Making & Enjoying Telescopes: 6 Complete Projects & A Stargazer's Guide Telescope making is a bit of a funny art/science. It had a very strong beginning about 50 years ago but for a very long time it fell to the wayside and was something that not many people pursued. This is partially because manufacturing standards and the standard of living that we have developed over the past fifty years has made it much more practical, any even less expensive, to just go out and buy a nice telescope rather than taking the time to build one.
But this trend has somewhat changed in the past decade or so. Partially because of the famous Dobsonian telescope and partly because todays amateurs have a lot of tools and resources available to them and it is well within the reach of an amateur to make a telescope with a primary mirror that is 12", 14" or even more. But, even more dramatic is the fact that todays amateur telescope maker isn't just limited to making newtonian reflectors! He or she has a wide gamut of things that can be made.
This book (Making & Enjoying Telescopes) touches upon this very subject of variety in the realm of telescope making.
This book begins with about 50 pages of overview material. It teaches you about telescopes and about the variety of types and techniques. Then it gets into the beef of the subject where it gives you six different projects that include:
- A manual star tracker for your camera
- A 4 1/4" Simple Rich Field Reflector
- A 4 1/4" Rich Field Reflector with wooden tube
- A Six Inch f/3.3 Equatorially mounted Reflector
- An eight Inch f/5 reflector
- A ten inch dobsonian
These are all complete projects so depending on your skill level and your ambition you have a nice selection from which to choose from. And they are all pretty good. One thing that I recommend you do when using this book is to thoruoughly read through all of the projects because when you are building your telescope you can borrow and apply bits and pieces from the various projects and incorporate them into your telescope making. I have often seen this book on ebay too. You might want to go to my ebay page and see if you can snag an inexpensive copy of this book: Telescope/astronomy stuff on ebay