Plans for building a homemade telescope
We definitely need plans!
Do a Google search for telescope plans and the first page of results has links to a number of sites that provide easy to follow plans. Follow those links, and it turns out that most of them are variations on the plans offered by the San Francisco Sidewalk Astronomers. The variations include a version of the plans offered by NASA. All are geared toward making a reflecting telescope on a Dobsonian mount for as little expense as possible. After perusing most of these plans over a period of a few weeks, I settled on the version of the Sidewalk Astronomer plans hosted by Ray Cash. They are very easy to follow, and offer directions for making a 6 inch, 8 inch, or 10 inch telescope.
There are other kinds of plans available, including those for making a refracting telescope. I have to say, however, that the more I read about John Dobson and his life, the more intrigued I became. Dobson’s main claim to fame in Amateur Astronomy is that he designed a very simple mount for reflecting telescopes, and made it acceptable to use that mount. Traditionally, reflecting telescopes have been mounted on equatorial mounts. Dobson’s mount is alt azimuth. But its ease of use is astounding. He’s an interesting character who exemplifies the DIY philosophy, and that appealed to me.
The whole philosophy of the Sidewalk Astronomers seems to be that you can view the stars from anywhere. Out on busy city streets is fine. Letting other people look through your scope is the idea. Telling people how to build inexpensive but excellent scopes is part of the deal. Again, I really liked the attitude and philosophy behind this group, partly because most of my observing is done from light polluted skies within a big city, partly because they embody the philosophy of John Dobson himself. Mostly because their plans were easy to follow, and inexpensive.
The plans I used can be found here:
The same plans can be downloaded in PDF format here: