How to Buy Parts for Making a Telescope

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If you've ever used a telescope, you know how thrilling it can be to observe the moon and the stars of the Milky Way galaxy. While reflective or refractive telescopes can easily be purchased from stores selling astronomical equipment, some devoted hobbyists choose to make their own telescope using mirrors, tubes and lenses. If you're looking for supplies to build your own telescope, read on for some suggestions on where to look.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Browse the selection of amateur telescope-making parts at Webster Telescopes. The online retailer has an extensive selection of telescope parts such as altitude bearings, truss clamps, telescope feet, focusers and mirror cells. Webster Telescopes is located near Detroit but it ships worldwide. To order or inquire about parts, e-mail or call Webster Telescopes using the contact information found on their website.

  2. 2

    Purchase telescope pieces online at Orion Telescopes and Binoculars. The retailer sells essential telescope components such as lenses, filters and optical tubes. They also carry accessories such as telescope covers and tripods. Once you have found the part you are looking for, click on "add to cart" and pay by credit card.

  3. 3

    If you're looking for telescope mirrors and polishing compounds, check the website of Willmann-Bell, an astronomy publishing company and bookstore. While the company specialises in publishing almanacs and books about telescopes, they also sell high-quality mirror kits, polishers and equipment to help you grind your mirrors. The company offers same-day online shipping.

Tips and warnings

  • If you don't already have information about making your own telescope, books such as "Amateur Telescope Making" by Albert Ingalls and "Build Your Own Telescope" by Richard Barry provide complete plans as well as tips for making basic telescopes. If you're experienced in telescope making, purchase the book "Advanced Telescope Making Techniques" by Allan Mackintosh. All three books are available on the Willmann-Bell website or at major booksellers.

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