Telescope Making Resources, 1 of 4 (LONG)
Rodger Morris (rodger@FISHNET.NET)
Sun, 26 Oct 1997 11:58:28 -0800
I have mailed out 129 set of plans for making a Newtonian reflector
telescope with an 8" or 10" primary mirror on a Dobsonian mounting. With
any luck, by next spring, there should be quite a few high quality
telescopes in the hands of Scouts around the USA, Canada and Mexico.
In support of this effort, herewith a list of resources for amateur telescope
ATM's Resource List
An Internet Resource for over six years.
Last revised: September 13, 1997
Maintained by: Bob Lombardi, W4ATM
Click on the link here to jump directly to resources on these subjects:
Mirror Making Kits and Supplies, Mirror Coating Services, Books and
Periodicals, Commercial Optics, Telescope Parts, Miscellany and
Advice for the Beginner, the UK ATM List, the European ATM List
About This List
Welcome to ATM's Resource List. My purpose is simple: despite the
widespread availability of cheap components and good optics, there is a
perception that getting the parts to build a
telescope is harder than ever. By putting together a list of companies that
supply the ATM, I hope to help make sure that Amateur Telescope Making does
not die off as a hobby, but instead
grows into the future. It may be true that big companies don't advertise
mirror making kits in Popular Mechanics like they did in the past, but the
mirror making supplies are still out there, and
ATM-made mirrors are often the standard of comparison for the best optics.
The list really started for a completely selfish reason: I needed it! I
first started putting the list together over the long Thanksgiving holiday
weekend in 1990, and posted it around then. At that
time, I was using the net connection at a former employer. I started out
posting the list to Usenet every few months, and over the years have
switched to posting pretty much every month or
two. Over the same period, the list has grown from a short page or two to
the point that news readers don't want to post it in one article. The Web
has gone from an idea to the fastest-growing
information source in history. And I have gone from using a work
connection, to using a "big name" online service, to a private Internet
service provider. This page is on a FreeNet located in
Leon County, Florida, site of the Florida State University in Tallahassee.
I thank them for the use of their system.
Latest changes to the list include...
New listing for a European continent ATM Resource List
New listing for Kitchener Gear Ltd., in part V.
New listing for Mountain Instruments in part V.
New area code for P.A.Clausing
Evaporated Metal Films out of the ATM market.
URL added for the ATM IRC Channel on the Undernet
Palomar Optical Supply back as glass supplier
Some reformatting and editing for easier reading
And a hearty "thank you" to those of you who contributed updates over the
last few weeks!
The biggest change to the list this month is that the official name has
changed from Amateur Telescope Maker's Resource List to ATM's Resource
List. This will eventually be found by
all the web site search engines and be the easy way to find this site.
There are a couple of reasons for the change. First, it's easier: easier to
type, easier to say and easier to use. Second, it
reflects my new amateur (ham) radio callsign, W4ATM , which I was recently
granted by the US FCC. After over 20 years with my previous callsign this
was a big change, but it seemed to fit
and after thinking about it for a month, I decided I really like it.
If you have any experience with any of the companies on the list, new
addresses or phone numbers, or any other feedback, please email me to get
your updates included. Good, as well as bad,
experiences are always welcome.
This list has a strong North American, and especially US, bias. This is
strictly due to my resources in finding companies to list. For about the
last year, Steve Tonkin of the UK has provided a
list of suppliers over there. Steve now has his own home page, which I link
As this list is at its best when seen by as many as possible, feel free to
link to it on a WWW home page. If you want a copy for inclusion in a CD Rom
collection, please contact me. Please do
not modify the list. If any modifications are needed, contact me to ensure
that everyone sees the latest corrections.
I must issue the std disclaimer: I have nothing to do with any of these
companies, other than being a satisfied customer of a few, and an
ex-customer of some others.
Other Cool ATM Sites
Mel Bartels Computerized Dobsonian site
Matt Marulla's ATM Page
The Tallahassee Astronomical Society
Mark Vandewettering's Home Planet
#ATM IRC Channel Launch Page
Wolfgang Birkfellner's European ATM Resources List
Part One: North American
I. Mirror Making Kits and Supplies
The following companies sell telescope making supplies, including mirror
blanks, lens blanks, abrasives, polishing agents, and other helpful
Glass Fab Inc.
257 Ormond St, Rochester, NY 14605, (716) 262-4000. Blanks, including Sitall
Newport Glass Works, Ltd.
