The Story

A friend asked me to refurbish this classic beginner's telescope that had been her late brother's. The family had purchased it for him in the mid-1970's. Its a Circle-T (Towa) and with the refurbishment work, it will hopefully continue to help the next generation discover their love for astronomy.

This is not a restoration, in the strictest sense. My aim is to simply return it to workable use. I opted to replace the 0.956in diameter diagonal and eyepieces with a 0.956in to 1.25in conversion diagonal and to use 1.25in eyepieces.

Initial Reception of the Telescope

Here are photos from the project.

The first shot is a photo of the telescope, it's box and the lower bit of the tripod legs.

Cleaning the Objective

The objective lens was very dirty and dusty (next two photos).

And here it is all clean and good as new. I used Eclipse solution with a pec-pad to clean both interior and exterior surfaces of the lens.

Knobs and Various Parts

Here are a sampling of one of the mounting knobs (the other is missing), a 12.5mm focal length Huygens eyepiece (with barrel missing) and a sun filter of the eyepiece screw-in variety.

The finder scope bracket was missing two of the set screws. The bad thing was that the set screws were ANSI non-standard 7x32 threaded. So the solution was to ream out the female threads in the bracket and re-tap them to an ANSI standard 8x32 set of threads. I ordered six new set screws from Reid Supply Company, of Muskegon, Michigan. I opted to replace the set screws with Reid Cat. No. KTS-4219 knurled precision stainless steel thumb screws.

The photo below shows the process half complete. The set screws in the foreground are the new ones. The originals are in back.

Here we see not only the new set screws for the finder mount, but also the finder itself having been mounted on the scope. Also seen are the two new main-mount knobs. These also came from Reid Supply Company (Cat. no. DK-74). They match the 5/16-18 threads of the original knob, so no additional tap-work was required. The diagonal is the original 0.956 inch diameter version. A 1.25 inch conversion diagonal has been ordered.

The "Owners Manual" consists of a single page, printed on two sides. I'm sure the average 12- or 13 year-old budding astronomer had fun trying to figure out how everything fit together.

Here is the back side of the single sheet. I love the typo in the CAUTION statement about using the Sun filter! Almost worthy of a law-suit!

Remaining parts arrived. But, regrettably, because of competing events in my life, I lacked the time to take photos of the completed project. The owner of the scope was pleased that all was operational when they received it.

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Last Modified: April 26, 2008