I figure it's worth posting here to get some opinions. Let me give you a quick synopsis of the situation so you can either ask me some questions or give me some advice.
I have a 9.25" Celestron and mount on order - the order was placed at the beginning of April with Astronomics. For the past year and a half I've been looking at and learning the night sky with my eyes and with my DSLR (and telephoto lens) on a tripod (no tracking). While nobody knows for sure when astronomy equipment will become available again due to the Covid delays (and subsequent production and shipping bottlenecks that have occurred) it could very well be six months or more. So, in the meantime, I found an ad for an 8" Meade 2080LX manufactured in 1982. It's inexpensive, but primarily because the secondary mirror is in pretty bad shape with corrosion and pitting. The primary looks to be in pretty good shape and the corrector plate also looks to be in pretty good shape (although it could use a careful cleaning).
While I could see the benefit of using the scope until my order arrives, it probably wouldn't get much use after that...although I do have to admit that a certain part of me likes the options that a separate 8" SCT gives me.
So here are my questions:
1) Is it possible to salvage a badly pitted and corroded secondary by sending it off for resilvering and recoating or is the only thing to do in that case to go through its pockets and look for loose change? And am I right that the orientation of the secondary mirror is as critical as the orientation of the corrector (i.e. the 12 o'clock position when removed needs to be the 12 o'clock position when reinstalled)?
2) Would it be worth it, visually only, to use an SCT that has, ohhhh, about 20% of the secondary covered with corrosion (mainly around the outside edge of the mirror) and pits?
3) I am reasonably good mechanically and don't have any fear about opening up a scope so there's a certain part of me that thinks a scope to "practice on" might not be a bad thing especially because I wouldn't have much invested in it - should I be worried about that line of thinking?
4) Any other advice you care to share is welcome - i.e. get a pair of binoculars and mount them on a tripod as a way of "reaching deeper" then just my two eyes, etc.