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Making a microscope mount

April 15, 2013

The Bausch and Lomb inspection microscope is ubiquitous as an invaluable tool for working on small items. It’s inexpensive as a used item, works well, and is hard to kill. But as a dedicated bargain hunter, I’m going to get what I can. I picked up a B&L scope and e-arm assembly on eBay for about $150 and went about getting it working on my bench. My buddy, Steve at Tangent Audio, inspired this with his super-sexy  mount and camera system.

His design is a marvel of home builds and attention to detail. I came up with my own fancy design, made to use few specialized parts but mostly aluminum stock.

Swing arm assembly

Nice and easy, right?

It’s what I like: Simplicity, and just hard enough to do that I would never get around to it. I’ve recently decided that I should prefer to get shit done.  So, here goes plan B.

All plans that need to be accomplished quickly and with a minimum of fuss should start with this statement:

“What would a redneck do?”

A true redneck would not sweat polish, but would get the job done with the cheapest available items. And so, I bring you, the Mount-O-Tron .5:

Hell ya, Iron pipe!

Hell ya, Iron pipe!

No rocket science here. We got an iron flange that screws into a cutting board, and a 1/2″ iron pipe sticking out of it. Turns out that 1/2″ iron pipe has an internal diameter of 5/8″, and so does the E-arm mount. So here we got:

Step 1: Drill out the pipe

The pipe is kinda 5/8″, but they comperss the pip when threading and cutting so there’s a little lip. Nothing a stepped mettal hole saw can’t fix. Oh, and sanding. And a Dremel.

Drilling pipe More pipe drilling

Sand it all smooth and hit it with a wire brush to be sure.

Step 2: Mount the flange.

Pre-drill and screw down.

Pre drilling the holes and alignment

Step 3: Mount the pipe

Twist gently at first, then apply lots of torque just before you're finished.

Twist gently at first, then apply lots of torque just before you’re finished.

Step 4: Stick your ‘scope on that pipe

Mounted scope

Awww, yeah.

Step 5: look at things.

I really should dust more

I really should dust more


There is something to be said about taking you time and making the best thing you can. And that something is “You’re awesome and your workmanship elevates the worlds in its own little way”.

This project screams “I have 2 hours to get it done”.


From → Hardware

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