Last Fall (2011) I took full advantage of the fantastic sabatical policy where I am employed. My wife and I spent a good portion of this time driving around the beautiful American Southwest and the many awesome parks on and around the Colorado Plateau. While driving hundreds of miles in desolate landscapes the clarity of the night sky inspired me to dream up a camera mount that would rotate to accommodate the polar rotation of the planet. Any long photographic exposures of the stars with a static tripod will result in star trails--which is cool--but precludes an astrophotographer from capturing faint details in the night sky. I calculated the gear ratios in my head (over many hours of isolation) while my wife slept in the passenger seat next to me and started to dream up the other mechanical requirements to build this tool. After returning from my sabbatical and after the new year rolled over I began spending time at the San Jose TechShop where I discovered all the awesome tools that can bring musings like mine out of your head and into the real world. With the access they provide to so many otherwise difficult-to-access tools I decided to make it at TechShop (www.techShop.ws
.) The laser cutter and acrylic sheet were the media and method I chose to make this dream real. I also used Autodesk Inventor, which I learned to use at TechShop, to create the mechanical system and the drawings that would drive the laser to cut the acrylic with mesmerizing precision and accuracy. This instructable describes the process and steps I defined to create this equatorial mount.