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44 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A comprehensive guide to building your own large dobsonian, October 12, 2000
By 
Stephen M. Greene (Macomb Twp., MI United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Dobsonian Telescope: A Practical Manual for Building Large Aperture Telescopes (Hardcover)
Not only did I read the book but I used just about every bit of information to build my own 18" truss type dobsonian telescope. This book was the only guide I used. I found that all the information that is needed was contained within the text, tables and photographs to successfully construct my scope. I challenged myself to find other ways to engineer the truss assembly and found that the design that is laid out in the text could not be improved upon much. The trade-offs included ease of construction, cost, and availability of materials. To put it plainly, some serious engineering went into the methods shown in the book. A must buy!
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35 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exactly what I needed!, August 9, 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: The Dobsonian Telescope: A Practical Manual for Building Large Aperture Telescopes (Hardcover)
Excellent book and a joy to read! I am currently grinding a 8" mirror and bought this book for the 8" plans which are surprisingly compact. Kriege goes into detail on how to build a truss tube Dobsonian for larger apertures and leaves the reader with no questions due to the great explanations and pictures. Other strong points include very informative and up to date discussions on materials used to build today's modern Dobsonian telescope. My only argument is the author discourages grinding your own mirror which has been a great experience for myself and I am glad I did not listen to other astronomers who have the same view as Kriege. The selling point of Kriege's "Dobsonian Telescope" for myself include the plans for a small telescope (8") plus plans for larger scopes that will fill my aperture fever needs later. Both criteria have been met and I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in building any size Dobsonian telescope.
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29 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Authoritative, technical, easy, practical, humorous, GREAT!, May 14, 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: The Dobsonian Telescope: A Practical Manual for Building Large Aperture Telescopes (Hardcover)
Any astronomer with even the remotest interest in Dobsonian telescopes MUST buy this book.
It doesn't matter if you want to build one, use one, or buy one pre-built. David Kriege and Richard Berry do an absolutely tremendous job of taking the reader through all the construction steps of a large-aperature Dobsonian telescope, of describing how to use it, how it will impact your life and your family and what's the best size for you.
"The Dobsonian Telescope" is extraordinarily well-illustrated, contains a wealth of technical data that generations of astronomers found the "hard way," yet is very easy to understand and apply.
Kriege and Barry also realize that not everyone can afford or has the space for the monster scope of their dreams, so there's even a good chapter on building a much more modest scope from off-the-shelf items. Best of all, all the "big scope" information is still useful for the smaller one (8") and just a plain, good, read.
Finally, the book is fun. Both authors have a dry wit that livens up what otherwise could have been a rather boring, technical monologue.
For anyone who's ever craved an owner's manual that tells them what they really want to know about their purchase, "The Dobsonian Telescope" is a "best buy." Even better, you don't have to buy the telescope to enjoy the book.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Order it now, you won't be sorry!, December 6, 2006
By 
R. McGee (San Bernardino, CA USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Dobsonian Telescope: A Practical Manual for Building Large Aperture Telescopes (Hardcover)
One of the hardest things a beginner faces when jumping into amateur astronomy is "Where do I start?". That question has been answered in great depth by this book. Considered by almost everyone to be "the bible" of amateur telescope making, if this book doesn't inspire you to start cutting wood, then you need to find yourself another hobby!

One of the authors is responsible for the "Obsession" line of high-end Dobsonian telescopes. This book is almost a step-by-step guide on how you can build your own large Dobsonian, with optics and performance nearly as good as an Obsession. Yes, you probably won't save much money over a purchased 'scope, but the pride of being able to say "I built this myself!" more than makes up for that. Plus, you will know (and understand) every single square inch of your telescope, so modifications and changes won't be as frightening to you as they would if you had to cut into a $3000 commercial telescope.

If you think you're going to use this book and build an 18" 'scope for $500, you're going to be in for quite a shock. The authors in this book both stress the importance of premium optics, and these do not come cheap. Expect to spend roughly $1500, or more, for a good quality 12.5" primary mirror alone. Quality doesn't come cheap, and with the only commercial Pyrex production line in the US shut down for the next several years, expect mirror prices to rise, drastically.

For those who can afford it, a scope like this can last for a lifetime. But if you can't afford such a huge investment, this book also covers construction of an 8", closed-tube Dobsonian (The larger sizes in the book are all truss tube models), which can be assembled for roughly $600.

Right now, several of my friends and I are starting to plan our dream scope, using nothing but this book as a reference guide. We're going to build slowly, completing one major piece at a time. This both insures that the finished unit is as high a quality as we are capable of producing, plus helps to defer construction costs over a longer period of time.

