This class is now complete. To sign up for a Mirror Class, see the pink box on the Mirror Class Main Page.
Including brief notes about the session
Click Image for Photo Album
1: Saturday, October 21, 2006:
A cool fall day, with rough grinding outside!
2: Saturday, November 11, 2006:
Scott finished his mirror, the first one this year!
3: Saturday, December 16, 2006:
Snow free in mid-December - Amazing!
4: Sunday, January 21, 2007:
Eileen finished her mirror! Two more are close.
5: Saturday, February 17, 2007 @ Stellafane
Canceled due to deep snow and probable drifting.
6: Saturday, March 17, 2007:
Canceled due to snow & ice storm.
7: Saturday, April 14, 2007:
Nice turnout at the Fletch house in Chester, VT;
8: Saturday, May 19, 2007:
A great finish with 4 mirrors being completed!
Here is a report on what our participants are making, and at what stage they are at:
|22 Mirror Makers||22 Mirrors||6 Done|
Thanks to our large group of volunteer instructors, we can hold these mirror class and give everyone the individualized attention they require. Several of our instructors work professionally in the optics industry, and many have competed dozens or mirrors and more complicated optics as amateurs.
Officers, Trustees and Full Members of the club have had to successfully made a mirror or other quality optical surface.
This year's mirror class was defined by weather. Bad weather. Although
it wasn't the worst winter ever, the snows in Vermont seemed determined
to fall heaviest on New Moon weekends when class was scheduled. We were
forced to cancel both the February and March classes due to poor conditions
on Breezy Hill, more than we've ever canceled before. Luckily, we had a
motivated group of mirror makers and despite the weather, six mirrors were
This was Jay Drew's first year as Mirror Class Leader, and he enjoyed the experience. He says that he didn't make any real changes to the class set up as Ken Slater, our previous Class Leader, had a smooth running system that purred along without problem.
Several bonus sessions were held, which helped keep things moving along despite the weather problems. Tom Gorka held an extra grinding session on a Saturday early in the fall which got our motivated students off to a good head start. Jay & Tom held an extra polishing/figuring session in January as well.
Three new club members came from mirror class this year. We hope to recruit two of them, Joyce and Dave, as instructors next year.
Several very useful capital improvements were made to our facilities by the irascible Tom Gorka. First, he renovated the back T-shirt room to handle the overflow of our large group of new grinders. Then he closed in the Bunkhouse front porch with custom windows, creating a wonderful sun room that was very popular with students and club members alike. Tom also built several new heavy duty grinding stands.
This year's class was well represented by women, with mirrors completed by Joyce, Eileen, and Samantha. The Springfield Telescope Makers are very interested in reaching out to female astronomers and are pleased to have these three amateurs involved.
There is already a good waiting list for next year's sessions, and many of our current students plan on returning to finish their mirrors.
Plans for the future? We hope to finalize arrangements for an alternate work site just in case of bad weather next year. John Martin has said that we may be able to reserve the Fletcher House in Chester for the February and March Mirror Class sessions. We'll work on that early next fall.
We have some ideas to help prevent the polishers from getting scratches at the McGregor station. This year we experimented with covering the workstations with builder's paper, and tried wet-mopping before the students arrived. Hopefully we will avoid disastrous scratches in the future.
Ken & Jay are hoping to put together a Foucault Tester Workshop later this year. They will provide kits and a full day of assistance to students who wish to build a Stellafane Tester.
Thanks to all the hard working club members who make this class such a success!