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Brass & Glass - price guide

Scroll to bottom of page  for price table                                      

I am always put off by websites that don’t show prices, I tend to avoid asking for a price in case it is embarrassingly high and results in an inbox full of spam or annoying phone calls chasing me for business. Rest assured I will not spam you. 

Obviously it is hard to give an estimate of what it will cost to restore a microscope without seeing it, fine focus mechanisms in particular can vary a lot. However, in most cases I will be able to give you a fairly good idea of the work involved and cost if you send me some good, in focus pictures with an honest description of the microscope and any problems it might have. Don't worry if you can't send pictures, just email a description of your microsope or phone for a chat. 


A very small microscope such as a Leitz Stativ IV will cost around £100 to restore. A Society of Arts Microscope in very poor condition will cost around £250 to strip and relacquer. For this I would include the cost of any large replacement screws similar to the screws replaced in the Dunscombe microscope (see before and after gallery). A rack and pinion takes a great deal longer to replace and would not be included. I particularly enjoy working on microscopes which are in very bad condition and decisons are often easier where there is serious damage.

It is unlikely that I will come across any major, unforeseen problems whilst restoring your microscope, but if I do, I will discuss them with you before starting the work so there will be no unexpected extra charges.  

Missing screws and other pieces:
Larger pieces are easier to make on the whole. Large screws, knobs, missing tube holders, gimbals etc can be made for little more than the cost of the metal if you are having a microscope lacquered anyway and may be included. Large numbers of tiny screws, and racks and pinions take more time and are less likely to be included, although it depends very much on what else is being done. 

Colour matching:
I cannot re-lacquer small patches on a microscope. Applying new lacquer on top of old will damage the original lacquer. I can however, re-lacquer one piece of a microscope. For instance, if the tube of the microscope needs re-lacquering but the rest of the microscope’s lacquer is intact I can do just the tube. I will do my best to match the colour.

Mirrors:
Mirrors can be resilvered if I can get them out of the mirror holder intact. Some mirrors screw together and come apart easily, some are push fit and can be very, very tricky to take apart. There is always a risk that the mirror will be broken while attempting to remove it. If this appears to be the case, I may suggest leaving the original mirror intact and making a new, matching, substitute mirror to attach when you wish to use the microscope. It’s a compromise, and what you choose to do depends on many things including the value of the piece 





PRICE GUIDE

This is meant as a rough guide only, as every microscope is different.

Wreck restoration

Tatty Society of Arts type microscope - or simple bi/monoculars
£250
Includes stripping of old lacquer, re-lacquering, stage blackening and renewing paint if required. Also includes larger replacement screws and knobs.
Larger microscopes are not necessarily more expensive, it depends on the condition of the microscope and the number of small parts more than size. 

Rack and pinion

replacement rack and pinion
£100
Making and fitting of a new rack and pinion to replace a damaged one. Note, I cannot replace individual teeth in a rack or pinion.

Gimbal

to hold a mirror or a bullseye condenser
£50
The cost is likely to be lower than this if you are having other work done at the same time.

the cost of tube holders, and other large parts will be similar


Lacquering of parts

only need the stage reblackened? The foot repainted? Is your microscope a very simple design like a Leitz Stativ IV?
£50-100
I welcome enquiries, please don't hesitate to ask