Scopes and Testimonials:  
This "Scopes and Testimonials" page has gotten longer and longer over the years -- so please see the following pages for up-to-the minute progress and completed projects. And THANK YOU for your support all this time.

1) My blog: http://dobstuff.blogspot.com

2) Check out this Facebook page: http://facebook.com/dobstuff

Email me: densteele@dobstuff.com

or Call 650-315-6578

Completed is a 16" F4.5 for Mike K in Salinas, California. This truss telescope sports a 4-vane curved-vane spider with 3.5" secondary, GSO primary on 9-point mirror cell with custom cover and Feathertouch focuser.

Completed January 2021.

Completed is a 12" telescope from one of our kits by Ryan G and his dad. They did a beautiful job. And thanks to Ryan for his comments so that we can improve our kits a bit too.

Completed January 2021.

Completed is a 10" F4 with Nova Optical primary mirror and 1/15 wave Antares secondary for Siddhesh in Burlington, Vermont. Included with the telescope is a Moonlite 2-speed focuser, curved-vane spider, strings, and primary dew shield. Of note is the full upper tube assembly (UTA) for this "strut telescope".

Completed December 2020.

Completed today is a 10" F5.7 strut telescope for Jeff in Oroville, California. Note his JMI focuser and 4-vane straight-vane spider. A Sky Commander system is included with Jeff's encoders

Completed November 2020.

 Completed is a rocker box and altitude bearings for Brent's 14" Orion Skyquest telescope. Brent sent along this photo showing a comparison with the original rocker box that comes in at 92#.

This was a kit that Brent finished in just a couple of days!! Quite a few days work I'd say.....

Completed November 2020.

Virtually complete is a 12.5" F4.8 for Maria in Malden Massachusetts. Note the full upper tube assembly (UTA) on the strut telescope. A bit unusual but it works beautifully. The focuser is a 2-speed Moonlite with a Destiny 3-vane curved-vane spider.

Completed November 2020.

Here's a rocker box and altitude bearing combination for John in Liberty, North Carolina. His tube-rings are for his 10" tube-telescope.

Completed October 2020.

A 6" F5 for Joe in Palos Verdes, California. Features include a KineOptics helical focuser, all baltic birch, including the mirror cell with a custom mirror cover and dew shield.

Completed October 2020.

Here's a 6" F4 for Bob in Birmingham, Alabama. Note the full OTA (optical tube assembly) light/dew shield. Other features are a nice primary mirror from the 1950s by the "Keim Precision Mirror Corporation" in Glendale, CA. and uses its original mirror cell The spider is a 3-vane curved-vane spider.  The optical tube assembly (OTA) is a scant 21" long.

Completed September 2020.

Completed is 10" F6 with Nova primary and Antares secondary, curved-vane spider, Moonlite focuser, Easy Transport option, dew shield and Sky Commander system.  Note, too, the strings for this longer focus telescope.

This is my "current" personal telescope!!

Completed September 2020.

Completed is a 16" F3.9 for Al in Appleton, Wisconsin. This beauty includes a 16" primary and secondary from Orion U.K., an observatory-grade Destiny spider, Feathertouch focuser, strings, easy transport option and full Sky Commander system with DSC stalk. Note the wheel barrow handles and Orion 70mm finder scope with right-angle eyepiece and illuminated reticule. Under the stars, this telescope really "shines"!!

Completed August 2020.

Here's a 16" F4.5 for Ken in Hereford, Arizona. Ken brought over his 16" with single upper-ring and 6-tube truss for conversion to a full UTA and 8-tube truss configuration.  The conversion looks and works just perfectly. It's a great looking telescope!!

That's a Moonlite 2-speed focuser and "dual" finder mount just above the focuser. A Sky Commander is also installed.

Completed August 2020.

A 10" F4.7 for Matt in Rosewell, New Mexico. Features include his own primary mirror and cell, a Destiny 3-vane curved-vane spider and Moonlite 2-speed focuser.  As always, a custom mirror cover is included.

Completed July 2020.

Hi Dennis: I’ve been an ATM’er for almost fifty years. During the build I was very impressed how accurate and square the pieces were cut. Clamping the components yielded corners being square without having to clamp squares to the work while fastening together. I liked how you placed small marks where they were needed identifying centers and which part was for the left or right side. I’ve made many azimuth pivot bolts to accept encoders and I was really impressed with the azimuth pivot assembly you supplied – heavy duty with solid machined parts.

Friday evening I set up the scope for first light and spent several hours just star-hopping around. The motions were smooth with no stiction and a good balance between ease of movement and resistance to drooping when changing eyepieces. But most importantly, there was NO FOCUS SHAKE! That is one of my pet peeves about a scope/mount. Also, the scope held collimation well when changing altitude. Moving from horizontal to vertical resulted in NO change to collimation. No need for strings on this scope. It was a very enjoyable first experience and I am extremely happy with the kit you provided. Carl.

Well done Carl!!  Carl lives in Berkeley, Missouri.

Completed May 2020.
A 14" F3.5 for Hiten in San Diego, California. Note the blue Moonlite focuser, 3-vane curved-vane spider, Easy Transport option and encoders. This beauty sports a primary and secondary from Hubble Optics. A primary mirror dew shield is also installed.

Completed May 2020.

And a 12.5" F4.8 for Ken who lives in Candler, North Carolina. note his 8x50 finder, strings, JMI focuser, curved-vane spider and dew shield. The optic, by Swayze Optical, is a beauty.

Completed April 2020.

A 6" F9.5 for Rodger in Renton, Washington. A single-speed Moonlite focuser, curved-vane spider, full Sky Commander system and 22" dew shield were included for Rodger's beautiful custom made 6" primary mirror. The "Easy Transport" option is also part of this beautiful telescope.

Completed April, 2020.

A 16" F4.5 for Tom in Salt Lake City, Utah. Tom's telescope sports a Moonlite 2-speed 2" crayford focuser and 4-vane curved-vane spider inside a full UTA (upper tube assembly). The truss makes for a nice rigid telescope. Note the wheel barrow handles, primary dew shield and custom mirror cover.

Completed February 2020.

A 16" F4.5 string-strut for Chuck in Lakewood, Washington. This telescope suports a Moonlite 2-speed focuser, complete Sky Commander system, string, single fan, dew shield and Easy Transport Telescope option.

Completed February 2020.

Here's a nice 11" F4.6 with Lightholder primary optic for Steve in Berkeley, California. Features include a 2-speed Moonlite focuser, 3-vane, curved-vane spider with 1/20th wave Antares secondary, 6-point flotation mirror cell with custom mirror cover, dew shield and Sky Commander system. Note the "strings" as well as the Easy Transport Telescope intermediate ring and 1/2-length strutss.

Completed January 2020.

A 13.1" F4.5 telescope for Kristian in Lake Placid, Florida. Included is a Moonlite 2-speed focuser, Destiny curved-vane spider, dew and focuser shield and al all metal 6-point Dobstuff mirror cell.

Completed December 2019.

Hi Dennis,

The rocker box arrived safely on Friday and looks great! So much lighter, smoother and prettier than the original. I had the scope out last night for a couple of hours and it was a joy to use either the new rocker box. I especially like the much improved friction brake.

Pic attached. Your product certainly lives up to your stellar reputation!

Thank you and happy holidays!


(Phil's 12" Lightbridge on a Dobstuff custom rocker box for the Lightbridge series of telescopes).

Completed December 2019.

 A custom rocker box with Sky Commander system for Kevin in Peoria, Arizona.

Completed October 2019.

A 13.1" F45. for Dennis in Poway, California. This telescope includes a 2-speed GSO focuser, 3-vane curved-vane spider, Sky Commander, custom mirror cover and 6-point all aluminum mirror cell.

Completed October 2019.

Here's a 10" F.5 for Gabe in San Diego, California. Included is a very nice research-grade Meade primary mirror on an all aluminum 6-point mirror cell, GSO focuser, 3-vane curved-vane spider and dew shield. 10K encoders are installed on both the AZ and altitude axis. As always, a custom fitting mirror cover is included

Completed September 2019.

Here's a 10" F4.9 for Jennifer in Merrick, New York. Note the curved-vane spider, red-dot finder, 2-speed GSO focuser, dew shield and beautiful primary with new coating. The custom color makes the telescope really "pop"!!

Completed August 2019.

Here's a custom rocker box for Dave T. in Albuquerque, New Mexico -- for a 12" Orion Intelliscope. It's built with furniture grade Baltic birch. The encoders and associated electronics were "ported" over to the new rocker box.

Completed August 2019.

A 16" F4.5 with Meade Starfinder mirror, spider, secondary and mirror cell for Scott in Puerto Rico. Other features: Dew shield, full upper tube assembly, wheel barrow handles and full Sky Commander system. A Moonlite 2-speed 2" crayford focuser is also included. Not shown is a Telrad and optical finder.

Completed August 2019.

Here's a 10" F4.5 with Meade research-grade primary mirror, mirror cell and secondary. Curved-vane spider, 2-speed GSO focuser with 2" to 1.25" adapter, custom color and dew shield.

SOLD. Contact me at densteele@dobstuff.com for more details.

Completed July 2019.

Here's a custom rocker box for Tom in Indianapolis, Indiana. Note the unique tube-rings for his 10" telescope.  The custom color is ebony and 10K encoders are installed for  his choice of digital setting circles.

Completed June 2019.

Here's a note from Kevin in St. Louis, Missouri:

Hello Dennis,

I'm FINALLY getting a photo to you of my scope with the box you made for me! After months of logistics, work, and weather, I was finally able to take it out for Jupiter's opposition last night.

It works great. You've allowed me to use this telescope for the first time in almost 10 years!
Thank you!


Posted June 11, 2019.

Here's another 10" Newtonian. This telescopes sports a beautiful set of Orion astrograph optics supported by a 9-point mirror cell. A red-dot finder is installed as are 10K encoders for use with a Sky Commander or any other digital setting circle.

The rocker box weighs 21# while the OTA, with mirror cover installed, is 33#.

This telescope is for sale: SOLD.

We have other telescopes. Contact us.

Completed June 2019.

Here's a 10" F4.5 telescope for Jon in Bellevue, Washington. The primary mirror is a full thickness pyrex that renders beautiful images. Note the "red" Moonlite 2-speed focuser and dual finders -- a Rigel and right-angle optical finder. The "Easy Transport" option makes for easy storage, transport and setup. A curved-vane spider and dew shield finishes this beautiful instrument.

Completed May 2019.

A 13.1" F4.5 for Bert in Bellingham, Washington. Included are a 3-vane curved vane spider, Moonlite 2-speed focuser, black powder-coated struts, dual fans and full Sky Commander digital setting circle.  The custom color is red chestnut.

Completed May 2019.

A 12" F4.9 with Swayze Optics primary mirror is complete for Joe in Central Point, Oregon. The upper tube assembly, truss section and mirror box disassemble for easy transport, setup, use and storage. A Moonlite 2-speed 2" crayford focuser, 4-vane curved-vane spider, 6-point flotation mirror cell and single fan are included in this beautiful telescope. The custom color is "red chestnut".

Completed April 2019.

