A Backyard Telescope Pier

Complete Pier
The completed pier with a telescope atop
Have you ever wanted to have a place to set up your scope easily in the backyard? with instant polar alignment? no tripod legs in the way? Even for someone with little handyman experience a pier is an easy weekend project that can be completed for around $60. Add the cost of a wedge for your scope, about $125-$400 new, less used, and you have a usable pier. A few bags of concrete, a little rebar and a sonotube will do the job. I know, we ATM’s usually use sonotube for telescope tubes, but this is what it is really meant to do, cast concrete.

A pier is also the first step in a real backyard observatory, build the pier first, then a building around it. The process shown here works for any pier and can be scaled as needed for larger scopes. The pier shown in the photos is intended to hold an eight inch SCT.

The plans and photos shown here have been used for several piers here in the Tucson area and have been refined with the experience. Feel free to improve on what is here, and if your idea works well send photos!

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