2044-D Placienta Ave., Costa Mesa CA, 92627 phone 714-642-9980 Supplies
pyrex blanks, tapered (SCT) blanks, lens blanks, colored filter blanks,
plus abrasives and pitches. Go to
Palomar Optical Supply
P.O. Box 1310, Wildomar, CA 92595, Tel: (909) 245-9636 Mirror grinding
kits. Free catalog.
Salem Distributing Company, Inc.
Box 25566 Manor Station, Winston-Salem, NC 27114, 800-234-1982. Contact:
Randy Reins. Originally the source of the ophthalmic polishing pads
discussed in S&T;'s ATM column, they
now sell a complete line of grits and polishing agents. Very friendly.
These folks sell primarily to the eyeglass industry.
United Lens Co., Inc.
Southbridge, Mass. 01550 508-765-5421 United is a major producer of optical
glass for industry. They have been reported as a source of pre-rough shaped
blanks in unit quantities, and
refractor objective blanks.
P.O. Box 35025, Richmond, VA 23235 phone 804-320-7016 catalog $1
Consistently good recommendations on the net. Pyrex blank/Pyrex tool kits,
ceramic tiles for tools, plus a complete
line of pitch and abrasives.
3350 Dufferin St., Toronto, Ont. M6a 3A4 ph 416-787-4581 catalog $6
II. Mirror Coating Services
Evaporated Metal Films
EMF Corp. 239 Cherry Street, Ithaca, NY 14850. Phone 800-456-7070; Fax
800-456-3227. For customer service dial ext. 47, Annja Aho or ext 25, Dave
Cottrell. In addition to
Protected Al and Enhanced Al, they offer a wide variety of antireflection,
beamsplitter and filter coatings. They have been in the thin film coating
business for 60 years, and are generally well
respected in the ATM community. EMF is reported to be out of the amateur
8038 N. Monticello Ave. Skokie, IL, 60076 847-676-0330 Voice, 847-676-2930
Fax, e-mail: email@example.com Beral, Silver, Gold, Aluminum, Copper,
Rhodium, (most other
evaporable metals) and overcoatings, Fast turnaround available. Can do up
to 90" diameter, up to 1 ton weight (3 tons next year). Generally good
comments on the ATM mailing list and
Precision Applied Products
418 Rumsey Place, Placentia, CA 92670 Phone 714-738-4775 Fax 714-738-5145
Anti-Reflection coatings, Aluminum/Silicon Monoxide, Semi-Enhanced
Aluminum, Enhanced Aluminum.
Visit PAP...or... Email PAP.
QSP Optical Technology.
1712-J Newport Circle, Santa Ana, CA 92705 714-557-2299, Fax: 714-557-2170
Standard, enhanced and Anti-Reflective coatings. Can handle up to 64"
diameter optics. 7 working day
Southwest Optical Technologies
PO Box 65867, Tucson, AZ 85728 (520)-881-0863. Vacuum coatings by Lynn
Moonward Vacuum Coatings
Suite 250, 800 Lasalle Blvd., Sudbury, Ont. P3A 4V4 Phone: Alan Ward (705)
566-7924 FAX: (705) 566-1833 Email:firstname.lastname@example.org Four levels of
aluminum: bare aluminum;
protected (coated with SiO); semi- enhanced (coated with MgF2) and enhanced
(MgF2/Zns). Up to 16". Turn around time is 1-2 weeks for the first three
types, 2-3 weeks for the Enhanced.
Secondaries are done free if sent with the primary.
III. Telescope Making Books and publications
The Amateur Telescope Makers Association (ATMA) 17606 28th Ave. S.E.,
Bothell, WA 98012. This has the "look and feel" of the old "Telescope
Making" magazine. This is a great
magazine. Membership is $20. Go To the ATMJ or email email@example.com ,Bill
Cook, the editor.
2111 Whitield Park Ave, Sarasota, FL 34243 (941)-758-9890 Edited and
published by Tom Clark and Tectron. Now in its second year. Coverage of
Amateur Astronomy events, issues,
people, and telescope making.
Occasional material for TM's. Check your bookstore or newsstand, or Go To
Sky and Telescope
Monthly column for TM's. Again, check your newsstand, or local bookstore,
or Go To Sky Publishing
Rodger Morris <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Asst. Scoutmaster, Troop 808 Wood Badge 416-18
Ventura County Council at Philmont, 1973
Camarillo, California, USA "I used to be a Beaver..."
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City