An 8" F5 with Zambuto optics for Jim in Boligee, Alabama. This beautiful mirror sits on a 6-point flotation mirror cell with custom mirror cover. Other features are a Destiny curved-vane 3-vane spider, Moonlite 2-speed focuser and strings. Note the "Easy Transport Telescope" feature with an intermediate ring and 1/2-length struts. The oversize rocker box base will work with Jim's equatorial platform and other telescope.

Completed March 2019.

Here' a rocker box made from one of our kits by Tyson in leduc, Alberta, Canada. I especially like his choice of custom color. The telescope is a Takahashi MT-160 -- an unusual telescope for a rocker box.

Completed March 2019.

A custom rocker box for Kevin's 10" Newtonian telescope. Note the rotatable tube rings Kevin made himself.  Kevin lives in St. Louis, Missouri.

Completed February 2019.

A 12.5" for Jim in Boligee, Alabama. This "string-strut" sports a beautiful primary, 3-vane curved-vane spider and Sky Commander system.

Completed February 2019.

A 16" F4 for Joe in Palos Verdes, California. Note the removable "truss section". Other components includes a beautiful premium 16" primary, a Feathertouch focuser with integrated Paracorr (SIPS) and digital setting circles.

Completed January 2019.

A 14" F4.5 completed for Tim in Prosser, Washington. Features includes a very nice 14" conical mirror on a custom made cell, Tim sent along his straight-vane spider and 2-speed focuser to include in this "remake" of his telescope. Note the "strings" and Easy Transport Telescope and Sky Commander.

Completed December, 2018.

Here's a beautiful 16" F4.5 telescope for Dave in Peotone, Illinois. The custom color is Sedona red. Note the Moonlite focuser, 4-vane curved-vane spider and wheel-barrow handles with 10" pneumatic tires.

Completed October 2018.

Here's a "pair of telescopes". A 10" F5 (L) for Rick in Newberry, Florida and a 12.5" F4.8 for John in Howell, Michigan.  Both of these telescopes have a Moonlite 2-speed focuser, secondary and primary dew solutions, 6-point flotation mirror cell and Easy Transport Telescope option. Note the Telrad on the 12.5".

Completed September, 2018.

Here's a 10" F4.6 for Bob in Shoreview, Minnesota. The telescope is an Easy Transport version with curved-vane spider, 2-speed Moonlite focuser and Sky Commander.

Completed August 2018.

An 8" F6 for Joshua in Arlington, Massachusetts. Features a single-speed Moonlite focuser, curved-vane spider and exceptional optics.

Completed August 2018.

A 12.5" for Joe in San Diego. This is a kit Joe assembled in just a few days. The telescopes features a 2-speed Moonlite focuser, curved-vane spider and premium optics by Woden.  Here's what he says:

"A thing of beauty" -- Just got everything final-adjusted and calling her done for now! Eventually I’ll powered-coat the struts a slate gray.

Time to scoop up some light!

Completed August 2018.

A 12" F5 for Len in Pineville, Lousiana. The string-strut telescope is completed with a "blue" Moonlite 2-speed focuser, Destiny 3-vane curved-vane spider, Kendrick secondary dew solution and primary dew shield.

Completed June 2018.

A 12.5" F4.5  string-strut for Jerry in Birmingham, Alabama. Note the Moonolite 2" 2-speed focuser, Destiny curved-vane spider, Telrad, Sky Commander and "Easy Transport Telescope" option (ETT).

Completed May 2018.

A 13.1" F4.5 with a Nova Optical Systems certified primary mirror made for John in Suwanee, Georgia. Here's what John has to say about this telescope:

Dennis:  The new scope curse is in full swing here in GA. I did get a chance to assemble the scope today, in my dining room. It looks great, fit and finish ate top notch, you do good work Dennis.  John S

Completed May 2018

Here's an 8" F7 for Phillip in Johnson City, New York. A 3-vane curved vane spider, simple 3-point non-flotation mirror cell, full Sky Commander system and "easy transport telescope" makes this telescope a pleasure to use. Note the focuser is both manual and motor drive.  I make the ground board a bit oversize for these mid-size telescopes so they're more stable.

Completed March 2018.

A 17.5" F4.5 truss telescope for Dave in Charlottesville, Virginia. The telescope features a 2-speed Moonlite focuser, Observatory grade curved-vane spider and 6-point flotation mirror cell. Note the 8x50 finder on the top ring.


Completed March 2018.

Completed is a 10" F6 with Discovery (Ostenhowski) optics for Bruce in Palm Desert. Note the "strings" and Easy Transport Telescope option. A full Sky Commander system is installed.

Completed March 2018.

A rocker box and altitude bearings for Bruce in Martinez, California. I especially like his 6" telescope and the graphics and color. A real beauty.

Completed February 2018.

FOR SALE: A `10" F4.7 with Zhumell (GSO??) primary mirror. This telescope features:
1) GSO mirror cell.
2) Red dot finder.
3) Easy Transport Telescope option.
4) 3-vane curved-vane spider.
5) One-speed crayford focuser with adapter.
6) Custom mirror cover.
7) The OTA weighs 29# without mirror cover.
8) The rocker box weighs 18#.
9) Focuser baffle

Price: SOLD.

Completed November 2017.

A 12" F5 Zambuto for Andy in Sonora, California. This telescopes includes a number of nice options, including a "violet" Moonlite focuser, Moonlite focuser slide, Telrad, Strings, 6-point flotation mirror cell and fan.

Completed October 2017.

A 16.25" F3.7 Nova Optics primary for Joe in Palos Verde, California. The focuser is a Feathertouch with SIPS, 18-point Dobstuff flotation mirror cell and standard straight-vane 4-vane spider.

Completed October 2017.
A 16" Lightbridge rocker box upgrade for Charles A. in Kearney, Nebraska. These rocker boxes are construction of furniture-grade Baltic birch and make a great alternative to the standard "particle board" rocker shipped with the Lightbridge telescope.

Completed October 2017.

A rocker box, altitude bearings and tube rings for David in Avon Park, Florida. His 8" tube telescope is up and running on the new mount.

Completed August 2017.

A 12.5" F3.92 for Tom in Davis, California. This beautiful short-focus telescope has a Destiny 3-vane curved-vane spider, a Moonlite 2" 2-speed focuser, 6-point flotation mirror cell, dew shield and Easy Transport Telescope option.

Completed July 2017.

A 16" F4.5  "string-strut" telescope made for Bob C. in Princeton, New Jersey. Note the Easy Transport Telescope option and strings. Bob has me integrate his own Protostar spider and JMI focuser. The mirror sits on a Dobstuff 6-point flotation cell designed and optimized with Plop.

Completed June 2017.

A 17.5" F4.5  made for Keith M. in Galion, Ohio. The full "upper tube assembly" (UTA) houses an Observatory Grade Destiny 4-vane spider and Moonlite 2-speed 2" focuser. The primary mirror sits on a 6-point flotation cell designed and optimized with Plop.

Completed June 2017

A 12.5" F4.5 made for Harry A.  in Ashburn, Virginia. This single-ring "string-strut" sports a cured-vane spider and Moonlite 2-speed 2" focuser.

Completed May 2017,

A 17.5" F4.5  made for Chris in Ontario, California. This is a "remake" from his original Skywatcher traditional, and heavier, telescope. The UTA is original, but reworked so as to match the rest of the telescope.  A Sky Commander, Moonlite focuser, dew shield and 6-point all aluminum flotation mirror cell is included.

Completed March 2017

A 13.1" F4.5 made for myself!! My personal telescope uses a Coulter 13.1" F4.5 mirror refigured by Swayze Optical. A Destiny 3-vane curved-vane spider, Moonlite 2-speed focuser and Sky Commander.

Completed December 2016.

A 13.1" F4.5 for Erik in Garrettsville, Ohio. The primary is a Coulter mirror with a new 98% enhanced coating. The focuser is a 2-speed 2" Moonlite, Destiny spider and red-dot finder. As always the telescope includes a custom mirror cover. The primary is mounted on an all aluminum 6-point flotation mirror optimized with Plop.

Completed November 2016.

A 10.1" F 4.5 for Zach in Lawndale, California. The focuser is a Moonlite 2-speed, Destiny spider and the mirror sits on a dobstuff 6-point flotation mirror cell optimized with Plop. Note the red-finder. A Sky Commander will be installed.

Completed October 2016.

A 12" F 4 for Chris in Orange, California.  This unique telescope features two 4" dovetail plates. This allows the eyepiece to be "flipped" for astrophotography as well as mounting cameras, finders or accessories on the "top plate".  Other features are the stock Astro Tech spider, secondary mirror, primary mirror/cell and 3" focuser.

Completed October 2016.

An 8" F 5 for John in Dyer, Indiana. This beautiful telescope features a Lockwood primary and secondary with a 6-point flotation mirror cell, Destiny spider, Moonlite focuser, Easy Transport Telescope option and Kendrick secondary dew heater. A primary dew shield is included. Sky Commander encoders are installed. The custom color is Early American by Minwax.

Completed August 2016.
A 16" F4.5 built "with" my good friend Carl from Sunnyvale, California. Carl came to my shop to "remake" his 2007 16" Dobstuff strut telescope into a truss. The mirror is a beautiful Pegasus optic. We used his original Moonlite focuser and Protostar spider. Once the wood "kit" was completed, and working together, it only took us 2 1/2 days to assemble the telescope. Note that the wood is still "unfinished". Carl will stain and/or varnish the wood once he returns home with his new telescope.

See more photos on my telescope blog at http://dobstuff.blogspot.com.

Completed April 2016.

A 14" F4.5 built for Joe M. This truss telescope sports a beautiful Parks Optical primary sitting on a 9-point all aluminum mirror cell, Destiny 4-vane curved-vane spider and red Moonlite focuser. A Sky Commander with DSC stalk is included. The custom color is Early American.

Completed April 2016.

A 16" F4.5 built for Michael in Salt Lake City, Utah. Included is a Moonlite 2-speed focuser, Destiny observatory-grade spider, Antares 18th wave secondary, Sky Commander system, Dew Shield and Swayze Optical primary mirror. Both the primary and secondary have enhanced coatings.

Completed December 2015.

A 12" F4.9 built for  Harsh in San Jose, California. Included is a GSO 2-speed 2" crayford focusers, a traditional 4-vane spider and strings. The mirror is supported by a 9-point flotation mirror cell.

Completed October 2015.

A 13.1" F4.5 built for Jay in Claremore, Oklahoma. The telescope features  Moonlite focuser, Telrad base, encoders and "strings".

Completed October 2015.

A 10" F4.9 built for Jesse in Claremore, Oklahoma. The telescope features a Destiny curved-vane spider, Moonlite focuser, Telrad, Easy Transport Telescope (ETT), Dew Shield and a Sky Commander.

Eric's 6" F8 is in the background.

Completed August 2015.

A 6" F8 built for Eric in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Note the ETT (Easy Transport Telescope option), dew shield, eyepiece tray, Moonlite focuser and Minwax "Jacobian" custom color. The primary is a Parks optical mirror -- with excellent star tests and images.

Completed August 2015.

 A 10" F4.7 for Wyatt in Dallas, Texas. The telescope sports a Moonlite 2-speed focuser, standard spider and secondary, dew shield and "strings".

