by Ron Burrows
After spending far too many nights bending over my telescope, and ending up with a back ache, I finally realized the only cure was an observing chair. I searched a few Astronomy web sites and found comments on a good number of chairs. From those comments, and after reading some great product reviews, the CATSPERCHTM Observing Chair designed by Jim Fly, sounded like the Cadillac.
From the pictures of the chair on Jimís web site, the design looked to be very stable and have a wide range of seat height adjustment. Also, it appeared that with its easy take down, the CATSPERCHTM would be easy to transport to my dark sky location.
At that time Jim wasnít taking any new orders for Kits or Finished chairs. So being a craftsman, with 35+ woodworking experience, I decided to build one in. Although not to scale, I could tell this was a great design and I found the web comments and reviews were right. The chair is easy to set up, a breeze to adjust and extremely stable, even at the highest seating position.
After building and experiencing the pleasure of using the CATSPERCHTM design, I started thinking that I might be able to help Jim continue his great design. I knew I had the equipment and ability to produce the chair in a limited run production mode in my workshop so I contacted Jim and offered my services. He accepted! We worked together very closely through a couple prototypes. He sent me a set of plans and extremely detailed pictures of his manufacturing processes. This enabled me to modularize Jimís manufacturing process in my workshop. I currently run a limited batch of 5 chairs at a time to ensure the CATSPERCHTM design is duplicated to the greatest of detail and quality.
Recently I took a pictorial sequence during the assembly process of a CATSPERCHTM "Frazier Pro" Observing Chair. I thought Iíd share them with those interested in the "Kits" and show the step by step process, which can be completed in an evening. Also, if you are assembling a Kit yourself you will find these pictures useful as a supplement to the assembly instructions that comes with the Kit.