A Case for Astronomy

Fine Woodworking Products for the Amateur Astronomer

Eyepiece Case Considerations

I have been a woodworker for as long as I can remember, my woodworking has always complimented many of my other interests and hobbies in life.  On cloudy evenings you will more than likely find me working in my shop.

 When you look at the design of my eyepieces cases, you will notice a few things:  it is made of plywood, only glue is used in the case construction, there are feet, and there is no handle.  When deciding on a wood for the carcass, I went back and forth between solid hardwood and quality plywood.  Quality plywood will remain dimensionally stable for many, many years and will not crack or split, unlike some hardwoods.  Also, it allows me to have a more consistent product and a price that will not break the bank for my consumers.  The carcass has no mechanical fasteners, screws, nails, or biscuits, over the years I have become more of a traditional woodworker, using traditional joinery and proper gluing techniques the joints on my cases are stronger than the wood it is connecting.  Adding feet to the bottom of the box was not only a visually appealing design characteristic, matching the wood from the inlayed top to the feet, but also functionally by protecting the bottom of the box from damage or wetness.   The main reason for my cases not having a handle is twofold...  First, it would not allow for the inlay art on the top of the case; and secondly and more importantly, I believe you need to use 2 hands to carry important delicate instruments.  When I built my first case I thought seriously about putting a handle on the top, but the thought of the weight of the eyepieces in conjunction with the tiny screws holding the handle, hinge, & latch on was not a risk that I was willing to take.  The hinges and latches are fine for what they were designed for, but not for supporting the entire weight of the case and its contents.  On my larger case, I have added 2 handles on each side held in place with screws and glue, they are not going anywhere and are an integral part of the case.  On the Grab-n-Go case, it is a very comfortable size to carry with 2 hands and the feet allow for easy pick up from smooth surfaces.