Converting a Nice BH-2 into a Nasty Frankenscope??

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KurtM
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Converting a Nice BH-2 into a Nasty Frankenscope??

#1 Post by KurtM » Sun Jul 19, 2020 2:00 am

Back around the first of the year I finally got my hands on my "dream scope": an Olympus stand with planapo objectives and DIC. In this case a BHS BH-2. I had a BX stand for a while, but learned I simply can't afford the infinity stuff but TL 160 is doable and plenty good enough for me. Before this I had been using a Zeiss WL stand with DIC and 100W lamp so not exactly suffering and doing without.

The grand old Zeiss had a rotating biological stage, but the Olympus did not, and that was the one fly in the ointment. I quickly found that rotating biological stages pretty much don't exist for Olympus stands, and if they do I can't afford 'em anyway so it's a moot point. Meanwhile, I loved the Zeiss stage and missed it terribly. So it was time to get busy, and long story short, the BH-2 now sports a lovely Zeiss rotating biological stage and I think it looks fabulous. But more importantly, it performs to perfection and completes the BH-2 (if you ask me).

Attached pix: The BH-2 as it came to me, then the BH-2 with a Zeiss rotating stage, and finally, a closeup. Now I miss the drop wand stage controls. Can't have everything I guess.
Attachments
1-16-20 1144_lzn.jpg
1-16-20 1144_lzn.jpg (101.26 KiB) Viewed 3117 times
7-14-20 1785_lzn.jpg
7-14-20 1785_lzn.jpg (126.56 KiB) Viewed 3117 times
7-14-20 1800_lzn_pn comp.jpg
7-14-20 1800_lzn_pn comp.jpg (185.29 KiB) Viewed 3117 times
Cheers,
Kurt Maurer
League City, Texas
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Re: Converting a Nice BH-2 into a Nasty Frankenscope??

#2 Post by PeteM » Sun Jul 19, 2020 2:05 am

That's a gorgeous (and now near perfectly equipped) scope, Kurt.

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Re: Converting a Nice BH-2 into a Nasty Frankenscope??

#3 Post by MichaelG. » Sun Jul 19, 2020 4:10 am

That’s a great ‘special’ you have made there, Kurt

Nothing ‘Nasty Franken’ about it, that I can see !

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Re: Converting a Nice BH-2 into a Nasty Frankenscope??

#4 Post by microb » Sun Jul 19, 2020 4:19 am

I have the same hardware that I could combo. How did you mount the stage?

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Re: Converting a Nice BH-2 into a Nasty Frankenscope??

#5 Post by Hobbyst46 » Sun Jul 19, 2020 5:45 am

A beautiful microscope, Kurt. Enjoy!
KurtM wrote:
Sun Jul 19, 2020 2:00 am
...Now I miss the drop wand stage controls. Can't have everything I guess.
During the Vanox era, pre-BH2, there were Olympus mechanical XY rotating stages with low drop wands. The stage was square, and was probably used for biological rather than polarization purposes. Naturally it was not full circle rotation. Don't know whether they were suitable for DIC.
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Re: Converting a Nice BH-2 into a Nasty Frankenscope??

#6 Post by KurtM » Sun Jul 19, 2020 4:23 pm

How did you mount the stage?

I'm a little abashed to admit that it's glued on with JB Weld, but hey, whatever works, and it looks better than duct tape!

But there's a little more to it; the swap began by removing the Olympus stage from its dovetail, and setting the dismembered Zeiss stage upon said dovetail, to study the situation. The two stages mount quite differently to their respective stands and are not even close to compatible, but the difference works favorably for this purpose: the bottom of the Zeiss stage is essentially flat, and rests upon the Oly dovetail quite handily. The hefty weight of the Zeiss unit contributes greatly to stability. The problems are that the Oly dovetail causes the Zeiss stage to sit too high for condenser travel to reach; and also that there is no way to drill and tap for mounting screws, at least not for me. My way around both obstacles was to machine the dovetail mostly away, which lowered the stage more than enough to fix the condenser problem while also increasing the flat surface area for the Zeiss stage to rest on. Finally, the machined finish gave "tooth" for the JB Weld to grip to, and the bottom of the Zeiss stage was "roughed up" as well.

