5" Magnifying Lenses : Looking for Design Ideas

I have 8 (maybe ten if I can find the other 2), 5" magnifying lenses. The lenses come off of bench top light/magnifiers that are used for assembly and inspection. When the light breaks, they toss the whole thing in the dumpster. I scoffed the lenses. So, I'm looking for design ideas that use the lenses. Incorporating them into a piece of furniture for decorative purposes, maybe a lawn sculpture, maybe a table top with the lenses let into it, small enough so that kids can get thier hands underneath to magnify stuff. Who knows. There's something there, just haven't figured out what yet. Your ideas would be appreciated. Thanks. John K.
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jk wrote:

... So, I'm looking for design

The kids table/desk idea sounds interesting, and using a slot cutter inside a hole cut with a router circle jig wouldn't be difficult. However, if they were set down into the table, it seems like gunk/dust would build up in the recesses, and if they were raised above the surface, it seems like they'd scratch easily. Or you could make dedicated magnifying toys - something that's sort of like this, with a lens set in the top: ___ | | x ----- Stuff could be set where the "x" is, the upright would be equal to the focal length. Or the bottom could be horseshoe shape, so it could be used on top of a larger surface. My only other ideas are in a clock or lamp or something that's primarily decorative. Maybe you could make a "lighthouse" lamp with your lenses to let the light out. Of course, if you live in Nebraska or something, a lighthouse might not exactly fit in to popular decorating schemes. I'm curious to hear other ideas also. Andy
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I have had tremendous difficulty buying a good magnifying glass to use with my failing sight. I am familiar with the magnifying lamp. I bet if you put something together based on a hand mirror design, you would then have a super hand magnifying glass. I, and many others, would buy it in a flash. And it would become super useful item in our lives.
You would probably have to come up with a design that allowed it to be dowelled together.
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I you happen to have a lathe, there are a LOT of things you can use them for...
I've used CD's and Hard disk drives as box lids and bowl covers... both would be very cool with your lenses... put tiny beads or potpourri in the bottom and it would look HUGE until you took the lid off.. Mac
https://home.comcast.net/~mac.davis https://home.comcast.net/~mac.davis/wood_stuff.htm
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<snip> maybe a table top with

Hi John, I like the idea of the table with the lenses in it... You could make a "sandwich" so to speak... Make your table in 2 layers, use a router to cut in area's to recess the lenses, matching recess on top and bottom... Close them up to secure the lense and you can have an area underneath to put stuff... .Hands, toys, interesting bits and such.... I'm sure kids and adults would like it. You could make box tops the same way I'd guess... That would make securing them easier too.
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Could also use them in a room divider/screen.
If used in a table you could have some kind of fretwork under it.
-Leuf
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Great ideas and suggestions, please do keep them coming. As several of the ideas employ the magnification qualities of the lenses, how can I figure out what the focal length of the lense is? Is is simply a matter of holding the lense above a surface and moving it up and down until maximum magnification/focus is reached and then measuring the distance from the lense to the object? This would be useful to know in designing, say the kids fun table. thanks. john k
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jk wrote:

To determine focal length, take a piece of white cardboard and hold it behind the lens while pointing it towards a distant, bright object (such as the moon or a streetlight at night). Move the carboard forwards and backwards until the image is in focus. That would be the focal length of the lens.
Speaking of which, you might make some kind of viewing box out of a lens based on the setup mentioned above. You could use a translucent film, or just plain paper, which could display an image. I would caution you, though, to avoid this being pointed towards the sun (unless of course you intend to make a solar powered water boiler :-)
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wrote:

Make damn sure the sun doesn't shine on them at the wrong time. Like in the house, or when the kids have their hands underneath.
Bob
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jk wrote:

Hmm, sounds like you could string them together into pairs to make bikini tops...
--

FF


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On 10 Oct 2006 16:35:21 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@spamcop.net wrote:

You lose your glasses again, Fred? *g*
Mac
https://home.comcast.net/~mac.davis https://home.comcast.net/~mac.davis/wood_stuff.htm
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mac davis wrote:

No, but I figure for the less generously endowed it would be cheaper that surgery. Then again so is massage.
--

FF

"Massage might not work either, but I'm willing to try...."


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Make sets of camera obscura. I did this almost 20 years ago, but out of cardboard boxes that would slide past each other to focus the image. You can build them straight, or with a mirror, make a right-angle camera. They are great for atr students - a way to "cheat" and copy an image or scene.
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