© 2011

Amateur Telescope Making in the Internet Age

Finding Parts, Getting Help, and More


Part of the Patrick Moore's Practical Astronomy Series book series (PATRICKMOORE)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xi
  2. Robert L. Clark
    Pages 1-7
  3. Robert L. Clark
    Pages 9-17
  4. Robert L. Clark
    Pages 19-32
  5. Robert L. Clark
    Pages 33-43
  6. Robert L. Clark
    Pages 45-55
  7. Robert L. Clark
    Pages 57-72
  8. Robert L. Clark
    Pages 73-82
  9. Robert L. Clark
    Pages 83-99
  10. Robert L. Clark
    Pages 101-112
  11. Robert L. Clark
    Pages 127-135
  12. Back Matter
    Pages 169-204

About this book


The Internet Age is changing everything about human invention and the use of technology. The change has been compared to that of the introduction of printing. Making your own telescope isn’t what it used to be, either, thanks partly to the Internet. The old days of grinding and polishing are gone – unless you want to do it! You can now assemble a great instrument from a wide range of affordable Internet-available components, new or used. The Internet is the new parts “junkyard,” with stuff from all over the world for you to pick through, day or night. In this book you will find out what’s generally available and how to access it. You will learn how to evaluate optical components and combine them from diverse Internet sources. You will get many ideas on how to make the parts that you don’t buy or scrounge and how to restore old lenses and mirrors. And you will learn some elementary physics of designing ergonomic – comfortable – telescopes. Navigating your way around the possibilities is easy using this valuable and timely resource. With Robert Clark’s help you can get the best that the Internet has to offer. Get started now!


Amateur telescope making Astronomical telescope making Buying telescope components Copy-Scope Home-made telescopes Telescope construction Telescope design Telescope making as a hobby

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.WestminsterUSA

About the authors

Although Clark was born in New Hampshire, he spent his early teen years in the New York City area. There he became acquainted with the Theodore Roosevelt Museum of Natural History and at the associated Hayden Planetarium, operated, at that time, by Newton and Margaret Mayhall. Their book Skyshooting provided his first introduction to the idea that someone with only moderate skills can build good scientific instruments. The three volumes of Amateur Telescope Making, edited by Albert G. Ingalls, completed the process of addiction. Clark received a B.S. degree in Mathematics from Stanford University. He then served in the U.S. Air Force at Strategic Air Command headquarters in Nebraska. After his discharge he did graduate work in Mathematics and Computer Science at the University of Maryland. After a few years spent in the Military Operations Research industry, he migrated to a university teaching position that lasted 33 years at the University of the District of Columbia. Throughout all this time he continued to be enamored by the process of building telescopes and actually built a few as time permitted. Since retirement he has allowed the addiction to occupy a large part of his enthusiasm, as is made evident by Figure 2.3. Clark now resides in Westminster, Maryland, where he has built a hilltop observatory and is active with the Westminster Astronomical Society.

Bibliographic information

  • Book Title Amateur Telescope Making in the Internet Age
  • Book Subtitle Finding Parts, Getting Help, and More
  • Authors Robert L. Clark
  • Series Title Patrick Moore's Practical Astronomy Series
  • Series Abbreviated Title Patrick Moore's Pract.Astron.Series(formerly:Practical Astronomy)
  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011
  • Publisher Name Springer, New York, NY
  • eBook Packages Physics and Astronomy Physics and Astronomy (R0)
  • Softcover ISBN 978-1-4419-6414-4
  • eBook ISBN 978-1-4419-6415-1
  • Series ISSN 1431-9756
  • Edition Number 1
  • Number of Pages XII, 208
  • Number of Illustrations 70 b/w illustrations, 0 illustrations in colour
  • Topics Astronomy, Observations and Techniques
  • Buy this book on publisher's site


From the reviews:

“The book is packed with help and advice; given pre-made optics, there’s advice on building a simple rich-field refractor through larger refractors and reflectors of various types, along with making all the essential parts and accessories, from tubes to mirror cells, focusers to spiders … . In summary, the book contains an eclectic mix of projects, from which the amateur telescope maker is likely to glean some perfectly good ideas.” (Peter Grego, Popular Astronomy, July-August, 2011)

“The book contains everything you need to consider when building a telescope from your own ‘scrap’; how to assess optics, design considerations and many wrinkles that assist the amateur telescope maker to meet and even exceed the engineering tolerances of commercial telescope manufacturers. This is a hugely useful book for anyone with a modicum of engineering skill … . If you have an old photocopier lens in the loft, or any unused lens looking for a noble purpose, this book is for you.” (Steve Ringwood, Astronomy Now, September, 2011)