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Found 29 results

  1. Shocked or Tectonic?

    Something keeps telling me to look further, but I believe this is part of answering how big of an event happened here. This stone was pulled from a vein that was sandwiched in a softer than limestone but more like granite. Sorry no picture of that. I was intrigued by the crystal structure of the crystals that had been knocked free by free range cattle and deer. My first thoughts were of petrified wood since it's literally just about everywhere if you look. But I could not figure out in the world a piece of wood might petrify, #1 clear #2 with opposing angles. These pieces did not seem to fit with the typical crystallization of quartz. The area does have examples of tectonic uplift, whether it was impact or explosive I've yet to understand. By using the scope I can see that there was a whole lot of smashing going on, shockwave from a meteorite would absolutely do it. Would also explain other pieces that still need some up close treatment. I have to change lighting and stage almost every specimen though. I only got through 4 or 5 in a whole day. pic #1 Really thought it was just an interesting piece of quartz, polish one end (soft like calcite, powdered easily, chips into a gazillion pieces) and the clarity is astonishing, you can easily see clean through like glass. With the light just right you can see a what looks like a haze that runs in the center of it. Looks very much like a light layer of smoke. Proximity to the shocked/tectonic pieces, maybe 800ft. pic #2 is a piece of shocked/tectonic quartz that is blackened on the outer surface, I'm guessing a flash of heat but certainly not brush because there is literally almost nothing there. I broke a section clean to analyze under the scope, you can see the opposing grain vs the natural crystallization, with the naked eye. It does take some reflection technique using the sun to illuminate the patterns. Up close under the scope, @80x you can see how the original crystallization was shocked. pic #3 Is the surface of pic #1 also @80x. Really thought the crystallization on the surface was quite interesting, but even more than that. Why is there no visual evidence of similar crystallization on the interior? pic #4 Is the top portion (of pic #2) that was exposed at the surface of the vein. I chipped this piece out with a hammer. @80x, illustrates the burning, sort of looks like it stuck it's face in a blast furnace to me. I have one more absolutely amazing piece that has a shocked/tectonic layer (I think shocked) that you cannot see with the naked eye. It was sandwiched in a "concretion" -lol hates that term. I'm still trying to figure it out though. All I need is a better image. Tomorrow maybe I'll try the good ole' sun and see what I can get of it. Images taken @80x using Nikon D5500 mounted to Amscope T700A via DIGICAMCONTROL (freesource software)
  2. DIY Double-arm boom stand

    I bought an articulated microscope arm a few years ago, but I was never really happy with it. The arm was too wobbly - the parts did not fit exactly and had too much play. While preparing I had to avoid bumping into the microscope, otherwise the microscope started to swing up and down. Now I have built myself a very sturdy double arm boom stand. I used two 16mm ball-type linear bearings and two solid linear motion shafts (16mm diameter, 80cm long). The end pieces and the support are made of aluminium - I had the holes drilled by a local company for 15 dollars. Together, it cost me about $ 90. Works fine! You can buy double-arm boom stands for about $ 200, but the arms are too short for my purposes.
  3. garage sale acquisitions

    I don't know if this is the best category to post this under, or should it go under 'Member Collections' as the items are now part of my collection... A week ago already (Saturday), a couple from the local rockhounds had a garage sale. I think much of the material belonged to the club as these folks had been hosting the club's workshop equipment and it was being moved out to a new place. They said "There are some fossils"... but couldn't say what kind. Unfortunately they couldn't tell me much about the locations, not being fossil people who are careful to record that sort of info. This is the same guy who told me where I might find the source of my possibly-local (Vancouver Island) trilobites that I posted some years ago. I tried pressing him for a clearer idea but I'm hampered by poor maps. I got a slightly better idea but everyone's telling me the gates are always closed now to these backcountry locations and the club looked into getting a key but found out it would cost $1000+ and whatever else. Very frustrating. How am I supposed to solve the mystery now?? Anyway, here's what I got. Nice little Glyptostrobus(?) frond. No location given but it looks like the kind of thing we find around here in our Upper Cretaceous Nanaimo Gp but the rock is a little different than what I'm familiar with. Nice specimen anyway.
  4. Microfossil finds

