Telescope repair advice wanted: UPDATED!
1) Am I crazy?
2) Is this feasible?
Background: I recently inherited an astronomical reflecting telescope, which I think has been dropped at some point. The design is as below.
Where the eyepiece enters the side of the tube that makes up the body of the scope, the tube is slightly dented. The eyepiece still points at the secondary mirror and the alignment is good enough that I can point the scope at an object and get an image, but the alignment isn't perfect so the image has a lot of what I'd guess is spherical aberration preventing a decent image.
Firstly- is having the eyepiece on-axis and perfectly aligned so important that I will never ever get even a half-decent image from this scope? If the tolerance involved are 0.1mm and minutes or seconds of angle, I doubt I can restore it that well.
Secondly, is having the eyepiece positioned on-axis as important as having it parallel with the ideal axial light path? As it's held in with three screws I'd imagine I can tweak the alignment with some use of spacers etc. but if it's off-axis I don't think I can shift it back to the perfect position. In other words, for the mathematicians, is having the eyepiece "translated" as much of a problem as having it "rotated"?
(Thirdly- if the reflecting scope is trash, can I get a 150mm diameter 1000mm focus lens and make a straight-through scope with the bits?)
UPDATE: it's working perfectly, see pictures below!