Starting January 2nd, 2010
Saturday mornings in January & February
Update (Jan 2010): The 2010 workshop is in full swing. This year
we have 15 attendees each crafting their own mirrors. We've got one making a 4 1/2" refractor,
one working on a Cassegrain secondary, another making an 8" flat, and several Newtonians
ranging from 5" - 14 1/2".
Make your own telescope mirror. Cure that cabin fever with
the company of other astronomy enthusiasts as you grind your own mirror. The workshop
is held at my home in Tolland, CT and runs from 9am to noon.
Under the workshop concept you choose your own telescope mirror project and work on it at your
own pace. This is not a class with a structured agenda and timetable. There is no cost
for the workshop, however, you need to procure the necessary equipment and
supplies on your own.
The workshop provides workstations,
a knife edge test bench, video tape clips showing various process, and me as mentor
to guide you through with a real science approach and plenty of encouragement to
complete your project so you will have a mirror you can be proud of.
- Dick Parker
Autocollimation Test Instructional Video
We're proud to announce our fourth instructional video to the colletion. This video
dives farther into the autocollimation test. It is a superior test used by several amateur
mirror making workshops including this one and has a long history of being used by
professionals and amateurs alike. This video covers a brief history of the autocollimation
test, discusses the minimum requirements of a flat, describes suggested features of a test bench,
and reviews some of the avoidable pitfalls one can encounter in their attempts to use the test.
Finally, it shows how the test can be used to test entire optical systems including optics already
installed in a telescope. Get the new video...
Workshop Instructional Videos
This workshop provides a series of videos on mirror testing and mirror quality that
are either used in the mirror workshop directly or are intended to be a suppliment to
it. They are derived from a series of presentations I gave at the Stellafane telescope
makers convention over the period of a few years. They are freely available for you to
view. For those of you who have attended the workshop before, you might recognize them,
but they have been completely improved and remade. I can guarantee you'll enjoy
watching them again and you'll be treated with sections you haven't seen before. All in
all, I hope that you will find them useful as you tackle your mirror making projects.
Get the videos...
2009 Workshop Photos
The 2009 mirror workshop has officially started and the first round of photos are in. We
had an excellent turnout today. We have another class of enthusiastic mirror makers.
See the Photos...
The Refractor Project
I considered a bold new project for the 2005 ASGH Mirror Workshop. That was a good
refractor lens that could be built by a moderately experienced person under the guidance
of the workshop environment. The result was a 6 inch f/15 refractor objective made from
readily available optical glass with standard mirror making techniques, little special
equipment, and WOW! Does it perform.
The Cassegrain Project
The Cassegrain telescope is probably the first type telescope that the ATM would like
to make after mastering the basic Newtonian telescope. In this article I will show how
it is possible for the ATM to make his own Cassegrain telescope. Mostly featured is my
12.5 inch f/20, however some photos are from a similar 10 inch telescope (this article
is not intended to provide detailed instructions.)
The Hindle Sphere Test Bench
Available for workshop participants is a Hindle Sphere test setup for testing
Cassegrain secondaries. The Cassegrain arrangement of reflecting telescope has long been
sought after by users of telescopes. One difficulty with making a true classical
Cassegrain is that the secondary mirror is a convex hyperboloid. With the Hindle sphere
test, it is possible to test the convex hyperboloidal secondary to the precision required
for perfect optical quality.
The Annual Workshop
As you can see, projects other than primary parabolic mirrors for Newtonian telescopes are encouraged.
If you ever wanted to tackle more compound systems, refractor objectives, or make your
flats or secondary diagonals, please feel especially encouraged to come to the workshop.
Learn how to:
| · Select a telescope design
|| · Make a tile tool
| · Rough grind
|| · Fine grind to get shape and smoothness
| · Make a pitch lap
|| · Polish the mirror
| · Make a Foucault tester
|| · Conduct bench tests
| · Figure the mirror
We will even show you how to:
Silver the mirror
Perforate the mirror (put a hole in the center)
Make the diagonal
Hopefully by participating in this exciting workshop you will be
able to learn how to make your own telescope mirror. By making your own telescope
you will enjoy observing in new and wonderful ways with the thrill that what you
see is being provided by an instrument that you crafted yourself.
So whether you want to start a mirror, continue
working on one that you started years ago, or finish one you were working
but did not know how to get a good figure -- come to the workshop.
Please contact me by e-mail at
firstname.lastname@example.org for more information and to reserve your spot.
In addition, please reference the mirror workshop in your subject to avoid it
being accidentally handled as spam.
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