Home Made DIY Telescope

  • #1

Main Question or Discussion Point

Can anyone suggest a guide or books for making a telescope, DIY style. Also what size would be appropriate for a first attempt, and how much might it cost it you have any ideas.

Thanks!
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
Chronos
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Many such books are available. Search under 'amateur telescope making' to see some of the choices available. I would not attempt anything bigger than 8" on the first try. Kit prices vary depending glass type and amenities included. An 8" kit can run from about $65 to over $200. The $65 kit includes plate glass blanks plus abrasives and pitch. The $200 kit includes a precut f8 pyrex blank, abrasives/pitch, a finished diagonal mirror, and free aluminizing of the primary once you have polished and figured it. So, like most things, you get what you pay for. You won't save much money on a DIY scope by the time you get it accessorized and mounted. You can, however, get much better optical quality than commercially available.
 
  • #3
Bobbywhy
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  • #4
chemisttree
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Richard Berry's, "Build Your Own Telescope - Complete Plans for Five High-quality Telescopes that Anyone Can Build", is a must read. New, it sells for around $30 and used it sells for as little as $13.

The easiest DIY telescope is the 60/1000 refractor. Not much involved in the build of the scope itself. Buy the objective, cell and tube (~$25, search term "MASILMW Carton 60/1000" and ~$15, search term "MASILMW 60mm telescope tubes") from MASILMW and the focuser from Crawmach.com (~$110) or from surplusshed.com (~12.50).

The best for light grasp is the 8"-10" dobsonian. You can purchase second-hand mirrors fairly cheaply ($200-$600). You will need a secondary mirror and focuser as well. Prices (and quality) vary widely. The dobson mount build is well-described in Richard Berry's book.
 
  • #5
Thanks for the book suggestions, I will look into them. As for the telescope I was thinking of a 8in dobsonian. In your opinion would it be better to buy a mirror already prepped or one that must be polished and grinded, etc.
 
  • #6
chemisttree
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That would depend on what you want out of the experience. If you want the full experience, grind the mirror yourself. Also grind the flat secondary and learn to test both. The experience is as much physical as it is intellectual, IMO. The best part of that is the experience you will gain in evaluating optics. It's a skill that will certainly distinguish you amongst your astronomy buddy peers.
 
  • #7
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There are a few, but what I found useful was

All About Telescopes (Popular Optics Library). Edmund Scientific
 

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