    Hi all, I just got the studio equipped with a digital microscope, and I've been enjoying looking through the sediments of fossil prep work. I'm finding a lot of micro crystals, and other forms that seem like pollen, or microscopic life I also found 2 insects, which I'm not sure of their origin, they could be contamination from the room, but I'm fairly certain this batch came from caked-on sediments at the bottom of my sample container.
  5. I bought a membrane display frame to display a small mosasaur tooth I found. If you have not seen these before, they are two very thin plastic membranes pressed between a plastic frame that opens up to insert objects. On a whim, I stuck the whole thing under a dissecting scope, and it viewed beautifully! The membrane was almost entirely invisible. The frame makes it easy to move the specimen around on the stage. So it turns out these are not only a nice way to display small fossils, but work great for viewing them under magnification also... I was planning on trying to get some of the special micro fossil slides, but now I won't bother... I expect it would work esp well with amber. They are about $1-2 including shipping on ebay from many sellers- search "membrane display." The only thing I am not sure about is any potential damage to the fossil from long term storage in the membrane. The membrane is made of "Acrylic, PET" so if anyone knows, please chime in.
  6. New Scope and Lenses

    Was surprised to receive a few packages very far ahead of anticipated delivery date. The first is an OMAX 3.5x - 90x trinocular scope with boom arm. If I'm going to be doing more detailed prep, a stereo scope with boom arm to position over a blast box is an absolute must. Of course, it came in a zillion pieces and the instruction manual was for an entirely different model that bore very little resemblance to the one I was putting together. But after an hour of trial and error - and some very colourful language - it is all assembled. I've taken it out for its test run, and works great with wide-field eye pieces and a Barlow lens so I can work at a reasonable distance. The magnification is not high, but any higher would not be useful for prep. Blowing up a half inch specimen to a large detailed view is sufficient enough to get at the nooks and crannies. The software it came with was not going to be helpful to me as it came on a CD (Mac discontinued CD/DVD drives on their machines a few iterations ago), and so after some online hunting I found the right software for download. Still a lot to learn about microscope photography as what you see in the eye piece is not necessarily what you see on the screen. It also means pulling out a stop to divert light from one of the eye pieces to the mounted camera. Eventually I'll figure out how to match up the eye view to the camera view (there is some helpful advice online, and a lot of things I can adjust in the software). So pictured here was just a quick and simple (if not fuzzy) first snap of a 5mm Itagnostus interstricta. I know, fuzzy... As I said, a lot to learn! Second item are these handy jeweller's glasses with lenses of different strength to swap in and out as needed. The little LED lights on the side are very helpful. These will be useful when I'm doing sewing needle prep and need my hands free (rather than holding a loupe). Also handy when I need to have a quick look at some detail in the field when I'm away from the scope. Oh, and they also makes me look like a demented 1950s sci-fi villain, which will help frighten door-to-door salespeople or small children. Ah, new toys!
  7. Hi everyone! Here's my first post on the forum, and I'd like to share an image of a little iron-replaced cretaceous-aged ammonite (unidentified species) which I have photographed recently using a $10 webcam-type digital "microscope". The image is created using a total of 70 individual frames stitched together using an automatic stitching software. The size of the ammonite is about an inch across. As an added bonus, I took the photograph and used it to make some digital measurements to determine how close the shape fits to a logarithmic spiral. The image below gives a visual representation of where I took the data points from (a total of about 12 points). Taking the data points and fitting them onto the logarithmic spiral equation, I get the following result: Note that the axes were incorrectly labelled. The y-axis should be the angle in radians, and x-axis is the natural log of the radius. The close fit to the straight line does indicate that the spirals of the ammonite fossil is close to a perfect logarithmic spiral. Cheers! Ivan
  8. Here is another neat little gadget I thought I would share: A digital microscope / camera video camera that is powered by your computer USB. It has built in dimmable LED lights as well as camera. Images are captured via software that comes with it. Image quality is not as good as the camera on my trinocular scope, or quite frankly my cell phone when taking pictures through the scope, but it has its uses. It's relatively cheap at about $100.00. And if you are a teacher with a "powerpoint projector", you can put items under the scope and project them on the big screen in real time for your class. Also great for close-up photos for the Fossil ID forum . Here is the scope Here are some pictures taken with it: Mississippian Actinopterygii tooth (approximately 1 mm in length) Daphnia Tiny Snail
  9. I'm ready to take the next step in preparation and start using a microscope. What is your method for using it for prepping? Do you use it outside the sandblasting cabinet, and set it up so it looks through the cabinet's glass? Or no cabinet? If that is the case, how do you protect the microscope optics from the abrasive? Also, any recommendations for a starter microscope? $300 or less... Thanks!
  10. Barlow lens

