2013: Mirrors Down Under
Well, it's pretty obvious that "In the Shop" is not an entirely accurate name for what this series of pages has become, but I don't care. Sometimes you'll see things here that only started in my shop, but ended up far, far away.
Recently I've sent a number of mirrors to Australia. Some go to private clients, but many go to Peter Read at SDM Telescopes, builder of small to large Newtonian telescopes. Thanks to Peter's reach, I'll even have mirrors in his scopes in New Zealand and Tasmania in the future.
You may remember this photo, showing the 50" f/4 mirror along with a 28" f/3.3. Well, that 28" f/3.3 went in a crate, was coated, and went down under.
Here are a few photos, courtesy of Peter, showing some of his work.
Here is Peter Read unloading the crate (looking none worse for the journey) from his car with a very convenient manual forklift/pallet jack.
Here's a better view of the forklift, as well as some of Peter's shop. Note the hoist attached to the ceiling. It is equipment like this that makes the movement and lifting of heavy optics much more safe and manageable.
Above left, Peter uses a lifting jig to save his back and place the mirror box in the rocker box.
Above right, the colorful back of the telescope is seen, complete with motorized remote collimation adjustments. The lucky new owner can simply look through the eyepiece or use other collimation tools at the top end of the telescope while adjusting the primary mirror collimation.
So, here it is, the whole telescope. The mirror ended up in this stunning purple instrument, known as "Wild Thing".
Peter's page showing more info and pictures of the instrument can be found here.
After the initial viewing session, the builder and new owner were both very impressed with its performance, using high power despite some less than ideal seeing conditions. They said:
"Best views ever of Ghost of Jupiter, Thor's Helmet and the Humunculous in Eta Carina".
To that I say - you lucky bastards!
Please check back for future installements of "In the Shop".
Lockwood Custom Optics