Russ Leonard builds 6in refractor

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Member Russ Leonard recently put the finishing touches on a brand new 6in F/15 refracting telescope, mounted on a DIY Alt-Az mount built from stained Oak, the design utilizes a friction clutch complete with precision settings circles, much like a Dobsonian. Weighing in at almost 500lbs and standing taller than Russ (who is pretty tall to start with) this telescope means business, while Russ has lots of experience with high precision CNC machine tools from a former life, this telescope was built entirely using common stock and simple hand tools and is a real marvel of craftsmanship and engineering. Russ says the whole setup is so smooth that when balanced you can move it smoothly with just the push of a single finger. It also has some nice features like high quality locking castors for easy of setup and breakdown and handy cardinal directions for aiding polar alignment, overall lots of nice details that you won’t get in your average store bought mount and telescope package. It just goes to show that it can still be worth it to build your own scope, even in the day-in-age when inexpensive Celestron’s and Meade’s dominate the store shelves. Nothing beats looking at Jupiter through a telescope you fabricated yourself, just like Galileo did over 400 years ago.

To see more information about the scope and purchase some very nice lens cells head over to iStar Optical.

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Litchfield Hills Amateur Astronomy Club