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    Default How do you build your own dobsonian telescope and is it cheaper to build your own?



    Any advice would be helpful...thanks!

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    The are many excellent telescope building web sites - just google "amateur telescope building". In general, it won't be cheaper to build a small or mid-size Dobsonian yourself because telescopes have become much more affordable during the past few years. The main motivation for building your own telescope comes from:
    - the satisfaction of having it built yourself
    - you can achieve (with a lot of patience) optical quality that is only available in premium-priced telescope at fairly reasonable cost (although most affordable entry-level Dobsonians are pretty good)
    - it may turn out to be more affordable if you build a really big telescope (16 or 20 inch aperture).

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    Fifty years ago, it used to be very common for people to make their own telescopes. Nowadays it has become very rare, because commercial telescopes have become relatively inexpensive. One result of this is that it is very hard to find the parts needed to build your own scope. Unless you have a very strong motivation to learn how to do this, and to track down the parts needed, I wouldn't recommend building your own scope. Because the parts are hard to find, they are very expensive, and a home made telescope will cost many times more than a commercially built telescope. Labour is so much cheaper in China where almost all telescopes are made nowadays.

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    Many years ago I built an 8 inch reflector with parts from Coulter, who is still selling mirrors and basic parts. Unfortunately, this was before the dob age, and the mount I constructed was not usable. However, I was very happy with the optics. I assume Coulter's optics are still good . . . but you know what happens when you assume.
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    I haven't built a telescope yet, but I have done a bit of research into it and built numerous amplifiers, preamps and speakers and that is somewhat similar. I can't build reasonably cheap set of speakers or an amplifier for less than I can buy them at Wal-Mart or the cheap Best Buy models for. I can't even by decent plywood for what they sell their cheap models for, let alone all the consumables, drivers, time, etc.

    What I can do is make models with the drivers I want, with the stain and wood grain I want, with quality better than the $1000+ models they sell for maybe about the same price as they charge, sometimes a couple hundred bucks less. I think it's pretty similar with mid-sized cheap dobs. You can't buy the mirrors for what you'll spend on a Z10. If you want to spend the money you can make a better dob than you can get from Orion or Zhumell, but I don't think you can make it cheaper. Honestly, even if you look at making your own mirrors, I would venture a guess that by the time you buy all the grit and grinding tools and get the mirror silvered you'd have spend more than a cheap Chinese dob.

    It has to be something you want to do because you love it, and want to make something quality that is all yours. Otherwise you'll add you Home Depot receipts and start crying.
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    build a telescope only makes sense if you want it with special features (e.g. optimized for a binoviewer) ... however if you are seriously interested in understanding and/or building a dobsonian telescope you MUST read the builder's bible LINK , it's a great book read it even if you are building a little 4"

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    Costs more to build your own-- not figuring in the "satisfaction" factor.

    PS-- GEOFF G --- is this the famous "good looking" old guy on the Yahoo Answers Astronomy & Space Topic? This is "Bullseye" on the same Yahoo forum. Hello! I did not know you were a member of the forum.

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    While it may be cheaper to buy a telescope, building your own can be a very satisfying experience. Here is a link to a review of the DOB building bible by David Kriege and richard Berry: The Dobsonian Telescope, A Practical Manual for Building Larg Aperture Telescopes
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    I met a fellow of hi standing in the Astronomy field who said he actually knew Al Nagler & all the big names in Instrument making including a few with the TAK factory in japan, he told me he did this and Ill quote: For a super hi precision mirror first buy a pre- made one like a Meade, Orion, or Zhumell or a higher quality one even THEN, it must be sent to a mirror hand figuring master to super figure it to something in the range of 1/20 wave etc....It can be done & he had it done one time, it cost a small fortune but I was told the views were like looking thru a BIG APO. That would be the safest best rout id think. He told me the gent who hand figured it was a friend of his & it took a while to tweak it perfectly.
    Personally I doubt its worth the expense as the mirrors out aren't bad really. Considering the price. Of course the bragging rites of such a fine mirror would demand some hooting for sure!
    Make one by hand today tho, that borders on crazy....................At least here in the states. Would be like building a car one pc. at a time. Cost twice as much & take forever. And, no gurantee it would even end up working.
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    Default Re: How do you build your own dobsonian telescope and is it cheaper to build your own

    What joe said was true if you are not that good of a craftsman building your own might be harder than you first thought, but then again if you are willing to spent countless hours of studying and actual test work then sxinias is right when he said it might be a very satisfying experience So it will depend on you. I might suggest buy all the parts like a kit I couldn't imagine myself grinding a mirror blank to perfection, perhaps in my wildest dreams. Good luck with the choice and clear skies my friend.

 

 
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