Boxing Day...

After 12 years trying to figure out how to send my homemade 16.5" f/6.7 mirror out for coating it's finally on its way! In the end it turned out to be relatively simple. I talked to the folks at a UPS store to get the right box to hold the 45 pound mirror (20"x20"x12"), then ran to Home Depot to get a sheet of dense insulation foam board to make the packing inserts. Last, but not least, was finding a coater relatively close to Dayton, and I ended up going with HL Clausing in Skokie (just north of Chicago). I have several mirrors with Clausing's Beral coating and I've been very happy with them, but over the years Clausing went through a time were they we not coating small mirrors. However, they now offer their original Beral plus two other astonomical coatings with 1-2 week turn-around. If this works well I might wake up a couple of telescope making projects that have been in storage for way too long. I'm really looking forward to getting a big scope out with the summer observing season undwerway.

Have fun!

-John

My 18 inch is in a packing

My 18 inch is in a packing box per

http://www.galaxyoptics.com/images/18InchMirrorShippingCartonInstructions.pdf

I found the link last week

Telescopes had to be put away last night before the skies would clear

We will see what happens

Cool. That's pretty close to

Cool. That's pretty close to what I did except that the box I used was 12" deep and I used 2" foam board. For me the key was finding that Clausing could coat my mirror, this made the shipping only about $40 each way including insurance. With luck I'll be back up and running in a couple of weeks.

- John

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If 50 years of amateur astronomy and space exploration has taught me anything it is that the Earth is a very special place. It would be nice to protect it like it’s the only Earth we’re ever going to have.

Refurbing my 16.5" is going

Refurbing my 16.5" is going much smoother than I thought. It has been in storage for about 10 years, but it's actually in pretty good shape. It's already cleaned up and ready to receive the mirror when it gets back from Clausing. Since this has gone so well I'm in a position to try again with the Lightbridge as soon as there is convincing evidence that they are actually shipping again. Plan-B is to rebuild the upper tube assembly of my 16.5". I need to spend some time with AutoSketch knocking together some ideas.

Fun stuff.

-John

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If 50 years of amateur astronomy and space exploration has taught me anything it is that the Earth is a very special place. It would be nice to protect it like it’s the only Earth we’re ever going to have.

My mirror is now up in

My mirror is now up in Chicago. The check has cleared which means that he's at least opened the box. I pre-paid the return shipping and if he uses my label I'll be able to tell when it's on its way back. It'd be great if I get it back next week since I'll be off from work. The scope itself is all clean and ready to go. The last detail is rebuilding a small platform that I use out in my yard to put it on.

-John

============================================
If 50 years of amateur astronomy and space exploration has taught me anything it is that the Earth is a very special place. It would be nice to protect it like it’s the only Earth we’re ever going to have.

No word from Chicago yet.

No word from Chicago yet. Hopefully my mirror will ship next week. The weather's too hot and hazy to do much anyway. In the mean time I'm continuing to work on my scope. I bought a digital level to use as an inclinometer and I'm making a prototype azimuth circle. I'm also adding a laser pointer for the upper tube assembly, making a new shroud, and adding a small 70mm refractor to the lower tube assembly to serve as a finder.

Fun stuff.

-John

============================================
If 50 years of amateur astronomy and space exploration has taught me anything it is that the Earth is a very special place. It would be nice to protect it like it’s the only Earth we’re ever going to have.

I awoke this morning to find

I awoke this morning to find those three little words on the UPS tracking site... out for delivery! I should have my mirror back by this afternoon. The timing couldn't be better. I finished the mount for my laser pointer last night and all I need to do now is to add a set of feet to my new leveling board and the basics are finished.

Gonna be fun!

-John

============================================
If 50 years of amateur astronomy and space exploration has taught me anything it is that the Earth is a very special place. It would be nice to protect it like it’s the only Earth we’re ever going to have.

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