We are going to start this year off with a series on Astronomy. The interns have been keeping an
eye out for a used wedge for the permanent pier we'll be building this year, and they were delighted when they found
this 35-lb beauty on Astromart.
This wedge was designed by Jim Mettler many years back. Jim has since stopped making them, but used ones come onto the market every so often, and when they do they are snapped up by those who know the name. Maybe it was the holidays or maybe it was the recession, but the interns were surprised when they saw this unit available at below market rate. They moved on the deal before anyone else was the wiser.
It is difficult to appreciate the build quality of this wedge from just the pictures. The base is a solid piece of aluminum about an inch thick. The platform, turnbuckle, and joints are just massive. All the fittings are either stainless steel, brass, or aluminum. Nothing is going to break on this wedge.
Some wedges have a slide on the side to set the inclination. It allows for angle markings but makes for a less rigid structure. The most stable way is to support the angled platform from underneath. The Mettler wedge has two robust turnbuckles that both set the platform angle and support the plate. The
bushings are brass and the bolts are stainless steel. There is absolutely zero flex in the joints. Multiple tripod mounting holes allow the wedge to accommodate a wide range of scopes.
Readers looking for a used, heavy-duty wedge should keep an eye out for a Mettler. It will likely be less expensive than a Meade Ultra, a Mitty Evolution, or a Milburn unit. They will not be any stronger, and will definitley be less elegantly designed than the Mettler wedge. If you see one for sale, grab it as they don't come along too often. [Permalink] -Mettler Wedge FirstLook