Newton’s Reflecting Telescope Kit

Newton’s Reflecting Telescope Kit

In the next week or so I am going to start building the Newton’s Reflecting Telescope Kit from the Maker Shed. It’s a fun little kit that would be great for anyone interested in astronomy. I though I would post some pictures of the kit, and maybe get some suggestions from our readers before I start.


I absolutely love the magazine that is included with these kits. I know it’s in Japanese, but it’s still cool to look through. I guess I have to add “Learn Japanese” to my list of things to do.


Do you have any questions about this kit? Can you think of a cool hack or modification that I might try? Are there other kits in the Maker Shed you want me to build or test out? Leave your questions & suggestions in the comments below. Thanks!

16 thoughts on “Newton’s Reflecting Telescope Kit

  1. OMG says:

    It’s a toy. You need “suggstions” from users to put the toy together?

    Here’s one: put it together. —-

    This type of —- is what is “MAKING” MAKE little more than useless.

    1. Marc de Vinck says:


      First of all, I edited your comment. I don’t see a need for swear words. If you want have a problem, please email me directly, I am happy to discuss it.

      By asking for “suggestions” I was hoping to encourage more of a hacking/modding response from our readers, not a simple “build it”. I was thinking of adding a webcam and pointing it at the owls nest in my yard, but there has to be something even better…audio related maybe?

      We are trying new things at MAKE. Some ideas will work, some will not. However, asking for interactivity and giving our readers a say in what we build can only be a good thing. Constructive comments will only make our we site better.

  2. Ookseer says:

    Looks like fun!

    Seems like there are two ways to go with this kit. One would be spending an afternoon at the lathe replacing most of the plastic parts with wood, and dig up some brass and copper and make it look as “original” as possible.

    The other way would be to bring it into the future by making a camera mount for the eyepiece, and if I wanted to really put some work into it, a motion controlled base for doing long exposures of the night sky. Maybe a sun filter for doing some solar astronomy? (With all sorts of safety precautions, or course.)

    Ah, thought of something else. It doesn’t look like it has any way to tell what direction it’s facing. Maybe a level, a compass and a couple scales for measuring ascension and declination. And a few leveling screws, natch. And a clock, and a red light so I can read my charts without ruining my night vision.

    (And I wonder why I never have time to do stuff like this…)

    1. Marc de Vinck says:


      I went back and looked at all the pieces. You certainly could remake these all out of brass and it wouldn’t be that hard (if you had a small lathe). That would be amazing!

      I think I am going to mount a camera to it…maybe add x/y movement. Also, I might be able to add a servo to the focusing screw on the back (at least I think that’s what it is….I haven’t made it yet)

      Thanks for the input, those are great ideas!

  3. zof says:

    Build it, learn from it then build a much larger version that’s automated with all the bells and whistles. The kit will give you the general idea, then all you have to do is scale up every part.

    I do especially like the idea of adding an automated system to a telescope so you can just tell it where in the sky to look and bam there it is. Extra points for a nice web cam hook up and maybe even an interface for where people can control it over the net. I’ve though about doing something like that for a while but have never gotten to it.

    1. Marc de Vinck says:

      I totally agree. Part of my post next week will include a bunch of links about making your own. We have featured a lot of DIY telescopes on the blog.

  4. zof says:

    Yea I’ve seen them before and spent hours reading all the site about the DIY’ers with the telescopes. To bad I only have about a 90 degree view of the sky from my house from all the neighbors trees.

    I’ll waiting to see what you do.

    1. Marc de Vinck says:

      Part of my post will have even more links to DIY scopes. Making this little version has made me want to build a larger version some day.

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