Since writing the article the scope has been fitted with an Astro Physics 2.7" focuser and better tube rings. I no longer have the steel pier as we have moved house but I have plans for another one at the new place. In the meantime I use it with the wooden pier mount which has also been modified since the article.
Last Edit: Feb 17, 2011 17:51:05 GMT -5 by plyscope
Thanks Joe. The varnished wood does look like furniture I suppose but the idea comes from stitch and glue boat building. I made a couple of kayaks using the thin marine ply and they are amazingly tough and light. The telescopes are sealed and varnished and though I wouldn't call them waterproof they are certanly resistant to dew and moisture. I will try to describe the whole process with lot's of pictures when I make the next scope. I encourage others to have a try. For me it was the easiest way to make a telescope as I had some boat building experience and when I tried to source aluminum tubing locally it was either not available or just too expensive.