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Any one used a digital microscope for micro turning on a lathe

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Chris TickTock06/09/2019 09:18:02
213 forum posts
8 photos

Hi Guys, Without magnification turning a balance staff on a standard micro lathe is probably impossible. So given there now are digital magnifiers has anyone found use of these for such machining. Alternatively connecting a stereo microscope with a boom is an option. I do have a stereo microscope on a stand and at the moment are assessing which way to go.

Regards

Chris

Ian Parkin06/09/2019 09:53:28
avatar
657 forum posts
174 photos

I use a Zeiss operating theatre stereo microscope in my workshop mounted on a boom for the small things i do

it works great

I think that using a digital device means looking at a screen rather than live at your work /tool interface and there always seems to be latency problems with electronics

ega06/09/2019 09:57:11
1297 forum posts
109 photos

Dan Gelbart of YouTube does: see his video about his "granite" lathe.

John Pace06/09/2019 10:15:00
156 forum posts
156 photos

The image here is of a 12 tpi whitworth thread gauge and ground
form tool ,the USB microscope was from maplins so probably
not so great as a precision instrument,but would you really want to use
something more expensive in such a dirty enviroment.
The image shows two places where dirt or swarf is bridging between
the tool and gauge and this is after demagnitising and a good air blast
i guess this is just static attraction and would be worse in a machining
situation.
The closer in you get to the job the more distortion you see in the image
in this photo ,look at either end of the gauge .
The obvious thing to do as you already have a microscope is give it a try
and let us all know how you get on.
John12 tpi whitworth.jpg

David Colwill06/09/2019 10:27:43
582 forum posts
32 photos

I haven't been too impressed with the digital microscopes that I have (and I have 3 or 4 of them). I am considering one of the Chinese stereo zoom microscopes and had thought of making some kind of quick change mounting so that I could move it about.

Regards.

David.

Bob Stevenson06/09/2019 10:30:22
309 forum posts
6 photos

The standard way of making bespoke watch parts is screw a loupe in your eye socket, take the graver in your hand and wrap yourself around the lathe..........

Personally, I have faired better with USB microscope than with Zeiss medical stereoscope.

roy entwistle06/09/2019 10:32:42
1049 forum posts

I once knew a gentleman who would get drunk, pawn his lathe, knock three nails in the bench, file notches in two and use the third as a tool rest and turn balance staffs mainly for pocket watches. He would sell these and then get his lathe out of pawn. His lathe was actually a set of turns.

Roy

Joseph Noci 106/09/2019 10:42:12
543 forum posts
832 photos

I tried, both on the lathe and on a small cutter grinder shaping very fine engraving tips. I did not manage well with the digital camera/microscope method. Using such a device requires that you select a type that does not have any image latency - most of the IP ( network type) camera have a good few hundred milliseconds latency which makes eye-hand coordination difficult and tedious - it is possible, but there is no room to maneuver and 'oops' reactions are interesting.

There are USB based cameras that have for practical purposes no latency, but there are three issues with any digital solution I find intolerable.

The image resolution is one - you should try for the highest pixel count you can - at least HD standard, NOT VGA...With low resolutions I found the specular artifacts drove me insane, with rapid onset of eye strain and headache.

The second is the difficulty in becoming accustomed to the misdirection between hand position and motion, and eye sightline. One is so accustomed to the hands on the handwheel in your peripheral vision, it takes a while to adapt. Not impossible, but when you only do a few jobs like this, I found it was like starting from scratch each time.

And last, for me the worst compromise - lack of depth of view - no 3D feeling - with a constant attempt to now and then 'look' around the corner to see the tool contact point better, etc.

I ditched all these - I did try no less than 5 systems, from VGA through to a 34Mpixel camera..- and settled for a decent 'analogue' Binocular Microscope.

This has its problems as well - it is always in the way when you want to take a visual of the workspace. You need a really decent support or suspension arm that is sturdy,vibration free, and easily manipulated with the ability to quickly swing it out of the way, and index it back in place.. But the viewing experience, with much improved mental and eye fatigue resistance, is in my opinion well worth it.

bausch&lomb microscope.jpg

Photo of engraving tip through the microscope - hard to photograph!

engraver tip sharpening1.jpg

mini grinder right view.jpg

For interest, My late Father-in-Law - a German Watchmaker, used the little lathe pictured below to do what you are doing Chris - he used to do so by clamping various magnification jewellers Loupe to his eye, bend down low over the lathe and get on with it...

watchmakers lathe.jpg

Joe

Chris TickTock06/09/2019 10:52:04
213 forum posts
8 photos

Thanks Guys I really appreciate posts and need time to reflect on points.

Regards

Chris

Phil P06/09/2019 10:52:50
519 forum posts
137 photos

Definitely not the cheapo chinese digital ones for me, I have borrowed one to try out on both my Boley watchmaking lathe and my Pultra 1770. I could not get on with it in either situation, so am sticking to my binocular microscopes.

I would be very interested to hear and see how other people have mounted a binocular microscope though.

Mine is on an old angle-poise type lamp bracket, but is not what I would call ideal as it can flex slightly when in use.

