Well, after bemoaning the lack of a lathe to narrow down the outer diameter of the barrel, I decided to mount my belt sander upside down in the vice (before I'd just used the random-orbital pad sander), with a super-coarse 60-grit sanding belt on it, and just ground the crap out of that PVC. I made it at least a couple of millimeters thinner before it was all said and done, and the sleeve now slides all the way down. However, it's still not a smooth motion at all--I have some sticky-back cordoroy pieces to smooth the sliding but it still takes some effort to get the barrel moving.
However--eyepiece is sanded, shaped, and painted, mounting is done--
UPDATE: photo of finished scope, mounted on tripod:
thanks to inspiration from Kat's marble rolling pin and its little wooden stand:
Here's my mount (note: these photos added later--I forgot them until just now):
That's a nut that I glued into a small hole I made, and it screws onto the tripod's shoe. There's velcro on the scope and in the channel on the mount, so the scope doesn't slip.
One note--I've discovered that the cheapie tripod I bought is, well, cheapie. It doesn't hold firm under the weight of my scope or even my camera--with all adjusters locked, it still moves a little. I'll take this one back, and according to Kat, I'll get a good one for Christmas. Sweet!
So now all I need is TIME. I didn't finish everything until last night after sundown, and I woke up too late this morning to play around. Today is my long day (work from 8-5, then class from 6-9, then about a 1/2-hr drive home), so I won't be playing with the scope tonight. However, tomorrow, I might have some free time, so if the weather cooperates, tomorrow I will have some DIGISCOPED photos of something.
I say something because the weather has been cold and drizzly, so despite my full feeders, I've seen no bird action for the last two days. I do need to put out a new suet cake. The woodpeckers finally ate most of that spicy one, so I'm putting a peanut one in there and smearing the rest of the spicy one on the trunk and a couple of fencepost holes etc. to maximize my photo opportunities.
I really need to get some birding in, because this year's Project Feeder Watch has begun. But like I said--no birds. I have to schedule two consecutive days once every one or two weeks, so technically I did my scheduled days on Sat/Sun, but no birds were observed. I heard Mr. or Mrs. Cardinal but never saw them. Not even a chickadee or a titmouse.
Photos of my Project Feeder Watch materials are forthcoming. I have a poster of common feeder birds, a big calendar, some window stickers, some little newsletters--all kinds of bird stuff. I'm very excited. I just wish the weather would get better.
So I'll add photos to this post tonight when I get home. But wait, you say--back it up to that green marble rolling pin photo--now that you've seen that photo of the rolling pin, you want to see more of that stove--that 1950s model GE stove, just like the one used in The Hours, during the "Laura Brown" (Julianne Moore) segments. Ladies and gentlemen, our vintage stove:
Note the built-in salt and pepper shakers, and the obvious Detroit/auto-design-influenced dashboard look of the controls and clock. Here's a great photo of the "dashboard lights" feature:
It's practically got tailfins on it! You can almost hear Pat Boone singing "See the USA in your Chevrolet!" The stove is huge, and it's in perfect working order, right down to the bread-warming drawer (in which we keep baking sheets). It also has the "deep fryer" option that no doubt added a few dollars to the cost:
We don't know what plugs into this, nor do we have said plug. But then, we're vegetarians--not a whole lot of deep-frying goes on in this house since we moved in.
At any rate, the scope is finished, but it turns out I won't be able to digiscope tomorrow. Weather will be bad, plus I have to stay downtown and wait for Kat to get out of some meetings, so no time to digiscope. But I'm hoping the sun will come out and bring some birds to the feeders later in the week. Until then, I leave you with this rather upclose and personal shot of somebody's dewlap: