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.

  Allen finished a thin 16 inch mirror
Two weeks after Mike and Ralph finished their mirrors we had another double-header. On 7-29-2017
Allen finished a 16 inch f4.66 at better than 1/6th wave after a marathon 8 hour figuring session
ending in a swirl stroke. More about this mirror on his web page at

  Mike finished a honeycomb 12.5 mirror
On 7-15-2017 Mike finished his 12 inch light weight honeycomb mirror. Mike used a home-made CNC
machine to make the hexagons that later made rubbery forms that made the actual hexagons that were
placed in his kiln with the glass to make this mirror. Where is the darn easy button? More about
Mike's 1/6th wave mirror is on his web page .

  Ralph finished a thin 12 inch mirror
Also on 7-15-2017 Ralph finished figuring his 12 inch thin mirror. At less than 1 inch thick Ralph
chose the more traditional way to have a light weigh mirror. This is an extremely well polished
better than 1/6th wave mirror

  Kelly Anderson testing his new dew heater controller
Kelly Anderson testing his new dew heater controller that he built at the Mirror Lab. The power
supply is showing at 13v the two dew scrips are drawing 0.548 amps

  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!

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