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Galilean loupes for machinists

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  • Galilean loupes for machinists

    Yesterday at the dentist's office, my dentist was using what looked like a miniature pair of binoculars attached to his glasses. I asked to see them. They are called "dentist's loupes," magnify about x 2.5 and have a focal distance of about 12". Prices start at around $150.

    Other than the price, they would be really useful for machining. I find that when I use my Optivisor, I have to put my face too close to the work for comfort when the machine is running. The loupes let you inspect the work while staying safe.

    All you optics gurus out there, is there a cheap way to put together such a thing, maybe by salvaging plastic lenses out of ordinary jeweler's loupes?

  • #2
    Use the search engine - it's been discussed in more than one thread. Lots of good ideas kicked around.

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    • #3
      Al
      I have a couple different pair of Optivisors.
      The one I use for machine work focuses at 18"- 20" keeping my face at a safer distance.

      Hal

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      • #4
        The good ones are $800+. I use an Optivisor.....
        ----------
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        • #5
          I use both (and some more) daily, but prefer Optivisor.
          Last edited by MichaelP; 11-24-2010, 05:04 PM.
          Mike
          WI/IL border, USA

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          • #6
            how do i know what power i should buy ? i like the 12-18 inch idea but i currently use 1.5 power reading glasses. . . . .

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            • #7
              I bought a pair from MSC. Spoke to the supplier of the"Galilean telescopes" they sell,but the supplier was a complete jerk. I paid about $250.00.

              I ended up sending them back because:1; they were way too heavy on my nose,2; I felt like my hands were not connected to my body trying to work at about 14" range under magnification.

              I just use 4X drugstore glasses,and do have a presc. pair,too. My eyes are close to the same,so I can get by with the drugstore type.

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              • #8
                I recently went to the model train show at our local state fairgrounds. Other then it being a bit of a disappointment from the shows of long ago, there was one vendor there that had a mess of nice tools.

                I bought some small tweezers and such but he did have something similar to the eyeglasses alsinaj had mentioned. They were all plastic and were basically 2 adjustable focus loops on a bar that became the glasses browpiece. I set them to my eye distance and then adjusted them as I would binoculars so that my eyes could focus evenly and they worked well. The were also light due to the plastic design.

                I think that they were $30 at the show and I should have bought them but I also have the optivisor type and felt that having another set was an overkill.

                Soooooo, you might try looking at model train suppliers for this item.

                rock~
                Civil engineers build targets, Mechanical engineers build weapons.

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                • #9
                  I have a nice pair of "dentist's loupes". My dentist helped me in selecting these and they work just fine, however I have never really gotten used to them and have fallen back on my old optical visors. My dentist says it takes a lot of getting used to. Part of the problem is the field of view is very restricted and trying to get your "bearings" in your workspace is a problem. For what it is worth, I find that magnifying visors work better for me. And the visors I find best are the cheap ones from Harbor Freight. I just buy two or three of them at a time and throw them away when they get scratched or otherwise messed up.
                  "You pays your money and takes your choice".

                  Planeman

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by davidh
                    how do i know what power i should buy ? i like the 12-18 inch idea but i currently use 1.5 power reading glasses. . . . .

                    Optivisor #3 lense will give you x1.75 magnification at about 14" distance. This is quite optimal and sufficient. That's the one I use and like. They call it DA-3.

                    If you want a higher magnification, the working distance will be shorter. For example, #4 lense will give you only a slightly higher magnification (x2), but the working distance will drop to 10".

                    If you decide to go with Optivisor, buy the original one. It's much more comfortable than the cheap look alikes. Yet it's very affordable at about $30. Here is one at Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Donegan-OptiVi.../dp/B0015IS6IY
                    Mike
                    WI/IL border, USA

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                    • #11
                      Stumbled onto this site - sorry if already mentioned by someone:

                      http://www.widgetsupply.com/page/WS/...eading-glasses

                      HUGE section on magnifiers of all types.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by davidh
                        how do i know what power i should buy ? i like the 12-18 inch idea but i currently use 1.5 power reading glasses. . . . .

                        Next time you get readers made, specify that you want an 18-20 inch focal distance. I did - I have a nice pair of 1.75 diopter safety readers set up for machining and the computer.

                        I have a set of loupes - about $20 on ebay - Pakistan, but they do have glass (non-safety) lenses - 15 inch focal and 2.5X magnification. I use these occasionally on the lathe, but you need to be super careful - no peripheral vision and very easy to get disoriented.
                        Last edited by lakeside53; 11-25-2010, 11:36 AM.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Hal
                          Al
                          I have a couple different pair of Optivisors.
                          The one I use for machine work focuses at 18"- 20" keeping my face at a safer distance.

                          Hal
                          Ditto that. I have used the #3 optivisor for about 5 years sometimes up to 8 hours a day. They are made for that kind of use without damaging your eyes. I suspect if you bought a cheap set of binoculars they might cause some serious eye strain if you use them much.
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                          • #14
                            Along those same lines, I'm extremely near sighted and have worn glasses my entire life. I now wear progressive lenses which I think are just wonderful - except in my shop. When I need to get close to something I have to either remove my glasses entirely or tip my head way back in order to look through the "close" portion of my lenses at the bottom. Not the most convenient situation when wearing "over the glasses" safety glasses or with oily slippery hands. The problem is even worse when doing up close MIG welding. I usually slide the glasses way down my nose and just look over them.

                            My solution was to get my optometrist to make me up a pair of +2.0 clip on lenses. Lenses for correction of near sightedness are minus lenses. My normal progressives have a focal range from about 18" - for reading - to infinity across the lens. The clipons change that to about 3" to 36" across the lens. Helps keep my face out of the danger zone.

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