Through the microscope

Posts tagged ‘CTS’


Look at my shiny microscopes!

Today I have been polishing two microscopes that had chipped paint work.

I started by lightly sanding around the chips  with 1500 grit paper, I filled in the chips with layers and layers  of hammerite smooth paint (sanding lightly between each layer of paint to make a key for the next coat). When the chips were filled and level I sanded the whole microscope again with 1500 grit sand paper to form a key and sprayed it with spray enamel (masking off delicate areas).

I left the spray enamel to dry for a few days then went over the microscope with T-cut, next I used Meguiar’s ultra cut which gives a really high sheen and finally I applied a finishing polish. Meguair’s ultra cut is bloody marvellous stuff. I’m pretty chuffed. The polarizing microscope started off with no paint at all on its feet. The phase scope’s paintwork was in better condition but it had a few large chips on the base and on the stand.

Aren’t they shiny?

Tomorrow I shall post pictures of the cobwebs I found in the 45X objective, I promise!


Spiders in microscopes (and telescopes)

Spiders in microscopes (and telescopes)


A very nice man called David contacted me after I posted about the spider’s web on my 45X objective. He directed me to a fascinating article about how spiders silk came to be used to make the crosshairs in gun sights, microscope and telescope reticles.

I knew that very fine wires were used in many of these devices but I didn’t know about the spider silk. The article starts by describing the observations of a very clever chap called Gascoigne who found a spider’s web in his telescope in the 17th Century.

The link at the top of the page will take you to the first part of the story, there’s a second part to the article which can be found at

Read it, especially if you’re a fan of Cooke Troughton and Simms or Vickers. It made my day, I hope it will please you too.

Guess who’s in trouble with her husband?

Me. Yes, me. I believe his words were “Oh Lord, not another one”

I was browsing on eBay and I saw a lovely Cooke Troughton and simms microscope. It appears to be a phase contrast microscope. I think it also has a magnification changer. Can’t be sure but I think so. £60, not a bad price methinks. I’ve seen magnification changers go for £90. I’ve only ever seen one CTS phase contrast unit for sale and that went for as much as this microscope costs. Even if the phase unit doesn’t work £60 is not extortionate.

I have a bit of a thing for Cooke Troughton and Simms microscopes. They’re very pleasing to the eye but they’re also damn good microscopes. They are as good optically as many modern student microscopes but they have no plastic parts so they don’t break.

Most important of all they are black with shiny bits. I love black and shiny things.

This one looks rather grubby but I can fix that. It will be a nice project. I’m not sure if it has any phase objectives with it, but I have a vickers patholette and those objectives might just work. Vickers and Cooke microscopes have quite a lot of interchangeable parts.

If the microscope can’t be made to work I shall break it up and use it for spares.

*insert squeal of horror here!*

I’m joking, I shan’t break it up for spares. I have tried to do that before. I once bought a microscope with the sole intention of cannibalising it. It had a rare objective with it that I needed. I didn’t need anything else off it so I intended to break it up and use the spare parts to give my other CTS microscopes a service. Needless to say the rare objective I desperately wanted was in an unusable state and the rest of it was in better condition than the microscope I was going to give its parts to. I now have two identical microscopes. One (the one I bought for cannibalising) is slightly better than the other but I eventually found suitable objectives and the two microscopes share them. They never complain. Microscopes are good like that.

Also, I feel good today. I have decided to give up work and dedicate my life to microscopes and sewing. Work makes me depressed. I work as an in-class support worker. It’s not the staff – they’re good people. The students are okay too for the most part but I am completely disillusioned with the education system. I could write a long post on why but I doubt many people want to hear it. Let’s just say my heart is liberal but my head is a traditionalist. The race to the bottom is real and I can’t be a part of it any more.


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