Completed August 2015.

Completed is an 8" F4 on a Meade SCT fork mount. A Meade wedge and pier is also part of the mounting. I built this as an experiment for myself -- just to see how a small scope would work on these mounts. The result is excellent.

This telescope is "SOLD". Contact me for information. See my blog for other photos at http://dobstuff.blogspot.com.

Completed July 2015.

Completed is a 10" F4.7 for Dayton in Glenpool, Oklahoma. The beautiful Early American Mahogany custom color is contrasted against the black struts. The telescope includes a Destiny curved-vane spider, Moonlite 2-speed 2" crayford focuser, premium optics tested by Swayze Optical. A Telrad and primary dew shield are also included. The telescope is "encoder ready".

Completed June 2015.

Completed is a 12.5" F4.9 for Dave in Streamwood, Illinois. Features of the telescope include the ETT (Easy Transport Telescope) 1/2-length struts, Moonlite focuser, Destiny spider, dew heater on the secondary, primary dew shield, encoders and DSC "stage". Dual fans help cool the primary during setup.

Completed May 2015.

Completed is a 17.5" F4.5 truss telescope for Tom H in Angelus Oaks, California. Tom's telescope includes a Destiny "observatory grade" spider, full Upper Tube Assembly, a Feathertouch focuser with integrated Paracorr, a DSC stalk/platform and 6-point flotation all aluminum mirror cell. The optics are Swayze -- and makes for a beautiful telescope!!

For more photos and other telescopes and discussion, see my telescope blog at http://dobstuff.blogspot.com --

Completed April 2015.

Completed is a 12" F5 strut telescope for George in Melissa, Texas. Note the Easy Transport Telescope option (ETT) and Telrad base. All of my telescopes include a focuser baffle and mirror cover.

Completed March 2015.

Completed is a 12" F5 strut telescope for Keith in Las Vegas, Nevada. One thing to note are the "strings" on the lower struts for rigidity. Keith provided his own mirror, spider, secondary and focuser.

Completed March 2015.

Completed is a 10" F4.5 for Aviad in New York City, NY. This is a "remake" with Aviad's beautiful "Lightholder" primary mirror.  He asked for a violet Moonlite focuser. Included is a Destiny curved-vane spider, Antares 1/30th wave secondary and Sky Commander system. The finder is a "Rigel" -- nice..

Completed February 2015.

Completed is a 12" F4.9 for Carl T. in Ledyard, Connecticut. The spider  is Destiny and the focuser is a Moonlite 2-speed 2" crayford. If you look just above the focuser, you can see the "tandem finder mount". It supports a right-angle finder as well as a green laser pointer.

Evident, too, are the "strings" on both sides of the OTA. Finally a dew shield is installed.

Completed December, 2014.

Completed is a 17.5" F5 for Chris in Ridgefield, Connecticut. The full Upper Tube assembly houses the spider, focuser and secondary from Chris' original Discovery telescope. Notice the nice right-angle finder. The 48# mirror sits on an 18-point flotation cell.

Completed November 2014.

Completed is a 12.5" truss telescope for Geroge M. in Kalispell, Montana. The spider is a Destiny, the focuser is a JMI EV-1 crayford and the telescope includes a Sky Commander Digital Setting Circle.

The primary, refigured by Steve Swayze, renders picture-perfect images.

Completed November 2014.

Completed is a 16" F4.5 for Walt in Federal Way, Washington. The features of the telescope are a powered ground board, full aperture dew heaters for the primary and secondary mirrors, a 2-speed Moonlite focuser, Destiny Observatory Grade spider and Sky Commander system.

See more photos on my telescope blog.

Completed October 2014.

Completed is a 14" F4.5 for Tom S. in Saint Charles, Missouri. Note the Moonlite focuser, Destiny observatory grade spider, ETT (Easy Transport Telescope) option and dew shield. The custom color gives the telescope a "warm look". The primary mirror sits on an all aluminum 6-point flotation mirror cell.

Tom says this about his telescope:

Hi Dennis,

Well I finally had a chance to take the scope out for a spin a few evening ago. I had practiced setup a few times at home and was able to get the scope from the back of my Jeep to ready to observe in under 10 minutes. I am VERY impressed with the motions and with how well the scope performed in general. I collimated at setup, and checked that throughout the evening, and the scope stayed perfectly collimated all evening. I'm not any kind of expert with the optics, but everything we viewed was amazing with crisp pinpoint stars.

Thank you for building me a great scope that I hope to use for years to come.


For more photos, check out my blog at http://dobstuff.blogspot.com

Completed  September 2014.

Completed today is a 10" F4.7 for Diana in Wilmington, Delaware. The telescope includes a Destiny curved-vane 3-vane spider, the "Easy Transport Telescope" (ETT) option and full Sky Commander digital setting circle system.

For other photos of my telescopes, check out my blog.

Completed July 2014.

Completed today is a 17.5" F4.5 truss telescope for Jay in Herriman Utah. The telescope features a dual fan assembly cooling an all aluminum 6-point flotation mirror cell. A Moonlite focuser and Destiny Observatory Grade spider is also included. Note the two finder above and below the focuser.

See my telescope blog for more pictures and projects.

Completed July 2014.

Completed is a 16" F4.5 truss telescope for Stephen J. in Houston, Texas. The components include a Destiny observatory-grade spider, Moonlite 2" 2-speed focuser, all aluminum 6-point flotation mirror cell and dual cooling fans.

More photos can be seen on my blog at http://dobstuff.blogspot.com

Completed June 2014.

Completed is a 12.5" F5 for Pat in Bronson, Florida. This is an 8-tube truss telescope with a beautiful Zambuto primary mirror on an all aluminum 6-point flotation mirror cell and full Upper Tube Assembly. The DSC stalk will accommodate Pat's digital setting circle. The focuser is a Starlight Instrument's Feathertouch.  Pat says this about his telescope


Finally got some clear skies last night. Had the scope together a few times now. Getting the hang of it. Still a but of a fumble getting the UC on the struts but it gets better each time. The scope is every bit as stable as I had hoped, tack sharp views at any angle. The movement is different for every scope so I am getting used to this one. Moves well and the final push to align target is smooth. The balance is spot on with no issues from a 9mm Nagler to a 22mm Nagler.

I knew this Zambuto mirror was just waiting to be given a proper stable mount, and you have delivered. The views of M13 were outstanding, lace edges and bright stars twinkling in the middle. M81 and M82 were well defined. Good detail on Mars. Saturn was spectacular, c ring was clearly resolved, nice blush of color on the planet. All this is with almost half moon. Speaking of which, the detail in the craters was amazing.

I am very pleased with the scope, and expect to enjoy it for years.


Completed May 2014.

Bryan, in Phoenix, Arizona, completed one of our kits in record time. This is a 14" with our "string" option.

Nice job.

Bryan make a brief comment, but stated them well:

Hi Dennis,

Build went well. Your online assembly instructions were clear. Scope works great.



Completed April 2014.

Completed is a 10" Ultra telescope kit for Dave in San Clemente, California. The kit was partially assembled for Dave's optics.

Completed April 2014.

Completed today is an 8" F4.9 remake for Robert B. in Los Angeles. The telescope uses the primary mirror/cell, secondary, spider and focuser of Robert's all-metal telescope. Robert asked for higher rocker box sides to increase the height of the eyepiece. It is 43" high at the zenith. Note, too, the Telrad and 9x50 right-angle finder mounted on clamps. The alt-bearings are 15" in diameter.

See more photographs on my blog at http://dobstuff.blogspot.com.

Completed March 2014.

Completed is a 16" Lightbridge rocker-box upgrade for John C., in Andover, Kansas. The rocker box is made from furniture grade Baltic birch. Here's John's comments (see more photos on my telescope blog):

"Dennis, I had a break in both winds and the spring grass burns in the Flint Hills of Kansas last Saturday morning and got some really good viewing in between the hours of 2 and 5 AM. The evening before I shot several pics. Here are two of them.

The new box works very well and is so much easier to move around since it only weights 25 pounds and has smaller dimensions as well. It is nice to be able to reach the eyepiece when the scope is at zenith since the Dobstuff box is nearly three inches lower. The motions are smooth and quiet. The box is a joy to use!

At first I thought the holes in the sides were a bit odd, but now I really like them. Not only do they make good handles but they let me easily reach inside the box to store lens covers, glasses and other small items when I am viewing without a table. I will need to find a way to add some extra friction for the heaviest of my eyepieces. I have an idea or two for that, but I think I can use something like the device on the original which is nice since it is adjustable. A small felt furniture glide and some creativity with something from a good hardware store should do the trick.

Thanks for your excellent and quick work.


Completed March 2014.

A 16" F4.5 for Paul B. in Naperville, Illinois. The telescope uses a Meade Starfinder primary and secondary mirror. The secondary is held in place with a  Destiny 3-vane curved-vane "observatory grade" spider. The focuser is a Moonlite 2" 2-speed. A full Sky Commander digital setting circle system is installed (in this photo the dew shield is not installed).

The full upper tube assembly holds a Telrad and optical right-angle finder. One interesting option is a sub-aperture solar filter and planetary mask. When used for planetary observing, the mask converts the scope to a 6" unobstructed F12 optical system. Nice.

Check out a variety of other photos on my telescope blog.

Completed March 2014.

A 17.5" F4.5 for Larry Y. in Burlingame, California. The scope includes a Destiny "observatory grade" 3-vane curved-vane spider, Moonlite 2" 2-speed focuser, encoders, dew shield and 6-point flotation all aluminum mirror cell. Note the Telrad above the eyepiece.

Check out more pictures on my telescope blog.

Completed February 2014.

A 10" "Ultra" (a new product for DobSTUFF). This "minimalist" telescope weights a scant 39# and stands just 42" tall. One feature of the telescope is that it breaks down and fits into a "suitecase" that is sized for airline "carry on" luggage.

Check out more pictures on my telescope blog.

Completed February 2014.

A 12" F5 for Bruce in Glen Rose, Texas. The primary mirror and secondary are JMI. Moonlite focuser, Destiny curved-vane spider, Sky Commander and dew shield. The struts were powder-coated black.  There is a Telrad mount on the top strut.

If you look closely, you can see the "string" running from the top ring to the mirror box.

Here's a note from Bruce:


Finally got to take the scope out tonight, first clear night in over a week, first with decent seeing and transparency in forever. You are absolutely correct, love the scope. Seems to hold collimation well, which is a blessing, as I still don't quite have the process perfected. Gorgeous views of M42, Double Cluster, numerous double stars, Jupiter with 4 moons, all in spite of a full moon. I liked the 17T4 a lot, as you had suggested, but my favorite so far is the 26T5, along with the 9mm T6. Moonlight focuser is very smooth; motions are also very smooth, easy to nudge, nudge, nudge along when viewing Jupiter. Now, if I can just get the Moon and clouds to go away at the same time .


Completed January 2014.

Completed is a 17.5" F4.5 for Clay C. in Horseshoe Bend, Idaho. The primary mirror was refigured by Steve Swayze and shows beautiful pin-point star images. Included is an Observatory Grade 3-vane curved-vane spider by Destiny. The focuser is a Moonlite. A Sky Commander system and DSC stalk are included as well as an optional Dew Shield for the primary.

