Telescope Making is at the core of Stellafane (after all we are The Springfield Telescope Makers and Stellafane is the "Birthplace of Amateur Telescope Making"). From our founding in 1923, our bylaws have specified that full members of our club must have made a telescope objective. We care deeply about preserving this legacy, promoting this aspect of the hobby, and assisting those that undertake to make their own telescopes.
When you see ATM on our web pages we are talking about Amateur Telescope Making, not Automatic Teller Machines.
Our on-line directions for Mirror Making, Tester Construction and related topics are very popular. If you want to find out how to make your own telescope mirror, read this.
Also in this section you will find a comprehensive book list and various on-line calculators to help you design and compare telescope designs, and calculate key items needed when making your mirror.
We have offered mirror making classes annually since 1995 in Springfield, Vermont, and have helped many people complete their mirrors with guidance from our expert instructors. Registration is required, please sign up early, as we have had many full classes and unfortunately have had to turn some people away.
We also maintain a list of
if Stellafane is not in your geographic area.
Plans for a Newtonian Optical Tube and a Dobsonian Mount - use them together as a complete telescope, or separately if you just need one part. Complete, step-by-step plans for the entire scope.
The mount design features a simple to build adjustable cradle that won an innovative component award at the 2010 Stellafane Convention.
Newt-Web is a web application, actually a small computer aided design program, that will ray-trace a Newtonian design, point out errors in the design, report telescope performance information, and provide a list of dimensions for laying out the scope. Five sample telescopes are included. All you need is an up-to-date web browser - nothing to install.
Telescope Makers love to look at other people's creations and use the good ideas in their own 'scopes. Our Homemade Telescope Gallery allows you to show off your own scope, or look over what other ATM's have built.
If you would like to do this in person looking at real telescopes, and talking to their builders, there is no where better to do this then at the annual Stellafane Convention.
Many activities at the annual convention are oriented towards Amateur Telescope Makers: Mirror Making and Telescope Making demonstrations, Technical Talks, encouragement to Display Home Made Telescopes on Breezy Hill, and Mechanical and Optical Competitions for home made telescopes.
We have photos and in some cases videos of all the home made telescopes entered into the mechanical competition from conventions going back to 2000 in this section. This is another good place to browse for ideas and to see what is possible in making your own telescope.