Founder

Paul McNabb founded the mirror lab in 1997 in order to create the best amateur telecopes possible. Inch for inch our mirrors surpass store bought or commercial grade scopes.


Part of the Saint Petersburg Astronomy Club Home of the 2017 OBS Star Party

Lab Members

Ralph Craig is a lab instructor and has made mirrors from 6 inches to his recently completed 16 inch f5 mirror.


Allen Maroney
has completed three mirrors in the lab between 8 and 18 inches. Allen is also buiding a second robo foucault tester based on James design.


Mike Davis
casts his own mirror blanks.


Irv Nadelhaft


Charlie Mullen ground the mirrors for two years worth of rafflescopes but now has moved on the clear skys of New Mexico.


Lab T-Shirts Available

Lab Alumni

Lenny Remetta


Keevy McAlavy


Bruce Kazcmarik


James Lerch built our robo foucault tester and in house aluminizing chamber as well as a laser interferometry testing setup.


Ron Jones AKA the figurer is about the best mirror maker this side of the mississippi. You can see things in his 8 inch mirror that would impress a takahashi devotee.

Links

Russell W. Porter father of amateur astronomy and founder of Stellafane

Mel Bartels Website
Amateur Astronomer and innovator.

Stardate Website
Good overall observation site.


NGC Astronomers
Former member Matt Terry has his own astronomy club north of Tampa.

Southwest Florida
Astronomical Society

A nearby Astronomy club.

Telescope Software
Newt
Ray tracing program for determining all required dimensions for a newtonian reflector. (New Website)

Plop
Program for designing mirror cells.

Observing Software
Celestia
3-D interactive simulation of the solar system and beyond.

JupSat95
Plots the jovian satellites.

Lunar Phase
Shows all the phases of the move and more.

Mirror Lab Home Mirror Making Supplies Robo Foucault Tester Telescope Gallery SPAC Library
Make your own mirror shipping box
First cut three styrofoam squares the same dimensions as your box. Use two inch thick styrofoam. You can use a steak knive or a hacksaw. You can get the stryofoam from Home Depot, Lowes, or a crafts store like Michaels or Joanns. You want to make sure there are at least two inches of foam between your mirror and the box, above, below and on the sides.
With a magic marker trace a circle around the base of your mirror on a piece of foam.
Cut the circle out with a steak knife. Be careful not to break the styrofoam.
You want the mirror to fit snuggly in the hole with with no gaps. It's also a good idea to cut one of the corners off the center styrofoam piece. This makes a nice place to get your hand in when you are handling the mirror.
The bottom piece of foam.
Next the piece with your mirror. Note for larger sized mirrors (10 inch and up) you'll probably want to put the foam in first and then set the mirror in.
Lastly put the top piece of foam in. If there is a gap between the top piece of foam and the box top you will need to add more layers of foam or other packing material. The goal is to keep the mirror from moving around in the box. The box should be packed tightly.

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