OBSERVING CHAIR

A good seat can make a lot of difference in what you can see.  Sitting upright to the eyepiece, with no twists or kinks in your back and neck, allows extended viewing at a much lower strain level. 

I originally built a Denver Observer's Seat and it still serves me well (see the Denver Astro Society's web site or Phil Harrington's Star Ware 2nd Ed.). These seats can be built in under an hour with just the most basic hand tools and minimal dollars invested. When I got the 18" scope it was immediately obvious that a chair that was about 24" tall was not going to be a whole lot of help with a scope that puts the eyepiece about 80" at zenith.

I started looking around star parties and such for a new seat.  I saw, and tried, numerous examples.  Several manufactures have seats very similar to this one.  Most of them do not have any kind of foot rest, so getting on and off when the seat is high is about impossible.  Even with the footrest on this one it is still a challenge when dressed in all your warm woollies and monster boots (practice in the privacy of your home before demonstrating to your buddies how these chairs can throw you).  This seat sits between 10 and 44 inches tall, and provides a very comfortable session at virtually any angle the 18" is aimed.  Once you are on the seat it is very stable and you soon forget you are perched high in the sky.  Remember where you are before you dismount, else you again demonstrate your grace and elegance to your buddies...

You can buy a seat that is about identical from a couple manufactures for around $200.  My cost at building these (yes, these, I built three of them for Christmas, kept one and gave the other two away) was real close to the same $200 each that I could have bought them for.  I used oak throughout and applied three coats of spar varnish.  An application of anti-skid to the footrest helps to prevent embarrassing face plants.

       

   

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