Steampunk Telescope

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Project by TelescopeMaker posted 08-28-2011 05:31 AM 3553 views 3 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I have been designing this telescope since 2008, and it has finally come to reality. Its made of Baltic Birch and Rosewood with brass inlay. The telescope is a 12.5 inch diameter f/5.5 It is finished with serval coats of varnish, with three coats of glossy poly for protection against the evening dew.

This has been a complicated project and almost a burden and certainly above my skill level. I am glad it is over, and I look forward to doing something more useful… like a bed.

-- Telescope Maker, Woodworker, Brewer, Gizmologist, Gardner, Lawn Mower

11 comments so far

View fussy's profile


980 posts in 2142 days

#1 posted 08-28-2011 05:55 AM

Kinda like a open tube Dobsonian but different. Focal length well chosen to give a wide enough field to be a rich-field, and to have a comfortable observing position. Did you buy the mirror from Meade or someone, or did you grind it yourself? Collimation is a booger, but when you finally get it right, what a thrill. First light is a blast! What kind of objective do use? Mirror cell looks as if it will work, but I’d like to see what you use for a diagonal and how you mounted that. Congratulations. If you get any good pictures, post them.


-- Steve in KY. 44 years so far with my lovely bride. Think I'll keep her.

View ChadR's profile


80 posts in 1569 days

#2 posted 08-28-2011 07:30 AM

It’s great to see some steam punk on this website. Keep up the work and keep up the posts.

-- Some people have a way with words... some people... not... have way.

View mafe's profile


10541 posts in 2181 days

#3 posted 08-28-2011 01:52 PM

Love the fact you worked on this since 2008, and are finally done!
Looks really steamy.
Best thoughts,

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

View Bertha's profile


12982 posts in 1785 days

#4 posted 08-28-2011 03:17 PM

I don’t understand it, but I like it. I only recently understood steampunk, so I’m a bit slow. I like how many LJs here are also astronomers.

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View GaryCN's profile


281 posts in 3026 days

#5 posted 08-28-2011 04:06 PM

Have you seen this one Captain Nemo's Telescope ?

-- Quando Omni Flunkus Moritati

View Cosmicsniper's profile


2202 posts in 2250 days

#6 posted 08-28-2011 05:02 PM

Collimation is easy with a laser, especially at f/5.5. Just load up some Nagler’s and Ethos eyepieces and you are good to go. :)

Brilliant design and execution. If you go to Stellafane or TSP or WSP, make sure you put it in the competition. It will win.

-- jay,

View Cosmicsniper's profile


2202 posts in 2250 days

#7 posted 08-28-2011 06:10 PM

Ignore…double post.

-- jay,

View Bluepine38's profile


3223 posts in 2177 days

#8 posted 08-28-2011 06:15 PM

Why would anyone waste time sleeping in a bed when the could have fun stumbling around looking at stars,
drinking good homebrew, or playing the workshop. Great looking project, now I am going to have to go
surf the web to find out how it works and what it does. Thank you for sharing.

-- As ever, Gus-the 76 yr young apprentice carpenter

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


16744 posts in 2767 days

#9 posted 08-29-2011 12:39 AM

Awesome!! Congrats for sticking it out. I know that feeling of relief. When I built my first full lenght Kentucky muzzle loading rifle, it was over my skill level and tool capacity at the time. It took a couple of years to complete in spare time.

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View freighttrain's profile


120 posts in 1715 days

#10 posted 08-29-2011 03:16 AM

great job does the open design allow stray light to interfer with the veiw? i built a reflecting telescope when i was was in high school ground the glass and everything had so much fun looking at the planets have always wanted to do it again maybe now i will enjoy!!!

-- freighttrain,ky

View TelescopeMaker's profile


69 posts in 2112 days

#11 posted 08-30-2011 10:51 PM

Captain Nemo’s Telescope! Yes, Ross Sackett, and a band called “Emerald Rose” were my inspirations.
I ground the mirror myself, and its not quite finished. November timeframe.
Check my blog here for other pictures.
Open design is fine, if I take it to dark locations in the mountains of north Georgia, or up in Asheville, NC.
Nagler eyepieces are very heavy and expensive. I hope to get one someday. Hope it doesn’t over balance it.:) I hope to go to Stellafane in 2013, but we’ll see…
I never thought I would get it done though. jeesh its been a long time..
The mounting is a combination between an old-fashioned fork mount on one side, and a Dobsonion trunion on the other side. After doing it, I wish I hadn’t… its a pain to assemble it and awkward to pack in the car.

The next telescope will be smaller – an 8” dia. This one weighs in at 32 pounds, and its still too heavy to toss in the back of the crew cab and go into the dark.

But first, a mission style bed, a coffee table, a box or two, a desk a medicine cabinet, shelves for the dining room….. on and on…. I’ve got the fever.

-- Telescope Maker, Woodworker, Brewer, Gizmologist, Gardner, Lawn Mower

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