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Thread: Rehabing an old handmade telescope

  1. #21
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    Default Re: Rehabing an old handmade telescope



    My Edmund 4 1/4in reflector I bought around 1964 (and still have, BTW) had a prism secondary. Nothing wrong with the design....actually simplified things. You do not look through the glass...it is aluminized on the side facing the eyepiece.

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    Default Re: Rehabing an old handmade telescope

    Quote Originally Posted by Zygmo View Post
    My Edmund 4 1/4in reflector I bought around 1964 (and still have, BTW) had a prism secondary. Nothing wrong with the design....actually simplified things. You do not look through the glass...it is aluminized on the side facing the eyepiece.
    This was a rather popular design for secondaries.

    Some companies will test and refigure if necessary, Do not sell amateur made mirrors short!

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    Default Re: Rehabing an old handmade telescope

    Given the sentimental value, I would agree that you should give the original mirror a go. Lot's of poor mirrors were hand made back then but many very fine mirrors were also made. It would depend on the perseverance of your dad and the quality of his mentors. I made a 6" f7 mirror when I was 15 years old about 40 years ago. Thanks to the oversight of a fantastic mentor, and a lot of work and dedication on my part, my mirror was and still is optically near perfect. there is no way I could have done a mirror of that quality on my own but with a good mentor, I did. Modern mirrors are made to a price, they are good but not perfect. An amateur mirror can be poor or depending upon the dedication and skill of the maker, the expert advice they received, they can be excellent.

    Early this year, I had both mirrors recoated. I knew from many years ago that the secondary was optically excellent so rather than take the cheap option to buy a new secondary, I recoated the old one for a total price of USD270 for both mirrors + freight.

    I wrote about the first two nights observing with the new coatings after years with a bad coating -

    Last Friday night - simple pleasures
    Comparing a premium 6 inch refractor & premium 6 inch newtonian reflector

    I think that given the sentimental value, you should give it a try.

    have fun

    Joe
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    Default Re: Rehabing an old handmade telescope

    Quote Originally Posted by ozeclipse View Post
    I wrote about the first two nights observing with the new coatings after years with a bad coating -

    Last Friday night - simple pleasures
    Comparing a premium 6 inch refractor & premium 6 inch newtonian reflector

    I think that given the sentimental value, you should give it a try.

    have fun

    Joe
    Thanks so much for posting these links to threads I had previously missed. Congratulations on keeping your first scope and maintaining it so well! I wish I still had mine but it was destroyed in a fire.

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    Default Re: Rehabing an old handmade telescope

    Thanks Fritz,

    Thanks so much for posting these links to threads I had previously missed. Congratulations on keeping your first scope and maintaining it so well! I wish I still had mine but it was destroyed in a fire.
    I am so very sorry to hear you lost your scope in a fire. That must have been devastating.

    I live 5km north of Mt Stromlo Observatory. The 2003 firestorm that destroyed many large scopes at the observatory was heading our way. It lost some intensity when it transferred from the pine forests that surrounded Mt Stromlo to the open grasslands between Stromlo and my place. Water bombers doused the spotting, the choppers were so low I could see the pilots faces as they banked. Then a fortuitous wind change diverted it east at the last minute just 1km south of my home. It then burned through more grasslands travelling east until stopping at the lake shores. It was a truly horrifying day and an experience I hope never to repeat.

    There is a certain magic using a scope that you sweated blood over to hand build. I hope some of that magic is hereditary and Dave Jameson feels it, feels his dad's spirit, when using his dad's scope. I knew, as soon as I built mine, that I would never sell it. The tube has a few big paint chips missing from bumps and knocks in transport, aka war wounds ;-), but otherwise the multiple coats of white spray enamel paint I applied in 1981 are still in tact.

    regards

    Joe
    Last edited by ozeclipse; 05-04-2019 at 11:22 AM.
    40 years in amateur astronomy - 1978-2018
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    Default Re: Rehabing an old handmade telescope

    Quote Originally Posted by ozeclipse View Post
    Thanks Fritz,

    I am so very sorry to hear you lost your scope in a fire. That must have been devastating.
    It was decidedly unpleasant. I had the optics since I made them in the mid 1960s. At the time they were dismounted and awaiting a remodel into a new OTA and improved fittings. The fire happened in a condo and destroyed the entire building.

    I live 5km north of Mt Stromlo Observatory. The 2003 firestorm that destroyed many large scopes at the observatory was heading our way. It lost some intensity when it transferred from the pine forests that surrounded Mt Stromlo to the open grasslands between Stromlo and my place. Water bombers doused the spotting, the choppers were so low I could see the pilots faces as they banked. Then a fortuitous wind change diverted it east at the last minute just 1km south of my home. It then burned through more grasslands travelling east until stopping at the lake shores. It was a truly horrifying day and an experience I hope never to repeat.
    Certainly a harrowing experience.

    In my fire I came home from a weekend trip in the evening unaware that fire alarms had been ringing since noon and had been turned off. Apparently the fire was lurking in an electrical / plumbing plenum and hadn't been located. I was relaxing at the TV after my drive when a neighbor called me to tell me to evacuate. As a result I got out of the building barely before the fire broke out and quickly involved the structure.

    There is a certain magic using a scope that you sweated blood over to hand build. I hope some of that magic is hereditary and Dave Jameson feels it, feels his dad's spirit, when using his dad's scope. I knew, as soon as I built mine, that I would never sell it. The tube has a few big paint chips missing from bumps and knocks in transport, aka war wounds ;-), but otherwise the multiple coats of white spray enamel paint I applied in 1981 are still in tact.
    Agreed on the magic. I was revising the scope from being GEM mounted to a Dob in the 1990s who I lost it.

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