Sunday, November 13, 2011

Lightening my Coulter 8"

I've been using my 8" F/4.5 scope more, because I just haven't been having the energy to pull my 13" out.

The 8" weighs in at around 40 lbs. I wish it was lighter. I shifted the bearings a couple of months ago so it wouldn't need a counterweight at the bottom of the tube.

And today I finally cut out big triangular holes in the sides of the rocker box.

I sketched out a template in Inkscape, and printed it out in three pieces (it didn't fit on an 8.5x11 sheet), glued them together, and transferred the locations to the wood with a punch.  I used a 2.5" hole saw for the corners of the triangle, and joined them up with a jigsaw cut. It was my first time using my fancy (reconditioned) Bosch 1590 jigsaw. I was pretty pleased. I used a Bosch T234X blade. It cut the tough OSB very nicely, and pretty smoothly (though the hole saw smoked a lot and there was a lot of tearout). The dust blower wasn't strong enough to keep the cut line clear, which was unfortunate (since I was wearing a dust mask, I couldn't blow dust away). Then I painted the exposed wood (with an approximately 1:1:1 mix of acrylic black paint, Titebond II and water). The cut out portions weighed in at a total of about two pounds. Not a big difference, but I find that at around 40 lbs, every pound makes a difference.

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