Schedules vary each year, but lately we have been holding classes once per month from October thru March (6 Classes). These are typically 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM on Saturday, with the January session being held on a Sunday due to conflicting club events. These sessions are held on club meeting days, which are always near the time of the new moon. An exact schedule is published at least a month before classes begin.
They are held at the Stellafane facilities, on Breezy Hill, in Springfield, Vermont. If extreme snow prevents us from accessing Stellafane, we find alternate locations in this general area. Often the February class is held in western Massachusetts, in anticipation of heavy snow in Vermont. See our Directions Page for exact location.
There is no change for the class. You are expected to provide your own mirror and supplies, which you can bring to the class. We will be selling 6 and 8 inch mirror kits, which consist of a Pyrex mirror blank, a tool, and all necessary grits. We will help you make a pitch lap, and supply you with polishing compound if you buy one of our kits. Kits may also be purchased from Willmann-Bell, the astronomical book publishers, but only from their paper catalog, not from their web site, or from Newport Glass Works, or from GotGrit.com.
Our suggested pre-reading is one of these two books:
Both of these books will be available for purchase at the mirror class. or you may wish to review the information on our Stellafane ATM Web Site instead of reading a book. Information and photos from previous mirror classes is on the web at the Stellafane Mirror Making Classes web pages.
Except for the first half day of orientation, most of the time is unstructured, and our expert instructors will be available to give you personal guidance in making your mirror. We will also have 4 to 6 formal lectures of approximately one hour each on various aspects of mirror making spread throughout the course.
Mirror making classes are held in the fall and winter because the Springfield Telescope Makers are very busy get ready for and putting on the Stellafane Convention in the spring and summer. We hope you will attend the convention, and stop by to see the mirror making demos in the Flanders Pavilion. You can get convention information for the current convention from our Convention Web Page after May 1st. If you look between September and April, you will get information for the previous year's convention.
We maintain a time-ordered interest list as requests come in about mirror class throughout the year. In September, just a month before the class begins, we do the following:
Unfortunately, we have currently only have physical space for about 16 students. Once we reach this limit, you are informed that we are out of space for the current year, and you are asked if you want to remain on the interest list (where you get a position based on your original request date).
We have attempted to answer the most common questions here. If we haven't answered your question here, use the sign-up mail address on the Main Mirror Class Page to e-mail a question to the mirror class leader.