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The Dobsonian Telescope: A Practical Manual for Building Large Aperture Telescopes 1st English ed Edition

4.8 out of 5 stars 42 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0943396552
ISBN-10: 0943396557
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 475 pages
  • Publisher: Willmann-Bell; 1st English ed edition (June 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0943396557
  • ISBN-13: 978-0943396552
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #466,044 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: 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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By A Customer on August 9, 1999
Format: 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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Format: 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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Format: 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.
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Format: 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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