Never, in the history of microscopes has a microscope given me so much trouble. I don’t know why but this piece of a Reichert just did not want to be lacquered. I did it again and again and again. It ran, it dripped, it missed bits. I tried using cloths, pads, brushes, foam, I tried hot, warm and cold metal. The thing was out to get me.
It happens sometimes, you just have a bad day, but the good thing about lacquering microscopes is that if you mess it up you can just take the lacquer off and redo it. Not that that is much comfort on the third day of trying having used up 100 mls of lacquer.
I got there in the end. The Reichert (whose name is Ernie) is now my friend again. Now for the trickier bits.
Slowly but surely the Ross is coming together, literally. I have reassembled the base. It’s much shiner now. You can see that it is not going to look “as new” the pitting is too deep, and I don’t want to destroy all signs of its history by sanding it heavily. In this case to do so would be to remove enormous amounts of metal and it is really not possible. To get the name plate to a perfect finish would result in the removal of the engraving which obviously would be foolish. The pitting is still present in places but the corrosion has been treated so it should be good for another 100 years. There’s still lots to do though and this microscope is definitely one of the worst I’ve done, it’s in a worse state than my experimental Dunscombe which was black all over when I got it. Each piece is taking hours of work. It is enormously satisfying though when it starts to take shape. Onward and upward – the tubes are already done so really I’m heading middle-ward, to the REALLY tricky bits.
This beautiful little Plossl had been mistreated, either stored in an attic or garage, or otherwise abused. Very little lacquer remained and that which did was decaying casuing corrosion and pitting to the metal. I have stripped off the old lacquer, removed the corrosion and polished without removing all the scratches and pitting that show the age and history of the microscope. They are simply safely locked away under new lacquer which should protect it from any further degradation. I have not lacquered the mirror or the objective as the risk of damage to them by polishing and hot lacquering was quite great. I’m rather pleased with it.