Pat Thielen wrote:
...I do like the idea of drilling out a slide and mounting a coverglass to the bottom. While this may have some difficulty I think it is quite possible. And, I would only need a few of these slides for it to be practical. Of course, my issue is how to go about drilling a hole into a slide.
I have drilled many glass plates. Even filters. The required tools are:
1. A diamond-tip drill bit. It is a borer bit, the cutting end is a thin-walled hollow cylinder (without blade), coated with diamond powder.
2. A drill press.
3. A retainer pan. Any flat-bottom, low profile metal/plastic pan, that can sit on the press table. Size 25x25x4 cm (say).
4. A scrap glass plate, thickness 5mm, say, that fits loosely inside the retainer pan, and serves as base plate for the drilling.
Place the base plate in the pan. Fill the pan with water, to a depth that just covers the glass plate. Place the pan on the press table. Place the slide on the base plate. Wear goggles that fully protect the eyes, a face-shield would be even better.
Protective gloves might be a good idea, although I never used ones. Press on the end of the slide with your finger and drill slowly, under very light pressure, at moderately slow speed. The idea is to cut under water.
I'm going to see if I can find plastic slides; those could be easily drilled and would work quite well I would think. And being plastic they wouldn't break in a field kit as glass ones might. Plastic is your friend in this case.
Drilling poystyrene slides: polystyrene is easily deformed and becomes non-flat due to the heat generated by the drilling.
Note: A Europe-based firm named Ibidi
carries an amazing selection of disposable slides with cover-slip bottoms, for cell and tissue studies with inverted microscopes. Multi-wells as well (pun). They are optically perfect, and can often be recycled.