Building of ~*Stargirl's*~  10" Dobsonian Telescope

In Feb. 2002 a member of my astronomy club mentioned that if I wanted to build my own scope I could buy the parts from another club member by the name of Earl. He had encountered health problems recently and could no longer build the scope. So I bought the parts from Earl, now I refer to my scope as "Earl II" . I built this scope in his honor and I am very grateful that he allowed me to do this! A big thank you to Steve Durham & Dave Kasnick for their help and reassurance in this project. Also a big Thank You to Jerry & Terri Kluver for the assistance with the beautiful paint job on the tube! The scope was just barely completed in time for our club's Show & Tell meeting held at Chemeketa Community College in April of  2002.

Click on image to see larger version of the pictures.

10" f/5 mirror purchased from Sky Instruments, Vancouver B.C.

The secondary mirror
and spider assembly.

Richard Berry's book "Build Your Own Telescope" 1985 edition. I found this in a used bookstore.

Sonotube, baffle rings,
mirror, spider assembly.

Another view of parts before
starting construction.

10" mirror ready for the
mirror cell.

Measuring the tube to find positions for focuser hole
and primary mirror position.

Measuring the position of
focuser hole.

Side bearing wheels ready
to be painted.

Reinforcing for mounting
 side bearings.

Cutting the hole for 2" focuser.
Note headphones. Got to have
tunes while you work !

Checking position of focuser.

View from inside the tube of
focuser before mounting.


Rechecking position of focuser.
Sanding the sonotube. I removed
 the wax liner on the inside of tube prior to this step.

View inside of tube showing reinforcement for
mounting the focuser.

2" Orion focuser in place.

Bottom view of focuser.

Tube with rings in and
focuser mounted.

Another view of tube with
 focuser mounted.

Looking down the tube you can see the reinforcements for the side bearings and light baffling rings.

Another view of the side
bearing reinforcements.

Looking down the tube
 towards the back end.

One more view from the rear
of the tube looking towards
 the front.

Styrene used to protect the
ends of the sonotube. Later
I replaced these with
automotive door molding.

Shaping the styrene.

Styrene tube protector
glued in place.

Checking position of
spider assembly.
Secondary and spider
 assembly installed. 

Mirror cell painted and ready for
the 10" mirror. I used Krylon
Ultra Flat for the altitude bearings
and base.

Close up of mirror cell. 

Mirror set on aquarium grade

Side view of mirror on
cell. Collimating screws
on the bottom.

Another view of mirror cell, you
can see the gap of silicon that keeps the mirror raised.

Mirror cell completed !

Side view of mirror cell and collimating screws.

Back view of box built with 3/4" plywood. Notice small white Teflon pads on top of side bearings.

Side view of box. Side supports keeps the  tube from slipping off box.

Front view of box.

Bottom of box. Ebony Star on bottom. The Ebony Star glides on the Teflon pads on the base.

Bottom of base with feet.
Later changed to 3 feet.

Mirror cell mounted in tube.

Looking towards front of tube. Krylon Ultra Flat paint used on inside.
scope_134.JPG (435082 bytes)
My friend Terri in the paint
shop. She & her hubby Jerry
 usually paint custom
motorcycle helmets!
scope_133.JPG (452557 bytes)
Terri getting ready to paint
the sonotube. They used very
expensive paint $70 per ounce!! Ouch !!

Tube took 6 layers of paint !
 I would not recommend this
 to any one !

Close up of quasar.

Another view of quasar.

Saturn above Iapetus.

Another view of side of scope showing mountain features of Iapetus, Saturn in background. 

Side view showing  2" focuser.

Comet and ~*Stargirl*~ Logo. Steering knob upper left. 

Another view of focuser.

Thank You to all my friends for their technical advise & to my husband for putting up with me while I was building my scope !

Image Credit NASA

This is Iapetus 17th satellite of Saturn. My favorite moon. The theme on my telescope is a view of Saturn from Iapetus. 

While working on my scope I also helped my friend Steve by painting the inside of the base for his 22" Truss scope he was building at the same time ! You can see more pictures of Steve's scope from our Show & Tell event April 2002.