Pictures can be viewed on my blog at http://dobstuff.blogspot.com.

Completed January 2014.

Hi Dennis!

I hope things have been well for you over the pas couple of months.  I'm very happy to say I've finally finished the telescope and took it out last night for the first time.  I think I may hold the record for the longest time taken to build one of your kits!  

It's a marvelous scope and I could not be happier.  Considering I raced to finish it only hours before I left to go observing, it performed very well.  I'm going to tweak it a bit over the next couple of week and I'm sure it will get even better.  Your instructions were clear, the kit went together easily, and it was simple to breakdown, transport and setup.

As promised attached are a few pictures of the finished kit.  I'll work on some better ones next time I take the scope out.  I went with a dark grey-black stain and I'm not sure the pictures do it justice.  I think it's beautiful, despite my limited finishing skills.  These pictures are from the Astronomical Society of Victory December star party, and there were a number of people interested in the scope.  A few people recognized it as one of your kits, and it received quite a number of compliments for it's unusual design and clean aesthetic!
Thank you again for the kit and for all of your help.

Photo received December 2013.

Completed is a 16" F4.5 for Robert B. in Los Angeles, California.  The telescope is a truss make-over from a Meade Lightbridge and sports a full upper tube assembly. The focuser is a Moonlight 2-speed 2" crayford as is the filter slide. Robert provided me with a 1/30th wave Antares secondary mirror for the Destiny "observatory grade" curved-vane spider. Note the large 80mm Antares finder and Telrad in place on the UTA.

Completed December 2013.

Completed is a 16" F4.5 for Al in Redding California. The telescope is a truss with full Upper Tube Assembly, Moonlite focuser and Moonlite filter slide and Destiny Observatory Heavy Duty Spider. A dew shield for the primary and Sky Commander digital setting circle is included.  Under the stars, this telescope performs beautifully. It sports a JMI 1/16th wave primary mirror.

More photos on my telescope blog at http://dobstuff.blogspot.com.

Completed November 2013.

Completed is a 12" F5 for Matt L. in Florence, Massachusetts. If you look closely, you can see the "string telescope" option installed on the lower 2 struts. Included with the telescope, also, is a Moonlite 2" 2-speed focuser with filter-slide, a Destiny 3-vane curved-vane spider and dew shield. The two clamps on the upper strut are for Matt's Telrad.

See more pictures on my telescope blog.

Completed October, 2013.

Completed is a "stunning" 15" F4 for Clay T. in Hendersonville, N.C. The custom color is Miniwax Sedona Red with 5 coats of lacquer. The telescope includes a Sky Commander system, Destiny curved-vane spider, DSC stage, Telrad, Easy Transport Telescope option (ETT) and dew shield.  The struts, as you can see, have been powder coated.

An interesting feature of the telescope is an "integrated" Starlight Instruments Feathertouch focuser and TeleVue Paracorr. These two sit as a single unit focuser.

Completed October 2013.

Completed today is a very nice 13.1" F4.41 telescope for Carey S. in Riverside, California. The telescope sports a refigured and recoated primary mirror sitting on a mirror cell of Carey's design. A Sky Commander sits on a "stage" on the bottom half of the intermediate "Easy Transport Ring".

Carey asked for two different size strut sizes. You can see the bottom half of the strut is 1.75" while the top half is 1.5". This was to accommodate some neat clamps Carey will use to mount his finders.

The telescope is balanced a "bit to the front" to offset the heavy 1# TeleVue 31mm Nagler eyepiece along with the use of a Paracorr or barlow.

More photos at http://dobstuff.blogspot.com

Completed September 2013.
Hi, Dennis -- I wanted to send you a couple of photos of my recently refurbished 8-in. f/5.4 that you built so beautifully! These are from the very first public scope viewing I've done with the scope, just last night. The scope was a big hit with the public, including the young astronomer getting a look at the gibbous Moon.  Thanks again for building such a neat instrument for me!


Greg S.
Pinellas Park, FL

A 13.1" F4.5 telescope for John T. in Jackson Michigan.  Includes a  Coulter mirror and secondary. The optics sport a 96% enhanced coating, 3-vane curved-vane spider, Moonlite 2-speed 2" focuser and Sky Commander. Note the Easy Transport Telescope option (ETT). The "dual clamps are for a Telrad.  A focuser baffle fits directly across the top ring from the eyepiece.

Notice the rocker box "corner eyepiece holders". One for 2" and one for 1.25" eyepieces.

For additional photos see my blog at http://dobstuff.blogspot.com

Completed September 2013.

A 12" F4.9 telescope for Joe G. in Palos Verdes California. The telescope is equiped with a beautiful Feathertouch focuser, 4-vane curved-vane spider by Destiny and completely installed and tested Sky Commander digital setting circle.

Joe asked for a specific design to the telescope, including a standard upper tube assembly and deeper/longer mirror box.

The telescope is a "remake" from an Orion XT12 Intelliscope and is significally lighter, easier to move, use, transport and store.

Check out more pictures and descriptions on my blog.

Completed July 2013.

A rocker box upgrade for a 16" Lightbridge telescope was completed for Mike D. in Forest Hills, NY.

Completed June 2013.

Completed is a 17.5" F4.5 truss telescope for Brian N. in Dartmouth Nova Scotia.  The telescope sports a Destiny "observatory grade" curved-vane spider and Moonlite 2-speed 2" focuser.

The primary, which started out as a Coulter mirror was refigured by Optical Wave Labs into a premium optic with a 0.955 strehl.  Under the stars, the telescope performed perfectly.

Additional photos, including the Upper Tube Assembly with Sky Commander, can be viewed on my blog at http://dobstuff.blogspot.com.

Completed June 2013.

Just completed is a 10" F4.7 telescope for Traci G. in San Jose California. The telescope features a Meade Starfinder mirror on a Baltic birch mirror cell. The spider is a Destiny "Pro" series curved-vane spider with a 2.3" secondary.

Completed June 2013.

A 16" F4.5 for Hitesh from Santa Clara Ca. His telescope includes a 1/16th wave primary mounted on an 18-point flotation mirror cell optimized with Plop. Additional features includes an observatory grade curved-vane spider from Destiny, a Moonlite 2-speed 2" focuser with filter slide and Sky Commander DSC with stalk. Note the eyepiece tray on the front of the rocker box.

Hitesh and his family made the journey to Palm Desert to pick up their telescope. It so happened that the local astronomy club was sponsoring a star party in the mountains nearby. We enjoyed an evening of observing and conversation. The telescope performed beautifully.

For more pictures, take a look at my blog at http://dobstuff.blogspot.com.

Completed June 2013.

Just completed is a 13.1" F4.5 for William F. in Novi Michigan. The telescope has a Coulter primary and secondary mirror. The optics have new coatings and perform nicely under the stars. Note the Sky Commander and dew shield. The focuser is a nice 1-speed 2" crayford. A red dot finder is mounted on the top strut for aligning the Sky Commander.

See more images at on my blog.

Completed May 6, 2013.

A 13.1" F4.5 (w/Coulter primary) for Russ in Sacramento California. The telescope sports a full Sky Commander system, 9-point flotation mirror cell, Destiny 3-vane curved-vane spider and 2" 2-speed crayford focuser. A dew shield and Easy Transport Telescope (ETT) options are also included.

Completed April 2013.

A 12.5" F4.78 for Kevin in Bellerica, MA. A unique feature of this telescope is a filter slide beneath the focuser. The slide accommodates 3 filters for deep sky and/or planetary viewing. Note the ETT (Easy Transport Telescope) option, Destiny spider and Moonlite focuser. Kevin asked that I leave the wood of the telescope "unfinished" so he can apply a custom color on his own.

Not installed, but included is a Telrad and 8x50 finder mount as well as a dew shield for the primary mirror.

You can see additional pictures on my astronomical telescope blog.

Completed March 2013.

A 12.5" F5.74 for Richard J. in Palm Coast Florida. This telescope sports an exquisite Zambuto primary mirror on a 9-point flotation mirror cell.  The spider and secondary are Protostar and focuser is a Feathertouch.

The longer focal length is perfect for the "strings" you can just see in the picture. A set a high-strength aircraft cables run diagonally from the top of the strut to the mirror box -- making a "virtual truss" system. Another touch Richard asked for are two triangular rocker box braces in the top-front of the rocker box with 2" holes that act as eyepiece holders. A nice touch.

Completed March 2013.

A 16" F4.5 for Joe in Palos Verdes California. This a remake from a Meade Lightbridge. The scope uses the original spider, secondary, mirror cell and mirror. The focuser is a Moonlite 2-speed 2" crayford. Installed just above the eyepiece is a Telrad. Encoders are also installed for Joe's Argo Navis digital setting circle.

Other pictures at dobstuff.blogspot.com.

Completed February 2013.

A 10" F4.7 for Dan in California, Maryland (yes, that's the city!). The scope includes a Destiny 1/10th wave primary mirror and Destiny curved-vane spider.  Also includes an ETT option, dew shield, Sky Commander system with DSC stalk and custom color.

Completed and shipped January 2013.

A 17.5" F4.5 remake from a Coulter for Dave I in the San Francisco Bay Area. The truss design is perfect for a telescope this size. Note the digital setting circle stalk and dew shield in place.  The telescope also includes a Moonlite 2" crayford focuser and Destiny curved-vane spider. The motions on the scope are buttery smooth.

Completed January 2013.

A 14" with ETT option built from one of our kits by Mark C at the University of Texas.

Completed December 2012.

A 16" F4.5 for Andrew in Escondido California. This is a remake from a Meade Lightbridge. The telescopes utilizes the original mirror and cell, spider and secondary and focuser. The single top-ring and truss design is very stable with absolutely no flex in collimation. There are two finders on a "tandem" mount just above the eyepiece.  Andrew lives about 2 hours away and elected to drive over and pick up his telescope. We enjoyed a nice visit and chat about -- you guess it -- telescopes.

Andrew sent these comments to me:

"Hi Dennis,

I finally had a chance to put the scope together today and collimate it. It went together so easily and the components are much lighter than the old Lightbridge unit. The main mirror cell is much easier to collimate and when moved around the sky, collimation holds well. All in all, a beautiful and functional instrument.

Thanks for the fine workmanship,


Completed December 2012.

A 13" F4.5 for Jim V in Xenia Ohio. A beautiful result by Jim's efforts from a "kit" built for Jim in September, 2012.  Here you can see the Sky Commander on a "stage", on the lower strut just below the top ring. A Telrad is also mounted (seen just above the focuser).  A great job by Jim.

Telescope completed November 2012.

A 10" F4.7 completed, tested and for sale. The telescope includes a 1/10th wave Destiny mirror, Antares 2" 2-speed focuser and curved-vane spider. A mirror cover is included.

Tested under the stars, the images are beautiful and the altitude/azimuth motions are buttery smooth. This telescope sports are warm custom color for a furniture-like finish.

$1095 plus shipping. SOLD

Completed  October 2012.

A 16" kit for Richard S. in Los Angeles. Note the 18-point flotation mirror cell installed on the mirror board. I've also mounted a Moonlite 2-speed 2" focuser for Richard on the focuser bracket.

