The Refractor Interest Group, or RIG, was formed by Paul Valleli in March 2008. Several members have been working on making their first refractor under the guidance of Paul and Dick Parker. Bert Willard contributed to the optical design using OSLO, and Dick has been hosting work sessions in his basement which has been christened 'Refractorville' (he has made several refractors quite successfully).
Participating members include Jim Ericson, Rick Hunter, Ray Morits, Ken Slater and Dave Tabor.
Using optical glass donated to the club by Paul, the baseline design is for a 4½-inch f/15 oiled refractor made from K5 and SF1 (Rick is using different glass and a slightly different design). At Paul's recommendation, we are using Norman Remer's book for reference.
Dick Parker has made several refractors, and he wasted no time in completing one based on the RIG design. The photo at left shows him with an optically complete but unpainted tube of his refractor in November 2009.
In the photos below, you will see Dick Parker's shop, filled with dozens of grinding barrels. Besides being a member of Stellafane, Dick is also a member of the Astronomical Society of Greater Hartford, and runs a mirror class for them, which is why he has so many grinding stands in his basement. Our Stellafane RIG group has found it to be a pleasant retreat to work on refractor lenses in the winter.
Photos from a RIG work session at 'Refractorville' (Dick's workshop) in January 2011
Photos from a RIG work session at 'Refractorville' (Dick's workshop) in January 2012 (Tall photos by Tom Parker):
From time-to-time we will add photos and information to this page as work progress.
Back to the Members Activities Page