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Extensions front and back

by Gene Burch
(Temecula, CA)

I removed one of the legs of an old camera tripod, installed the flat bar that came with the T-leg to the bottom extension of the tripod and used a 1/4" 20thread screw to secure the leg to the box after sliding it in the channel in the back. I then attached 1/8" x 1/2" flat aluminum bars to the left and right edges of the wood frame of the box with holes along the bar at 3/4" spacing. Then I made two removable flat bars with three stainless machine screws in each bar about four+" apart so that the screws are in some multiple of 3/4"apart so they can drop into the holes in the box bars. I can then drop these bars into the box bars holes so that they can extend out to support the box when it is tipped forward to catch the earliest sun elevation(like 8 o'clock in February)without the panels hitting the ground. I use a medium sized paper spring clip to keep the bar from working out of the box bar, though I haven't had the bar slip out without the clip. The screw threads seem to provide enough friction to prevent that. The tripod leg then is extended to touch the ground at the rear. I end up with a stable three point contact with the ground, and as the sun rises I shorten the tripod extension, extend the bars to the front until the center of gravity is eventually to the rear of the box and the bars aren't needed for tip prevention.

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Feb 28, 2015
more info
by: Gene Burch

I should have added that I drilled and tapped the holes in the removable flat bar for the stainless steel machine screws, just to make it clear. They are fixed and tight. The holes in the box bars are slightly bigger than the screw size, so they drop in easily but are not sloppy loose.

Feb 25, 2015
Thanks for sharing
by: Jim La Joie

Thanks Gene,
Really cool mod. Thanks for the additional details.

Feb 25, 2015
re: Jim La Joie
by: Gene

Jim, I don't need staking in the back. I always have three point contact with the ground in the early hours. When the sun climbs, I lift out the flat bars, move them farther out, drop them in the holes, and shorten the back tripod leg. Every 30 minutes I adjust the three to keep the focusing cube sun indicator where it is supposed to be. It is very stable. Eventually, the center of gravity is behind the black box bottom edge that is touching the ground and the front supports are no longer needed.

I'm looking for a really small tripod to use two of its legs to replace the flat bar mod. Just twist to loosen, extend, and tighten. But for now this works well.

Also, I cut up an old outdoor carpet entry mat and spray adhesive'd it to the black box front edge in contact with the ground to keep it from being abraded when I swivel the box for sun orientation.

Feb 25, 2015
Early Morning Sun
by: Jim La Joie

Good for you!
Glad to see that other cooks are recognizing the usefulness of that early morning sun.
Ingenious and stable.
I know that my GSO would fall forward easily if it was at full extension and I did not stake down the rear leg. Do your added legs, especially the front ones, reduce this tendency?
If not... Why not mount your front extensions to they extend forward. Meaning that the pivot point of the weight of the cooker would be moved forward.
The rear of the added legs could be attached somewhere near the lower rear corner. The front of the legs near the front wooden frame of the cooker. If you do this you may not need to stake down the cooker at all.

Feb 24, 2015
Sun Oven enhancement
by: Nathan

Now, that is great!
I am impressed!

This is a very useful, practical and functional enhancement to the Sun Oven.
In fact, this is something I am going to have to copy for my own Sun Ovens.
I for years have had to put bricks and other things around and in front of the Sun Ovens in order to be able to fully incline the cookers to their lowest elevations, and you have come up with a great little feature enhancement that does this very well.
And yes, that three point contact makes for a very stable cooker.
Great job with your improvement.

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