University Lowbrow Astronomers

Wood Wonders Eyepiece Case: A Review.

by Mark S Deprest
Printed in Reflections: November, 2010.

I’m a geek, a gadget-guy, a new technology nerd, I’m also the guy who usually has it (it refers to just about any thing and everything you just might need while out observing), which means I bring a lot of stuff with me when I go out observing. Now, I have a rather large telescope, Blondie is an 18” f/4.5 with a 2” focuser, so I use 2” eyepieces and because Blondie is a truss-tube dobsonian type of reflector the mirrors need to be collimated each time I assemble it for use. So, I have a laser collimator (actually I have two) and my scope is considered a fast scope and that makes it inherently subject to “coma distortion” which means I use a coma-corrector. I have pared down to a minimal number of eyepieces but I still have 4 2” eyepieces and a couple 1.25” eyepieces with 2” adapters. All of this plus a variety of filters in both 1.25” and 2”, a couple of flashlights, a number of Brent Watson Telrad charts, the Pocket Sky Atlas, Sue French’s Celestial Sampler book, a planisphere, a compass, a set of allen wrenches, a couple of small screw drivers, and a multi-tool... well you get the picture (and if you don’t get it check out the photo below). All of the this stuff comes with me every time I go out observing.

I used to pack all of this stuff in two separate cases and lay them open on my observing table, and that worked for me just fine. Then I went to the Black Forest Star Party and they had as one of the door prizes a Wood Wonders Eyepiece Case. Ron Burrows of Pinckney, MI has a complete line of these little beauties and he also makes the “Catsperch Observing Chairs” (I have one of these and I love it) and I wanted one of these eyepiece cases. So, I brought a few extra raffle tickets and put them all in the can for the eyepiece case. Just like I did when I wanted the 2” 1.5x Barlow a few years back, and just like I did when I wanted the P.S.T. A couple of years ago... and what was great was I won the P.S.T., and I won the 2” 1.5x Barlow, and now I’ve won the eyepiece case. The Lowbrows are notorious for walking away with door prizes at the Black Forest Star Parties over the years.

Well, enough about that stuff lets take a look at this eyepiece case. The first thing you’ll notice is the fine craftsmanship of these cases. Ron has done his homework and is a highly skilled wood worker. The joinery is biscuits and glue and he pays particular attention to the edges and corners, making sure all are sealed and cured before finishing with high quality poly-urethane. These distinctive, solid Red Oak, Eyepieces Cases are the ultimate in storage and display of your prized eyepieces and observing accessories. They have a red LED lighting system, which is activated upon opening the lid, with on/off-brightness control. With the pull-out drawers, storage underneath, and the flip-down Plexiglas storage partition in the top, there is plenty of room for all your essentials. All cases are coated with Minwax Helmsman SPAR Urethane for a protective clear finish that offers long-lasting protection for the interior and exterior that is exposed to sunlight, dew and temperature changes. The eyepiece layout can be customized to match your eyepiece selection or you can choose from 4 standard layouts. Ron makes two sizes:

A One Drawer Eyepiece Case

A Two Drawer Eyepiece Case

The one that I won was a Standard One Drawer type but I immediately upgraded to the Two Drawer model. Ron also offers some wonderful extras to enhance the exterior appearance. Besides the standard exterior Ron has two computer guided CNC carved patterns that he puts on 4 sides of these cases. I chose the Celestial version and he also offers a Mythological version. Please check out his website for all of the options available.

Okay, so let’s take a closer look at the door prize I picked up at the Black Forest Star Party and because a picture is worth a thousand words:

If you have been on the website you’ll will see that these are not cheap in any sense of the meaning they are high quality and rather pricey. However, now that I actually own one I can see why these babies are so popular and why they cost what they do. The bottom line is; these cases are worth every dollar and even better if you win one!!


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