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topic 6707

Wants to know how to aluminize a telescope mirror


I am building a telescope and intend to grind a telescope mirror myself ( 12.5" diameter) and had read that the best way to aluminize a telescope mirror was to burn aluminum by heating it with tungstan in a vacuum chamber. Do you think it's practical to do this at home if I was to build a small vacuum chamber? Do you have any suggestions on the procedure to complete the rest of the process?


John Abel
- Aberdeen, NJ


John, vacuum coating aluminum, though relatively simple (only when you have the necessary equipment), is not as simple as "burning". It will cost you at least $5,000 to get a basic, used machine like a laboratory sputterer. Then learn how to run and maintain it adding to cost. Would you want to consider a nearby company and get it done for under $100?. Or may be, get silver electroplated in a shop?

Mandar Sunthankar
- Fort Collins, Colorado

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