Completed October 2012.

A 14" F4.62 "make over" from an Orion XX14i for Jay in Herriman Utah. The telescope utilizes the spider, secondary and mirror cell from the original Orion telescope. The focuser is a Moonlite 2-speed 2" crayford. Included is a Telrad mount and finder mount on separate clamps. You can see these on the upper strut. Jay also asked for the string option -- which, by the way, eliminates ALL flex from the struts. The laser collimator red-dot stays absolutely centered.

An important component, the mirror, is a Zambuto. The images are outstanding!!

Completed October 2012.

A 10" F4.7 for Jack in South America. The telescope features a Destiny curved-vane spider, Rigel red-dot finder and Sky Commander system. The ETT (Easy Transport Telescope option) will make the telescope easy to transport, setup and store.

Jack will be here, in Palm Desert, in late November to pick up his telescope. That'll be a fun visit -- so far, to date, my most distant guest!!

You can check out some other photos at http://dobstuff.blogspot.com.

Completed September 2012.

A 12.5" F6 "remake" for Daniel H in Sacramento. This truss configuration is great for longer focal lengths. The spider and secondary are Astrosystems. The focuser is a Feathertouch by Starlight  Instruments. A unique feature is a "powered ground-board". It is built so that 12Vdc power is always available inside the rockerbox, even as the telescope rotates on its azimuth axis (the battery is 12' away). Neat.

The telescope is "encoder ready" Here's what Daniel wrote me about his telescope:

"Dennis . . . Boy I have to say that the scope is a bit taller than I expected . . .    significantly taller than myself (I'm 6'4").  Definitely seeing something in person puts those dimension calculations in perspective. As big as it is. . . . it's remarkably light.  It is beautifully constructed . . . Thanks Dennis for a wonderful scope . . . can't wait to test it under the stars. Daniel"

Completed September 2012.

A 10" F4.7 with 2" Crayford focuser, Destiny spider and Destiny primary mirror. This telescope is complete and ready to ship and is for sale -- $1095 --SOLD.

Completed July 2012.66

A 12.5" F5 for Tim in Lebanon, PA.  This is a "remake" that started out as a Discovery PDHQ solid tube telescope. Installed is a Destiny 3-vane curved-vane spider, encoder kit (ready for a Sky Commander or other DSC), a DSC stalk, dual clamps for a Telrad base and single cooling fan.

Also included is a black Moonlite 2" 2-speed focuser and the Easy Transport Telescope option. All the aluminum parts (struts and focuser bracket) have been powder-coated black. The custom color is "Minwax Sedona Red".

Tim's comments:
Dennis, The scope is a thing of beauty - the color really pops, and everyone who has seen has remarked at how good it looks. Tim.

Completed July 2012.

A 12" F5 telescope for Richard in Mechanicsburg, PA. Includes a Destiny primary mirror and 3-vane curved-vane spider, 2" crayford focuser with 1.25" adapter, a mount for a Telrad and the Easy Transport Telescope (ETT) option.

Completed June 2012.

 A 16" F4.5 telescope remake from a Meade Lightbridge made for Anthony in Pittsburgh, PA. This is a "truss" hybrid, incorporating some of the strut features for a unique look. The focuser is a green Moonlite, Destiny curved-vane spider with Antares 1/15th wave secondary. Here's Anthony's coments:

"Dennis -- This scope is absolutely everything I wanted and more, words cannot describe how amazed I am at the quality of this scope you built!!!! The structure just feels so much more sturdy and solid than any scope I have ever had!! I still can't get over how light the upper OTA is!! And don't even get me started on how much I love the way this scope moves!!! Never in my life have I had a scope move so buttery smooth in azimuth!! The bearing was a great idea that is one of my favorite parts of the scope now! Everything went together fine , the mirror wasn't any trouble at all and everything went smooth! I have it in my living room and I cant stop looking at it and playing with it. Anthony"

We are now offering truss telescope for sale. Check them out here.

Completed June 2012.

A 13.1" F4.5 telescope made for John in Dyer, Indiana. It has a 13.1" Coulter F4.5 mirror sitting on a 6-point aluminum/Baltic birch flotation cell, a Moonlite 2" 2-speed focuser, Destiny curved-vane spider and Sky Commander. Notice the Telrad just above the focuser. John says:

"Dennis,  I just wanted to say that I have been enjoying glorious nights viewing
the heavens with my new telescope. I appreciate all the help and advice given while building the scope and particularly all the patience you exhibited answering my endless series of concerns. You have promptly answered my questions before, during, and more importantly, after the sale. The scope arrived in a very well packed
and sturdy shipping box with fit and finish in impeccable condition. Care is evident in the details, and the esthetic qualities and craftsmanship clearly indicates both your skill in building and understanding of how Dobsonian telescopes function. You are the maestro! Thank you. Clear skies, John G"

Also included is a dew shield and the Easy Transport Telescope option.

Completed May 2012.

A 16 F4.5 telescope made from a DobSTUFF kit by Roberto in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Roberto used the primary mirror and cell, spider/secondary and focuser from his Meade Starfinder telescope. Notice the Telrad and 8x50 finder. He'll be installing a StellarCAT over the next couple of weeks. I like the black finish. Here's what Roberto had to say about his telescope:

" Dennis, I'm extremely glad of my new scope. I hope you like it too. It only remains to complete everything the altitude installation of the Servocat device. I have l ready installed it in azimuth.

I have joined a wooden disk of yours to the upper assembly to create a place to affix the shroud, and a handle. I have also installed there my original Meade' s Crawford-type focuser, my Telrad, my Meade 8x50 focuser, and a base to hang a my Nikon D90 reflex camera.

The mirror cover is painted to see it clearly in the dark.   Only half the Servocat installation remains undone. I watched the moon the other night to see if proper focus was effectively achieved. The vision was spell bounding, I swear.

Thank you for your wonderful work, Dennis. When I remember that everything begun with a question about telescope-making and a request of help,   never thinking of purchasing something from abroad, I cannot believe what we have gone through.   And I always keep in mind all your endless help and encouragement  all this time. For all that I will always be grateful to you."

Completed  April 2012.

A 10" F4.7 telescope with the Easy Transport Option (ETT) made for Terence in Mississauga, Ontario. The telescope includes a 2" crayford focuser, Destiny primary mirror and curved-vane spider. A dew shield is also included. 

Terence wanted to reduce the weight as much as possible, so I substituted horizontal struts on the front and rear of the rocker box. Terence also asked for 3/4 holes cut into the side of the rocker to further reduce some weight. The telescope weighs 39.5 pounds. Here's what Terrence has to say about his scope:

Hi Dennis, I brought the scope to my club's public star party last night for the first time. You'll be happy to know it was very well received by everyone. Despite less-than-ideal weather and a lower than average turnout, the scope generated a healthy amount of traffic through the entire evening. I had a bunch of club members congregate around the scope as I was setting it up, giving it a very thorough visual inspection. There were several wonderful compliments about the construction, woodworking quality and general aesthetics (I was quite tempted to claim that I built the scope!). There was a constant lineup of event attendees who wanted to take a peek through it, and with the relatively low EP height, kids had no problems looking through it without assistance. The general balance and friction of the altitude bearing is such that some can lightly take hold of the focuser/EP or other part of the scope without it moving away from the target, yet I can track objects at high powers with relative ease; I think the scope movement is as close to ideal as possible in this way. 

I wish I could've taken a few photos, but was too busy fielding questions from both club members and the public that I really had no time to do anything else.

I'm looking forward to bringing to scope to future events - it'll be getting a lot of use through the summer observing season.

Completed March 2012.

Mark in Tuscon Arizona assembled this rocker box from a DobSTUFF custom kit. The telescope is a 10" F6. Mark assembled this kit with "glue" but no wood screws for a nice smooth finish.  Especially nice is Mark's choice of color.

Completed March 2012.

A beautifully assembled 12" telescope from a DobSTUFF kit. Complete by Greg C. in Caledonia Michigan. The ETT version allows the bottom struts to be used for transport and storage of the telescope. I like this 2-tone treatment of color. Here's what Greg has to say about the kit:

My dob kit from Dennis surpassed my expectations.  Every piece was beautifully & accurately cut from top-grade Baltic birch & went together just as shown in the directions.  This kit reduced the weight compared to the original 12.5" Discovery Dob by at least 30#, plus the ETT feature allows me to easily slide it into our mini-van, taking up less than half the space occupied before.  I'm convinced the "minimalist" Dob design (3-tube) is a proven design approach, and I would recommend Dennis' kits to anyone.  Dennis is just a quick email away to answer any questions during assembly, as well.


Completed March 2012.

A 10" F4.7 purchased by Dave in Innisfil, Ontario. Optics, mirror cell, secondary and spider are from an Orion XT-10. The focuser is a 2" single-speed crayford with a 1.25" adapter.

Completed and shipped March, 2012.

A Review of our Dobstuff Lightweight Dobsonian Kits - A Big, But Lightweight Scope for Public Events - By Doug Reilly. Read the full review here. (with permission).

Learn more about Astronomy Technology Today
Published in February 2012.

A rocker box built from a DobSTUFF  "kit" by Rob in Chester New Hampshire. Rob sent me his tube-cage with altitude bearings  for his 6.5" long focus Newtonian. The depth of the rocker box is 24.75" from the bottom of the alt bearings to accommodate the long solid tube of his telescope. The rocker box rides on a 16" circular base for stability. I added the "lip" on the altitude bearings so the cage would transit from horizontal to vertical smoothly. Here's what Rob has to say about his new rocker box:

"Hi Dennis, I had 1st light with the scope last night and all went well. The focus of the tube was set correctly and the mount is a joy to use.  It looks great too. Thanks for the nice woodwork."

Completed January 2012.

A rocker box built for Chris in Madison, MS. and his 16" Meade Lightbridge.

Completed January 2012.

Jose in Kentwood, Michigan built a 16" F4.5  in just a few days from one of our kits.  The components feature a primary mirror, secondary, focuser and spider from a Meade Starfinder dobsonian. 

Note the ETT option for easy storage, transport and setup as well as a Telrad.  A custom color was applied before finishing the wood with a protective overcoat of lacquer.  Here's what Jose has to say about the telescope:

"Since I saw this wonderful strut design, I knew it was for me... As I was looking to carry this big scope only by my self now is a dream come true. I want to thank Dennis for his wonderful job and commitment to bring this awesome design and wonderful customer service.  Jose"

Completed January 2012,

A 12.5" F6 for Mark in Austin Texas. Telescope includes a Baltic Birch cell for Mark's full-thickness primary mirror, a Moonlite 2" 2-speed focuser and Protostar 4-vane spider.  The "string" option adds rigidity to the longer struts of this F6.

