Building The 18" F5 Telekit:
Late one September, this is what arrived after a wait of several months longer than promised.  I'd hoped to take the summer to build the thing, since I wanted to work outside as much as possible; now I'd have to hurry to get the thing done before winter kicked in. The folks at Astrosystems are terrific to deal with, so one tends to forgive them when they don't really do a good job of meeting their own schedules or communicating delays. The slipping delivery dates turned out to be my only gripe, however.

The kit, when it did arrive, was very impressive. The truss poles and wheelbarrow handles were missing but they showed up soon enough. The kit is thoughtfully done, with some nice touches like scrap pieces to experiment with, epoxy cups, brushes & gloves, &c &c. All the woodwork was first-rate, all the cuts accurate; everything lined up correctly.
The secondary cage, like most of the rest of the scope, is doweled and epoxied together. Everything fit snugly, and only a minimum of sanding seemed necessary before assembly. The clamps are one of the few extra expenses (other than the optics), and I used a combination of cheap strap clamps (seen here) and expensive bar clamps. The mounting plate for the focuser, along with the filter slide, is attached later. This is like building the biggest (and heaviest) model airplane you ever saw...
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