I shopped eBay for a spare Olympus substage assembly, found plenty available, and surprisingly inexpensive too. So I purchased one and to alter while leaving the original intact in case I wish to undo the modification.

The dovetail was machined off on a milling machine for accuracy.

Great care was taken when gluing to center the stage rotation axis accurately, and to "bed" it accurately for "flatness". All this was done by eye, but I practiced the procedure several times before mixing epoxy to be sure everything went predictably, with no missteps, and it all worked out just fine.

PS: For our international friends: JB Weld is a metal filled epoxy product sold practically everywhere here in the USA, and it's amazingly great stuff. I can vouch for the fact that a Ford Model T radiator can be repaired with it, and the fix will last for decades. A Model T that actually runs and is driven regularly, I mean. No, I didn't spend all my money on microscopes and now all I can afford to drive is a Model T, although it does seem that way sometimes.
Attachments
3-20 machining 1.jpg
3-20 machining 1.jpg (162.26 KiB) Viewed 3034 times
3-20 machining 2.jpg
3-20 machining 2.jpg (156.49 KiB) Viewed 3034 times
3-20 machining 3.jpg
3-20 machining 3.jpg (156.59 KiB) Viewed 3034 times
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Re: Converting a Nice BH-2 into a Nasty Frankenscope??

#7 Post by Peter » Sun Jul 19, 2020 6:36 pm

Hi Kurt,
What have you done with the rest of the poor old Zeiss WL?
Peter.

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Re: Converting a Nice BH-2 into a Nasty Frankenscope??

#8 Post by Zuul » Sun Jul 19, 2020 6:47 pm

It’s a testament to how rigid the Olympus stage is that you could get clean cuts with it held in the mill that way. I would have thought it would chatter like crazy cantilevered so far from the vice. How deep was each pass?

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Re: Converting a Nice BH-2 into a Nasty Frankenscope??

#9 Post by KurtM » Mon Jul 20, 2020 12:44 am

The WL is sitting on the sidelines, all complete and ready to go. I had a standard Zeiss X-Y stage for it stashed away, which I installed after making off with the rotating stage. But it is missing its 63x/1.4 planapo, which I had to 'borrow' for the BH-2 also. But that got replaced too, with the 100x/1.25 and slider that the 63x displaced, so as I said, the WL is still complete and ready to go ... if not quite as fancy as it once was...

75RR was inquiring about the 100W lamphouse from the WL, and part of the reason for posting this thread was to tell him that I have two, actually. The original one was eating bulbs, so I got the second, which never gave trouble. At any rate, I'm not too anxious to part out the WL. Heck, I haven't even decided if I want to sell it, complete or otherwise, although I guess I really ought to.

The Olympus substage assembly is made of aluminum, and milling it while simply held in the vise was no problem whatever despite the precarious looking overhang. I'm sure it helped that I'm not one to get overly ambitious when working with such tools, and am happy to take my sweet time making passes of a depth that the machine and work piece are happy with and can easily handle. It went smooth as silk.
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Re: Converting a Nice BH-2 into a Nasty Frankenscope??

#10 Post by MichaelG. » Mon Jul 20, 2020 6:51 am

KurtM wrote:
Mon Jul 20, 2020 12:44 am
The Olympus substage assembly is made of aluminum, and milling it while simply held in the vise was no problem whatever despite the precarious looking overhang.

Useful to know ^^^ Thanks, Kurt.

MichaelG.
.

Edit: Having read Kurt’s response [below] I realise that his “precarious looking overhang” was a reference to the machining set-up ... Apologies: I had assumed it to be a reference to the design of the substage itself.
Having previously remarked that some Olympus components look rather delicate, my comment here was a 100% positive genuine thanks for information.
Last edited by MichaelG. on Mon Jul 20, 2020 2:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Converting a Nice BH-2 into a Nasty Frankenscope??

#11 Post by KurtM » Mon Jul 20, 2020 2:29 pm

Looking back over this post, I can see where the pix alone make the machining setup look funky. But tell you what, if you had been there observing in person, I'm sure you'd have agreed it was perfectly okay. Also, a master machinist and owner of the shop I did the work in looked it over before I started, and saw no problem with it.
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Re: Converting a Nice BH-2 into a Nasty Frankenscope??

