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.

  Dario and Devin;'s scope gets first (day)Light
The scope focused beautifully on the 1/2 mile away target and shortly after the Moon.

  Dario and Devin attach the focuser
With Ralph (left) as the master hole cutter and driller Dario and Devin attach the optical
components to the tube.

  It's a Wrap!
The painted wrap is on the tube and it's a thing of beauty. Nice work Devin!

  The dob wrap is almost ready
The transformation of the blank wrap to a masterpiece over about two hours was amazing. It will be
on the 10in dob soon.

  Devin starts painting his telescope wrap
This started off as a plain sheet of plastic and a few cans of spray paint.

  Ron Jones (left) recipient of the 2017 John Dobson Award
Ron Jones received a well deserved John Dobson award for exceptional public service in astronomy.
This included public outreach, teaching mirror grinding and telescope making and astronomy mentoring
as well as making more than a dozen telescopes. This is Ron (left) receiving his award with the
Telescope Lab's founder, Paul McNabb, Congratulations Ron!

  Rough Grinding a Honeycomb Mirror Blank
Mike Davis has begun rough grinding another of his home made, honeycomb-back, light weight, mirror
blanks. Here he is using a couple of stacked barbell wights for the tool and 60 mesh silicon carbide

  Unusual Condiment Tray
At the SPAC October picnic we used a 16 inch mirror as the condiment tray. It was recently started
with 60 grit and had about 80 thousandths of an inch of depth on it.

  3D Printed Focuser
This is Tom Spano's 3D printed Crayford focuser. The white area was printed and it is internally
using a honeycombed design for strength.

  Paul with his finished dew heater controller
Paul took a different approach and mounted the dew heater controller board from the lid of an Otter
box. This came out really nice. Great work Paul! Now all we need is a little dry air and clear

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