1970's to early 1980's CelestronC8
with a very stabile, non-collapsible tripod (below photo). What
makes these tripods so stabile is that the legs are composed of
triangular spring steel elements. Each leg is a triangle that is
assembled by bending the
spring steel rods and inserting them into top
and bottom brackets that hold the triangular shape. Because the spring
steel must be bent to fit into the brackets, the legs are under stress
and resist vibrations. This
documents repairing a broken Celestron C8 tripod (ca. 1979). All
materials cost less than $10, and the project required a single
the aluminum brackets that couples the triangular tripod leg to the top
section was broken (below photo). Because
Celestron tripods are very stabile, I wanted
to repair the tripod. I initially wanted to weld the bracket,
local machinist didn't have the proper electrode to weld aluminum. The
machinist suggested fabricating two steel brackets that wrap around the
broken pieces and clamp everything together with large bolts.
a 14 cm x 6 cm
x 1.5 mm galvanized steel plate for approx. $1.25 and cut it into two 7
x 6 cm
x 1.5 mm
plates. The resulting two plates were bent into the
final "C" shaped
brackets using a bench vice and a rubber hammer (below photos).
One of the final brackets and
a first test fit around the broken
tripod bracket is shown in the below left and right photos,
respectively. The steel brackets fit tightly around the broken aluminum
bracket and will be held together with large bolts.
I drilled out the broken aluminum brackets and steel plates with an 8
mm metal bit and used galvanized M8 threaded rod to screw the brackets
below left photo shows a first test fit of the repaired bracket without
the spring steel legs. I inserted the two spring steel legs and used a
rubber hammer to pound the bracket in place; this took considerable
force because the spring steel presses outward with a lot of force.
After the legs were installed, I retested the fit and there were some
minor problems. The spring steel exerts so much force that the original
C8 bracket separated by about 1 cm. Since the top bracket was
slightly wider, it didn't fit too well onto the original mounting
hardware; I compensated for this by using a steel bolt with metal
washer spacers to attach the bracket (below right photo). I
probably make another set of brackets to reduce the top
in the repaired tripod leg, but for now this fix is acceptable
get the orginal C8 tripod back into service.
Below are two photos of the
repaired tripod. I originally planned
to paint the repair bracket black, but since the plate and all hardware
galvanized, they can be left unpainted and resist rusting.