View Full Version : OT maybe, telescope mirrors.

09-08-2007, 09:01 PM
I remember reading a few posts by telescope makers here, and was hoping I could get some information.

Have an old telescope, not a good one by any standards, but functional for what little I use it, other day I noticed that the mirror was getting cloudy and on inspection found that the silvering was starting to lift in sections.

can anyone recommend a resilvering service that's not too expensive with a fairly quick turn-around?


09-08-2007, 09:06 PM
This will make the topic no longer OT :D :D


I have no personal experience with them but have seen them mentioned in astro forums. Den

Your Old Dog
09-09-2007, 09:57 AM
You got me nervous. Get the impression you don't use it a whole lot but need quick turn-around on a repair. You know something we don't??? :D Did you notice anything heading our way that we should prepare for?

09-09-2007, 10:19 AM
I, at one time, helped out at the Perkins Observatory in Delaware Ohio. I know, an observatroy in Ohio is almost usless. But we do get a few good nights around here.

Anyhow, we had the 32" mirror here done at Calusing. The mirror was driven up, dropped off, and picked up the next day after the driver had some sleep. Thats almost "done while you wait".

They did a great job on it as well.


09-09-2007, 12:41 PM
Thanks Den, YOD, and Rockrat,

sent an email to clausing today hope to hear something soon.

Don't know anything, I just get impatient when I have to ship things!

Plus it's one of those things that will otherwise get thrown to the back of the stack and forgotten about for a while if I don't get on it fairly quick.

Perkins observatory has a pretty interesting site there.

Thanks again

Your Old Dog
09-09-2007, 01:03 PM
Plus it's one of those things that will otherwise get thrown to the back of the stack and forgotten about for a while if I don't get on it fairly quick.

Now that's something I can relate to. In my case, if I don't keep at it quick enough I forget how to put it back together!

09-09-2007, 01:25 PM
Now that's something I can relate to. In my case, if I don't keep at it quick enough I forget how to put it back together!

Yup. Best thing I ever bought was a digital camera. I use it all the time to keep track of how it came apart, so that I can get it back together.

As for Perkins, one of its big claims to fame was the big ear out back and the WOW signal. That antenna as huge. I walked around on it once and underneath before they tore it down. Somewhere around here is a part from the tuners that I nabbed as a keepsake. The old clunky tuners were forceably removed by the crews during demilition while the nice ones went back to the university for resale and donations.

I still remember wandering around out there waiting for a cloud to move out of the way so I could continue to observe Jupiter through the scope. Quiet, barren, a few animals running around but mostly peaceful.

Good luck with your mirror.


Paul Alciatore
09-09-2007, 01:43 PM
Just a quick correction. You don't want it silvered. A silver coating will tarnish rapidly. They use aluminum if I remember correctly. I also believe there are overcoats available to make it last longer.

09-09-2007, 01:49 PM

I can recommend Jeff Decker of Majestic Coatings. http://www.majestic-coatings.com/ He's fast and good.

Depending on the specifics of your scope and mirror it may or may not be worth recoating and you might not notice the difference.

Feel free to email me off-list. I'm not an expert but do have some experience with this and may be able to help.

Gary Fuchs

09-09-2007, 01:59 PM
I have a 3" mirror that is in pretty sad shape. It will never again (and maybe never was) be a good mirror, but it has sentimental value as I bought it 50 years ago with my allowance on my 12th birthday. The scope was a cardboard tube with a plastic diagonal. It was a great intro to the sky. It was useless for viewing the sputnik, unfortunately.

Anyway - I'll contact the people linked here and see about having it recoated. I'd wanted to build (and therefore putting this on topic!) an open frame telescope with it, similar to Evan's, for the longest time. It would be a fine desktop or picnic table sized scope and far more portable than my 8" doby.

09-09-2007, 02:36 PM
If you have the mirror aluminized, don't forget to have a quartz coating evaporated (deposited) on to the surface.

It will protect the surface. It is worth the extra few dollars.

09-09-2007, 07:23 PM
Gfphoto, read your post and sent them an email also, Thank you!

Telescope is not that great, even when new but it's been used by the family for pretty much 25 years or so, was originally a 'hey that's neat!' purchase that actualy worked out alright.

did a search for telescope mirrors, and kept coming accross mirrors for sale, plans etc for telescopes, started digging through and said Hmmm, so quit looking because that normally means I'll have to look for more room in the workshop.


09-09-2007, 07:39 PM

you might want to check to see if there are any astronomy clubs in your area. Some have mirror making and aluminizing(sp?) classes available. When I lived in St. Petersburg, FL area they had one of largest clubs in the U.S. and offered these services for a modest charge.

At one of their Star Parties I saw on guy have his 12" cleaned and re-coated in an afternoon. He was back up and running by that evening.

09-09-2007, 11:18 PM
Had 2 mirrors done with this fellow, like them both.