How Big of a Project Should I Start With?
Lots of ATM books instruct to begin with an 8” f/6 project. With all the students we’ve had go through our shop over the last couple of decades, we see one thing in common. Mid-way through a project, the student wishes they had a larger project. The optical rules for different apertures and focal ratios are all the same, so other than weight, length of time to work, and difficulty of making the mirror precise, it’s all the same. So you will probably want to start with a project that you will actually enjoy.
Here are the criteria we usually suggest to determine how big of a telescope making project one should start with.
1. What is it that I want to look at through my telescope?
2. How large of a project can I afford?
3. How large of a telescope can I pick up, assemble, move, etc?
4. How large of a telescope will fit in my space and my car?
5. How large of a project will my wife-mom-dad-husband-other let me do?
We suggest that you work the largest project that all these criteria will allow. Anything less will be a smaller telescope than you will want. Mentors can assist you on this, but only you can decide.