stronomy and telescope making had been a hobby of mine in my late teens and early 20s, but I had no time for it when going to college. I got back into amateur astronomy in 1989 when I helped my stepson, Jay, build a 6" Dobsonian reflecting telescope. I enjoyed that project so much I decided to a build 12.5" one for myself. After four months of research, I began construction during the Christmas holidays of 1989, and had "first light" in February, 1990. I still own and dearly love this scope although it has changed somewhat from the picture below. There have been a number of other telescopes during these years that have come and gone. The gallery follows. If you would like to see my website devoted to my hobby, go to my AstroDesigns site. I retain my membership in the Austin Astronomical Society in Texas so I can keep up with my astro-buddies there. In the spring of 2006, I helped form a new astronomy club here in the Wet Mountain Valley called the Sangre Stargazers. Note: see Moon-Venus conjunction and May 31, 2007 Blue Moon photos.
The very first scope I made was a 6" reflector in 1961, sold it, and made another housed in a sheetmetal observatory in north central Austin back when the Milky Way was visible in town.
My personal 12.5" Dobsonian and #2 made for a customer,
This is a Celestron C-8, 8" telescope that I had
in the early '90s, but it fell over one day on the entryway tile floor
and shattered the front lens. I sold it for what I paid for it!
The next scope was a beautiful Meade 8" LX200, that I eventually traded back to the original owner for the following two scopes.
A very sharp 80mm refractor that proved to be too large
The other scope I traded for and still have is a Meade
7" Maksutov LX200 fully computerized scope--a real kick to operate!
The "Stewart Sled" the tripod is setting on was the subject
of an article in
This is a 22" Dobsonian that I helped to construct