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DIY Microscopes

I sometimes find a USB microscope very useful, though actually more for demonstrating stuff online than strictly for honing, where my loupe or magnifying glass and a bright light are handier. If I didn't have my Belomo though, I would probably use one of my microscopes a lot more. Some guys just don't want to order stuff on fleabay or amazon and yeah, I get that. So here are some youtubes for DIYing your own. Two showed up unbidden in my youtube feed. The other was in the side links of the first one.

DIY USB microscope using CD or DVD drive(destroyed) and a webcam (destroyed), very easy to focus, claims 500x

with smartphone, laser pointer (destroyed), some plexiglass, wood, bolts and wingnuts, and optionally a LED light.

Manually focusing webcam (destroyed), cardboard, blister pack plastic, hot melt glue and a bolt and some nuts. Surprisingly good depth of field.

DIY Scanning Electron Microscope, various components,approximate cost of $1485 buying stuff on ebay, not counting an oscilloscope and some wire and hoses.

So you cheapskates do have options if you have enough junk laying around the trailer.
 

SliceOfLife

Contributor
Don't you have to prep services for SEMs by chemically coating them with gold molecules? Do they have a build at home device for doing that too?
 
Sputter coating with gold or platinum. Some years back I was doing a bunch of SEM imaging in a lab and gold coated all sorts of doll part, legos, insects etc for my girls when they were young. Super cool machine to watch - makes some kind of plasma cloud if I recall.
 
Don't you have to prep services for SEMs by chemically coating them with gold molecules? Do they have a build at home device for doing that too?
Doesn't look like the guy in the video did that. Maybe only needed at higher resolutions? TBH I don't know anything about SEMs except that I want one.
 

duke762

Contributor
Cool. I kinda like the first one, myself.
Yeah, I want to do #1 too but I have to round up parts. What kind of lighting would work good with these. I assume the razor will be lighted from above and will need to be moveable. Will glare be an issue?
 
Not laughing AT you friend, hopefully WITH you, as I'm ADHD!
I was actually laughing at my self. The more the merrier. What now, what was I doing... Oh yeah, I was writing something I can't remember writing anymore and now I have to put my pants on but there's some really cool stuff in the pocket, and now I'm totally not cleaning the apartment any more.
 
Yeah, I want to do #1 too but I have to round up parts. What kind of lighting would work good with these. I assume the razor will be lighted from above and will need to be moveable. Will glare be an issue?
You want a bright and concentrated light source so you get very sharp reflections that help you to see how flat a bevel is, and clearly dilineates the honed facet vs the areas that are not yet in good contact. A very bright light also helps you to evaluate scratch fields. I have a 400w halogen work light that I have been meaning to set up for use. It does get extremely hot, though, so I might wire it up with a foot switch and maybe a blower to carry heat away from me. You don't need 400w. I just sort of like to go big or go fishing. A small cluster of LEDs would work fine. A gooseneck desk lamp and a 50w bulb in a conical style shade works pretty good. There are plenty of solutions that would work just fine.
 
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