Introduction: Simple DIY Large Telescope Case (For OTA and More)

Picture of Simple DIY Large Telescope Case (For OTA and More)

I bought a 50 gallon Stanley Tool Chest several years ago
to act as the case for my Celestron C11 telescope. My intention was to
completely pad the inside of the case with a stack of 1” foam layers and
carefully cut out spaces for the OTA, counter weights, motor, etc.

That didn't work so well so I ended up just stuffing spare foam pieces around
the equipment as needed. That didn't work so well either. On a recent long trip with
my C11 packed loosely in it's case it received a little damage. Riding in the back of the bumpy pickup something shifted inside my telescope case and rubbed firmly for hundreds of miles against the back of the OTA. No serious damage was done, but I decided I needed a better solution before I take another long road trip. 

Step 1: Parts and Tools

Picture of Parts and Tools

-50 Gallon Stanley Tool Chest ( I paid about 60 bucks at Home Depot)
-8' stick of 1X2” pine
-Staples or Screws (I used an air staple gun – other fasteners will work)
-A little spare packing foam and some zip ties.

Step 2: Build the Frame

Picture of Build the Frame

A simple wooden structure made entirely of 1X2's.

-2 pieces 18 1/4” long. These span the width of the case. A slight taper cut at each end to roughly match
the sides of the tool box ( about a 3* angle – just eyeball it)

-2 pieces 16 3/4” long . These are side pieces to tie the ends together. You might get away without these because the ends wedge in so tightly, but after a long bumpy ride they may come loose.

-2 7” pieces for the front leg supports. Cut a notch at the bottom of each leg to bypass the ledge along the bottom of the tool box (see picture).

-2 pieces of 1” scrap for spacers on the back end. This makes a small foot to rest on top of the wheel well.
-2 pieces of scrap cut at a 45* angle to strengthen leg support

Staple it all together
See pictures below for details

Step 3: Wedgie Time

Picture of Wedgie Time

-Add foam to bottom of case and on frame if necessary (I used zip ties to pad the cradle).
-Wedge the whole frame down into the case.
-It should fit very snuggly.

Awesome! You're done! You rock!

Load it up!


gvasseur (author)2013-12-16

Fantastic idea. Just got a 9.25 SCT. I kept the foam that came with it and everything (mount, scope, weights etc.) fits nicely in the box and feels super protected.

I got the bow at Home Depot for 70$. A bargain.

ericsoffice (author)gvasseur2014-06-09

Excellent. Good luck.

chichimus (author)2011-11-24

That is great. I have an 8SE on order. Getting back into the hobby and I will do something similar to this.

I would consider adding a sheet of ensolite or foam under the OTA for some extra protection from the kit on the bottom. just in case of bumps

Good ideas.



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