Costs of building a homemade telescope

In the end, it is cheaper to build your own.

In the end, it is cheaper to build your own.

Is it cheaper to build or buy?

The bottom line. The final costs of making my homemade six inch Dobsonian mounted reflector:

Optics (Primary, secondary, eyepiece) and Teflon kit: $250 US.

Sonotube, plywood, other supplies to make the Dobsonian mount and prepare the tube (including some tools like a nail-set, awl, and a couple of other things I should have had around the house but didn’t.): $100 US including taxes.

TOTAL: $350 US.

Comparison pricing for those who are interested (includes taxes and estimated shipping within Canada)… in other words, what I would have had to pay for these commercial scopes or kits. Keep in mind that the commercial scopes usually come with couple of Superset eyepieces, with the exception of the Orion which comes with 2 Orion Plossl eyepieces, and the StarGazer Steve which comes with one 17mm Plossl. The commercial scopes also come with a finderscope… the StarGazer Steve with a Rigel Quickfinder. As you can see, it’s not really much cheaper to make your own scope. On the other hand, my mount is SOLID, and now I know how to do it myself. And that’s… well, perhaps not priceless… but worth every penny.

Note: prices may have changed
Telescope Cost Comparison
Orion Skyquest 6 inch dob $ 461.00
Stargazer Steve 6 inch Dob kit $ 446.00
Newstar 6 inch dob $ 440.00
My Home made 6 inch Dob $ 350.00
Skywatcher 6 inch dob $ 298.00

And, to be fair, I could do it much more cheaply next time. Many of the parts I purchased provided enough material to make a number of scopes. If I were to make the same scope again, I’d probably have to dip into my pocket for under $200 CAN (purchasing optics from Island Eyepiece). Which suggests that if you can find somebody else to go in with you, and make two scopes, you could likely complete both scopes for about $300 Canadian each, including mirrors and eyepieces.