Hi Dennis, I just got back from the Okie-Tex star party in Kenton, Oklahoma and can finally send you a report on the 'scope you built at the end of last year. Other than testing on my driveway, this week was the real "first light". However, I will be taking the scope to Eldorado Star Party next month. Action in alt and az: very smooth (especially after a light spray of Armoral, and then wiping it off until best results). Quite a few people came over to look at the scope -- all liked the appearance (mounted on a Ted Lafleur EQ platform). Those who moved the scope all praised the smoothness. Balance issues: Slight, no greater than expected with eyepieces ranging from 8 ounces to 35 ounces on an f6 scope. Truss weights were moved occasionally, depending on altitude and eyepieces used. Ease of setup and takedown: quick, easy. Very easy to transport. Sturdiness of mount: Used with the Equatorial platform only. Undoubtedly the scope itself would have been much more stable without the platform-- but even so, the combination was acceptable, and I really like "tracking". Settling time of vibrations was acceptable. Droop of scope at low altitude: none noticed. The "strings" I ordered with the long focal ratio (f6) probably helped, but I didn't use the scope without the strings (since they take about one minute to install). I would definitely order the strings again, though. Overall, I am very glad that I had you build the scope with the optics I supplied. The weight, ease of setup, and lack of issues with anything regarding the scope are all big pluses. The scope is a great value. If you want to use any of this for feedback on your website, that's fine. If not, well, I want to let you know the telescope is a big success. It does what I wanted. Thanks. Mark L, Austin

Completed December 2011

An 18" telescope made from one of our kits by Geoff in Yarramalong, Australia. The components of the telescope include an 18-point flotation mirror cell, Moonlite focuser, curved-vane spider and 4.25" secondary from Optical Wave Labs. The "white wire" you see hanging from the secondary is for the Kendrick dew heater. Geoff will affix the wire along one of the spider vanes. The telescope also  has the ETT (Easy Transport Telescope option).

Kit and telescope completed December 2011.

18-point flotation  mirror cell components for a 16" mirror for Scott in Fillmore California. Scott will use his own "mirror board" on which to mount each flotation support. The components are made from 1/4" T6061 aluminum plate and steel machine screws. Scott says:

Dennis, I received the parts and they look great. I am glad you were able to get them to me so quickly as now I can finish making the scope this weekend. This scope is going to be ultra low profile as the top of the mirror will only be 9" above the floor of the rocker box. Scott

Completed November 2011

A 10-inch F4.7 made for Jeff in Wilmington N.C. The scope has a Destiny 10" mirror, secondary and curved-vane spider. Jeff asked that I mount a Telrad on his telescope as a finder. The custom mirror cover and 1.25# counterweight are standard on telescopes I build.

Completed October, 2011

13.1-inch F4.5 with a Coulter Pyrex mirror, Moonlite focuser and Destiny curved vane spider.  This "early" version of our telescopes served as a test-bed for many changes to the present design. Sold to Thomas in Flint, Texas, the telescope is ready for a digital setting circle system such as the Sky Commander. A DSC stalk was also included.

Here's a picture of Thomas G from Flint Texas with his "new" telescope.

Shipped in October, 2011.

16-inch telescope for Rick in Taylor Michigan.  Rick built this telescope from a  DobSTUFF 16" kit. Included are a 6-point all aluminum mirror cell, a Destiny curved-vane spider, 3.1" secondary and Moonlight 2" 2-speed focuser with compression ring. Here's a few words from Rick about the kit and assembly:

"Dennis, The kit has been finished for a few days and had a little clear weather to try it out. It works marvelous. Without your guidance and advice via email and phone conversations things might have been much harder through the assembly process. The build went much easier and took less time than the staining and varnishing."

Kit Completed September 2011. Telescope assembly completed November 2011.

Rocker box and altitude bearings made for Robert of Fridley, Minnesota. Robert contacted me saying he needed a rocker box and two altitude bearings for a 10" F7.5. The overall depth is 29.5" to accommodate the long focal length tube.

Completed September 2011.

A 10 inch F5 made for Michael and Michael Jr. of Mountain House, California. The mirror is a full thickness Zhumell on a Baltic birch cell.  A 2" 2-speed crayford focuser, Destiny curved-vane spider and 2" secondary complete the optics.

Note the "insert". These shorter "travel struts" allow the easy transport and storage of the scope while protecting the focuser, spider and secondary.

Completed September 1, 2011

An 8" F4 Orion "Astrograph" remade into an open, ultra light OTA for Shane in Sunnyvale California. The OTA is only 28" long. Notice the Moonlite focuser with electronic focus control. A cooling fan is also included.  Shane intends using this telescope on a German equatorial mounting, so the Losmandy dovetail plate is affixed to the left side for that purpose.

Completed August 2011.

A 13.1 F4.5 with a full-thickness Discovery mirror.  Also includes a Destiny curved-vane spider, Moonlite 2-speed 2" focuser and Sky Commander. The telescope is stained "Sedona Red", which gives a nice deep rich reddish color.

I built this telescope for my own use and replaces a Coulter-based 13.1" F4.5 telescope now and was sold. Contact me if you might be interested in a similar telescope.

Completed July 1,  2011.

A DobSTUFF 10" F4.9 with a primary mirror, secondary, focuser and curved-vane spider by Destiny. This telescope is on display at Scope City at 350 Bay St. in San Francisco, CA.

Scope City is home to the largest selection of optics for astronomy, sport, science and education.  Contact the store's manager, Sam, at (415) 421-8800.

Oh yeah, be sure to tell 'em Dennis sent ya!!!!

Completed June 2011.

A 16" 18-point flotation mirror cell made for Brian in Vineland New Jersey. The cell is  made of 6061T 1/4" aluminum plate. The rest of hardware is steel. The mirror cell was designed and optimized with Plop. Here's what Brian had to say:

"Hi Dennis,  I received the 18 point cell and I wanted to thank you for your interest and help with my project. The quality of the cell is excellent and I am delighted with your services.  
I was truly amazed how fast and smooth the transaction went.   It’s a rare thing in today’s world to be able to pick up a phone and enter into a verbal agreement on a Friday, have that item engineered / built on the weekend and shipped on a Monday.   I can’t thank you enough and would highly recommend you to others. 
Very Best Regards,
Brian,  Vineland, New Jersey"

Completed June 2011

A 10" F4.8 made as a "floor model" for Scope City in San Francisco. Destiny has provided their new 10" optic and secondary as well as the focuser and spider. I've applied a mild color to the scope that makes the Baltic birch sort of "pop"...

Completed June 2011.

A 16" F4.5 telescope built for Tony in Portland Oregon. The scope has a 16" Hubble Optics sandwich mirror, Destiny curved-vane spider and Moonlite 2-speed crayford focuser. Notice the Telrad mounted on dual clamps just above the focuser. A Sky Commander is included.

Completed May 2011.

A 14" F5 telescope built for Tony in Maidenhead Berkshire in the United Kingdom. The mirror is a Hubble Optics. The other components include a Moonlite 2-speed all-black crayford focuser, Destiny curved vane spider with Antares secondary. Not visible, but included is a Sky Commander DSC system.

Tony ask that I leave the wood "unfinished" so he can apply his own custom color

Here's what Tony had to say about his telescope:  "Dennis, I just received the big box  with the scope and accessories. I just love it!!, IT IS A WORK OF ART and it's so light and pretty . I have friends in the Slovenia Astronomical Society who can't wait to look at it!
Warmest wishes, Tony

Completed May, 2011.

A 10" F5 assembled from a DobSTUFF kit for Doug in Geneva New York. Note the unique curved vane spider from Protostar. Another unique feature Doug asked for was the ability to "nest" the top half of the struts into the bottom half.  Once the ETT intermediate ring is removed from the assembly, Doug can "telescope" the 1" upper struts into the 1.25" lower struts. Doug added the design elements to the rocker box himself. Neat job.

Check out this "time lapse" video made by Doug on the sidewalk in Geneva, NY.

Kit completed April 2011.

A 14" F5 ETT (Easy Travel Telescope) built for Armond in Glendale, CA. The telescope includes a Moonlite dual-speed 2" focuser, Sky Commander DSC system and dual fans.  Rather than a DSC "stalk", Armond asked that I install the Sky Commander closer to the focuser on one of the struts. The DSC mount is on a clamp that can be moved along the length of the strut to the desired location. Armond had me apply a custom color, in this case the Miniwax Red Sedona followed by 5 coats of varnish. The effect is striking. The struts have been powder coated. Here's some comments from Armond:


"My wife and I got the great pleasure to meet Dennis in Palm Springs for our vacation which was over the weekend. He invited us to his house where he had my fully assembled telescope prepared in his living room. I was completely stunned after taking first sight of what he had built for me. The craftsmanship was pure excellence and perfection. I believe in quality products and got more than I expected. Dennis is a professional telescope maker who builds fine products for his customers. 


The DobSTUFF 14" telescope is so beautiful and well made, I am considering just placing it in my living room as a showpiece. I honestly consider this "museum" quality work. I am strongly considering returning to Dennis and purchasing a 8" or 10" inch telescope. This beautiful Newtonian is worth every penny not to mention the excellent customer service you will receive from Dennis personally. The ETT model I purchased made the scope much easier to carry with me in my vehicle. The additional storage struts were also great additions which add to the convenience factor. The black powder coating also adds on to the look making it more elegant. I am still amazed Dennis pulled all this off from the middle of the desert! Aside from the telescope, we had the great pleasure to go out for lunch and dinner. He came to my hotel room and gave me a lot of advice and pointers which I really appreciate. He is a very nice guy to deal with and will build your telescope however you wish. Dennis is one person you should definitely contact if you are in the market for a serious premium Newtonian telescope. I highly recommend his fine craftsmanship and customer service 100%! Great job Dennis and thanks for everything!! Sincerely, Armond"

Completed and Delivered April 2011

A pair of matching 6-point flotation mirror cells and a pair of secondary holders with collimation system built for Dave in Novato California.  These components are for use in a 12" binocular telescope he building with Hubble Optics primary mirrors. 

Completed March 2011

A 16" F4.5 built for Mark in Harriman TN. Mark sent me his 16" RF Royce mirror with a 4" secondary. The focuser is a Moonlite 2-speed 2-inch crayford. The spider is an "observatory grade" from Destiny.  Mark asked me to install a dual-fan system to help cool the mirror and all aluminum cell more quickly. Mark says:

"Dennis, I got started unpacking about 10:30 or so Friday night. Once I figured my right from my left, everything assembled perfectly. I stayed up till about 2:00am waiting to take the scope outside. Of course, the skies were cloudy. I went to bed and got up at 4:00am, took a peek outside and saw a break in the cloud cover on the horizon. With the full moon out, there was not much to look at other than Saturn. I did not allow any time for mirror cool down, but the brief moments of a stable image showed very good detail. As good as the images were, the structure is equally impressive. Even my 20 year old daughter who is often critical of other peoples work (She is a perfectionist) said   "Dad, he really does good work!". Let me get a few observing nights under my belt, and I will give you a review. I am kinda sleepy right now and not sure if what I have typed makes sense. But I can assure you, when I unpacked the first altitude bearing, I said to myself, this will probably exceed my expectations. It most certainly has. Thanks again, Mark"

Completed February 2011.
"Dennis, I just want to drop you a line and tell you how much I love the Rocker Box you made for me for my 12" Light Bridge. I have one of the first LB.s that Meade built several years ago. For. $1000 telescope the optics were good but the mount was not the best. I always figured Meade did the best they could to keep the scope at a price that would be appealing to those of us who didn't want to pay the big bucks for the premium dobs. Since receiving your rocker box on Friday, I have used my scope more in the last few days that I have in the last few years. I feel like I have a new scope! I feel I now have the smooth movements of a premium dob with the price of a LB.
Thank you again, John", Okeana, Ohio.

