Microscope set-up for Bulino by Mitch


:::Pledge Member:::
::::Pledge Member::::
Jul 23, 2007
Hi All-

A while back in a thread on microscopes/lighting/bulino/whatever I'd mentioned my unusual microscope set-up for bulino work and somebody had asked me to post a picture. At the time it wasn't set up in my shop, but now it is and here's a couple shots of it.

The first pic shows the diffuser panel (1/16" white HDPE). The second has it removed because at a straight on side view it was difficult to tell what it is. The perfect incident angle of light -from the source to the object to the eyes, spread over a large area, fairly bright but softly diffused, is a delight to work under. I'm experimenting with replicating this effect for my standard microscope set-up for the rest of my engraving- I'll keep everybody posted.

A few things to note:
The scope is a Leica S6, which has a 60° angle, not the usual 45° (or 38° for some). This allows a more natural head/eye position, but I'm sure if your vise was more level and you didn't mind looking a bit more straight ahead or even a tad upwards, a 45° model would work fine.

There is no 0.5x objective lens. I'm working out in front of the scope, not directly below it, so don't need the extra clearance. This also means my zoom range is 6x-40x (not 3x-20x like for normal work). A 0.5x converter would just make me reach down & out too far.

It is difficult, bordering on impossible, to center the scope & vise on a common rotational axis at this angle. To whatever extent you can, it's limited, so this set-up is really only good for working on small areas in dots- where you'll be in the same place/position for a while. But it's REALLY GOOD for that.

As you'd expect, the focal plane is basically a band across the middle of the field of view. The higher the magnification, the narrower it gets. I focus thru a combination of the scope mount's focus adjustment and using the vise's eccentric mechanism to move forward and back. Once again, since I only use this set-up for bulino where I might be pecking dots in one small area for 10-15 mins straight, this is not as inconvenient as it sounds.

The big foam blocks are obviously arm rests. I just bought new ones out of the local Foam & Fabric off-cut bin for all of three bucks & change- which included having them glued together with 'Insta-Bond'. They're tall enough to allow a perfectly relaxed posture and when I bend my left elbow my hand falls right on the focus knob.

My vise is elevated on a pair of concrete paving blocks with thin foam sheets between for traction/vibration damping. I keep meaning to build something sexier with metal, wood or stone, but until I'm done tweaking things this is it.


  • DSCN0781.jpg
    47.7 KB · Views: 926
  • DSCN0783.jpg
    51.4 KB · Views: 906

Latest posts