I purchased my Etx in 1998 and soon wanted a tripod for use with it, something that was light and portable and came apart for easy transportation. I ended up using Oak wood and Brass hardware. Overall it works well. Is it perfect? Nope, when focusing or using the manual controls there is some vibration. But no worse than other tripods I have used over the years. It may help to use longer leg bracket's?????
I started construction by cutting the 8 " top for the tripod from 3/4" oak. I used a scroll saw but a jig saw would work. I then cut the legs to length and used the table saw to cut the angles on both ends. The leg brackets were doweled and glued to the tripod top. The legs were notched so they slide into the leg brackets and then a brass bolt is used to secure them . The wedge was built using 1/2" oak the bottom is 12" long and rounded on both ends. The wedge top is 8" long and round on one end. I used brass hinges and lid support brackets to adjust for latitude. For the shelf I used 1/4" oak and it is held on with dowels, the shelf just snaps into place.
1-3/4" x 8" oak top for tripod, 3- 3/4" x 1 1/2" x 34" legs, 6- 3/4" x 1 1/2" x 4 leg brackets.
1- 1/2" x 12" wedge bottom, 1- 1/2" x 8" wedge top, 2- brass hinges, 2- brass lid supports.