Under the Scope #1: Summary, first wood shots

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Blog entry by YooperCasey posted 01-09-2008 11:38 PM 956 reads 0 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Under the Scope series Part 2: Walnut! Liquid Poly, Waxed Poly and Raw »

Heyo folks!

I figured I would make a blog that gave one starting point for everything I’ve done so far with the microscope. I did some testing today and I think that I can make my metallurgical scope work for wood. So, as per Blakes request, I will try and get various stages under the scope.

But first, links to the first two in the saga.

Chisel before sharpening

Chisel after sharpening

I had to do some rework on the microscope during lunch today so that it would handle a surface that is mostly non-reflective. A traditional microscope passes light through a sample. A metallurgical microscope reflects light off of the metal, and that is what I see. So it works really good for a chisel, and not to shot for a rough cut piece of timber. Since I couldn’t use the internal light, I had to mount a LED luxeon lamp to the outside to give a “glancing” light which seems to pick up the wood quite well. Below are a few test pictures.

All are pieces I grabbed off of a few pallets, so oak, maple, and pine. The pieces were either cut with my pocket knife, or simply pulled off. The pine knot is interesting as one side was embedded in the wood, while the other was cut.

This is the maple at 40X. Unfinished piece, rough cut with a pocket knife.

And the maple at 100X, due to the iregularities in the surface I had a hard time getting a good focus.

The oak at 40X, no clue what type of oak.

The oak at 100X.

This is the back side of the pine knot. All that is visible appears to be sap!

The back side of the knot at 100X.

This is the front side of the knot at 40X. It looked perfectly smooth, almost a sanded look to the naked eye. Though microscopic tearing is noticable at this magnification. It became rather featureless at 100X magnification so I didn’t include it. The green is paint splatter from a marking operation.

There it is folks, more to come in the future.


-- Casey, Engineer, Escanaba, MI

5 comments so far

View Russel's profile


2199 posts in 3963 days

#1 posted 01-09-2008 11:45 PM

Most interesting. And that’s why I don’t let people look very close at my work. ;-)

-- Working at Woodworking

View TomK 's profile


504 posts in 3898 days

#2 posted 01-10-2008 12:23 AM

Keep this up. Very interesting photos! You can definately see the opalesence, especially in the maple that give the luster without magnification.

-- If you think healthcare is expensive now, wait until it's free! PJ O'Rourke

View Mario's profile


902 posts in 4075 days

#3 posted 01-10-2008 02:56 PM

this is vey educational, keep them comming, great stuff.

-- Hope Never fails

View MsDebbieP's profile


18615 posts in 4184 days

#4 posted 01-10-2008 03:38 PM

the back side of the knot looks like snow on my skylight.

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (

View rikkor's profile


11295 posts in 3898 days

#5 posted 01-10-2008 04:24 PM

Please keep it coming. This is fascinating.

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