Category Archives: microscope restoration

A microscope under the microscope

There are lots of pictures to look at today, I have been putting the little Merz under the microscope to check whether it was painted brown or whether it was chemically coloured and then lacquered.  I compared the brown foot … Continue reading

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Making paint

Pb or not Pb? that is the question. Pb is the chemical symbol for lead, today I shall be talking about lead. Hilarious aren’t I? ( please don’t answer that). I have a new baby to work on.  You can … Continue reading

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Brass stamp

My stamp arrived yesterday, it fits into my fly press and allows me to stamp my mark onto any brass items I make. I’m very pleased with it. It was made by two lovely chaps at Chalco Stamp and Die … Continue reading

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finished jug handled microscope

This lovely little Baker jug handled microscope came to me in need of repair. The coarse focus pinion was horribly bent and the mechanical stage was sticking. The paint on the handle and the chemically blackened stage were very worn … Continue reading

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I have been awarded a grant!

I am overjoyed and very honoured to have been granted an award by the Gane Trust, a charitable trust which gives grants and awards to people involved in crafts, design, social welfare and the arts.  I have received a grant … Continue reading

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Interesting chemistry of walnut hull inks and dye

Juglone, a brown dye, is found in several consumer products, including hair dye formulations and walnut oil stain. Juglone is an active ingredient in dietary supplements prepared from walnut hulls. Walnut hull extracts and poultices have been used for many … Continue reading

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It works!

So here we have it , black walnut dye in alcohol. It came out quite pale so I had to evaporate off the alcohol and resuspended in a smaller volume. I started with 100mls and ended up with about 5mls … Continue reading

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Walnut adventures continued

The walnut hulls in alcohol have been on the magnetic stirrer for about 6 hours with intermittent heat. I’m not terribly impressed with the depth of colour. It looks okay unfiltered on paper but I am not convinced it will … Continue reading

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Very impressed

I’m still waiting for my walnut hulls to arrive (damn you bank holiday) but I thought I’d try mixing some alcohol dyed with coffee in with some lacquer while I wait. I am NOT going to use coffee in microscope … Continue reading

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Walnut, yes!

Cloth is either made from plant material (cottons, flax) or animal materials (wool, silk, leather). When dying these materials you need mordants – additives that help the colour grab on to the material and set it in place. It’s a … Continue reading

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