United Lens, supplies custom-molded borosilicate mirror blanks
When it came time to order the first batch of 20" F3 mirror blanks for our Renegade project, we turned to United Lens to do the job. Their approach was to make custom molds for our blanks, minimizing the weight of glass that went into the process, cutting out nearly all waste, and providing the lowest possible price for these big Supremax-33 borosilicate blanks. The blanks were molded, annealed and machined at United Lens' facility in Southbridge, MA.
From order to delivery on the blanks was less than 60 days. We worked closely with the engineer in charge of our project to get the edge thickness right, and to have the backs of the blanks Blanchard ground flat for us. This was an exceptional time frame for this number of large blanks.
At right you see the first half of the stack of United Lens blanks that showed up on my step one fine evening. And you also see the exhausted guy who had to carry 12 blanks (at nearly 50 pounds per box) down to the storage area to await their turn on the grinding machine. The boxes United Lens uses are adorned with red, white and blue American flags, and it makes us proud that nearly all of our Renegade telescope parts and materials are "made in America".