S&B Solomons Antique Telescope clean up

Hi this is Graham from Jenham’s Astro
this video is a compilation of clips I’ve taken during the refurbishment of
this telescope this a 3-inch refractor was made by Samuel and Benjamin
Solomon’s who were makers that were operating in the 19th century so I’m
guessing that the scope was made maybe 1870 1880 when I picked up the scope
after auction it didn’t look much like this so obviously it had quite a hard life
and the mount was all corroded the tube has some damage. I’ve spent a bit of time
trying to improve the appearance and the operation of the scope. So the scope comes to
me with fetching light blue paint color on the tube and black fittings now I
don’t think it’s the original color um there were some manufacturers notably Ottway that produced scopes with a similar color sort of grey blue but
looking at the finish on the tube it looks like this paint has been applied
after some some damages has occurred to the tube. So there’s an
azimuth adjustment with the slow-motion rod it’s all pretty well corroded so the
gear will be inside this assembly all needs to come apart and be fixed up you
see here on the top of the tripod there are pieces of wood that broken off that
where each of the mounting bolts attached it’s got this elevation control bar
which will fit on here and the other end of the attachment has broken off you can
see that it’s a cylinder that slides and clamps and there’s also a rack and
pinion attachment here to it our fine adjustment
it’s all very corroded so the rack and pinion folks sir is
reasonably smooth and you can see that it’s quite a large diameter focusing
tube and the travel is only it’s only a few centimetres so the rest the focus is
accommodated with a sliding draw tube here if we look at the mounting bolts
for the tube assembly you can see that there are some some evidence of the
underlying brass so this blue grey blue paint obviously isn’t the original paint
I’d say so we maybe have a look at removing that see what it’s like
underneath and then similarly here on the mount itself you can see under the
black paint the underlying brass and if we move the metal lens cover then
you can see probably there’s some mold in the objective lens which we have to
try and remove so if we look inside the box which is pretty beaten up and we can
see that there is a claw if you want to use this as a library scope in a kind of
pillar and claw arrangement and there’s also a set of eyepieces there are four
eyepieces and one solar filter which has been said before those sort of solar
filter shouldn’t be used and then are safe and then right now also a cat!
so we’re probably halfway through the refurbishment basically the telescope’s
stripped down. I pulled the tripod apart after a bit of effort, managed to strip the
paint off the tube basically wrapped the tube in the towel and poured boiling water
on it and the paint came off in long strips long big pieces so that worked
pretty well lots of parts, a focuser lens cell there’s a worm wheel
inside. It’s very corroded up so that’s all stripped apart and trying to
clean it up and lots of other bits and pieces do lots of parts these old scopes
they carry on with the cleanup so you might have seen this video elsewhere on
my channel it’s a short time lapse putting the mount back together again
after I cleaned it up largely discovering also that I should pay more
attention to where everything goes together when I take something apart but
this is probably the most amount of work to get this piece back together and
working so after what’s been quite a lot of effort the Scopes now back together
and you can see that the adjustment of the mount is working smoothly now you
can see how its intended to be used with a long control rod this is really works
quite well you can look at the eyepiece and the controller’s long enough to
allow you to make quite fine adjustments in the amount as it as it sweeps side to
side you’ll see I wasn’t able to resurrect the original elevation control
bar so I’ve fitted an alternative which is a telescopic elevation rod it’s from
a telescope for the same same sort of era as this. You sometimes see a
pair of these rods mounted brace between the back of the tube like this and a
couple of the tripod legs so I think this is quite well in keeping with the
original mounting so yeah the rack-and-pinion
that worked pretty well when I got it I’ve just taken it apart giving it a
bit of a grease and using it here with one of the original set of eyepieces and now yeah jobs all done pretty happy
with the result just goes to show that in a hundred or so years scopes probably
had many owners, been broken and repaired a few times this one’s had a
finder attached at some stage and then removed all sorts of scratches and
damage but it’s been quite fun putting all back together again thanks for

4 Replies to “S&B Solomons Antique Telescope clean up”

  1. it is great to see all those antique old telescopes and I was wondering how our previous generations figured out so much with these ancient telescopes

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