickness that is half that of your case. The denser the foam, the more protective value it will have. Lay the case on your foam as a template, and mark and cut out two pieces of foam the size of the case. Use a hot-wire cutter, available at most hardware stores, or an electric carving knife for the smoothest cut. Electric carving knives can be found with the small appliances in most department and discount stores.

    • 2

      Place the tool or equipment to be carried as close to the center of one of the foam pieces as possible. If there is more than one item going into the case, separate them with enough foam to keep them from banging into each other. Mark around the equipment with a marker.

    • 3

      Use the hot-wire cutter or carving knife to cut out the shape, or shapes, marked in the foam. Remove the piece from the foam. Measure the depth of the tool as it will lay in the case. Slice the removed plug crosswise at that depth (e.g., 1 inch). This will be the hollow that the tool rests in. Discard the piece that is the same thickness as the tool. Replace the remaining piece in the cutout. Glue the edges first with spray adhesive, then slide it into position.

    • 4

      Cut half the depth of the tool out of the first piece of foam for tools that are thicker than half the depth of the case. Cut the remaining half from the second piece. Slide the foam into the case, and set the tool in place to check the fit.

    • 5

      Apply adhesive fabric fastener to the inside of the case and to the back of the foam. This will keep the foam in place while allowing for easy removal in case of needed replacement. Press the foam firmly into place, and put the tool in the case. Close and latch the lid, and carry your fragile instruments in peace. Source: E-How


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