Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Bench + Microscope

Pardon the poor photos. I finally have the big parts made of a bench I've had planned for six months. Top is 24" long and o'all height with microscope stand is 45".

I wanted something heavy, low to the ground, and stout. I find myself often trying to coax precision out of a hacksaw or file. A jiggling, walking, insecure bench has caused me much anguish and injury in the past. This bench and vise combo isn't going anywhere fast.

I also wanted a versatile vise which would hold onto parts with confidence. I decided on a 6" Kurt for ease of jaw change and robustness. It's not as ergonomic as other options, but I can easily hold other more delicate workholding fixtures in it if necessary.

I recently started sharpening surgical tools, and got a binocular microscope for the purpose. Couldn't stomach the cost of a commercially available stand right now, so I built one. While lacking a fine-adjust for focusing on fixed surfaces, it works great. The counterweight portion of the lower arm envelops a few blocks of metal to help balance it. I thought this bench would make a nice station for sharpening.

The microscope mount accommodates an acrylic shield to prevent my unworthy troglodyte implements from damaging the lens.

These handles lock down the two attachments. Both bases have shallow concavities in the bottom, to ensure they clamp securely. The screws are mortised into the bases so they don't spin.

Here are some wooden jaws I made for the kurt. They are held with the "dovelock master jaws".

I made this wooden piece to adapt some cheap 5v LED lights to my noga mag base, for lighting under the microscope.

Below is a rendering of how I expect to use the table for precision work. The wooden stick will probably be replaced with more complex shapes and fixtures suited to the task.