John D. Upton
About This Site
Welcome To The ATM's Workshop
Amateur Telescope Makers (ATMs or TNs [Telescope Nuts] for short) are a varied lot. Our workshops often reflect that diversity. In our quest for that perfect telescope, we resort to building some or all of the components ourselves. ATMing can span the gamut from building everything yourself to just making modifications or accessories for your favorite manufacturer's product. ATMing as a hobby allows you to bring your own unique ideas, skills, and talents from other hobbies to the forefront. In this way, you may enjoy the pleasure of working at a combination of several of your hobbies at the same time.
The ATM's telescope often says a lot about the builder's other hobbies. Many ATM's telescopes are works of art in terms of woodworking, metalworking, optical or mechanical design innovations, electronic accessories, or some other aspect. While many ATMs build their own telescopes to save money, others do it for the fun, satisfaction, educational value, and varied other reasons. In addition to building telescopes, ATMs often end up building many of the specialized tools their hobby projects require. This can often lead to new projects that build (and feed) upon themselves and can lead the ATM into worlds they never knew existed.
These pages are intended to give you some project ideas, tips, and pointers to help you in your quest for your perfect telescope. You are freely encouraged to add these tools and projects to your own workshop. I hope you enjoy the tour through my ATM Workshop.
You might find it useful to scan the "About" article which describes the organization and layout of this Web site. There are also tips there for sending me email and for viewing the more detailed images that are linked to each article.
|The ATM's Workshops|
Projects, techniques and tips you may use while making your own telescope optics. Areas covered are: making tile on plaster grinding and polishing tools, checking for pits and contact using the Dykem / Sharpie test, making a lap by the hot channel pitch cutter method, and setting up and using the Dall Null test.|
Woodworking projects and tips for making a more beautiful finished telescope. Includes an article on building a clean, durable top for your grinding barrel.|
Home machine shop projects and tips for making a more polished telescope. Includes notes on the construction of a digital readout caustic tester and a review of the Grizzly 17" radial drill press.|
Construction notes, reviews, usage notes, and modifications you can use to get the most
out of your equipment. Contains articles on making an eyepiece case, a review of the Meade 7" Maksutov, and making modification to Meade field tripod.|
Electronics projects, circuits, and tips for enhancing your telescope making efforts. Includes an article on making a UV exposure frame for making your own printed circuit boards.|
Software, program snippets, and techniques associated with astronomy, telescopes, and telescope making. Includes a detailed description of how to simulate the Ronchi test on a personal computer.|
Tips and techniques to make your observing more enjoyable and productive.|
Links to related WEB pages and resources of interest to the ATM.|
Book and magazines of interest to the ATM.|
The Workshop Index
An index to the projects described here in the ATM's Workshop.|
An index to the useful techniques described here in the ATM's Workshop.|
An index to the reviews of commercial products here in the ATM's Workshop.|
An index to printable (Adobe Acrobat format) articles found here in the ATM's Workshop.|