I was wondering if anyone out there has used Swayze Optical for refiguring a mirror.
I have a 16 inch f/4.5 mirror which was due for recoat. It was an old Meade mirror, from a telescope I acquired on Cloudy Nights classified. The mirror was about 1/4 wave accurate. It had a large 6 inch diameter raised zone in the middle and a somewhat turned edge. It was due for a recoat, and I thought if I was going to get it recoated, I might as well look into refiguring. I figured that a professional optician would be able to bang it out pretty quickly because raised zones are pretty easy to fix and the telescope has an undersized diagonal (not my choice, I purchased the scope secondhand), so the slightly turned edge wouldn't have that big of an effect on image quality. I envisioned a few swipes with a small lap in the middle and away we go to the coater.
An internet search came up with half a dozen sources which offered refiguring services. Since I live in San Francisco, my first choice was Optic Wave Laboratories in the Sacramento area because it's within driving distance, and that would save me the time and expense of packing and shipping. However, after four emails with no response, I decided to look elsewhere.
I contacted Steven Swayze in Portland, Oregon and he said he would be happy to look at my mirror. The email communication was prompt before, and I emphasize before, I sent him the mirror. That was back in May of 2018.
Unfortunately, this has turned into a bit of a disaster. After many “I’ll try to get the mirror back by” promises, the communication has gotten worse and worse, and now I’m just trying to get my mirror back, in whatever condition. I’ve repeatedly asked for a fixed date when the mirror would be ready, only to get radio silence, and recently asked him flat out just to return my mirror only to receive “I’ll be back in touch” response. Fourteen months later, I finally got fed up and asked for my mirror, in whatever condition, but I haven’t heard back.
Has anyone ever used this guy? Am I out a mirror? If I knew I would be out of the observing game for a year, I obviously never would have sent him the mirror. I’m thinking of contacting paypal to see if I could get my money back for the refiguring (I paid him in July 2018), but I am still out a mirror.
Any advice people could give me would be much appreciated. There’s not much left for me to do except file a claim in small claims court in Portland, not that I would expect to actually see anything from such a claim. What a bummer.