The "Grey Poupon" FAQ

Q. “Did you make it all by yourself?”
A. Yes, but tiny elves helped me after midnight. All they wanted in return was full nighttime access to the finished product, and an autographed picture of Brittany Spears.

Q. "What are the basic specs?"
A. "It's an 8" F/6; a very all-purpose design, good for planetary as well as deep space. It weighs about 60 Lbs fully dressed, and after breakfast.
Q. “Why call your telescope ‘The Grey Poupon’?”
A. I like the commercials; they’re right on my mental age level.
Q “How long did it take you?”
A. With my limited apartment space, resources and basic unfamiliarity with power tools, 60-odd hours over six months. I am a very dangerous person with a power drill.
Q. “Did you make the mirror?”
A. No. At 45, I figured I’d had enough angst from life, and wanted this to be an enjoyable journey. Also, I wanted to stay married.
Q. “Why Grey for a color?”
A. It matches my lungs. Also, it was the only color that I could find in True Value acrylic paint. I must have True Value Hardware Products or life is not worth living.

Q. "Were there any foul-ups?”
A. You’re not supposed to ask questions like this. Oh, very well, yes, someone dropped a ball point pen on the mirror. He knows who he is, and has to go to sleep sometime!

Q. “Have you star tested the optics?”
A. Yes, and by some miracle they passed with textbook results. Furthermore, zone measurement data fed into "TEX.EXE" suggests a 80% certainty of 1/11th wave optics. My Calvinistic background suggests that, due to the laws of compensation, a meteor will hit me any time now.

Q. “Would you do this again?”
A. Uh, yes. In another lifetime, maybe 2001 years from now or so. I need to rest up a bit.

Q. “Are you still married?”
A. Yes! (By the grace of God!)

Construction Time Breakdown

Construction TaskTime
Painting inside of tube black2 Hrs
Outside paint2 hrs
Planning Session, planing tube ends, materials search 3 hrs
Laying out plans on computer1 hour
Tube box and rocker box assembly4 hours
Cutting bearings45 minutes
Horsing around with cheesy focuser and generally wasting time4 hours
Drawing cutting templates2 hours
More sawing, making base, rings, (later abandoned) etc4 hrs
Making diagonal support (later tossed)4 hrs
Truing up base4 hrs
Filling, sanding, painting4 hrs
Attaching bearings to box1 hr
Testing Mirror1 hr
Mounting spider, secondary, drilling huge hole in tube3 hrs
Installing mirror into cell (Includes pen-drop test and subsequent Hara-Kiri), aligning, installing focuser, installing mirror-cell assy, cell-blacking, "spotting"6 hrs
The Big Push: Final tube assy, calibrating mirror position, bearing support final assy and alignment, height/attitude compensation, dynamic tube balancing9 hrs
R&R home made spider w/Novak, collimate same:3hrs
Minor fiddling with cosmetics:2hrs
Fabricate eyepiece rack3 hrs
TOTAL62 hrs


Spider and Holder40.00
FocuserRecycled Coulter
Primary (PYREX, mind you)240.00
Secondary 45.00
Paint 12.00
Wood 35.00
Teflon 3.00
Sink-Cut Out Free
Hardware 10.00
Primary Cell Home Brew
TOTAL 397.50(1996)($607.23-2015 $$)

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