Question: How to center work under the microscope

billyProps

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Feb 22, 2021
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Hello,

I‘m kind of new to hand engraving. I worked next to a hand engraver (all pushing) when I was a bench jeweler and have always had an appreciation for it, but never had the patience to do it. Long story short, just had an excuse to buy every engraving tool I ever wanted and now I have a new hobby (that I’m absolutely going to practice every day for at least an hour and not just for a week or two).

After getting used to spinning the work in the vise to steer the graver, especially for scrolls, I started filling brass squares with scrollwork doodles. Really enjoying it. I set up my microscope today and the first thing I noticed was that the center of the spiral needs to be centered in the field of view and close to the center of the vise or it goes out of view during a turn. How do people engrave larger pieces with a scope if the piece needs to be centered that way?

edit: it would appear that a positioning vise is the answer.
 
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mitch

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Search the archive. This topic has been thoroughly covered, including pictures & diagrams and more info than you will know what to do with for just about any scope & vise set-up combination imaginable. Have fun!
 

rweigel

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I developed the following method for microscope centering on turntables:

I used a b/w laser printer for a 2D dot pattern with about 0.3mm spacing on white paper and glued this to a magnetic label for inkjet printers.

Place this on your work piece or on the ball vise‘s jaws. Center the vice roughly on the turntable, precision is not important here. Look at the dot pattern through the microscope. While rotating the turntable, the center of rotation becomes visible in the rotating dot pattern. Center the microscope to it. Microscope viewing angle is no longer crucial here.

The magnetic label backing keeps the paper in place on ferromagnetic materials. It‘s weigth helps it to stay in place on other materials. It‘s less than a mm thick, even if the microscope looks at the work under a certain angle, you could still center the scope on the rotating pattern and have your work centered as well…

Should have patented the idea, it is much easier and faster than centering pins etc.

Best regards,

Ralf
 

monk

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it can be a pain for some, but when nearing the edge of the fov, just use yer left hand and reorient a bit. this works if one has no turntable or centering vise.
 

AllenClapp

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I developed the following method for microscope centering on turntables:

I used a b/w laser printer for a 2D dot pattern with about 0.3mm spacing on white paper and glued this to a magnetic label for inkjet printers.

Place this on your work piece or on the ball vise‘s jaws. Center the vice roughly on the turntable, precision is not important here. Look at the dot pattern through the microscope. While rotating the turntable, the center of rotation becomes visible in the rotating dot pattern. Center the microscope to it. Microscope viewing angle is no longer crucial here.

The magnetic label backing keeps the paper in place on ferromagnetic materials. It‘s weigth helps it to stay in place on other materials. It‘s less than a mm thick, even if the microscope looks at the work under a certain angle, you could still center the scope on the rotating pattern and have your work centered as well…

Should have patented the idea, it is much easier and faster than centering pins etc.

Best regards,

Ralf
This makes so much sense it is scary. Great tip. Good use for the refrigerator magnet ads that come glued to telephone books, if you ever get a telephone book anymore.
 

Sam

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Or you could just learn to centre the scope on the vise/turntable by eye.
Quick, easy and no special materials required :)
That's what I do. I spin the vise and see where the point of rotation is and move my scope over that point. Fast and easy once you do it a few times.
 

Brant

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Sam & Andrew,

That’s too easy, You need to get 5 or 6 more steps in there to make it a valid proceedure.
 
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Sam

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Rod Cameron made a laser pointer for locating center. very clever guy he is!
 

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