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Mount Your Mirror
Cell to the Mirror with Silicone:
Mirror cells easily affixed
to your mirror with silicone. While there has been
considerable discussion about using silicone,
experience has shown this is an excellent way to
mount your mirror cell. The following picture and
descriptions show a 6-point cell being affixed to a
13.1" mirror. The procedure is the same for any size
mirror and any number of flotation points. I've
mounted mirrors from 6" to 23" in diameter with
Assembling all the
components, included here:
1) I use a clean "T" shirt to put the mirror face down.
2) Clean the back of the mirror with reagent grade acetone or
3) 100% clear silicone (this sample is RTV, but any will work
4) Mirror cell (optimized with
5) Mask to "center mark" the back of the mirror.
NOTE: The "Kimwipes", to the upper left of the picture, are
great for protecting the coating of the mirror. You can find
these on the web or at
www.kcprofessional.com/us and look for product code # 34256.
use a regular "shoe box" and cut 6 strips of cardboard, 1"x6" or
so. These are used for spacers and will be removed once the
silicone is cured.
Generally, if using my cells, I've provided BUMPERONS, so the
cardboard spacers ARE NOT needed.
Place the mask onto the back
of the mirror. You can get the white "donut" at any stationary
store and many drug stores. This example, the blue/white box to
the left side, is "Maco White Reinforcements".
Affix the "donut" to the center of
the mirror back. NOTE: If you wish, just use a "magic
marker" and put a black dot in the center of the rear of the
The mirror cell is placed onto the
back of the mirror -- NO SILICONE YET -- and the cardboard
spacers are set into position. Try to be sure they will not
touch the silicone so they can later be easily removed.
Another spacer technique (one that I
use exclusively now) is with a plastic spacer called a "bumperon".
These are available from a variety of sources (TAP Plastics and
others). They stand about 1/16" high and are about 1/4" in
diameter. They have a sticky back.
Place these at the appropriate location as defined by your
calculations (I tend to use
Plop as an easy way to set the spacing). I don't think the
current version of Plop is Windows 7 compatible, but give it a
try. I use an older Windows XP machine to run the software.
The silicone is applied to the
flotation points. In this example, "blobs" of silicone are about
the size of a 25-cent piece approximately 1/2" thick.
Using the center hole in the
mirror cell, sight down through to center the cell over the
donut. Press to "seat" the cell onto the back of the mirror.
DO NOT use any weight. Just press the mirror
into place to insure contact with all the points and release.
Allow the silicone to cure for 24 hours, then remove the
I build mirror cells for use
in traditional round telescope tubes. Check
here for info.
Although I don't build the "tailgate", I do make mounting plates
for more traditional truss dobs.
For more information about your requirements:
--Tel: 650-315-6578 (anytime)
More of my photos
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