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ATM Books & Periodicals

In preparing these pages, in addition to our personal experience, the published references listed in the table below were used. If you would like to suggest other useful ATM books for this list, please Contact Us.

In the rightmost column, we have provided some additional information and commentary about these publications. Hopefully this additional information will help you choose the book or books that meet your needs. We do not try to select a "best" or "favorite" book, as a survey of our club members at a recent mirror making workshop makes it clear that different people like different books, and they have all used their favorite book to help them successfully build a mirror. More factual information appears in normal type, while opinions are in blue italics.


Hotlink to "Amatuer Telescope Making" [ATM]
Ingalls, Albert G. (Editor). 1937, 1996.
Amateur Telescope Making
Vols. 1, 2, 3

Richmond, VA
ISBN: 0-943396-48-4 (V1), -49-2 (V2), -50-6 (V3)

This is a reprint of the classic ATM series edited by Albert Ingalls of Scientific American.

It has been reorganized to group topics together, annotated when modern knowledge supersedes classic advice, and some sections that are no longer applicable have been dropped.

Hotlink to "Build Your Own Telescope" [Berry94]
Berry, Richard. 1985, 1994, 2001.
Build Your Own Telescope
(Third Edition)

Richmond, VA
ISBN: 0-943396-69-7
Complete Plans for Five Telescopes you can Build with Simple Hand Tools
First Published 1985
Second English Edition 1994

Plans for 4" f/10 and 6" f/8 Equatorial Newtonians; 6" f/8 and 10" f/6 Dobsonian; 6" f/15 Alt-Az Refractor; Mirror Making; Foucault Tester Plans & Use, Telescope Use.

Hotlink to Edmund Scientifc [Brown96]
Brown, Sam. 1967, 1996.
All About Telescopes
(Twelfth Edition)

Barrington, NJ
Edmund Scientific
ISBN: 0-933346-20-4
Edmund Part Number 3009094
(Search the Edmund Site for this Part Number)

First Published 1967 - Twelfth Edition 1996

Too many telescope, mount and accessory projects to list (1 or 2 pages each). Many easy to understand illustrations, diagrams, charts, tables and formulas. Mirror Making; Foucault Tester Plans & Use.

Out of Print [Clark90]
Clark, Roger N. 1990.
Visual Astronomy of the Deep Sky
Cambridge, MA
Sky Publishing
ISBN: 0-521-36155-9
Out of Print - Check Used Book Sellers on the Web
This books deals with human limitations in observing, particularly the physiology of the eye and the physiology of faint object detection. It discusses what aperture and magnifications should result in optimum faint object detection.
The Schupmann Telescope [Daley07]
Daley, James. 2007.
The Schupmann Telescope
Richmond, VA
ISBN: 978-0-943396-59-0
The Story, Design, Construction and Use
of a Neglected Telescope Type
This is the definitive book about modern Schupmann Telescopes, by club member Jim Daley. It includes a chapter on Stellafane's 13 inch Schupmann, as well a history of the Schupmann design.
Out of Print [Howard84]
Howard, Neale E. Howard. 1959, 1984.
Standard Handbook for Telescope Making
(Revised Edition)
New York, NY
Harper & Row
ISBN: 0-06-181394-X
Out of Print - Check Used Book Sellers on the Web
First Published 1959 - Revised Edition 1984

Mirror Making; Foucault Tester Plans & Use; Diagonal  Making; Fiberglass Tube Construction; Mounts; Poncet Platform; Observatories; Telescope Use.

Hotlink to "The Dobsonian Telescope" [Kriege97]
Kriege, David & Berry, Richard. 1997.
The Dobsonian Telescope
Richmond, VA
ISBN: 0-943396-55-7
A Practical Manual for Building Large Aperture Telescopes
First Published 1997

Detailed Plans for 16" and larger Truss Tube Dobsonians; 8" f/6 Dobsonian Plans; Making Large, Thin Mirrors (Robert Kestner).

Hotlink to "A Manual for Amateur Telescope Makers" [Lecleire03]
Lecleire, Karine and Jean-Marc. 2003.
A Manual for Amateur Telescope Makers
Richmond, VA
ISBN: 0-943396-79-4
First Published in English in 2003;
Original French Edition 1997.

