Here it is, finally: the next generation of the spotting scope, Prototype III:
Here's another view, with the focusing barrels apart:
Yes, that's a big plastic cup with a handle as the barrel piece sleeve that slides over the other end. It was the only thing big enough to slide over the 3" PVC pipe.
Here is the new eyepiece, hand-carved by yours truly:
That's red oak, with shaping and cutting-down of the 1-1/4" barrel done by hand with a wood chisel. I love my chisels! It still needs some finish-sanding and shaping.
I have only one problem: the focusing barrel sleeve (the cup) that's supposed to slide over the other part just doesn't slide smoothly at all, and it won't slide down far enough to allow me to focus on far-away objects. So--while the scope looks very finished, it's still a prototype. What I need is a lathe, so that I could mount the one barrel and sand it down to slightly thinner outer diameter so the sleeve would slide better. I don't have a lathe, though, so I mounted my power sander in a vice upside down, then just held the tube there and tried to sand it down. It worked some, but obviously not enough.
Still--I'm pretty impressed with the look of it now that the flat black paint is on there. And the eypiece is good, though I need to paint the inside of it still, and finish sanding, etc. But I wanted to show you what I have so far. I haven't digiscoped through it, though. I want to wait until it's perfect! But the close-up view (focused about ten feet away) is tack-sharp, so that's encouraging.
I also went to the mall and bought a tripod--not an expensive one, but one that will do the job:
It has a quick-release on the shoe, so it will be easier to attach the scope and the camera. I have some ideas about how to make the scope mount, and I'll work on those today (along with the barrel sanding, etc.).
I also received all my Project Feeder Watch materials, but more on that tomorrow.