Completed  February 2011.

A 14" F5 telescope delivered to Johan in Hillsboro Oregon. The telescope includes the "Easy Transport Telescope" option as well as  a Hubble Optics sandwich mirror on an all aluminum 6-point flotation mirror cell. The Antares 1/10th wave secondary is mounted on a curved 3-vane spider by Destiny. The focuser is a 2" 2-speed Antares. Johan asked that I apply a custom color and chose Miniwax Puritan Pine. In this picture, the optional removable "dew shield" is in place.

Completed January 2011.

A 12" F5 kit delivered to Pete in Mt. Shasta California. It so happens that Pete's father-in-law is noted physicist  Dr. Freeman Dyson. During a trip to his son-in-law's home in Mt. Shasta, Dr. Dyson assisted Pete and Pete's children assemble a 12" dobstuff kit. Here's what they had to say about the telescope:

"This is a brilliant design, fun to put together, easy to carry around, lovely to use.  Freeman Dyson"
"And I will add, having ventured into finish carpentry, what a pleasure it was to have such a thoughtful design, precise measurements,  and top quality materials.
Peter "

Click here for more pictures.

(Mt. Shasta California, January 2011).

A single fan to cool the primary mirror of Dennis' 10" telescope in Benicia California. The fan affixes to the mirror board with 3 simple screws. The assembly includes a power plug for the 12Vdc supply.

Note that I can make single, double or triple fans if you wish.

(December 2010)

A rockerbox for a Meade Lightbridge 16" telescope made for David in Nickelsville VA and JB in Muscatine, IA. David ordered the complete assembly, while JB wanted a kit to assemble himself.  Here's was David has to say about the rocker box:

Dennis, Toward the end of 2010 I bought an LB 16 rocker box from you. I think mine may have been the first one. I've not been able to use it much just because I'm busy but it has performed great. I can't say enough about how sturdy and durable it is. Meade should've built it like this from the factory! David.
(December 2010)

A 6-point 14" mirror cell (optimized with PLOP) built for a traditional dob "tailgate" for Faure in Boissieres, France.

(November 2010)

Here's a beautifully executed 10" kit assembled by Ron in Stafford Texas. The kit was delivered in October 2009. An interesting note, here, is that Ron had me make him two intermediate rings. He's then formed an "upper tube assembly" which is then detached from the rest of the OTA as a complete assembly. Notice, also, that Ron has compensated for the extra weight of the UTA by using a "virtual counter-weight". A nicely done telescope all around. Here's what Ron has to say about our kit:


Thanks for making the scope kit easy to work. For those out there with a little skill and imagination your kits are a great foundation from which to work. You have been very helpful with any questions I asked. Later I may make another purchase for a 10" f4.25  project. That will be for another time.

Many Thanks and Best of Fortune!"

(October 2010)

A 10" F4.5 using a Meade Starfinder  mirror, Antares 1/10th wave diagonal, standard spider and 2-inch crayford focuser. The OTA is only 40" long and can be carried in one hand. The telescope assembles and disassembles without the need for tools.

Sometimes I make one of these telescopes in-between other projects. This telescope is virtually complete and is FOR SALE -- SOLD

Contact me about other telescopes at 650-315-6578 or densteele@dobstuff.com.

See more picture here.

Completed March 2010.

(NOTE: eyepiece not included).

A 12.5" F5.62 built by Paul in San Ramon, Ca., using a DobSTUFF kit. Paul built the primary mirror himself. The telescope has a low-profile helical focuser and 2.14" secondary.  The primary mirror cell is by Kenneth Novak. Paul did a nice job finishing the wood and putting the components into the OTA.

Since Paul lives nearby, he took the opportunity to come by and put some finishing touches on the final assembly of his telescope. We had a great time working together.

Completed March, 2010

A 13.1" F4.5 built for Winston in Hayward, California. The telescope includes a Coulter primary, Antares 2-speed, 2-inch low-profile focuser and all aluminum 6-point flotation mirror cell optimized with Plop. The Sky Commander digital setting circle has yet to be installed.

Completed February 2010

A 10" F4.5 built for Randy in Golden, Colorado. The telescope includes a Meade primary, Antares 2-speed, 2-inch focuser and Destiny curved vane spider. The eyepiece is 46" from the ground when pointed at the zenith. The entire telescope, including mirror cover and sliding counterweight weighs approximately 39#.

Completed February 2010.

A 10" F4.5 "Suitcase Telescope" designed and built by Hugh in Oakland, CA. Once Huge finalized the plans, DobSTUFF built the kit and helped with some of the design elements.

The entire telescope breaks down into a 9"x13"x22" suite case size for an airliner overhead compartment and weighs just 35# when packaged for "travel mode".

More pictures and weights/measures here.

Completed January 2010
A 13" F6 ETT (Easy Travel Telescope) remake" for Barry W in Bakersfield, CA.

Barry sent me his components and transformed a heavy traditional dob into an "ultra light" design. The primary mirror is a full-thickness Swayze 13" F6 and matching secondary. The rest of the scope includes a University Optics mirror cell, an Antares 2-speed 2" crayford low-profile focuser.

Also included is a DSC stalk for his Sky Commander, an eyepiece tray with two 2" and three 1.25" slots and a Destiny curved vane spider. A removable dew shield, for the primary and a focuser baffle is also included.

Click here for more pictures and weights/measures.

Completed November 2009.
Another beautiful example of an 8 F6" ETT (Easy Travel Telescope) assembled from one of our kits by Brian G in Shaker Heights, Ohio.  Here's what Brian had to say on the Cloudy Nights forum:
"Well, nobody is awake in my house, so I'll share my excitement with the CN reflector forum. I've been working on putting together a dobstuff kit for my 8" f/6 Wessling primary, and finally had a clear night and some free time to cut the struts and test it out under the stars tonight. I've still got a little fine-tuning to do, but at least I was able to bring it to focus and test out some eyepieces. It's going to be a great scope -- I'm very pleased.

Dennis Steele at
dobstuff deserves a major "shout out." Working with him was an absolute pleasure. Everything about his work product is first-rate, and he's a helluva nice guy, too. He went above and beyond to help me with this project. I give him the highest possible recommendation. Thanks, Dennis! 


Kit completed and shipped November 2009.

A beautiful example of a 13.1" ETT (Easy Travel Telescope) assembled from one of our kits by Bob C in Homer Glen, Illinois. Bob's use of 3-tone coloring makes the telescope look exceptional.  Bob says:
"Dennis, here is the 'finished' scope.  ... Thanks for such a great quality kit.  You can tell that a lot of thought and engineering went in to the design.  I can't wait to bring this to a star party..."

Read the full text of  Bob's comments and see more pictures here.

Completed November 2009

A 23" F4.75 telescope built for Don in Geneva, Illinois made with dobstuff.com components.

Given the size and weight of the assemblies, instead of my usual parallel strut design, the telescope is made with truss components from Moonlite (focusers.com). The truss aluminum tubing is 1" in diameter. Once assembled, the telescope is quite rigid. Here's what Don has to say:

"Dennis was a great help on this project. He took the time to work with me and was even enthusiastic about it. The scope looks simply gorgeous and functions beautifully. Thank You!"

Sincerely Yours,


More pictures and descriptions here.

Completed and delivered in July 2009.

10" Kit  for Eric in Sacramento, CA.  Includes a Discovery 10" F5.6 mirror, Sky Commander XP-4 and Antares 2-speed 2" focuser. An eyepiece tray is also included in the kit. (NOTE: Eric built this kit in "one day"!!). Eric says:

"I started talking with Dennis back in August and explained several things unique to my situation and hey was very amicable about everything!. I came by his house to pick up the kit ... and we worked together for about 3 hours. When I got back home I started building. It went to together like Lego's (from playing with my kids) It was very simple!!! I think it took me 8 total hours to build this scope with sanding and clear coats (4 of them) Simply awesome!!! This is only the second scope I have built, the first being my Discovery rebuilt "home depot dob"... Dennis is awesome to work with and works with you at every turn!!! You can not go wrong working with Dennis, I have been in astronomy for 9 years and he is by far the best person to work with in the field."

Eric, Sacramento, CA., October 2009

A 12 ETT (Easy Transport Telescope) for Colin in Ashland, Oregon. The primary is a 12" Hubble Optics mirror, Antares secondary and 2-speed 2" focuser and a Destiny "Professional" 3-vane curved-vane spider. The telescope is set up for a Sky Commander and a DSC-stalk is included. Here's some comments from Colin:

"Hi Dennis,  My wife went down to collect the scope this weekend. Thanks for delivering it to my daughter. I am VERY pleased with the scope and I can't wait to get it outside and try it out. The workmanship is fantastic. Many thanks for a great job..."

Check here for more pictures.

Completed October 2009


A "table-top" mounting for Hugh in Oakland. The telescope is a Celestron 130mm SLT. The dovetail mount was purchased from Scope Stuff. The mount is 16" tall and sits on a 17" platform.

Completed October 2009

A 17.5" F4.8 "remake" for Jim in Alameda California. This started out as a traditional dob. The telescopes sits on a motorized equatorial table as its ground board. Notice the "filter holder" under the focuser. The Baltic birch wood has been left "unfinished" so that Jim can apply a custom color of his own choosing. Also, a picture of Jim at the time he picked up the scope.

Click here for more pictures and descriptions.

Completed September 2009.

A 3-point mirror cell for a 10" telescope mirror made for Bill in Hayford, CA. The aluminum back plate will fit a telescope tube from 10" to 14" in diameter. The mirror affixes to the cell with silicone.  The front "mounting plate" is 13-ply Baltic birch with 5 coats of varnish. The cell is optimized with Plop.

Other cells available from 10" to 18" in 3-,6-, 9- and 18-point flotation.

Completed September 2009.

This is a rocker box made for Jerry in Brooksville, Florida. The rocker box was made for an off-axis reflector with a 182mm O.D. telescope tube. The tube rings are from Orion Telescope and are all metal construction. The rocker stands 22" tall and stands on a 16" base for stability.  The construction is all 13-ply Baltic birch finished with 5 coats of varnish.

The OTA is an unobstructed reflector.

Completed September 2009.

This is a 12" F5 made for Dustin in East Hampton NY. Dustin sent me the primary and secondary mirror. I supplied the Destiny curved vane spider, Antares 2-speed 2" crayford focuser and 6-point flotation mirror cell.

Click here for more information and pictures.

Completed June, 2009.

This is a 12" mirror box with cooling fan. The fan runs on 12Vdc with a simple RCA power cord available at most electronic stores, including Radio Shack. The fan mounts on the back of the mirror box and is held in place by the collimation bolts.

