Old hand held microtome worthwhile?

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Sinar
Posts: 7
Joined: Sun Nov 04, 2018 6:15 am

Old hand held microtome worthwhile?

#1 Post by Sinar » Fri Dec 07, 2018 2:12 pm

I’m looking for an inexpensive microtome and noticed some old handheld ones on eBay for about £60, has anyone got any experience with them?

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MicroBob
Posts: 2105
Joined: Sun Dec 25, 2016 9:11 am
Location: Northern Germany

Re: Old hand held microtome worthwhile?

#2 Post by MicroBob » Fri Dec 07, 2018 2:45 pm

Hi Julie,
hand microtomes are just right for plant sections of 40µ or so. The object is placed between two halves of a carrot, inside turned out. The pictured model has not clamp for the carrot+object bundle, so you would have to cut this in cylindrical form - not very practical.

Cutting with a razor works, but in my limited experience not good. The knife contacts the microtome table and looses it's sharpness quickly. Better are holder for disposable knives. I'm just working on the design of one and will be able to offer them in a while.
Here is a detailed description of the use of a hand microtome by Jörg Weiss in german language:
http://www.mikroskopie-bonn.de/biblioth ... k/160.html

DeepL translator will help you deciphering it. Jörg has perfected this sectioning technique and you can find several other article of him about this topic at the same place.

For a start a sharp razor blade used free hand can work quite well. Smaller diameter and firm but not hard material is easiest to cut. One would aim to cut a wedge form to get one half of the cut real thin. Euparal is easiest mounting medium, Etzold FCA stain is easy and quick to use.

Bob

mnmyco
Posts: 142
Joined: Tue Aug 28, 2018 11:03 pm

Re: Old hand held microtome worthwhile?

#3 Post by mnmyco » Fri Dec 07, 2018 8:35 pm

Use the thin razor blades that fit in older shaving razors. The double sided razors are the thinnest, just break it in have to have two blades.

mnmyco

Hobbyst46
Posts: 2711
Joined: Mon Aug 21, 2017 9:02 pm

Re: Old hand held microtome worthwhile?

#4 Post by Hobbyst46 » Sat Dec 08, 2018 10:05 am

Amazing that, in the year 2018, double-edge razor blade are still marketed, and they cost much more than some cutting-edge (pun!!) disposable razors.
Tentative explanation: it has been discovered that they are microscopy accessories... so are priced accordingly.:lol:
Zeiss Standard GFL+Canon EOS-M10, Olympus VMZ stereo

MicroBob
Posts: 2105
Joined: Sun Dec 25, 2016 9:11 am
Location: Northern Germany

Re: Old hand held microtome worthwhile?

#5 Post by MicroBob » Sat Dec 08, 2018 11:46 am

Hobbyst46 wrote:... so are priced accordingly.:lol:
If the name is "Zeiss" double the price!

Sinar
Posts: 7
Joined: Sun Nov 04, 2018 6:15 am

Re: Old hand held microtome worthwhile?

#6 Post by Sinar » Sun Dec 09, 2018 5:29 am

Many thanks for the replies, they are very informative.

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