#12 Post by Zuul » Mon Jul 20, 2020 2:44 pm

KurtM wrote:
Mon Jul 20, 2020 2:29 pm
Looking back over this post, I can see where the pix alone make the machining setup look funky. But tell you what, if you had been there observing in person, I'm sure you'd have agreed it was perfectly okay. Also, a master machinist and owner of the shop I did the work in looked it over before I started, and saw no problem with it.
I honestly wasn’t questioning your machining. The quality of cuts show that you had everything well under control. I was just impressed by the rigidity of the Olympus parts.

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Re: Converting a Nice BH-2 into a Nasty Frankenscope??

#13 Post by MichaelG. » Mon Jul 20, 2020 2:52 pm

... Great minds thinking alike, Zuul :D

I only saw your post after making my edit

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Re: Converting a Nice BH-2 into a Nasty Frankenscope??

#14 Post by Hobbyst46 » Mon Jul 20, 2020 4:07 pm

Previous era Olympus sub-stages (such as the machined part shown in Kurt's photos) were made of steel (not stainless) and very sturdy and strong.
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Re: Converting a Nice BH-2 into a Nasty Frankenscope??

#15 Post by MichaelG. » Mon Jul 20, 2020 4:34 pm

Hobbyst46 wrote:
Mon Jul 20, 2020 4:07 pm
Previous era Olympus sub-stages (such as the machined part shown in Kurt's photos) were made of steel (not stainless) and very sturdy and strong.
.
But Kurt wrote:
The Olympus substage assembly is made of aluminum, and milling it while simply held in the vise was no problem whatever despite the precarious looking overhang.
Now I am really confused.

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Re: Converting a Nice BH-2 into a Nasty Frankenscope??

#16 Post by MicroBob » Mon Jul 20, 2020 7:36 pm

Hi Kurt,
what is the reason you like the rotating stage so much? Orienting the object to DIC prisms or to the camera?
I have one of these stages for my Phomi 1 and hated it there. The Phomi 1 has the nosepiece inclined backwards so the x- lead screw block of the stage has to be in front of the objectives to avoid collisions. And the slides had to be inserted from the back! I now have added a tube head of a later universal where the nosepieces can be oriented backward or forward inclined. I might have to give this stage a second chance...

Bob

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Re: Converting a Nice BH-2 into a Nasty Frankenscope??

#17 Post by Hobbyst46 » Mon Jul 20, 2020 8:55 pm

MichaelG. wrote:
Mon Jul 20, 2020 4:34 pm
Hobbyst46 wrote:
Mon Jul 20, 2020 4:07 pm
Previous era Olympus sub-stages (such as the machined part shown in Kurt's photos) were made of steel (not stainless) and very sturdy and strong.
.
But Kurt wrote:
The Olympus substage assembly is made of aluminum, and milling it while simply held in the vise was no problem whatever despite the precarious looking overhang.
Now I am really confused.

MichaelG.
Michael, I refer to pre-BH Olympus microscopes.
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Re: Converting a Nice BH-2 into a Nasty Frankenscope??

#18 Post by MichaelG. » Mon Jul 20, 2020 9:32 pm

Hobbyst46 wrote:
Mon Jul 20, 2020 8:55 pm
Michael, I refer to pre-BH Olympus microscopes.
Thanks for the clarification, Doron ... I evidently misunderstood what you meant by
Previous era Olympus sub-stages (such as the machined part shown in Kurt's photos)
I’m happy and contented now.

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Re: Converting a Nice BH-2 into a Nasty Frankenscope??

#19 Post by microb » Mon Jul 20, 2020 11:53 pm

KurtM wrote:
Sun Jul 19, 2020 4:23 pm
How did you mount the stage?

I'm a little abashed to admit that it's glued on with JB Weld, but hey, whatever works, and it looks better than duct tape!
Am I missing a part here. I don't have a something that sits inside the inner black ring and maybe with a contact to the brass ring, allowing the whole thing to rotate.

Anyone have a picture of the holder for this stage? I'm assuming that the part that got JB welded.
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Re: Converting a Nice BH-2 into a Nasty Frankenscope??