The telescope also has an eyepiece tray which holds two 2" and two 1.25" eyepieces.  The eyepiece tray is easily removed. The tray is made with Baltic Birch. I have metal eyepiece trays also available.
A 10" F4.5 with a Meade mirror made for Nick in Vancouver B.C. Click here for a list of "weights and measures" plus some other photos.  Nick says:

"Dennis: The scope - love it!! Unfortunately the weather has been iffy for my viewing schedule, so I have to wait for extensive testing. I will recommend Dobstuff highly! Best regards again, Nick ." Completed June 2009.

John in Vancouver B.C. bought this scope from Nick!!   Here's his comments:

"I just wanted to say how much I like the scope and that you are especially to be congratulated for several features:

  • The moveable counterweight clamp,
  • The high quality woodworking,
  • The relatively low-profile design (especially compared with the Lightbridge and its clones with their huge, high bases),
  • The new two-speed focuser,

All in all it is a lovely piece of work and excellent value and completely satisfies what I was look for in a travel scope.. John"

A 12.5" F4.7 for Gary in Hinckley, OH. The mirror is from Hubble Optics with a strehl ratio of .9987 and sits on a custom made 6-point floatation aluminum mirror cell optimized with Plop. The telescope includes a 2" 2-speed Crayford Antares focuser and a Destiny "professional" curved vane spider. I've installed the encoder installation kit, encoders and DSC stalk for Gary.  There is a removable dew shield as well.

You can see more pictures here.

Completed and delivered in June 2009.

An 8" f6 Easy Travel Telescope for K. L. Lee in Singapore. The telescopes breaks down into a 22.5" size for easy transport and storage. The rocker box footprint is only 14"x14" Overall, the telescope weighs 34#, including a small counterweight on the mirror cell to help balance the system.  I've added a "break" on the altitude movement to help when changing from  lighter to heavier eyepieces.

Click here for some additional views of the telescope.

Completed and delivered May 2009.

A 15" Discovery F4.2 remake for Mark in Tampa Florida. This telescope uses the focuser, spider/secondary and mirror/cell from the original Discovery telescope. One nice feature of the telescope, because it's an F4.2, is that the eyepiece at the zenith is only 63" high. The telescope is also "encoder ready". Here's what Mark has to say about his scope:

Allow me to formally thank you for building me such a beautiful scope. My wife thinks it goes perfectly with our hardwood floors. It's a telescope that thinks it's a fine piece of furniture. You've significantly reduced both the weight and footprint of the original telescope. Set up time is a breeze. I can easily pick up the entire truss/mirror box structure in 1 piece. It's light-weight yet rigid and the motions are buttery smooth.  
Thank you again Dennis. I look forward to many years of use with this beautiful scope.

Completed and delivered May 2009.

A 14" F5 telescope with a Hubble Optics sandwich mirror for Ron in Franklin, Indiana. Ron asked that I left the wood unfinished so he could stain and varnish it himself. This telescope was also delivered with the 20" "travel struts" so that it can be easily moved and stored. Delivered in April 2009. More photos here.

Ron says: "Dennis, thanks again for my 14" F5. Fun to use. It really brings the faint-fuzzys to life and it will knock your socks off -- on the moon. Lots of WOW factor. Very affordable and fits completely in the back seat of my Saturn ION. Light-weight and fits my closet at home. Good craftsmanship. Ron, Franklin, IN."

Here's the result of some fine craftsmanship. I built a 10" kit for Fred and delivered it in November 2008. A couple of months later, and Fred assembled a beautiful 10" telescope. Here's what Fred has to say about the kit and telescope:

"This is a 10" (F5) finished in February, 2009.  The kit was a pleasure to finish and assemble.  The wood is high quality, the craftsmanship of the cut pieces is excellent, and the design is superb.  Furthermore, Dennis promptly and clearly answered all my questions via email.  I used an Antares 10:1 focuser and Destiny 3-vane spider.  The secondary has an AstroSystems DG-1 dew heater with wiring inside one of the struts. The base weighs 21 lbs and OTA is 27 lbs.  Fred in Bloomington, Indiana."

A 14" F5 with Hubble Optics mirror, 2-speed Antares 2" Crayford focuser and Destiny curved-vane spider. The mirror is mounted on a custom-made 6-point floatation mirror cell optimized with Plop. Built for Jeff in Clio Michigan and delivered in January 2009.

A 12.5" ETT (Easy Transport Telescope, and easy to store)  made for George in Show Low Arizona. The scope was completed in December 2008. See more pictures and descriptions here. Here's what George has to say:

"I wanted a easy to transport Dobsonian so I sent my 12.5" mirror and other parts to Dennis. He turned them into a easy to use and transport Dobsonian that fits into the back of my Jeep Cherokee without removing and folding down the rear seat. I am very happy with my new Dobsonian."

George, Show Low, AZ"

Brian Medeiros, West Greenwich, Rhode Island and his 14-inch telescope with a Hubble Optics sandwich mirror. The telescope was completed and delivered to Brian in November 2008.

Click HERE for Brian's comments, more information about the telescope and more pictures.

12.5" Travel Telescope breaks down into an 18"x18"x17.5" assembly for easy transport. This also meets the checked-baggage dimensions for airline travel. For additional information, including weights and measures, click here. These telescopes are available in 10", 12" or 12.5" apertures.


"Dennis is an innovative and practical scope builder. I have had a great time participating in the construction of my scope, from sourcing materials, to design and execution. Dennis is great to work with and makes great value scopes. He is extremely knowledgeable, experienced and honest. My scope turned out great; I got to do some customizations which I am very pleased about. I took my scope home from the Dobstuff workshop on the weekend of 8th June. The complete 12.5 inch scope fit in my small civic along with a passenger which my friends find difficult to believe. I learned more about telescopes and telescope making from him in 20 hours than I have in 10 years J. I would strongly recommend him to anybody who wants a scope built or wants to build one by himself using one of his kits. Thanks Dennis for a great experience!"

Yogesh, Pleasanton, CA.

(note: Yogesh lives close by and asked if he could come over and participate in the building of a scope for his 12.5" mirror. You can see Yogesh building his scope here).

16" F4.5 for Carl Ching in Sunnyvale, Ca.,. It has a Moonlite focuser, Protostar spider and secondary and a Telrad base. Carl lives nearby and was able to help build most of his telescope himself. 12/23/07. Here's a link to Carl working on his own scope in my shop. Here's what Carl has to say about his scope:

" Dennis was great to work with. His patience working with me was amazing considering I had not been in a woodshop class since my junior high school days. While I did not put this telescope together entirely by myself, I'm nevertheless grateful for his patience and assistance for I now have my LAST telescope. (It also helps Dennis & I have been friends for a long time...) Anybody wants to put together a really great telescope at a very reasonable cost, I strongly recommend going with Dennis at www.Dobstuff.com."
A 13 Inch F4.5 (a Discovery mirror) made for Joe in Northern California. It uses a Moonlite focuser and Destiny curved vane spider. November 2007.

15" F5 Discovery Make-over for Jim Falls, September 2007. Here's a comment from Jim from Pleasanton California: 

"Dennis is terrific to work with, and his craftsmanship is superb.  His elegant design has allowed me to significantly lower the overall weight of the scope, while preserving excellent imaging quality.  Because of Dennis’ efforts, I expect to be using my scope for many years to come. "
Greg in Visalia CA. and a Coulter 13.1" f4.5 makeover kit. Greg's well-appointed wood shop is something to envy! February 2008. Left photo shows Greg in his shop with the kit. The right photo is the finished product. A beautiful job assembling one of our kits.

Here's what Greg had to say about assembling our kit.
A 12.5" f5 with digital setting circle stalk for Stuart in Gardner Kansas. It has a University Optics mirror cell, a Moonlite 2-speed focuser and a Destiny curved vane spider. I've also mounted the encoder installation kit on this scope.

Completed July 2008.
"The 10" F4.5 scope I received from you is better than I expected.  Quality woodwork, smooth motions, and very light weight.   I can actually carry the tube assembly easily with one hand, something I've never been able to do with any other scope of this size.  I look forward to many nights of observing.  Thanks again for a great product."
John in Wooster, Ohio, July 2008


Here is a review by Jon Isaacs, one of our kit builders.

A 6" f8.3 for Dean in Nashville, TN. A small telescope like this, with a light mirror, balances a bit more toward the center of the OTA, so the rocker box needs to be made a bit higher. The scope is very stable and exhibits no vibrations.

March 2008.
A  mirror cell for a 10" f4.5 Newtonian. The cell has an insert underneath in which a small counterweight can be added or removed. Depending on the need, 1.25 or 2.5 pounds can be added to the rear of the cell without effecting the mirror in any way.
10" for John in Houston, TX. This scope sports a Destiny spider and Feathertouch 10:1 focuser.

Completed and shipped 01/08..
"To everyone who reads this testimonial and is looking to purchase a telescope kit made from wood, you need not look any further. For price - Kit availability, Quality of material, you can't beat Dobstuff and the service you receive from the master behind it all Dennis Steele. His work is outstanding and he is most accommodating. Dealing with Dennis by e-mail or telephone has been an absolute pleasure and you can't believe his speedy response time to general information or technical issues. I have absolutely loved every minute of this time. Believe it or not there were days that I worked all day and almost through the night. I enjoyed it so much I couldn't wait to get on to the next piece."

Bill Shea   Brooklyn,  New York 
"I'm up at 5am - just finished star party at Patoka Lake in Indiana. Your DobStuff scope got more attention than any scope there. More than the 2 18" Obsessions, more than a 12.5 Starmaster (which is the scope I sold and was an awesome performing scope at the dark site) and more than any other scope. Before it got dark I sometimes had 6 or 7 guys around it asking questions. No less than 6 people remarked it is a beautiful scope. I never thought of it being beautiful. One guy asked what it was. One asked where the rest of it was. One asked if it was a special filtering scope. Many people said it was their favorite scope at the party . . .

BTW by the time we finished around 3:30 am water from dew was pooling on my ground tarp. The grass was soaked. If I left for 5 minutes the vinyl on my observing chair would dew up. My car windows were completely fogged. But the primary and secondary did not dew over at all, and that's with no dew system . . .

People absolutely loved the design. So simple and minimalist. So well engineered."

Mark, Louisville, KY, August 2008 with his 10" f4.5.
10" f4.7 for Tom in Cambridge MA. This scope includes "travel struts", and makes into a 17" tall assembly. Features a Moonlite focuser and Novak mirror cell.

Completed 02/08.
A 13.1" F4.5 for Murray in Dallas Texas. Completed September 2008. This is a refigured Coulter mirror completed by Pegasus Optics with a 98% coating! Great optics. Other features are a Moonlite 2-speed focuser, Destiny curved vane spider and an XP4 Sky Commander.
A custom-made 6-point mirror cell for a 14" F4.5 telescope. The cell, optimized with "plop" is made with 1/4" aluminum plate, and weighs 2 pounds. These cells are available for mirrors up to 16" in diameter.
A 10" F4.7 made for Peter K in Richmond California. It has an Antares 10:1 2" focuser and Destiny curved vane spider. The Hubble Optics primary mirror has a strehl of .9932.  Peter lives close enough to me that he was able to pick up the scope in person. It was great meeting him.

Telescope completed October 2008.

For more information about your requirements:
--Dennis Steele
--Tel: 650-315-6578 (anytime)
--Email: densteele@dobstuff.com

More of my photos here. 

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