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 2017 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.


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

Program for designing mirror cells.

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

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

  Paul McNabb fine grinding his 16inch mirror

  Two Mikes
Mike Davis (Left) and Mike Newton polishing their mirrors

  Mike, Mike and Dave
Mike, Mike and Dave polishing mirrors with Irv, Allen and Ralph (taking photo) supervising the

  Mirror Lab helps local science teacher
This 16 inch Meade Dob was donated to the local school system. George Fatolitus, center, is the
science teacher that will be using it with his students. He brought it to the Optical Lab where
we cleaned the optics, fixed some mechanical issues with the primary cell and base and then
collimated it. That's Paul McNabb at the eyepiece and Ralph Craig, right. Next Jim Hunter, who
recently finished a 16" mirror (see photo further down this page), will show Mr. Fatolitus how to
field collimate and use the scope.

  Pauls new Dob
Paul McNabb with a new Dob telescope base that he made for a 10" scope. The optical tube is being
assembled and it should be ready for observing at the Orange Blossom Special in early March

  Tom Greens f/4.9 Mirror
Tom Green on the first day of polishing his 12.5" f/4.92 mirror. We were able to get an accurate
Foucault focal length of 61". After taking in to account the 1/8" bevel the mirror has a surface
diameter of 12.325".

  Bobs Mirror
This is the final and 49th test of Bob's mirror from the Robotic Foucault Tester. The 65nm
(nanometer) mark represents a 1/4 wave mirror (peak to valley) of green/yellow light's wavelength,
which is considered good enough for a commercial mirror. Bob's mirror, at 13th wave, is more
than three times better than that.

  New Mirror Completed
Bob Helmling with his 10" f/5.9 mirror finished on December 4th, 2010. This is an amazing 13th
wave mirror with a good edge and a smooth, well polished surface.

  New Mirror Completed
Dave Pearson with his newly finished 1/6th wave 10" mirror on 11-20-2010.

  New Mirror Completed
Jim Hunter finished his extremely well polished one sixth wave 16" f/4.4 mirror on September 25th,

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