Jump to content

Magnifiers for Minute carving

Joe Aimetti

Recommended Posts

Hello all-


I have seen pictures of some of the folks on this site wearing various types of magnifiers to assist in small carving and engraving. This has me wondering as to the different kinds of optical equipment and lightning that is available and which would be most practical.

I would be interested in hearing about this and to get opinions, both pro and con on the different kinds available.


Right now I have a magnifier lens on an articulated arm that has a florescent light around and under it. I would say it magnifies about 8 to 10 times. I also have the wearable magnifier called the “Opti- Visor” that has removable lenses. I use a lamp with a special “Sun light like” bulb in it for lighting when using that one. I also use reading glasses in different powers.


The drawback with the above is that to get the magnification I want, my eye relief puts me very close to the piece I am attempting to work on. When using a rotary tool or long handle cutter, this can become crowded and a bit nerve racking.


I have been looking at the stereo microscope type units , and the cost of some of them are pretty impressive. However , if they give me the eye relief I want , it would be worth it to me.


Any comments or suggestions ?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Joe,


One type you might be interested in is prescription binoculars like that worn by surgeons.

These can be made in whatever power and operating distance you want - still going to cost something like $2000.00 U.S. You would want the technician to custom make them for you.

I don't own a pair because I don't have the money. I use a # 10 lens on an optivisor - I extended the lens out from the frame with longer screws and tubing - this helps considerably with working distance. I would like the scope made by GRS, but again, I can't afford it yet.




Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am chummy with the optometrist, who knows what I do, and always writes two prescriptions for lenses. My all day pair and my carving pair. The carving glasses have seamless bifocals (I have them in the regular lenses, so am used to them). The prescription raises the power in the bifocal and is calculated to focus where I customarily hold my work and tools, about 10-12 inches plus or minus. The upper part is calculated to focus on the work surface at arms length, so that I can focus on the tools without stress to the eyes. Any further distance is a strain, and is out of focus. These are excellent working glasses.


I wear just these when I compose and begin a carving. When the large motion work winds down to needing to be closer in, I then put on those antique binocular loupes, which you see in my avatar. You might be able to find some clip on lenses that jewelers use, that will rotate out of the way or in line for your closer in work. My lenses together, the glasses and loupes reach about 8.5-10x, and are comfortable to use for the hand tool detail work. Check out the jeweler's catalog web sites to see what you can find. I think that those are affordable, compared to the big equipment.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

I found a site that shows how to construct a stereo microscope. If anyone is handy, and there are a few in this group; this might be a viable alternative. I like the ideas suggested, and will look into this further.





My wife has an ear doctor that has a nice unit that hangs on the wall. He can use it 2 feet away from th ear and see everything.

That would be perfect.


Take care



Link to comment
Share on other sites


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Create New...