Tools for bulding a homemade telescope

Most of the tools you'll need are in every home.

Most of the tools you'll need are in every home.

Basic tools you’ll find at home

All the tools required. This list of tools is based on the list of tools in the SF Sidewalk Astronomy plans list, but I have listed only the tools I used. I actually used everything on their list.

Hammer – Used in construction of mount and tube box.

Saws – Skill saw for cutting plywood, hack saw for cutting the Concrete form, eyepiece tube, etc., and a hand saw for smaller wood cuts.

Drill and assorted bits – I used 3/32, 1/4, 1/2 inch bits, and a 1-1/2 inch hole-cutting bit. Drilled holes are needed for the collimation bolts, for the tailgate supports, for the eyepiece hole in the side of the tube, etc., and for beginning screw holes in the mirror support blocks.

Tape Measure – Can’t work without it!

Compass – Essential for measuring the required length of the spider vanes, based on the radius of the tube. Borrowed from my daughter’s geometry set. You could buy one for under $2.

Screwdrivers – Assorted sizes for assorted tasks. I only used two, a Phillips and a square-head.

Nail Set – Used specifically to set small nails in the Teflon so that they don’t protrude above the surface.

Adjustable wrench or sturdy pliers – Used to tighten the main Lag bolt on the base.

Craft, carpet, or hobby knife – Variety of uses, particularly cutting the grooves in the spider dowel, paring the eyepiece hole in the tube, etc.

Carpenter’s Framing Square – I generally used this just for measuring and making sure some of the plywood cuts were at least reasonably square.

Paint Brushes – One 3 inch brush for the majority of painting, one small finish brush to add detail to the spider.