Sunday, June 27, 2010


About three weeks ago, I bought a plastic and steel tool case from Harbor Freight to use as an eyepiece and accessory case.  The price was right, and I made a nice plywood insert with holders for the eyepieces.  But the case turned out to be stinky, no doubt due to the plastic off-gassing.  I can't put optics in it while it's still off-gassing as then they might be coated with the residue.  I've kept the case for most of the three weeks in the garage, open, hoping that the Texas temperatures would help, but the effect has been fairly small.  Yesterday, I went some steps further.  First, I left it out in the sunlight for a couple of hours.  Second, I filled the plastic bottom portion with a mix of water, dish soap and hand sanitizer (didn't have alcohol in another form) and left that in for a while.  Then I poured that out, wiped it, and left it in front of a fan for an hour or two.  It didn't smell much then.  But then after its spending another night in the garage, it's smelly again, but pretty definitely less than before.  Annoying.  But I think once I get all the smell out, I'll have a nice eyepiece case which will cut pack-up time by a few minutes, so I can stay at dark sites for a few minutes longer.

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