    I have a trinocular boom-arm stereo "dissecting scope" from USA Scopes (SMT-3412 SM), and the working distance is terrible. I want to buy a barlow (reduction lens) to increase working distance. My understanding is that they are attached to the existing objective lens rather than replacing the objective lens. I wrote USA Scopes, and they said they have a 0.5x auxiliary lens, but the thread diameter is the same as the objective lens (where it screws into the scope) and not the same as the "distal" threads on the objective lens. Is my understanding of the Barlow lens correct? I.e. the Barlow should be attached to the objective rather than a replacement of the objective? @Ptychodus04?
  11. Microfossil photography

    Hey everyone, I am wondering if anyone knows a professional microscope that can be used to photograph microfossils. I need to make pictures of fossils such as bonefish teeth, ptychotrygon teeth, etc, that are 2-3 mm big. Does anyone have any suggestions? Thanks for any help.
  12. Some focus stacking Experiments

    Greetings all, Now that we have a stationary camera on our new trinocuar stereo microscope, I tried some focus stacks, something I had never been able to do on fossils before! (I do it at work for geological specimens) I used Picolay - a free ware that works very well right out of the gate. you can get it here: http://www.picolay.de/ So here are some initial results. First, a tall spired gastropod that is about 2mm in size. I had 6 levels of focus from background to tip of the spire. First a single normal shot like I wold have had to settle for in the olden days: and now after a 6 step stack: Here is an Aviculopectin rim from the Fort Apache Limestone found recently, a very large and difficult piece to normally photograph. First the single frame: Now a 9 layer stack: I can get used to this! Comments?
  13. I wish to send my friend in the mail some specimens out of the acid bath of some super tiny gastropods that are like fly specks - so tiny that you need a microscope to see them. How should I do this so he can find them when they arrive? Im hoping for something from the hardware store, or locally.
  14. Bought a used microscope for prep work. What is the best way to develop hand eye coordination when looking through the microscope? is it just a matter of practice or is there a method to getting used to it? It is really awkward!!!!!
  15. Hi Everyone, I'm in search of an affordable handheld digital microscope. Does anyone have any suggestions? The "Zoomy 2.0 handheld digital microscope" had been suggested to me by a local fossil hunter who takes all of his pictures for presentation purposes using the small egg-shaped device. https://www.learningresources.com/product/zoomy--8482-+2.0+handheld+digital+microscope+-+blue.do?sortby=ourPicks&refType=&from=Search&ecList=6&ecCategory= Thanks!
  16. A Suggestion for Making Thin Sections for Bryozoan Slides Free download
  17. Micro fossil picture book

    Can anyone suggest a good reference with lots of pictures about micro sized fossils? I would like to try and determine if the shapes are fossils of animal or vegetable matter. I make thin section slides of stones (less than 50mm in dia,) and occasionally see shapes that I think might be fossils. The shapes are small, generally less than 3mm in length and width. This is a sample of what I have found in local stones.
  18. The photos presented here are thin sections of a single chamber of an Ammonite. I recently obtained some broken fossil pieces from "Rocks and Gems Canada " for the purpose of slicing them and making thin sections for viewing through a microscope. The first samples are from a Chambered Ammonite. The area of interest is the filling in the chambers. If I am lucky there will be crystal formation, but most of the time it is just fill. This is a web presentation of the photos below The first two photos are the whole Ammonite as I received it. Photo one is a camera snapshot. Photo two is a stereo microscope composite of the Ammonite. The following photos are 1) Polarized light, 2) Polarized light with a Dark Field filter in place. Photos three and four are a single cell of the Ammonite showing what looks like crystal formations. Photos five and six a 4mm segment of the chamber edge. Photos seven and eight show a 1mm segment of a chamber edge.
  19. Just cleaning storage and found 2 digital microscopes for trade. I would like to broaden my knowledge and will consider any fossil or extant material, or other items related to nature. Please PM me your offers #1: It works very well, the focus ring is smooth, so focusing is easy and takes little time. However, it's resolution is not ideal, at just 640x480 pixels, or 0.3MP. The closer you put the lens to an object, the bigger the magnification will be. Lift the microscope higher and the magnification will be lower, and you will be able to fit more things in the picture. If you let it touch the table, the field of view is about 12.5mm. This is almost the highest magnification, but if you fit something inside the cone to place your microfossil on, it will get even closer to the lens, so the field of view will be smaller and the magnification will be higher. For example, here is a picture taken by the microscope of a 2mm foram, with the foram on the table and the cone touching the table: And here is the same foram elevated inside the cone:
  20. Hello all! It's rather hard for me right now to take good photos of fossils, especially when it comes to close-ups or specific small details. That is, because I have an old iPhone 5... I'm not really willing to get a new phone anytime soon, therefore I am looking for a lens or small microscope I can attach to my phone in order to make detailed photos of small fossils. I've made a bit of research, but it didn't prove itself to be very useful. That's why I am asking your help: what do you think is the best lens/microscope I could buy (for a cheap price, no more than 20 euros/dollars)? Or, what do you use to make your photos? Thanks already, Max
  21. Finding Micro-fossils

