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Pictures and comments are coming in from many of my customers. Thanks to all.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
The primary, refigured by Steve Swayze, renders
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
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:
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
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
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
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
More photos can be seen on my blog at
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
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
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
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
Bryan make a brief comment, but stated them
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
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
"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
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
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
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"
Check out more pictures on my telescope
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
Completed January 2014.
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
Thank you again for the kit and
for all of your help.
Photo received December
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
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
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
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
More photos at
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
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
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
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
Completed July 2013.
A rocker box upgrade for a 16" Lightbridge
telescope was completed for Mike D. in Forest
Completed June 2013.
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
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
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
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
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
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
Not installed, but included is a Telrad and 8x50
finder mount as well as a dew shield for the
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
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
Other pictures at
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
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
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:
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.
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.
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
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
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
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
You can check out some other photos at
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
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
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".
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
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
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
"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
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
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."
A 10" F4.7 telescope with the Easy Transport
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
Completed March 2012.
A beautifully assembled 12" telescope from a
DobSTUFF kit. Complete by Greg C. in Caledonia
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
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
A Review of our Dobstuff
Lightweight Dobsonian Kits - A Big, But
Lightweight Scope for Public Events - By Doug
Read the full review here. (with
Learn more about
Astronomy Technology Today.
Published in February
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
"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
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
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
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
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
Note the "insert". These shorter "travel struts"
allow the easy transport and storage of the
scope while protecting the focuser, spider and
Completed September 1,
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
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
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.
City is home to the largest
selection of optics for astronomy, sport,
science and education. Contact the store's
manager, Sam, at
Oh yeah, be sure to tell 'em Dennis sent ya!!!!
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:
I received the
18 point cell
and I wanted to
thank you for
and help with my
quality of the
excellent and I
I was truly amazed how fast
and smooth the transaction
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.
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
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
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.
Check out this "time lapse"
video made by Doug on the sidewalk in
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
"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.
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
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.
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
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.
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.
A 14" F5 telescope delivered to Johan in
Hillsboro Oregon. The telescope includes the
Transport Telescope" option as well
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.
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
"This is a brilliant design, fun to put
together, easy to carry around, lovely to use.
"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.
(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
Note that I can make single, double or triple fans if you wish.
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!
A 6-point 14" mirror cell (optimized with PLOP) built for a
traditional dob "tailgate" for Faure in Boissieres, France.
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!"
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
Contact me about other telescopes at 650-315-6578 or
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
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
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
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
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
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
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:
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
Completed November 2009
A 23" F4.75 telescope built
for Don in Geneva, Illinois made with dobstuff.com components.
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!"
pictures and descriptions here.
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."
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
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..."
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
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
here for more information and
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
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:
The scope - love it!! Unfortunately the weather has been iffy
for my viewing schedule, so I have to wait for extensive
I will recommend Dobstuff highly! Best regards again,
Completed June 2009.
John in Vancouver B.C. bought this scope from Nick!!
Here's his comments:
just wanted to say how much I like the scope and that you are
especially to be congratulated for several features:
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,
The moveable counterweight clamp,
in all it is a lovely piece of work and excellent value and
completely satisfies what I was look for in a travel scope..
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
Completed and delivered in
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.
here for some additional views of
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,
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.
for Brian's comments, more information about the telescope and
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"
"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
building his scope here).
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.
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
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
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.
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
|"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.
|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.
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
Telescope completed October 2008.
For more information about
--Tel: 650-315-6578 (anytime)
More of my photos here.
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