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.

  Hartness Turret Telescope at Stellafane
The Hartness Turret Telescope in Springfield Vermont at the Stellafane Convention for amateur
telescope makers. It was completed in 1910. Ralph is checking out the internal workings of the

  Under the Dish
The lab gang a while back under a private satellite dish. This is set up in the owner's back yard.
It's for sale now on Facebook for $100K. You must pick it up in person.

  Paul cutting out a focuser hole
Paul uses a Dremel to cut out a hole before mounting a 2" focuser on the telescope tube.

  The Robo Foucault Tester using a USB interface
The updated Robo Foucault tester (RTAFT) testing a mirror. This update uses a USB interface to the
computer via an Arduino. It also uses a small USB camera. More information about it is here:

  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

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