The Urban Astronomer has decided to start building his own telescope. This weekend, I began work grinding the primary mirror of what will (hopefully) become a six inch f/8 newtonian telescope on a dobsonian mounting – not too ambitious, but a perfect beginners project. I’ve set up a blog on this page where I’ll be keeping a diary of my progress, which you can follow by clicking here, or selecting ‘Making Telescopes’ on the left hand sidebar. The most recent entry covers the first day’s grinding, the class I’m attending, and my progress so far. Short version: After about two and a half hours work, I’m grinding with 80 grit, have a noticeable curve on the mirror with a depth of 0.7mm – about half what it needs to be for the desired focal length. The mirror and tool have both been bevelled, and I probably have another two or three hours to go before progressing to the finer 120 grit.
Now to find that many hours in my schedule!