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For Christmas 2000, I had to the idea to build a telescope for my brother Andy, my sister-in-law Cathleen, and most of all for my niece/nephew. I started by getting Richard Berry's book, Build Your Own Telescope.

As I came to learn, this book is the Amateur Telescope Maker's bible. It is a little old and dated in places, but it gives detailed instructions on how to make a real telescope that works!

By following the directions in the book, scouring the Internet and asking other, more experienced ATMs about their 'scopes, I was able to complete the telescope in less than two months.

Tabula Rasa - A virgin piece of plywood

Here is a pictorial journal on how I built the 6" f/8 Dobsonian telescope.

It all started with two pieces of plywood and a section of 2 x 4.

The plywood for the base and bulkheads was 3/4" pine, and the piece for the tube was 1/2" oak. The 2 x 4 was for the legs. Here is the first piece with lines drawn on from the diagram in the Berry book.

The large circle in the middle in one of the 16" pieces of the base. The 3/4" plywood is only half a sheet. The oak only came in full sheets, and was also more expensive.

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