My Homemade Microtome

Here you can discuss all microscopy-related accessories and equipment (microtomes, filters...)
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JimT
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My Homemade Microtome

#1 Post by JimT » Mon Jan 25, 2016 7:45 pm

Here is my "crude" microtome. Consists of a block of wood, a thumb screw, a "T" nut, and a flat washer glued to the wood with Gorilla glue. I imagine epoxy would also work. It has two different size holes for small specimens and larger ones. The top 2/3's of the hole is slightly smaller than the portion for the "T" nut to provide a better fit for the thumb screw.

I use a double edge razor with masking tape on one edge so I don't cut my fingers off. I find I can get a thinner section than with a single edge razor.

Image

Image

einman
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Re: My Homemade Microtome

#2 Post by einman » Mon Jan 25, 2016 8:07 pm

Does this mean you aren't buying my AO 815?? :o

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rnabholz
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Re: My Homemade Microtome

#3 Post by rnabholz » Mon Jan 25, 2016 8:41 pm

Excellent Jim!

The simplicity of your device and the great results you get demonstrate very well how this stuff is easily within the reach of anybody on any budget.

Well done sir.

Rod

JimT
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Re: My Homemade Microtome

#4 Post by JimT » Mon Jan 25, 2016 11:04 pm

Thanks guys. Sorry Einman but I'll stick with KISS :) Only regret is I didn't use finer threads on the larger "T" bolt and thumb screw. That was the first one I did which led to me doing the smaller one.

JimT

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charlie
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Re: My Homemade Microtome

#5 Post by charlie » Mon Jan 25, 2016 11:26 pm

JimT wrote:Only regret is I didn't use finer threads on the larger "T" bolt and thumb screw. That was the first one I did which led to me doing the smaller one.
Along with finer threads, consider using the bolt to move a lever (like one arm of a scissors) to make a tiny movement to the sample being cut.

JimT
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Re: My Homemade Microtome

#6 Post by JimT » Mon Jan 25, 2016 11:32 pm

Charlie, good idea but probably beyond my simple craftsmanship abilities :)

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gekko
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Re: My Homemade Microtome

#7 Post by gekko » Mon Jan 25, 2016 11:35 pm

Elegant microtome, and it gives great results.

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charlie
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Re: My Homemade Microtome

#8 Post by charlie » Mon Jan 25, 2016 11:39 pm

JimT wrote:probably beyond my simple craftsmanship abilities :)
You are being modest. I can see you are a woodworker! (The razor blade end should be shorter that the "artwork" shows.) :-)
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Dale
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Re: My Homemade Microtome

#9 Post by Dale » Tue Jan 26, 2016 12:08 am

Enter Micrometer Heads into ebay, you'll get a lot of ideas.
Dale
B&L Stereozoom 4. Nikon E600. AO Biostar 1820.

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duncankunz
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Re: My Homemade Microtome

#10 Post by duncankunz » Tue Feb 09, 2016 10:51 pm

But how do you hold the specimen in place before you section it? I seem to remember from when I was a kid playing with my original microscope that the approach was to embed the specimen in melted wax; then, when it hardened, insert the wax-tube with the specimen in the microtome. Is that what you do?

JimT
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Re: My Homemade Microtome

#11 Post by JimT » Tue Feb 09, 2016 11:30 pm

Duncankunz, if the specimen is too small to stay secure in one of the two holes I either jam in more stem sections to hold everything in place or (all else fails) I wedge the specimen inside a raw carrot. Not perfect but if I had to contend with wax I probably wouldn't do it.

My approach to sections is take many and only show the better ones.

Give it a try.

JimT

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