Here are some of the ingredients of the very successful MidAtlantic Mirror Making #7 just in case someone wants to duplicate it: Amateur astronomers, mirror makers of various levels (professional, advanced amateur, and those who have never had a mirror blank and tool in their hands), a 100+ year old 3-story hunting lodge containing marsh critters alive and mounted, the salt marshes along the Delaware River, Canada geese, eagles, hawks, simmering pitch pots, grits, cerium oxide, pitch laps, Foucault testers, Ronchii screens, double pass auto collimators, Ross-Null testers, excellent homemade food (fried fish, ham & lima bean soup, vegetable soups, breads, sandwich makings, biscuits & sausage for breakfast), changing early March Delaware weather that provided rain, very warm sunshine, blustery cold winds, a lunar eclipse, and a beautiful sun pillar…just some of the ingredients experienced by the 35-40 people in attendance March 2, 3,& 4.

We had a total of four new mirrors and ten finish/refigures ranging from 4.25” to 12.5”. Most people finished their project and a few were within an hour of finishing when time just ran out.

The whole event is a true wonder of successful volunteerism. Our club trailer was “spotted” by Keith Lohmeyer prior to Friday 8 am. The trailer is one of our best purchases…it houses our cooking tools, paper products, and the grinding tables. Prior to beginning setup for the grinders, all the furniture of the Lodge had to be moved and stacked and the grinding room floor covered with builder’s paper. Then the fifteen grinding tables were assembled. Next to be erected was the black polyethylene/conduit testing tunnel. Food was transported from my truck to the kitchen. Coffee was made. Automatic pitch pots were set up. More food was transferred from cars to the kitchen… and the kitchen was cleaned. Lunch was prepared. Participants’ overnight provisions were carried upstairs to the sleeping quarters. All this unfolded between 8:00 am and Noon with an all-volunteer staff without excessive supervision… and everyone enjoyed the experience of getting ready for the coming events.

From Friday Noon thru late Sunday afternoon we enjoyed the camaraderie of fellow amateur astronomers sharing and learning the art and science of successful high-quality telescope mirror making. All the while the event continued to evolve…as mirrors were tested and perfected, food was prepared and eaten, trash was removed, people slept, talked, shared stories, and in general had a wonderful weekend.

Just as the initial setup was a marvel of volunteerism so was the takedown process. Beginning mid-Sunday morning the upstairs was cleaned and vac’d, the grinding tables were disassembled as they were available, the kitchen was emptied and cleaned, the testing tunnel was disassembled… and within 15 minutes of the last grinder finishing the entire Lodge was evacuated and ready for locking. And Keith was pulling away with the reloaded trailer. Truly amazing!

Congratulations to all who participated and made this weekend the seventh successful MidAtlantic Mirror Making Weekend! See you next year for number EIGHT! - Don Surles



The Delmarva Stargazers would like to thank Steve Swayze of Swayze Optical our optical expert. We'd also like to thank Bill Hannagan for guiding our grinders and Bill McKibben and Marc Hutton who assisted making pitch for our mirror grinders.

Dave Groski and Bill Chen again this year assisted our lens grinders making Shiefspieglers.

Special thanks to Kathy Sheldon, Gina Acker, Karen Surles and Doreen Riley who provided food for our mirror makers and staff.

Last but not least the Delmarva Stargazers want to thank Don Surles who again put this wonderful event together and all the other club members who assisted him with assembly and take down of the facilites.

Glick on the pictures below a larger view or to play a movie.

Order of pictures. The pictures have been placed in order of the mirror making process as much as possible.

Mirror Grainding on first day Leroy Cain set the tool on his glass to start grinding Mirror covered with grit
Testing booth with mirror on stand Lunch Mirror Maker Polishing the mirror
Mirror ready for pitch Steve Swaze inspects a mirror
Movies, recommended for high speed connection only
The Polish rotation required for making a good mirror