Phil

Chris TickTock06/09/2019 11:56:48
213 forum posts
8 photos

OK generally it seems the old method of using the stereo microscope is the safer route to take especially if like me you already have one. Mine has a mag of up to x35. The most flexible use would to get a boom but would this be a serious issue in terms of moving when working???

Like Phil I too would appreciate what other have done to mount their stereo microscopes. In the case of the Sherline 8 inch lathe Sherline used to offer a scope with mount but it was discontinued in i think 2013. The disadvantage with a fixed mounting point may be if you hold the stock in collets or something else rendering the scope in the wrong position. How likely that is I as yet do not know.

Chris

John Haine06/09/2019 12:02:09
2667 forum posts
136 photos
Posted by Chris TickTock on 06/09/2019 11:56:48:

.............. The most flexible use would to get a boom but would this be a serious issue in terms of moving when working???

................

For heaven's sake, why don't you just try it, then you can tell us all!

Chris TickTock06/09/2019 12:12:36
213 forum posts
8 photos
Posted by John Haine on 06/09/2019 12:02:09:
Posted by Chris TickTock on 06/09/2019 11:56:48:

.............. The most flexible use would to get a boom but would this be a serious issue in terms of moving when working???

................

For heaven's sake, why don't you just try it, then you can tell us all!

Possibly John because they are an expensive item that would be worth seeking the opinion of others on first.

Chris

Chris TickTock06/09/2019 12:19:07
213 forum posts
8 photos

 

The Sherline 8 inch being a tiny lathe mounted on a board on in my case rubber feet affords I guess the opportunity to just replace the stands upright with a taller inch pole and maybe rebate the board to allow the scope to sit on top of the work. This would be both cheap and flexible...now that might be worth a shot. Chrisscopeand lathe.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited By Chris TickTock on 06/09/2019 12:34:09

Ian Parkin06/09/2019 12:26:31
avatar
657 forum posts
174 photos

This my scope mounted on a monitor stand clamped to the ceiling joists its easily moved to wherever i need it

as i recall this was <£20 on eBay and stays where its put

This scope has a working distance of 7 inches from the ring light and fills the frame with my fingernail

63070e6f-eaeb-487c-bf2c-57f363df1561.jpeg

b0b03cb3-743e-4c2a-bc60-4ee2268dd4a6.jpeg

f0aa50e2-18b7-418f-a323-cedc832e40e0.jpeg

Edited By Ian Parkin on 06/09/2019 12:28:02

Michael Gilligan06/09/2019 12:27:36
avatar
14150 forum posts
616 photos

Chris,

If you have the space avaiable: You could build an 'overhead' and mount that scope [inverted on its column] very conveniently.

MichaelG.

.

Examples of overheads for horological lathes will be found in this book:

https://www.waterstones.com/book/wheel-and-pinion-cutting-in-horology/j-malcolm-wild/9781861262455

... and in a multitude of other locations.

Edited By Michael Gilligan on 06/09/2019 12:32:16

Chris TickTock06/09/2019 12:35:52
213 forum posts
8 photos
Posted by Ian Parkin on 06/09/2019 12:26:31:

This my scope mounted on a monitor stand clamped to the ceiling joists its easily moved to wherever i need it

as i recall this was <£20 on eBay and stays where its put

This scope has a working distance of 7 inches from the ring light and fills the frame with my fingernail

63070e6f-eaeb-487c-bf2c-57f363df1561.jpeg

b0b03cb3-743e-4c2a-bc60-4ee2268dd4a6.jpeg

f0aa50e2-18b7-418f-a323-cedc832e40e0.jpeg

Edited By Ian Parkin on 06/09/2019 12:28:02

Great idea to adapt the TV boom Ian . How wibbly wobbly is it in use?

Chris

Ian Parkin06/09/2019 12:41:00
avatar
657 forum posts
174 photos

Well as i said it stays where its put

its sprung and counterbalanced if you knock it it moves but it swings every which way and lifts up or down and stays where you want it

I think this one was Very expensive new designed for a large heavy monitor on a desk

Edited By Ian Parkin on 06/09/2019 12:41:46

Chris TickTock06/09/2019 12:42:15
213 forum posts
8 photos
Posted by Michael Gilligan on 06/09/2019 12:27:36:

Chris,

If you have the space avaiable: You could build an 'overhead' and mount that scope [inverted on its column] very conveniently.

MichaelG.

.

Examples of overheads for horological lathes will be found in this book:

**LINK**

... and in a multitude of other locations.

Edited By Michael Gilligan on 06/09/2019 12:32:16

Thanks Michael I have that book and as good as it is I cannot at a quick look find much by way of microscope stands..probably me though.

Chris

Chris TickTock06/09/2019 12:44:23
213 forum posts
8 photos
Posted by Ian Parkin on 06/09/2019 12:41:00:

Well as i said it stays where its put

its sprung and counterbalanced if you knock it it moves but it swings every which way and lifts up or down and stays where you want it

I think this one was Very expensive new designed for a large heavy monitor on a desk

Edited By Ian Parkin on 06/09/2019 12:41:46

Thanks Ian certainly then a viable option / alternative.

Chris

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