Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Stargazing A simple refractor homemade telescope

  1. Dec 7, 2003 #1

    I was looking for ideas for a homemade telescope for my son and saw this site,


    Paging down some I saw that he made a telescope lens from the bottom of a bottle.

    It this possible? Did Bernard Schmidt really make such a telescope? I think my son might try a telescope making project.

  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 7, 2003 #2


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    In physics 2 I made a telescope out of two lenses, a ruler, and some 'C' clamps. It is certainly possible.

    Welcome to the forums!
  4. Dec 8, 2003 #3
    There are also many high-quality telescope-building books available. Many of them are from the 80s when you hadn't as many commercial options as we do today, but there are some good recent releases that are valuable as well. You might want to pick that up to avoid making the mistakes of a neophyte.

    Good luck with your project should you go forward!
  5. Dec 9, 2003 #4
    Yes, I've heard of these soda bottle lens telescopes. Don't count on it being too good. Below are some other ideas for inexpensive telescope construction.

    Here is a sight that gives some information on building inexpensive refractors.

    http://es.rice.edu/ES/humsoc/Galileo/Student_Work/Astronomy95/telescope_design.html [Broken]

    Also, consider a copyscope, which is a telescope made with a copier lens. These are good rich-field type scopes for looking at star patterns. The copier lenses can be had for about $6.00 through surplus stores.

    http://www.dma.org/~wagner/copyscop.htm [Broken]
    Last edited by a moderator: May 1, 2017
  6. Sep 18, 2007 #5
    Info request

    I found this thread on Google while searching for info on building homemade telescopes. I hope someone here can offer some advice.

    I've always wanted a nice, big telescope for casual use in my backyard, but have always been daunted by the prices involved. I recently received from an older lady of my acquaintance a 'telescope kit' that her late husband purchased many years ago. This was given to me with the understanding that some elements were probably lost long ago.

    Here is what I have. I don't have calipers or micrometer handy, so these measurements are approximate:

    Two unground glass lens blanks, 8" in diameter. One is unpolished, 1 3/8" thickness. The second is clear (polished?) 3/4" thick with what appears to be a green tint, with one edge beveled.

    A small manila envelope "PARTS FOR MIRROR KIT S.N. 70005 LENSES FOR 1" UNMOUNTED EYEPIECE - MAGNIFIER - MAY HAVE SOME CHIPS, DIAGONAL MIRROR" contains a ground, polished lens 2" square, approx. 5/8" at thickest point. (one corner has a small chip) One small mirror, 1 1/2" x 1 3/8"

    Does anyone have an idea as to what I do and don't have here? What type of telescope was this 'kit' designed to create? How do I turn these parts into a working telescope (and is it worth doing it?)

    Thanks for any advice,

  7. Sep 18, 2007 #6
    you have a BLANK
    it can be ground a slow long process
    or the blank can be sent off to a shop to finish it

    btw my wife tryed this as a kid
    a wound up sending the part done blank off to be finished
    we have a descent working 8'' mirror scope as a result

    but yard sales and or flea markets will get you a good scope QUICKER
    but you have to hunt
    and reject a few 100 60mm refactors for every reflector you find
    but a few are out there

    also cheap/broken binock's will give a working eyepiece as will microscopes
  8. Dec 19, 2009 #7
    I wanted to try making a homemade telescope refractor lens from a bottle bottom, but the link at the start of this thread is not active.

    I did a search and the new page moved to here:

    http://sites.google.com/site/telescope1999/" [Broken]
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook