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Posted by Robert May on November 6, 2002 21:05:26 UTC

Looks like an Elgin style grinding/polishing machine.
Is that white stuff under the solid spindle grit from an old grinding operation?
The wheel with the 6 big holes in it is the mover for the arm and should have a number of small holes in it to get different stroke lengths for best results with different mirrors.
I suspect that it was built a fairly long time ago for a mirror that is only God knows where.
You may want to go to the Mirror-O-Matic site and see how that machine works and play with it. The adjustment system is probably a bit different but you should be able to figure it out.
The solid surfaced spindle can probably be enlarged and used for making a good sized mirror. Machines make the making of mirrors over about 12" a lot easier as the hard work of pushing the tool and lap is taken care of by the machine, leaving you to feed the grit, etc. while the machine works.
You may also want to go to the STAR site ( http://www.starastronomy.org/TelescopeMaking/Links/ ) there's a guy in the discussion board there named Gordon that built a grinder recently and there was a good sized discussion (with movies even!) about the machine and its workings.
FWIW, the only way to destory a mirror blank is to break it or grind so much off of it that it is too thin.
Have Fun with it!

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