    I'm handy with a microscope; I have a nice low power stereo dissecting scope & 4-5 other microscopes plus a variety of hand lenses, hand held field microscope. I can do well enough with rock & mineral identification and not too bad with fossils. However, I'm not sure of what I'm looking when examining samples under the scope. Could use some guidance. Kim
  22. When the wheels of industry grind to a halt, one looks for ways to occupy their time while on the clock. I was recently trained on using a scanning electron microscope, but I felt like I needed more practice . I've been wanting to see how some of my fossils might look at high magnification, soooooooooo...... First, I tried an Engonoceras serpentinum (the one on the right) that I recently found in the Waco Research Pit. Under the microscope, it looks like this... I also checked out a pyritized ammonite that my wife found. Under the microscope, it looked like this... This was fun, but it got me thinking. The more highly damaged, pyritized ammonite seems to have a different crystal structure than the better preserved Engonoceras. Could it be that one is pyrite and the other marcasite? Or has the more damaged specimen simply oxidized from pyrite to a different mineral form? Or are the crystals simply more tightly packed on the Engonoceras and therefore I'm just unable to tell that the minerals have the same general shape? Thanks for enduring my stream of consciousness...
  23. Hi, I am trying to purchase a microscope which will allow the study of small foraminifera (around 100 micron in size). I've just received an Amscope, 3.5x-180x dissecting zoom stereo microscope and, after trying it out, I have the feeling this is not the winner. I can only use it at maximum power (180x) and this magnification is....ok but not enough. The image at this magnification is not very sharp either. It would be a struggle to identify my smallest specimens. Taking photos of them is almost an impossible task (I don't have a trilocular, I am just trying to take photos with a camera, through the eye piece). Could you please help and recommend what would be best to use for 100 micron size fossil? And I need to see them well enough to identify small morphology details. I am considering returning this and ordering a 3.5x-225x, which seems to be the highest magnification for a stereo microscope you can get from Amscope. That could probably do the job but still not make me extremely happy. Any ideas where I could find more powerful stereo microscopes which don't cost a fortune? Is it worth considering getting a compound microscope from Amscope? These have magnification ranges between 40x and 2000x but...are they the tools to use for foraminifera? I've only used stereo microscopes in university so far, nobody seemed to use compound ones for foraminifera. Also, any ideas if these things are any good: http://www.amscope.com/stereo-microscopes/500x-2mp-digital-usb-zoom-8-led-3d-microscope.html ? Sorry to throw so many questions at you. Any help would be much appreciated. Regards, Angela
  24. Hey everyone, a recent post here inspired me to create a cheap digital microscope for photographing/analyzing small fossils based on this tutorial by Yoshinok on instructables.com - http://www.instructables.com/id/10-Smartphone-to-digital-microscope-conversion/. I made a few modifications to his design, mostly size adjustments and such, but either way it is important to note that I do not take any credit for the design and instructions that I am posting here, I am only doing it to show how I did it and how it can be used for paleontology purposes. All credit goes to Yoshinok on the above link. The device can magnify at 175x or higher depending on the number of lenses used. It allows you to use a smartphone to take pictures or videos of very tiny objects. Using two lenses, you can actually see individual cells (and their internal structure) of plants. First off, as an idea of what this device looks like, here is a photo of the final product, without the smartphone. The entire device is about 6 inches wide and 4 inches across, and weighs very little. Here is an image of fossilized shark cartilage (or is it? lets find out!) found in the Cretaceous of North Mississippi. The structure is very difficult to see with the naked eye. Shark cartilage is usually identified by the pattern of the cartilage, which can only really be seen at high magnification. Good thing we have a digital microscope! Here is the cartilage magnified at 175x. The prismatic shape of each piece (for lack of a better word) of the cartilage indicates that this is indeed shark cartilage. Now to the fun part, the equipment and parts you need to construct this beautiful machine. The original author of this design said you could make it for $10. Sure you can, if you buy stuff at the right stores and use cheap materials, but I found that using all stainless metals (which are a good idea to have) and buying from Lowe's, it was closer to $20 total (minus the smartphone and equipment used to make it). DISCLAIMER: I am not responsible for any type of harm inflicted on