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microscopes and machining

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  • microscopes and machining

    I've finally taken the plunge. I've been looking at biological scopes for quite a while. Last week I dropped a few hundred and bought one.

    So who here plays with scopes? I haven't really had fun with one in a few years, since I stopped working for the university. Every once in a while I'll stop in to the lab and re-tune our scopes, mostly because nobody knows how to properly align the optics where I work now.

    I think the first thing I'll do is start working towards a darkfield setup, but I also want to play around with polarized light some as well.

    Who knows where it'll all go.

    So who has done machining projects for em??

  • #2
    Re; Microscopes

    Hi Snowman...I did a little of that work but not anything with the optics. Mainly, I had to replace the rack and pinion gears in the binocular dissecting scopes when they would use them down at the coast. The only tricky part of that was machining the back side of the rack to give the proper clearance for the gears to mesh with the pinion, which was just a shaft with teeth cut into it. They were not straight teeth but cut on an angle, to reduce lash. The gears were brass and the scopes would bind if they got a little salt or beach grit in the grease that was used on them. The measurement part was a little tricky but usually just required milling a little off the back side of the rack to get the desired mesh. Once in a while I would have to make an adaptor for a filter or camera to mount to the objective, but that is about all. It was fun work and needed complete concentration. The rack and pinion sets were about $50 each from AO.
    Jim (KB4IVH)

    Only fools abuse their tools.


    • #3
      I've done stuff like that. I used to work on a custom made Zeiss and was always making all kinds of random junk for it.

      I've got a lot of projects for it. I couldn't afford the polarized one I wanted, so I want to make polarizing plates for it as well, hoping that the optics are capable.

      But, I'll also have to make a cheap microtome for mounting...random junk like that.


      • #4
        I scrapped an optical inspection unit and put the 15 power microscope on my Boley lathe. Most of my work is small stuff and this microscope really helps. I have a similar one I use when working on surface mount electronics.


        • #5
          I have a couple or four that I use. Nikon, B&L. Binocular scopes modified for long working distance so there's room underneath the objective to put your hands. Not biological type scopes. I've made illuminators and mounts and such. No major optical stuff except a negative lens to increase the working distance. Lets you get 20 power or better with a foot of clear space under the objective. Can solder surface mount or machine tiny stuff without hitting the lens. Mine were mostly surplus units that were real cheap except the Nikon. Not real easy to work under there since you can't move your head around too much.


          • #6
            At work and at home, I use stereo scopes (Olympus and Nikon) with 0.5x accessory lenses for long working distance on electronics and small machined parts. Haven't taken the @home scope near the machines yet.

            I've repaired and worked on a number of stereo scopes including B&L SZ7s, Nikon SMZ10, SMZ2Ts and a Leitz Metalloplan II (bio type scope, binocular but not stereo.) The Metalloplan is quite similar to the Ortholux but is tailored to viewing of metal samples after diamond sawing, polishing, etc., to observe crystalline structure.

            The lathe is handy for making special tubes when interfacing to a camera or trinocular port. Also handy for special mounts or for making special illuminators. The ultra bright white LEDs that are currently available are quite handy for scope illumination. I've tried a single, multi-watt Maglite replacement lamp positioned in place of a Leitz lamp housing and controller and it held its own ... without tunsten correction needed.

            One thing to remember for machine work is that a stereo scope will retain your depth of field perception while a monocular or binocular scope will not. Den
            Last edited by nheng; 08-17-2008, 10:15 PM.