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Making A Lens.

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Posted by Robert May on October 24, 2002 19:18:31 UTC

Making your own lens is a nice rewarding thing to do. Unfortunately, there is a bit more work making a lens cell and in the 8" size, having the cell adjustable with a set of 3 push-pull screw sets is advisable. Having access to a lathe will help a lot here.
Newport Glass Works (they're online and have glass for refractors availabe) is a good place to get kits for refractors as well as just the glass.
The surfaces are going to be a lot easier than a reflector to do as you just need to do a spherical surface and TDE is no problem as that will be generally buried in the mounting system of the lenses.
As to the worth of the thing, that is up to you to figure out whether you want a refractor of about F15 or so to lug around.
When I did my 200" refractor, I made the tube so that I could break it down into 6' long pieces as this was as long as I could fit into my car.
I do have an article on making a refractor on my website http://bobmay.astronomy.net for more information on making them.
I also have the glass for both a 6" and a 12" refractor so I'm going to be doing several more in the near future.

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