David White 8300 Transit Box

I needed some place to keep my transit when I’m not using it…which will be most of the time.  As you may recall from my last post the transit is permanently attached to the tripod head so the stock box wouldn’t work even if I had one.  So, I decided to make one out of wood.  I measured the size of the transit and head to find the minimum box size.  To that I added a little extra space around the transit.  Once I had the inside dimensions of the box, I was able to sketch out a design.  I picked up some select Pine from Lowe’s to build it out of because it looks nice. It was also cheaper than the overpriced Red Oak.

I cut the boards into the correct size using my tablesaw.


The sides of the box have rebates on all four edges and to cut those I used the dado stack on my tablesaw.B2

I used a couple clamps to glue up the box some of the leftover Pine to keep from getting marks from the clamps.


I decided to use some screws to reinforce the joints on the bottom and back of the box.  To keep the layout of my screws even, I made a guide out of some more scrap Pine. Once it was clamped in place I proceeded to drill all my pilot holes.


With the pilot holes drilled, it was over to the drill press to countersink all the holes.  Using the drill press allows me to countersink to the same depth each time.  B5

With the screws installed, I added the rest of the hardware.  I went with a box design that has a lid that lifts up and a front that folds down.  I thought this would allow me better access to the transit and the items below it.




To keep the transit in place I installed a few blocks to hold the base from moving around.  I also put some blocks in to hold the other pieces of the tripod such as the blocks that hold the legs onto the base.   If you have keen eyes and picked out the zinc screws, fear not.  I replaced them later with brass ones.


I also installed a padded V block to keep the transit from moving around in azimuth while in the box.  You’ll also see the small board I drilled holes in to hold the wing nut bolts I made.


Here’s the box closed.  I finished the outside of the box with a couple coats of Amber shellac.  I plan to add some handles but haven’t found any that I like yet.  B10

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