6" F5 Telescope- Baltic Birch in a light globe

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Project by JerryL posted 04-28-2007 05:56 AM 2762 views 4 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is my most recent telescope project. It started because I’ve always wanted and Edmund Astroscan. When I finally could afford one I decided to build one instead. I used a model car finish in place of natural because I needed to paint the acrylic globe with something, and how many times in life to you get to color something metal-flake blue?

The first picture is of the complete scope on it’s “bucket” mount. The next two show most of the internals that are used to support the mirror and the poles for the ring that will hold the secondary mirror, focuser (the place where you look) and the finder.

As a woodworking challenge imagine putting together a spherical puzzle that needs to contain an adjustable platform that is accurate to within a fraction of an inch. The key to that isn’t in the construction tolerances but in some spring loaded 1/4-20 screws that allow everything to be tilted to make it all line up.

I’d also like to add a plug for my favorite component site, McMaster-Carr. It’s like having the biggest hardware store in world right down the street.


-- Jerry L.

12 comments so far

View woodspar's profile


710 posts in 4634 days

#1 posted 04-28-2007 06:04 AM

Jerry, Again, thanks. This is great. I also have thought of purchasing an astro-scan. It is great to see that you have created your own. Nice work! My ATM project right now however is an eight inch Dobsonian. I have ground the mirror and now I am at the pitch/polish stage. Instead of the straight dob mount I have thought of making a split ring instead.

-- John

View Bob Babcock's profile

Bob Babcock

1809 posts in 4620 days

#2 posted 04-28-2007 08:32 AM

Very nice… all you need to build is the observatory….

-- Bob

View Dick, & Barb Cain's profile

Dick, & Barb Cain

8693 posts in 4834 days

#3 posted 04-28-2007 11:56 AM

Very nice, looking at the third image, it looked like the wood was on the exterior of the globe, until I enlarged it. Optical illusion ?

-- -** You are never to old to set another goal or to dream a new dream ****************** Dick, & Barb Cain, Hibbing, MN.

View MsDebbieP's profile


18619 posts in 4695 days

#4 posted 04-28-2007 12:11 PM

amazing. You must be pretty excited—I mean, metal-flake blue!!! ;)
quite the creation.

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (, Young Living Wellness )

View oscorner's profile


4563 posts in 4845 days

#5 posted 04-28-2007 01:39 PM

That is a very interesting project.

-- Jesus is Lord!

View JerryL's profile


45 posts in 4582 days

#6 posted 04-28-2007 04:01 PM

Thanks for the comments. It’s almost a shame that the inside is painted flat black. No one can see the components :-(. On the filp side it get’s used when it’s dark anyway.

Dick, you are right about the optical illusion. The camera had a tough time with the clear globe.

-- Jerry L.

View Napaman's profile


5530 posts in 4611 days

#7 posted 04-28-2007 05:55 PM

wow…talk about the precision need to make this…amazing! how well does it work? were you pleased with the results in terms of making your own vs. buying? i never took an astronomy class in college…but when I get away bckpackng in the summers i cant wait to see the stars without city lights…very cool project.

-- Matt--Proud LJ since 2007

View dbkmd's profile


35 posts in 4612 days

#8 posted 04-28-2007 06:52 PM

Very Cool!! Now that you’ve got me hooked, where can I get the plans? Does McMaster-Carr have them, or just the components? I’ll check them out. Thanks for sharing this.


-- David

View JerryL's profile


45 posts in 4582 days

#9 posted 04-29-2007 02:33 AM

Precision, yeah, that’s what it’s called… Actually a little relative dimensioning and a some felt applied before assembly makes sure it all fits nice and snug ;-). The cool thing is that there are only six screws in the whole thing. Four through the top ring into the spars and two in the bottom ring just to make sure it’s held to the spars. No glue.

As far as functionality, I still don’t have the mirrors. They have been on order since January :-(. I’ll make sure to follow up with a first light report after they arrive.

David, as far as plans, it’s an amalgamation of designs based on some reasearch done through the Yahoo group called “roundscopes”. A quick Yahoo group search will turn it up. I’d say do some reasearch first on basic telescope design before you start something like this. And get good at cutting circles! I can send you a few more pics and more ideas if you want. Send me PM if you are interested.

Finally, McMaster-Carr is an industrial parts supplier. You name a part, thing, or gadget and they have it. The trick is knowing which gadget to get :-).

-- Jerry L.

View David's profile


1969 posts in 4673 days

#10 posted 05-01-2007 07:02 PM

What an interesting project! Well done. Thanks for the McMaster-Carr link – always good having resources for components.


View mcoyfrog's profile


4757 posts in 4129 days

#11 posted 04-21-2009 05:45 PM

Wow intense

-- Wood and Glass they kick (well you know) Have a great day - Dug

View TelescopeMaker's profile


98 posts in 3554 days

#12 posted 11-18-2010 06:36 AM

How did you make the acrylic ball?

-- Telescope Maker, Woodworker, Brewer, Gizmologist, Gardner, Lawn Mower

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