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.

  Bill and Ralph Cut A Tube
Bill (left) and Ralph cut a 12 foot long 12 inch tube to a more appropriate length for Bill's 10
inch f/5 mirror.

  Brad's Finished Telescope at the OBS
Brad finished remaking his telescope in time for the 2019 Orange Blossom Special (OBS) Star Party

  Mike's Mirror Grinding Demo
Mike shared his mirror grinding skills during a demo at the 2019 Orange Blossom Special Star Party.

  Ralph's 12 inch Dob at the OBS Telescope Walkabout
Ralph finished his 12 inch Dob just before the OBS star party. Here he is explaining its
construction during the telescope walkabout.

  Dew Heater Controllers
Mike (left) and Dave (right) are building a couple of dew heater controllers. Brad (center) already
built one and is assisting the projects.

  Ralphs' Secondary holder
Ralph built in some resistors for dew control on his secondary holder.

  Mike's slumped 16
Mile slumped a 16 inch blank and brought it to the lab the same day that it came out of the kiln.
This is a beautiful piece of glass just under an inch thick.

  Allen's 16 inch Mini Maxx telecope
The 16 inch Mini Maxx f/4.66 telescope had first light on January 7th. It's similar in design to
the 18 inch Maxx scope but considerably lighter.

  Brad's Copper Clad Telescope
Brad covered his telescope with a thin layer of copper sheeting. Now he is using some copper strip
to cover the seams. Here he is starting with the with the seam that goes the length of the
telescope. That will be followed with strips covering the seams that wrap around the circumference
of the telescope.

  Dave Grinding 12.5 Inch Mirror
Dave grinds his 12.5" mirror while Paul (left) and Bill offer their opinion of his technique.

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