Saint Petersburg Astronomy Club - Mirror Lab


We are looking for a new home
As soon as we have the new location set we will post the location and hours here.

Our 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.

04/12/2012 more


  • Ralph Craig - Lab Instructor
  • Allen Maroney - Lab Instructor
  • Ron Jones - The Figurer
  • Mike Davis - Casts Mirrors
  • Dimitri - Support


  • James Lerch - Robo Foucault
  • Matt Terry
  • Charlie Mullen
  • Bruce Kazcmarik
  • Keevy McAlavy

In Memorium

  • Irv Nadelhaft
  • Lenny Remetta

04/12/2012 more


Where the 19th Century Art of Mirror Making Meets the 21st Century

The Saint Petersburg Mirror Lab is a small band of dedicated mirror grinders and telescope makers living in the Tampa Bay area of Florida. We offer a mirror making class for interested persons. We strive to create the best mirrors our home brew technology can muster. This includes robotic foucault testing and laser interferometry.

  Radio Telescope Flashback
Keevy with his radio telescope at the 2004 OBS back in the Hickory Hills era.

  Brad working on a mirror
Yep, this mirror is finished. Every once in a while something happens that even super glue can't
fix. This one went back into Mike's kiln. This is a flashback from 3-30-2019.

  Moving the Robo Foucault to USB camera and motor control
Ralph and Allen are working to update the Robo Foucault tester with a new camera platform, a USB
camera and replacing the parallel port motor controller (left) with a USB controlled off-the-shelf
Arduino with a motor shield (right). We are the process of testing it on Windows 10 and 11 and
comparing the results with the Classic Robo set-up. Updates to come on this project.

  12.5" Mirror Cell Refurbishh
This is an overdue refurbishing of a 12.5" mirror cell that belonged to one of our lab instructors
before he passed away. The truss cage was rebuilt and we will be working on a new mirror and rocker
box next. The mirror was recently recoated and it has a good polish and figure. More to come on

  Mike P's eyepiece case 1
It begins

  Mike P's eyepiece case 2
It progresses

  Mike P's eyepiece case 3
Ta Da!

  OBS 2003 Raffle Scope Winners
Darla and Peter Flynn won the 12.5" OBS Raffle Scope.

  Allen separating the mirror from the cell
This mirror is going to be realuminized. It had huge gobs of glue holding it to the cell. Don't do
this to your mirrors. They must be free to adjust to temperature changes.

  Center marking a primary mirror
Ralph, right, and Chris center marking Chris's mirror

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