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Archive for July 2nd, 2012

Jacking Up The Microscope

Microscope with machinists jack

Microscope with machinists jack

The stereo zoom microscope over the electronics bench lives on the end of long support arm that tends to be just slightly wobbly. Part of the problem is that the far end is anchored on the sponge-backed laminate flooring I put atop the bench, but it’d be slightly wobbly even with a firm base on the plywood bench top.

So I prop up the microscope with a machinist’s jack and it’s all stable & good.

This one happens to be from an ancient Starret 190 set that I accumulated along with some other tooling, but any of the cheap imitations would work just as well.

The two bubble level vials help get the microscope axis exactly perpendicular to the bench surface, which makes the difference between good overall focus and a blurred image with a single line in focus. Here the jack is vertical and the microscope is tilted slightly toward the edge of the bench; the jack has a pivot below its knurled top plate.

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