Through the microscope

Archive for the ‘Restoration and cleaning’ Category

Repetitive Strain Injury

Repetitive strain injury of the index finger on my right hand, I blame my microscopes. Sanding and polishing has caused damage. As I am sanding and polishing small areas at a time, and because it’s quite delicate work I tend to use my index finger most of the time. I have to use quite a lot of pressure because I have hypermobile joints and a very weak grip. My index finger is objecting. The metacarpophalangeal joint is sore and I look like I have been stung on the hand by a couple of bees. I can’t use a mouse and I can only use my thumb and pinky finger on my right hand. 

Bugger. 

I’m sure it will be fine. I just need to rest it for a week or two and adapt.My body has given me a warning and I shall heed it.  In future I shall wrap my sandpaper around a small block – like you do when sanding large surfaces. That will mean I am distributing the strain better instead of it all going on one finger.  I may have to wrap my polishing cloths around a stick of some kind too, so I can use more of a pencil grip. 

I’d type more but I’m used to using all my fingers to type and this is very slow. 

How many fingers do you use to type? 

I hope my hand gets better soon. I have stuff to do. 

Oooh! Next week I should be helping at an adult numeracy course. That will be fun. Teaching adults is a joy. 

Happy New Year to you all!

Cleaning the objectives

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I’ve been cleaning the outsides of the Cooke Troughton and Simms polarizing microscope objectives all day today while I’m waiting for the paint to dry on the stand. Not really difficult but time consuming. The outsides are filthy. It’s taking about 2 hours to do each one.

I have used about 100 cotton buds so far. I have to make sure I don’t get any polish on the lens. I’m quite good at nimble fingered stuff. I can get within about 2mm of the lens confidently.

Can you tell which ones I have cleaned? ha ha! Oh, and don’t worry, I haven’t stripped the paint off the 20X by accident. It didn’t have a painted band to start with.

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Microscope strip down

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Today’s project, more precisely, this week’s project. My Cooke Troughton and Simms polarizing microscope has been stripped down and cleaned. It was very grubby and covered in old grease, so much so that it was sticky to touch. Horrid.

I’ve had a go at restoration before with acceptable results. It’s a learning curve. Some things worked out better than others but I’m pretty certain I haven’t ever made anything worse.
I’m not confident enough to do anything to the insides of the tube yet. Just a quick poof of air with the air-poofer.

The CTS has been washed with vulpex soap, cleaned with Rennaissance pre-lim and it’s come up quite nicely. I have used a whole packet of cotton buds and dozens of lint free cloths and various bits have been degreased and regreased.

I had a bit of trouble with the coarse focus. The pin is slightly bent so I shall have to chat up my neighbour to get it straightened. He is quite handy with bits of metal, he can chat for England though so I need to allow at least two hours when I go round.

There was some kind of resin stuck fast to the feet. Initially, I thought there was rust and the paint had bubbled up but it was resin. I’ve sanded it down and now I need to repaint the sanded bits. Primer us on. I’ll paint before I go to bed.

This is the part I dread. I’ll paint and sand repeatedly and I still won’t be happy with the result. I think that’s where T-cut comes in.

I haven’t touched the optics yet. They won’t be too much trouble.

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