I bought a 10″ Meade Starfinder dob on Craigslist. The owner had passed away and it sat untouched in a barn in a vertical position without a dust cover. Looking down into the telescope it was hard to tell whether or not the dust would wash away or if it concealed damage to the primary. I took a gamble.
I found the construction of the Meade telescope to be suprisingly cheap. Particleboard, plastic, and cardboard and any encounter with dew or moisture started to ruin the base. I wasn’t able to clean the primary easily because it was glued to the particle board cell. I ended up wrapping the cell with saran wrap tightly and ensuring no water spilled over onto the cell itself. It cleaned up nicely without visible scratches or pits but the coating was simply gone in many places.
Off to Optic Wave Labs for their free testing revealed that the mirror was mediocre at best:
The P-V wavefront error is 1 / 3.59 waves
The Strehl ratio is .862
Cary offered to refigure it to be an excellent mirror and I figured I might as well go for it. The mirror came out very nice:
Your mirror finished up at a really nice 1/14th wave P-V on the wavefront.