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handmade_telescope.jpg
I received the most special gift this Christmas. My husband, Chris, was holed up in our garage most nights since November, feverishly working on a secret project for me. He’s never attempted a woodworking project before, but tackled this project with absolute determination. I’m a huge space geek, and have been fascinated with the night skies almost all my life. I’ve talked of wanting a good telescope, and it would have been very easy for my husband to just make a stop by the store to pick one up. That he spent weeks working on this for me makes it the most special gift I’ve ever been given.
Watching him get so excited about the project’s progress and work through difficulties and come up with ingenious solutions of his own was so much fun. My only disappointment was that I couldn’t be out in the garage working with him. When he unveiled the telescope on Christmas Eve, I was stunned and very excited. When I looked through the eye piece and gazed upon the moon – crystal clear and full of gorgeous craters – I started crying. We’ve already taken it out almost every night since Christmas Eve, and I can’t wait to get it out to a truly isolated spot to really see what she can do!
There’s just a little leftover staining to do, but otherwise the scope is complete and working beautifully. Now Chris thinks I should sew a nice dust cover for it.


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Comments

  1. Brookelynn says:

    This is beyond amazing. I love your story, and I love the final product. It’s celadon green!! Are you kidding me?? I am so impressed!

  2. Pat says:

    Can you tell us anything about how it was built? Where the supplies or plans came from for this scope? What type of mirror ect. in case we want to build one of our own

  3. Rachel Hobson says:

    Thanks for the nice comments! I’m in love with her!
    The telescope is an 8″ Dobsonian. Husband says, “It’s an 8″ primary mirror with a
    focal ratio of f/6.”
    Here is a link to the plans my husband used:
    http://www.raycash.us/sfsidewalk/intro.htm
    He says, “I followed them pretty closely, but deviated a bit in terms
    of hardware and the tube box bearings, and purchased a focuser instead
    of making it.”
    Here’s a link to where he purchased the mirrors:
    http://www.e-scopes.cc/
    And where he purchased the focuser, finderscope and eyepieces:
    http://www.telescope.com/control/main/
    I also love that one of my crafty cohorts chimed in via Twitter with a
    link to her husband’s DIY telescope – it’s amazing! Enjoy!
    http://www.planetjune.com/blog/telescope-shroud/
    and
    http://dgilbank.freeownhost.com/8inch.html
    Hope that helps, and happy stargazing! :)

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