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.


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

Program for designing mirror cells.

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

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

  Mike with his 12.5 inch light weight mirror
This shows the light weight 12.5 inch mirror batter. Mike cast the mirror and has been perfecting
the honey comb pattern.

  Mike polishing a 12.5 inch wih a light weight sub-diameter tool
The light weight tool is needed to prevent uneven polishing where the glass is hollowed out on the
back and the surface is thinner.

  Zerodur mirror finished for a lab scope
Ralph (left) and Allen finished a 12 inch Zerodur mirror. This f4.4 mirror will stay with us at the
lab as a demo scope and for public viewing nights. It came in at 1/7th wave and is very smooth and
well polished.

  Two polishers
Brad Lytle (left), Mike Davis (right) polish their mirrors and John ONeill visits the lab.

  Scott finished his mirror
This is a beautiful 8 inch, 1/9th wave mirror that has a stunning polish and a perfect edge. Nice
work Scott!

  The FigureXP results of Scott's Mirror
The other axis was slightly less so we're using it to call this a 1/9th wave mirror.

  Mike polishing towards a sphere
Mike is helping out during the polishing phase of his son's 8 inch mirror. There was a 500nm hill
in the middle that he was cleaning up. By the end of the day the shape was a nice sphere and the
laser test said that middle was polished. Once the polish works its way to the edge Scott will
start figuring. (Photo by Scott)

  Lenny Remetta is visiting the heavens
Our friend, fellow astronomer, bike rider, photographer and mirror lab rat, Lenny Remetta, passed
away in mid July 2013. We miss you Lenny and we'll be thinking of you every time we look up!

  Lab staff 18th wave mirror
The mirror lab staff occasionally makes a mirror in our spare time. This 10" mirror, with final
figuring by Ralph Craig, finished with a beautiful 18th wave figure. Okay, the other axis was only
16th wave.

  Glass Stress - X marks the spot
The black background is actually a white LCD screen with a polarizing filter blocking its linearly
polarized light. If the glass (tool here) had no stress it too would be black. The stress in the
glass bends the light and allows it to pass through the filter. This glass will be annealed and
later made into a mirror.

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