#20 Post by KurtM » Tue Jul 21, 2020 12:55 am

what is the reason you like the rotating stage so much? Orienting the object to DIC prisms or to the camera?
Yes, I want to be able to orient any specimen to best advantage under the DIC shear plane, and consider it a terrible handicap to lack the option. I often wonder why so many DIC scopes lack a rotating stage? And what's the deal with Olympus, who makes some of the very best, but doesn't seem to offer a rotating stage for the BH series at all?! Oh yeah, there are a few on eBay, but I haven't seen one yet that's equipped with an X-Y slide carrier (I suspect they're intended for metallurgical/POL stands), and meanwhile they're priced as if they're made of solid gold. Well anyway, I got my rotating biological stage -- thank you, Carl Zeiss!

But don't take my word for it, check out the image below, a page taken from the Olympus DIC for BH-2-NIC manual, see the last sentence.

I orient the camera by rotating the photo tube.
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I told you so.JPG
I told you so.JPG (103.13 KiB) Viewed 2835 times
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Re: Converting a Nice BH-2 into a Nasty Frankenscope??

#21 Post by KurtM » Tue Jul 21, 2020 1:01 am

Am I missing a part here?
Looks like you're missing the bottom half. Here's how mine looked. Only the flat part with the four screw holes got JB Welded.
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Zeiss rotating bio stage bottom view.JPG
Zeiss rotating bio stage bottom view.JPG (181.97 KiB) Viewed 2832 times
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Re: Converting a Nice BH-2 into a Nasty Frankenscope??

#22 Post by 75RR » Tue Jul 21, 2020 11:26 am

microb wrote:
Mon Jul 20, 2020 11:53 pm
Am I missing a part here. I don't have a something that sits inside the inner black ring and maybe with a contact to the brass ring, allowing the whole thing to rotate.
Can you show the other side ... it looks very different to the 47 35 56.
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Rotating Stage-1.jpg
Rotating Stage-1.jpg (80.55 KiB) Viewed 2796 times
Rotating Stage-2.jpg
Rotating Stage-2.jpg (84.27 KiB) Viewed 2796 times
Last edited by 75RR on Tue Jul 21, 2020 12:03 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Converting a Nice BH-2 into a Nasty Frankenscope??

#23 Post by 75RR » Tue Jul 21, 2020 11:28 am

KurtM wrote:
Tue Jul 21, 2020 12:55 am
Yes, I want to be able to orient any specimen to best advantage under the DIC shear plane, and consider it a terrible handicap to lack the option.
This is also very useful for oblique!
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Re: Converting a Nice BH-2 into a Nasty Frankenscope??

#24 Post by KurtM » Tue Jul 21, 2020 2:06 pm

Yes, that's right, and useful for still other things having nothing to do with DIC or POL. I have never understood why rotating stages are so rare, but with DIC in particular it's a major mystery. I mean, it's practically a necessity, but expense can't be the reason ... not when you're talking DIC...
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Re: Converting a Nice BH-2 into a Nasty Frankenscope??

#25 Post by microb » Tue Jul 21, 2020 3:42 pm

75RR wrote:
Tue Jul 21, 2020 11:26 am
Can you show the other side ... it looks very different to the 47 35 56.
This one is an older 80964.
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Re: Converting a Nice BH-2 into a Nasty Frankenscope??

#26 Post by MicroBob » Tue Jul 21, 2020 4:10 pm

microb wrote:
Mon Jul 20, 2020 11:53 pm
Anyone have a picture of the holder for this stage?
Isn't that Zeiss Jena, NF or NG or the like?
Edit: Yes it is, different system though it could have been adapted to the Olympus mount too.

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Re: Converting a Nice BH-2 into a Nasty Frankenscope??

#27 Post by MicroBob » Tue Jul 21, 2020 4:15 pm

Kurt and Glen,
you have convinced me, I really have to give my rotatable stage a second chance.:D It even is in little used condition like the rest of my Phomi 1.

Bob

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Re: Converting a Nice BH-2 into a Nasty Frankenscope??

#28 Post by 75RR » Fri Jul 24, 2020 7:03 am

Here is a link to a pdf by David Walker showing the importance of being able to alter the angle of Oblique illumination.

http://www.microscopy-uk.org.uk/mag/ind ... uetip.html
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