Lower Tube Section – Mirror Box

Mirror Box

2014.10.17. Working on the mirror box. Three cheers for routers. I’ve clamped it just to get a sneak preview. In the interior, there are two horizontal pieces, the bottom one standing in for part of the mirror cell, with a round wooden “mirror” sitting on top, and an interior “baffle” providing additional structural support. The truss poles will ultimately rest on that upper internal horizontal board. The external dimensions are 18″ (height) x 20.25″ (width) x 20.25″ (breadth). The plywood is 3/4″; thus the interior horizontal plane is 18.75″ squared.

Mirror Box, held together with clamps

Mirror Box, held together with clamps


2014.11.22. I’ve decided to move forward on mirror box assembly. I’ve decided I should blacken the interior before assembling. Last time I used sawdust as flocking on the interior surfaces. Since it seemed to work well, I’m doing it again. I painted the interior sides with primer, which I assume will hold the sawdust better than paint because of the higher amount of binder in the primer. I tossed saw dust (collected from earlier sawing of the same plywood) onto the still-wet primer. Several hours later I painted the “roughed up” primer/sawdust surface with flat black chalkboard paint.

2014.11.25 I’ve been working on the inserts. I cut so many holes in the mirror box thinking that the 3/4″ plywood is strong enough that it needs only to work as a frame. At the same time, the holes need to be shaded somehow. Thus the inserts, made out of 1/4″ ply.

I’ve decided to use the inserts to give the scope a splash of color rather than diversify the shades of maple. I decided to dye the wood and have accumulated some water-soluble aniline dyes: black, blue, red, and yellow. (Along the way I acquired two oil soluble shades of maple and a third in Transtint … experiments to nowhere.)

There are two small, eight medium, and two large discs as inserts for the mirror box. I gave all of them a first, total cover of black which then I sanded back as best I could with 150 grit. The small and medium discs I then gave an overcoat in navy blue. One large one I overcoated with rainbow stripes; the second, in a sunburst. I’m happy with the rainbow, less so with the sunburst.




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