Archive for the ‘Microscopy – all posts’ Category
Here it is, my first perfect piece of lacquering. It’s been six months since I started this mission. I have messed around with lacquer recipes, I have altered resin proportions, I have tried different polishing methods, different cloths and brushes, different temperatures and finally I have success.
One of the keys to success has been a sunny day – not generally something I can control but it certainly makes a difference.
Getting the finish on the metal right has been challenging. I don’t want the microscope to look like a reproduction but I don’t want it to be full of pits and bumps either. Restoring an antique microscope has to be done sensitively, I’m going for old but in good nick, not brand-new-reproduction made in a Chinese factory.
I’m very pleased. Now I have to do the rest of the microscope to the same standard.
No flash was used on these pictures.
I just did some perfect lacquering! it’s taken six months to achieve but I’ve done it!!!
I have been fighting with this lacquering for so long. I have put it on, taken it off, put it on again…
Every time I have had streaks or runs or patches or it’s been okay but too thick (and hence a funny orange colour).
I figured it was best to give up on this microscope and change over to a simpler style of microscope with fewer fiddly bits. A little Royal Society of Arts microscope. I deccided to have one last bash and it worked.
It seems to come down to two things – the cloth must be very moist but not dripping with lacquer and the lacquering must be done quickly, ideally within 20 seconds.
I’m in the process of stripping another not quite perfect part of the microscope now. I’m not going to strip the focus knobs though, they are very fiddly and I need to move on. I don’t want to get bored and lose interest.
Just some diatoms that I filmed on the M4000 today. Very busy little things. A quick google informs me that they move using an actin/myosin system. Little tiny muscles, cute.
I have been looking at pond water and have come across some protozoans I have never seen before.
The first is Pleuronema, it looks like a paramecium but I couldn’t figure out what the “flagella” were. Turns out they aren’t flagella, Pleuronema fishes for food using a net of cilia. Rather interesting little beastie, I made a video of it.
Here is a picture of the other beastie I found, a Loxophyllum, it glides in a most beautiful way. It’s quite large. The pictures below were taken using a 20X objective whereas the video was taken using 40X. I wasn’t able to video the Loxophyllum because it was quite swift as well as elegant.
I have been playing around with metal lacquer for the last few weeks. I have desperately been trying to figure out how the hot lacquering of microscopes was done. Information on lacquering metal is rather hard to come by and I want to use the original techniques, not modern lacquers.
I have tried various recipes with varying degrees of success, in the next few days I should be receiving some sandarac and elemi in the post. I think these resins may be my secret weapons.
As soon as I get something close to perfect I shall post a picture. In the meantime here is a link to a very nice blog I stumbled upon; not metal lacquer, but very interesting just the same.
Given that he was born in a stable/cave and that “ox and ass before him bowed,” I’m willing to bet there was a tapeworm at the birth of Jesus. Probably not a tapeworm of pig, more likely beef, Jews aren’t terribly keen on eating pork. A wise decision 2000 years ago, most human tapeworm infections come from pork.
I took some pictures of rotifers with oblique lighting and I’m really quite pleased with them. The cilia can be seen quite clearly and I have managed to get the rotifer’s tail in a lot of the pictures too. Rotifers have a tendency to sit on their tails.
The oblique lighting works better than phase contrast in many ways, you don’t get the halo effect with oblique that you get with phase and it is easier to get clear pictures of the cilia because of this.
Pictures taken on Vickers M4000 with oblique filter in filter tray, canon EOS 1100D camera.
I got rather engrossed in some rotifers yesterday. I was peering down the microsscope when I suddenly felt extremely tired, I looked at the time and discovered it was 3.30am. Oops.
Here is the result of my labours, a video of some rotifers in dark field.