A nice fellow on the Skyquest group was kind enough to post some pictures of a shelf he had added to the front of the rocker box on his dob. I saw the pictures and immediately determined that this was a worthwhile addition to my XT10. So, here is what I came up with:
It is made from red oak that I had left over from my eq platform and observing chair projects. The left and right braces are actually the leftovers from the 1/2 x 6 stock that I cut the north sector on my eq platform from. That’s why the bottoms are curved. The shelf itself is 1x12x12 solid red oak. I put a rim around the outside with 1/4 x 2 inch red oak. I used some 1/8 x 1/2 stainless steel stock to make the hangers. My goal was to have it removable and not leave any evidence that it was there.
The black lining is from Michael’s craft store and is some 1/8″ foam rubber that the kids use to make crafts. It makes a very sticky and cushioned platform for my ep’s and stuff. I added 1.25″ holes to it for holding ep’s. I may add a hole for a 2″ ep, but that would just be a convenient place for smaller objects to commit suicide, never to be found again.
This was a very easy project that took about an hour. The materials I had on hand, but would not have cost more than $15 for the red oak and much less for poplar or pine.
Overall, I am very pleased with how this turned out. Now I have a handy place to keep all those filters and anything else that needs a nice comfy spot.
Update 19 Nov 2003: I have used the shelf every night that I have been observing. It has proven to be indispensable and will definitely be added to my top 10 list of mods for the XT10. I am very grateful that someone suggested this on the Skyquest group. I’m not sure I would have thought of it on my own.
I have since sold the XT10 and moved the accessory tray over to my 11′ Starmaster. No mods required and it works like a champ. The battery has been replaced with 2 smaller 4.5 Ah gel cells and moved inside the rocker box. The accessory tray is a wonderful addition to the Starmaster.