• Attempting to determine which 1/16" drill bits were sharp yesterday, I’ve decided that I really miss having several decent magnification tools available in the shop. I’m going to have to acquire something for the space… Figured I’d brainstorm here on options… Depending on what I’m doing, I use several different things.

    Most of the time, I go for a fluorescent ring light on an arm with about a 5x 6" lens.

    For very small parts I have a 20x lighted handheld unit with a built in ruler. You can lay it on something and take measurements directly off the part.

    For even smaller things I have an old microscope that is good from 50x to 800x

    Sometimes I borrow the girlfriends DSLR and take a macro photo to annonate…

    I gather there are a bunch of new fangled USB and wireless options too… I might experiment with a raspi and a webcam using a hacked together macro lens. Anyone else have any suggestions?

  • I sometimes use my cell phone camera

  • I will be bringing my microscope to the space

  • With a suitable backlight, a USB camera and the right lens setup, I bet it would be possible to bolt something to a milling machine to make it act as an optical comparitor:

  • Founder

    I have a flourescent ring light that I’ve been meaning to bring to the space! It got lost behind my bench at home. Thanks for the reminder. I’ll throw it in the truck today and bring it over!

  • That would have been really handy last week when I was cutting a sliver out of @Chainmaildave’s finger too. It is much easier to do even simple things when you can see where you are cutting.

  • Founder

    Its on its way…

  • A co worker of mine showed me a cool mod he did to his Cell phone. Took the lens out of a cheap Dollar Store Laser pointer. Cut a piece of tube that the inside diameter matched the outside diameter of the lens. Then mounted it in front of the camera on his Smart phone. Now you have a 130x zoom. We used it to find where the the helium leaks were on a cryostat.

    Its the lens off a laser pointer like this.


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