someone making this device. The maker of this device claims full responsibility for any harm they do to themselves, others, or any inanimate and/or animate object within this universe. Equipment needed: - Some kind of saw, I used a scroll saw, but a jigsaw would work fine, or even a hand saw if you're careful. - Some kind of drill, I highly recommend a drill press as it is much easier to get straight holes with one, but a hand drill will work too if you do it right. - 5/16 inch and 11/64 inch drill bits - sandpaper, I used a Dremel tool with a sander attachment. hand sanders will work fine but will take more time. - Safety glasses and gloves - these are a must. Safety is your number one priority! These should be worn at all times. Parts needed: - 1x Piece of wood, at least 2 inches wider and 2 inches longer than your smartphone's length and width. Thickness should be at least a half inch for strength. - 3x 5/16 inch carriage bolts at least 3 inches long. - 9x 5/16 inch nuts - 5x 5/16 inch flat washers (not the tightening ones). - 2x 5/16 inch wing nuts - 1x piece of plexiglass/acrylic, Width must be at least as wide as our piece of wood, and at least as long as your piece of wood, plus 3 inches. Thickness should be about 1/8 inch. For example: if your wood is 6 inches long and 4 inches wide, your plexiglass should be 8 inches long and 5 inches wide. - 1x laser pointer (the super cheap kind, mine was like $2). The laser pointer has the lens you need in it. If you want 375x magnification, get two laser pointers. - 1x LED light. This is OPTIONAL. It is only needed for looking at translucent materials, like leaves. Most fossils are opaque so it is useless in that scenario. NOTE: If you don't have the equipment needed to build this, or just simply don't feel like it, I would be happy to buy the materials and make one for you if you trade a fossil for it. I like teeth, especially Cretaceous teeth of dinosaurs . Just PM me about it and we will go from there, but I highly advise making your own, simply because it is fun and educational! Here are my parts that I used: STEP 1: Get the lens out of the laser pointer. - Remove the cap from the tip of the laser pointer like shown. The lens is in the black plastic cap. This can vary between different laser pointers Here is the lens - Now take the acrylic you bought and use a pen to outline the dimensions of your wood base on the acrylic, and then cut it on the lines. Note: Acrylic breaks very easy, and often splinters, so go slow and be careful. - Next, mark three holes with a pen - two on the front corners and one on the back middle side of the wood base. Use the 5/16 inch drill bit to drill holes on the points you marked all the way through the wood. - Using the holes you just drilled a guides, mark the same holes on the piece of acrylic you already cut and drill it out all the way through. - Outline your specimen slide with the pen with the width of your already cut acrylic, and length about 1.5 inches. Then cut this piece out. - Drill two holes on each side of the specimen slide, at the same locations of the holes you drilled on front side of the already cut acrylic. - Drill a hole in the front of the main acrylic piece (the side with the two holes) using an 11/64 inch drill bit. Push the lens into this hole. It will be a tight fit, and needs to be, but if it doesn't go in at all, try widening the hole in tiny increments using the drill bit until the lens just barely fits in the hole. DO NOT use glue to hold it in, you risk getting it on the lens and ruining it if you do. - Push the carriage bolts though the holes at the bottom of the wood base you drilled out, as shown. - Place a washer on all three carriage bolts, and then a nut on each bolt. Tighten the nuts down. See image below. - Place a wing nut upside down on each of the front two carriage bolts, and then a washer on top of each of these. Slide the specimen slide down the carriage bolt on top of the washers. - Now add a nut on each carriage bolt, slide the main acrylic piece onto the bolts, and tighten it down with another nut on each carriage bolt. The final product should look like this from the front. NOTE: For higher magnification, put another lens on top of the first one (may require thicker acrylic). You are ready to take microscopic pictures now! To use the device, put an object on the specimen slide directly underneath the lens, and align your smartphone's camera with the lens. To focus the microscope, adjust the height of the specimen slide using the wing nuts until you see the image clearly. This distance is called the focal point, and isa characteristic of the lens. My focal point was at a distance of about 1 cm, so the slide should be pretty close to the lens. If anyone has any questions or suggestions, please let me know! Also, here is a shark tooth under the microscope
  25. Can anyone give me suggestions as far as what to look for in a microscope for prep work? I have a 1950's Bausch and Lomb but the working distance is too short and I can't see how I can attach a Barlow lens to it as there are no threads on the bottom lens.