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.

  Mike with his 12.5 inch light weight mirror
This shows the light weight 12.5 inch mirror batter. Mike cast the mirror and has been perfecting
the honey comb pattern.

  Mike polishing a 12.5 inch wih a light weight sub-diameter tool
The light weight tool is needed to prevent uneven polishing where the glass is hollowed out on the
back and the surface is thinner.

  Zerodur mirror finished for a lab scope
Ralph (left) and Allen finished a 12 inch Zerodur mirror. This f4.4 mirror will stay with us at the
lab as a demo scope and for public viewing nights. It came in at 1/7th wave and is very smooth and
well polished.

  Two polishers
Brad Lytle (left), Mike Davis (right) polish their mirrors and John ONeill visits the lab.

  Scott finished his mirror
This is a beautiful 8 inch, 1/9th wave mirror that has a stunning polish and a perfect edge. Nice
work Scott!

  The FigureXP results of Scott's Mirror
The other axis was slightly less so we're using it to call this a 1/9th wave mirror.

  Mike polishing towards a sphere
Mike is helping out during the polishing phase of his son's 8 inch mirror. There was a 500nm hill
in the middle that he was cleaning up. By the end of the day the shape was a nice sphere and the
laser test said that middle was polished. Once the polish works its way to the edge Scott will
start figuring. (Photo by Scott)

  Lenny Remetta is visiting the heavens
Our friend, fellow astronomer, bike rider, photographer and mirror lab rat, Lenny Remetta, passed
away in mid July 2013. We miss you Lenny and we'll be thinking of you every time we look up!

  Lab staff 18th wave mirror
The mirror lab staff occasionally makes a mirror in our spare time. This 10" mirror, with final
figuring by Ralph Craig, finished with a beautiful 18th wave figure. Okay, the other axis was only
16th wave.

  Glass Stress - X marks the spot
The black background is actually a white LCD screen with a polarizing filter blocking its linearly
polarized light. If the glass (tool here) had no stress it too would be black. The stress in the
glass bends the light and allows it to pass through the filter. This glass will be annealed and
later made into a mirror.

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