Telescope Making Workshop

The Problem

Ryan Goodwin  and Michael Lecuyer were discussing a Telescope Making Workshop at a Hoppers where the Delmarva Space Sciences Foundation was hosting an astronomy event. Ryan made his pitch and this the result.

It seems that many people who complete a fine mirror at our mirror making workshop just can’t seem to get it into a telescope. The reasons are the same as not getting around to completing a mirror – time, resources and needing some help and knowledge to complete the job.

We are considering starting a Telescope Making Workshop to help those who made a mirror in the mirror making workshop to complete the project. Really we want to help anyone get their mirror into a telescope.

A solution

The idea is to create an environment similar to the mirror making workshop where experts work with you to assemble your telescope in as little time as possible for you to leave with a functional scope .

We are working with a telescope kit provider to supply three sizes of kits to build three sizes of kits: 8″, 10″, and 12″/12.5″ either with a simple  strut or truss tube construction.  The strut design permits the telescope to slide together on struts for travel or storage.

The Plan

  • We will provide the ready cut wood and hardware for the basic telescope.
    The hardware includes Azimuth bearings, Azimuth bearings, all necessary holes drilled, all nuts, bolts and screws.
  • You provide the mirror, secondary mirror , spider, focuser, mirror cell, eyepiece, finder – basically the optics and accessories.
  • There is so much information on the  Internets we won’t try to tell you what you should choose.
  • However we might also make available standard parts you can add to your kit from the builder if the research is daunting or the way is cloudy with too many opinions.
  • Wood working experts will be on hand to make suggestions and run the power tools.
  • Costs – the materials would be supplied at cost + shipping.
    For example the 10″ kit would cost about $800 including shipping.
  • Accommodations and food would be provided  as we do at the Mirror Making – nothing fancy;  some money going to the experts and a some going back to support the club.

If you want to carve fancy holes OK, but if you want to stain / paint / lacquer / polyurethane your beauty you may have to stay for a week or more in our lovely high humidity environment of the Delmarva Peninsula. We are hoping you might want to keep your stay a bit shorter like a weekend or a long weekend to assemble everything and decorate the telescope at home. September might be a nice month.

We don’t think this would be an annual event, perhaps biennial or irregular or based on demand.

There are many interesting hurdles to overcome to get this workshop going and your participation will be key to how this will operate successfully.

Contact

Nothing here is cast in stone except the  Telescope Making Workshop and I welcome all thoughtful ideas.

Anyone interested in discussing this should contact me, Michael Lecuyer, at

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