This evening I was able to test the 8" F6.3 scope out under the stars. I found out the struts are about 4 inches too short, and I need to add more counterweights. The Polyethelene sphere has a smoother action than the Polycarbonate (like I suspected). It was exciting to see how well this scope will move once it is done. I plan to replace the 8" sphere on my scope. I like it that much!!
I will be posting the details on how I built this scope soon.
Here are some pictures.