Founder

Paul McNabb founded the mirror lab in 1997 in order to create the best amateur telecopes possible. Inch for inch our mirrors surpass store bought or commercial grade scopes.


Part of the Saint Petersburg Astronomy Club Home of the 2014 OBS Star Party

Lab Members

Ralph Craig is a lab instructor and has made mirrors from 6 inches to his recently completed 16 inch f5 mirror.


Allen Maroney
has completed three mirrors in the lab between 8 and 18 inches. Allen is also buiding a second robo foucault tester based on James design.


Mike Davis
casts his own mirror blanks.


Irv Nadelhaft


Charlie Mullen ground the mirrors for two years worth of rafflescopes but now has moved on the clear skys of New Mexico.


Lab T-Shirts Available

Lab Alumni

Lenny Remetta


Keevy McAlavy


Bruce Kazcmarik


James Lerch built our robo foucault tester and in house aluminizing chamber as well as a laser interferometry testing setup.


Ron Jones AKA the figurer is about the best mirror maker this side of the mississippi. You can see things in his 8 inch mirror that would impress a takahashi devotee.

Links

Russell W. Porter father of amateur astronomy and founder of Stellafane

Mel Bartels Website
Amateur Astronomer and innovator.

Stardate Website
Good overall observation site.


NGC Astronomers
Former member Matt Terry has his own astronomy club north of Tampa.

Southwest Florida
Astronomical Society

A nearby Astronomy club.

Telescope Software
Newt
Ray tracing program for determining all required dimensions for a newtonian reflector. (New Website)

Plop
Program for designing mirror cells.

Observing Software
Celestia
3-D interactive simulation of the solar system and beyond.

JupSat95
Plots the jovian satellites.

Lunar Phase
Shows all the phases of the move and more.

Mirror Lab Home Mirror Making Supplies Robo Foucault Tester Telescope Gallery SPAC Library

  Two polishers
2014-04-18
Brad Lytle (left), Mike Davis (right) polish their mirrors and John ONeill visits the lab.

  Scott finished his mirror
2013-09-14
This is a beautiful 8 inch, 1/9th wave mirror that has a stunning polish and a perfect edge. Nice
work Scott!

  The FigureXP results of Scott's Mirror
2013-09-14
The other axis was slightly less so we're using it to call this a 1/9th wave mirror.

  Mike polishing towards a sphere
2013-08-25
Mike is helping out during the polishing phase of his son's 8 inch mirror. There was a 500nm hill
in the middle that he was cleaning up. By the end of the day the shape was a nice sphere and the
laser test said that middle was polished. Once the polish works its way to the edge Scott will
start figuring. (Photo by Scott)

  Lenny Remetta is visiting the heavens
2013-08-05
Our friend, fellow astronomer, bike rider, photographer and mirror lab rat, Lenny Remetta, passed
away in mid July 2013. We miss you Lenny and we'll be thinking of you every time we look up!

  Lab staff 18th wave mirror
2013-08-05
The mirror lab staff occasionally makes a mirror in our spare time. This 10" mirror, with final
figuring by Ralph Craig, finished with a beautiful 18th wave figure. Okay, the other axis was only
16th wave.

  Glass Stress - X marks the spot
2013-08-05
The black background is actually a white LCD screen with a polarizing filter blocking its linearly
polarized light. If the glass (tool here) had no stress it too would be black. The stress in the
glass bends the light and allows it to pass through the filter. This glass will be annealed and
later made into a mirror.

  Scott begins his mirror
2013-07-06
Scott begins hogging out his 8" mirror. According to the sagitta meter (the bar and gauge on the
mirror) he reached about half of the needed depth during the first lab session.

  Brittany finished her 10 inch mirror
2013-06-15
Brittany finished her 10 inch f4.9 1/6th wave mirror today. It has a fantastic polish and edge.
Congratulations!

  Brittany and her dad polish mirrors
2013-06-02
Brittany and her father, Stan, were working on 10 inch mirrors this week. Brittany's f4.9 mirror is
fully polished and ready for figuring. Stan was visiting the lab for the first time and we put him
to work in a 10 inch f5 mirror that will be used to calibrate the robotic Foucault tester.

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