Has detailed plans to construct three different telescopes. Covers all aspects of mirror making, and directions for making diagonal flats, perforated primaries and optical windows. The third telescope is a 300-mm f/12 Cassegrain-Coude with four optical components.

Hotlink to "Advanced Telescope Making Techniques" [Mackintosh86]
Mackintosh, Allan. 1986.
Advanced Telescope Making Techniques
Volume 1: Optics
Volume 2: Mechanical

Richmond, VA
ISBN: 0-943396-11-5 (V1); 0-943396-12-3 (V2)
Making a Refractor Telescope [Remer06]
Remer, Norman. 2006.
Making a Refractor Telescope
Richmond, VA
ISBN: 978-0-943396-62-0)
How to Design, Grind, Polish, Test, Correct
and Mount a Doublet Lens
The title says it all, this is the book to use if you want to learn how to make your own achromatic lens. Detailed instructions for the amateur every step of the way.
Hotlink to "Telescope Optics" [Rutten88]
Rutten, Harrie & van Venrooij, Martin. 1988.
Telescope Optics:
Evaluation & Design

Richmond, VA
ISBN: 0-943396-18-2

Reviews various telescope types that amateurs may use or make, and evaluates their strengths and weakness from an optical design standpoint.

Hotlink to "How to Make a Telescope" [Texereau84]
Texereau, Jean. 1951, 1984.
How to Make a Telescope
(Second Edition)

Richmond, VA
ISBN: 0-943396-04-2
First French Edition 1951
Second English Edition 1984

8" f/6 Alt-Az Newtonian; Theory and Practice of Mirror Making; Foucault Tester Plans & Use; Classical Cassegrain, Optics and Mechanical; Making Diagonals and Optical Windows; Mountings; Drives.

Hotlink to "Sky Publishing" [Thompson73]
Thompson, Allyn J. 1947, 1973.
Making Your Own Telescope
Cambridge, MA
Sky Publishing
ISBN: 0-933346-12-3
First Printing 1947
Revised 1973
Eleventh Printing 1980

6" f/8 Equatorial Newtonian; Mirror Making; Foucault Tester Plans and Use; Diagonal Making; Equatorial Pipe Mount.

Hotlink to "Springer-Verlag" [Tonkin99]
Tonkin, Stephen F. (Editor). 1999.
Amateur Telescope Making
ISBN: 1-85233-000-7
Stephen Tonkin runs a long time ATM web site on the list with a U.K. orientation. In this book he has collected together a variety of ATM projects by various authors of all sizes, from simple to complex.


Magazines have traditionally provided a wealth of ideas and inspiration for the ATM. Their advertisements connect you with suppliers of ATM materials and services. And most have a broad astronomy focus, covering all areas of the field. While ATM articles for the novice do appear from time to time, they are not a staple of any listed magazine - so don't expect to pick up an issue and find something suitable, unless you happen to be very lucky. That's not to suggest you shouldn't subscribe, just don't expect the current periodicals to be a prime source of novice ATM projects.

Amateur Astronomy
Lebanon, TN

Now available in print or a PDF on the web, AA is "News For, By and About Amateur Astronomers Around the World".

Hotlink to "Astronomy" [Astro]

Waukesha, WI
ISSN: 0091-6358

This is one of the "Big Two" United States Amateur Astronomy magazines.

Out of Print [ATMJ]
Cook, William J. (Editor). 1992-2001
ATM Journal

Seattle, WA
Captain's Nautical Supply
ISSN: 1074-2697
No Longer Published
Hotlink to "Sky & Telescope" [Sky&Tel]
Sky & Telescope

Cambridge, MA
ISSN: 0037-6604

This is one of the "Big Two" United States Amateur Astronomy magazines.

Regular ATM Section (but not every month) with emphasis on new designs or techniques.

Out of Print [TM]
Berry, Richard (Editor). 1978-1992.
Telescope Making (Quarterly)
Issues 1 through 46.

ISSN: 0190-5570
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Page last revised on Monday, 2010-Jul-05 15:15:27 -0400