Even if you have no intention of every getting a Dobsonian, you will find many things of value in this book.

Why are you still reading this? Go and order a copy for yourself. Experience firsthand just how well written and useful it really is, and I'll bet you also start dreaming of cutting wood and aligning optics.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is it, November 30, 1999
This review is from: The Dobsonian Telescope: A Practical Manual for Building Large Aperture Telescopes (Hardcover)
If you are interested, or think you might be interested in building a Dobsonian, this is the book for you. The author has his own business building these large, wonderful telescopes. In this book, he gives away all his secrets. I've even found websites of other amateurs who have read this book and build their own scope. They call this The Book.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Authoritative, technical, easy, practical, humorous, GREAT!, May 14, 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: The Dobsonian Telescope: A Practical Manual for Building Large Aperture Telescopes (Hardcover)
Any astronomer with even the remotest interest in Dobsonian telescopes MUST buy this book.
It doesn't matter if you want to build one, use one, or buy one pre-built. David Kriege and Richard Berry do an absolutely tremendous job of taking the reader through all the construction steps of a large-aperature Dobsonian telescope, of describing how to use it, how it will impact your life and your family and what's the best size for you.
"The Dobsonian Telescope" is extraordinarily well-illustrated, contains a wealth of technical data that generations of astronomers found the "hard way," yet is very easy to understand and apply.
Kriege and Barry also realize that not everyone can afford or has the space for the monster scope of their dreams, so there's even a good chapter on building a much more modest scope from off-the-shelf items. Best of all, all the "big scope" information is still useful for the smaller one (8") and just a plain, good, read.
Finally, the book is fun. Both authors have a dry wit that livens up what otherwise could have been a rather boring, technical monologue.
For anyone who's ever craved an owner's manual that tells them what they really want to know about their purchase, "The Dobsonian Telescope" is a "best buy." Even better, you don't have to buy the telescope to enjoy the book.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding guide for constructing a Dobsonian Telescope, March 3, 1998
By 
mzeiler@esri.com (Santa Fe, New Mexico) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Dobsonian Telescope: A Practical Manual for Building Large Aperture Telescopes (Hardcover)
If you've ever considered making your own large telescope, this book is the definitive tome. It discusses the practical considerations for building a large amateur telescope with materials mostly available at hardware stores. More important than construction details, the design criteria and simple theory are discussed in detail, so that the builder can intelligently modify the design and innovate new variations on this design. What's remarkable about the book is that it covers construction techniques in detail by one of the leading manufacturers of large Dobsonians and no holds seem to be barred. It's clear that the authors' motive is spreading interest in telescope making and their effort reflects the etymology and highest meaning of the word "amateur". My only quibble is that the authors downplay the rewards of grinding one's own telescope mirror. This topic is covered in an appendix, but further "pride in manufacture" and significant cost savings can be achieved by making your own mirror and it is not such a daunting task. The book is richly illustrated, engagingly written, and an excellent value for $29.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Bible on Building Dobsonians !, May 1, 2006
This review is from: The Dobsonian Telescope: A Practical Manual for Building Large Aperture Telescopes (Hardcover)
If you are interested in building a Dobsonian with professional results, this is the book for you. It even excercises pragmmatic guidance on what aperture should one choose by describing a series of scenarios one would not contemplate before building, but would clearly regret in the after.This is specially useful for those suffering from "aperture fever".

The author wisely leaves aside the craft of making your own optics. He reduces it to one chapter. The reason: if you you want to build a serious and large aperture telescope; buy the optics. This, with time and experience, comes as the best option.

Nothing is left aside on what building a Dobsonian may concern. I honestly didn't look for anything else after this book. (The only thing I surfed the internet for was for more images on Dob designs).

This is a rare book, for it accomplishes to fill virtually every doubt you may have on the subject.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "The Book" if your thinking about building a telescope, May 4, 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: The Dobsonian Telescope: A Practical Manual for Building Large Aperture Telescopes (Hardcover)
Excellent, interesting, and practical treatment of how you can build a state of the art, large to "giant"(8" to 40"+ aperture!) portable telescope. Uses the right amount of thorough well written engineering theory to justify the surprisingly simple component designs, materials, and construction techniques. The authors clearly want you to succeed. If your contemplating building a telescope based on your preconceptions, forget them, and read this book. The dobsonian approach featured here is a relatively recent major breakthrough in telescope design that few in the general public are aware exists. I can't imagine a "hotter" garage project for a dad to get into with his son or daughter.
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17 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Available from Publisher, February 29, 2004
This review is from: The Dobsonian Telescope: A Practical Manual for Building Large Aperture Telescopes (Hardcover)
This book is available directly
from the publisher for $29.95 at
[...]
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