View Full Version : Sure is interesting to magnify stuff..... (gloat)

J Tiers
05-04-2008, 12:30 AM
Acquired some goodies today......

Two tenths-reading Starrett mic units (the barrel, as used on a lathe stop etc)

One 25x/40x Anchor Optical stereo microscope........ with large heavy table stand. Not that wonderful, but way bettter than anything I had. Perfect for use on the Boley watchmaker's lathe.

Some other stuff, which isn't important.

microscope price $9............. marked down from $45 when nobody wanted it ! Didn't take me long to decide to buy it. I'd have paid the $45 happily.

it is pretty scary to look at your tiny work with that stereo microscope....

Smooth things suddenly reveal that they look like a badly ploughed field.

The edge on a sharpened graver looks so bad you wonder how it cuts...

That tiny pivot suddenly looks like a coke can, revealing things you didn't want to know, but need to.

And you suddenly develop a want for smaller tools that don't look out of proportion to your work.

I have a small graver, about 0.080 square shank. Much smaller than I seem to be able to get from any so-called watchmaker supply joint. And it is WAY too big.....

A.K. Boomer
05-04-2008, 01:46 AM
Great score, I wish I had a really good one, My latest thing I checked out magnified was a birds flight feather (not the down), I got to wondering -- what the hell puts them back together, I mean you can pull the vanes apart and then they just reassemble and it takes effort to get them apart again, I did not have the system you have -- just a magnifying monocle, the best that I can tell is its kinda like velcro but both sides are the same, maybe you can check one out sometime and let me know.

Norman Atkinson
05-04-2008, 03:43 AM
Hi Jerry,
Somehow, somewhere there is still a series called Microscope on the Lathe and was written up in Model Engineer by 'Geometer' who was old Ned Westbury, the Editor. It is worth a further search- of only for ideas.
Again, HemingwayKits did have a kit which was with an article in Model Engineers Workshop.

I have been messing about with a childs toy microscope as I saw a proper one on a mates's 10mm Pultra which is an instrument lathe(S&B, incidentally)
( I do have a rather posher microscope but it looks rather out of place in the
Dante's Inferno which I jokingly call a workshop)

Doesn't a 'scope show up tool wear?



Norman Atkinson
05-04-2008, 04:59 AM
Since my postiing, I googled 'Geometer' etc and there is still the index to his articles which appeared in Model Engineer

The Group in Yahoo was just one of the groups which Magicalia forced the removal of old information. 'My stuff' on other aspects of model engineering fell victim as well.

Maybe someone put the info on their hard drive.

Despite what sometimes appears, I did make very serious attempts not to destroy useful information for a newer generation.



05-04-2008, 05:58 AM
Yep, it is downright discouraging when you have a look at what you thought was a nice shiny polished cutting tool. Instead it looks as ragged as a rusted razor blade. I find my stereo scope is getting a lot of use for checking my micro tool bits and cutters. If you do anything at all with small scale machining a good wide field, low power microscope is nearly a "must have" item. Stereo is a great big plus too.

Drug store microscopes are crap and do not have any use in the shop. It's the same as the marketing of telescopes, digital cameras and many other products. The assumption made by the uninformed consumer is that the main feature is magnification and more is better, always. In fact as with telescopes more magnification is rarely better or even used beyond perhaps 40 power.

J Tiers
05-04-2008, 10:55 AM
yeah, 40X is mighty close.............. and even 25x is sometimes more than needed.

I wonder what my chances are of finding suitable 2x or 5 x eyepieces for it are..... it was sold by Edmund way back when, and they then had some lower power eyepieces available.

What I find more surprising than the nasty-looking cutting edges is the fact that the horrible-looking graver actually cuts well..... That lumpy, rounded, dull edge (lumpy etc as seen at 40X) peels off the steel just as if it were actually sharp........

As far as drug-store microscopes, Edmund sold this one for $99 back in the late 1950s, so it wasn't the top of the line.......... But it sure beats squinting thru a loupe. or even an Optivisor.

I might be able to make some credible meter, clock, and watch parts........... at least I can see the part at a size to check the polishing and form now.

05-04-2008, 11:57 AM
You might find this very interesting, I did ...


My scopes:



and some interesting microphotography images:




This is VERY sweet design:



Norman Atkinson
05-04-2008, 12:07 PM
It was only Thursday when I was mentioning putting a hand turning rest on what was a new but very indifferent lathe. He was making an 'antique' clarinet- my wife was having a soprano saxophone lesson with his other half.( It gets like that)
I came back to talking about Waltham watches with a watch maker. He had been apprenticed to my old late lamented mate, who had been President of the British Horological Institute( it gets like that)

Your posting came along- sorry about the 'Geometer' reference but J W Early had to take the reference down( Magicalia). However, I did start thinking and Richard French has come up with Home Made Tools2 and the initials BHI turned up(it gets like that). Eventually, it lead up to gravers and things and an Engraving Forum.

My mate with the microscope on his Pultra--- is an amateur clock maker.

Unashamedly, I 'passed' on references to George Daniels.
Recall, my reference about M.Vernier- and Bescancon in the Jura Mountains?
( it gets like that)

Get Googling?

Moi??? I am making one of those automatic stroked engraving machines which cuts lines of different lengths for 10's, 5's and units-- by clockwork. ( it gets like that)

J Tiers
05-04-2008, 03:40 PM
Got no idea what that is all about......

But it is fun to make stuff that you can't actually SEE with the eye alone...!

05-04-2008, 04:05 PM
Congrats on the new toys J!

Not long ago I stumbled into a B&L Super Zoom 7 and had several days of fun just "looking at stuff". With 10x eye piece, I get 10-70x zoom. And I have a 2x objective that brings it to 20-140x. I gotta say that at 70x I found out that even the best of my favorite cutters look like nothing better than an abused grader blade! But alas, the "new" has worn off and now I only bring it out once in a long while to look at something where the naked eye is just not enough.

J Tiers
05-04-2008, 07:17 PM
But alas, the "new" has worn off and now I only bring it out once in a long while to look at something where the naked eye is just not enough.

No fear........

it is "essential" for small work on the Boley, so it has a permanent home.

In fact, when it is needed to repair surface-mount electronics, I'll have to "steal it" from its primary use.