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The LTFWT and me

The Largest Telescope Factory in Wylie, Texas (LTFWT) came out of what had been the Largest Photo Processor Factory in Wylie, Texas (LPPFWT). You might guess by now that to make your business the biggest of its kind in town, all you need do is move it to Wylie.


The facility, equipment, and the design and manufacturing experience that make Teleports possible came out of 20 years of making over a thousand photo processing machines and related items. That’s one of the reasons they are quite different from scopes made by other PTMs.

Shop Lathe Shop Mill Shop Incra

Much of the manufacturing equipment, as well as the design and construction techniques have been upgraded in pursuit of building the ultimate altazimuth Newtonians. Very few "regular" telescope parts are used in Teleports. The designs require items that are smaller and lighter and are designed and made specifically for the Teleport.

Prototypes are built individually and production Teleports in batches of 5 to 10, depending on the scope size.
A batch takes about a year, but making one scope at a time would take about twice as many hours per scope.

The photos below illustrate a few of the hundreds of fabrication
and assembly steps it takes to build a Teleport.

Some of the first parts made for ten of the 10" Teleports. Aperture masks, focusers, mirror cell frames, power supplies, and some Apple Ply parts.

Machining threads on a 2" Teleport focuser

A focuser is drilled for it’s three set screws in an indexing head on the milling machine. Holes must be precisely 120 degrees and .0833" apart.

A power supply plate being made on the milling machine

A rocker box side panel is made with a plunge router and a template

The rocker box side panel has the grooves cut for the top plate. The router bit is tilted 14° to match the dovetail cut on the top plate.

An altitude ring being cut out on the bandsaw

The ring O.D. is trued on a disc sanding fixture

Assembling a secondary cage (ambidextrous octupus not shown)

Assembling a rocker box

A rocker box clamped in its fixture

A mirror box clamped to cure

Mirror boxes with corner fillets curing

Applying catalyzed Polane in the booth

Polane-coated parts for ten 10" scopes

This is some of what happens upstairs over the LTFWT. Linda finished out the entire second floor of "The Annex", including plumbing, wiring, floors, walls, cabinets, etc. She created a nice little apartment for guests, a recording studio, and a sewing area for the Teleport shrouds and covers.

This little machine is Linda’s serger. When she was making the first shrouds a few years ago, I asked her if she could somehow sew in the drawstrings along the edges without any slack around them. She said "Yes, but I’ll need a serger". I said "What’s a serger?" "Oh, a couple of thousand dollars."

Sometimes the truth is expensive.


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© 2002 Teleport Telescopes. All rights reserved. Created Jan 2002 by Linda Silas, The Annex Studios