Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Googly Eyes

Why on Earth have I wasted money on cosmetics all these years when all I needed was a set of jeweler's magnifying glasses to make my eyes look bigger and my nose look smaller?

I started working on the little cooper carving and decided to invest in a pair of these* in the hopes that I could achieve a higher level of precision than my current capabilities. (That's the roundabout way of saying that my 46-year old-eyes don't see as well as they used to.)

The carving isn't much to look at yet, but the progressive shots in the group photo give you an idea of the magnifying capabilities of the four lenses that are included in the box.

Powers of magnification include 1.2x, 1.8x, 2.5x, and 3.5x—more than enough for my use. A tiny light that runs on batteries will probably stay in the "off" position (unless I take up coal mining) because I keep a task light attached to my bench.

The headband is adjustable and comfortable, and the instructions are lots of fun: "Under sunshine, please do not put it at window or at the focus of combustibles."**

So far, I'm well-pleased with my purchase.

And, while I don't want to get so wrapped up in details that I never complete the project, I am hoping that the lenses will help me become a little more accurate.

Oh, and the other cool thing about these glasses? They add a bit of pizazz to my Steampunk ensemble.

*Note: I am not advertising for this company and I do not benefit in any way from sales of this or any of their products.
**I do not mean to offend non-English-speaking individuals. I think the turn of phrases within the instructions is charming.

There are other visors/magnifiers on the market, but these are the only ones I've tried. If anyone has had good luck with another brand, feel free to let everyone know in the comments.


Bob Tinsley said...

Whoa!! Steampunk diva. Coolness! What hidden depths you have!


Dyami Plotke said...

Nice, Kari. They look great. And so does the carving. I can't wait to see it.

Bob Easton said...

Love the carving (and the steamounk photoshopping)!

Those are handy magnifiers (I have the same set), but like all magnifiers, the working distance between lens and the workpiece decreases as the magnification increases. If you want to use the 3.5x, you'll likely have to shorten your chisels. ;)

Looking forward to seeing the results.

Kari Hultman said...

Mack, if I had the guts, I'd dress steampunk all the time. It's way cool.

Dyami, it will be a while before the carving looks like anything. I'm very slow.....

Bob, I figure I'll use the 1.8x most of the time. You're right—you need to work too closely to the workpiece with the 3.5x level of magnification.

Anonymous said...

interesting item, I never thought you were that age I was sure you were like me
Just a question if I may, can you see easily the direction of fibers wood with that glasses ?

Kari Hultman said...

Julio, you can see the wood grain easily. The 3.5x lenses are pretty powerful, but you have to move in really close to your work in order to use them. They would be more for jewelers, I'd say. I will probably use the 1.8x most of the time, and the increased magnification is worth it to me. I have trouble seeing the edges of the carving (where I've cut down into it) and these lenses definitely make that easier.

There are other visors on the market, but these are the only ones I've tried. If anyone has had good luck with another brand, feel free to let us know.

M.A.Shelley said...

I went with the Optivisors without the light or extra lenses. I'm pretty sure they're the 2x lenses. Don't know how I did detail work (mostly painting) without them. Now it's the most-used tool I own.

Tom Dugan said...

Whoa! Never expected to see a pic of you like that!

Anyway, very nice carving work! Someday I'll actually get around to trying some serious carving, but right now I'm more at the ax and hatchet scale of things.

I got those magnifiers for saw sharpening, where I find them invaluable (since I've got a full decade on you). I'm not sure what the difference is, but I got these. The different strengths are great since sometimes I want to be close,sometimes not.

Kari Hultman said...

M.A.Shelley, thanks for the recommendation. I know there are other products out there that are worth a look.

Tom—excellent idea to use the glasses for saw sharpening. I hadn't thought of that, but they'd be perfect.

Chuck Nickerson said...

Steampunk rocks! Coming soon(ish), my first steampunk woodworking piece. It's drawn, and just needs to be built. (That means it's two years from completion.)

Kari Hultman said...

Chuck, I would LOVE to see your steampunk project idea. Feel free to shoot me an email: goodwoodworkshop@comcast.net

Eric R said...

Thanks for the tip on the magnifier. I also have the optivisor and use them more and more.
(I also have almost a decade on you.)
And I think a blown up, framed copy of that steampunk photo is headed for the shop....

Thanks Kari

Docwks said...

Do you think these would work for someone who wears glasses? Just curious, those clip on ones for your glasses are useless in my opionion. Currently I'm using my magnifying light and it works fine it's just supposed to be on my computer desk not out in the shop covered in sawdust.

Kari Hultman said...

Eric, it would be cool to come up with a steampunk woodworker costume. hmmmm

Mr Bill, yes, they work with glasses. There are two places where you can snap in the lenses——one is closer to your nose and one is further away. So, the lenses to do not hit your glasses. They work better for me without my close-up glasses on, though. You may find that you don't need to wear them, as well.

Shannon said...

Do you feel you need a minute to get the hand eye coordination back when you step up the magnification? The carving is looking really good so far. I wonder if you could share with us some of your tooling as you do it. I'm trying to embrace the notion that I don't need that many carving tools but it seems I never have the right sweep to match a curve. Do you find this and is it fixed with just having the right gouge or have you found another way?

Kari Hultman said...

Shannon, you adjust to the magnification pretty quickly. I like that the lenses flip up, so if you need to focus on something further away (like outside the window) it's easy to do that.

I am taking progress shots and plan to write a few posts on this carving. I do not have that many carving tools and try to make do with what I have. If I don't have a gouge to match a curve, I use whatever is closest and "walk" the gouge around the curve with the cutting edge at an angle. Sometimes I use a very small straight chisel to do the same thing. Your eye does not see the minute facets created by the tiny, flat edge. After dinner on Friday, you and Mark can come over if you want to see what I have.

swirt said...

Thanks for the recommendation. I have a much cheaper pair that I use. I wear them when saw sharpening.
You may find you start liking the built in lighting. There is something very handy about the light source coming from the same direction as the eyes.

Anonymous said...


Hello Keri,

I like the new look!

Next --- when you or your friends are looking for a like item, do NOT confuse "diopter" with "X-power". Some suppliers use the unit Diopter.

These units are not the same!
For example: A 3 Diopter lens is only equal to 1.75X power.

See http://www.howardelectronics.com/heiscope/illumination/diopter.html

For a better explaination.

I do hope that the AR is much improved.

Warmest regards,
The Village Sexton :)

Al Navas said...

[i]"Under sunshine, please do not put it at window or at the focus of combustibles."[/i]

We came close to disaster a short while after we moved Sandy's sewing room to the old computer room. She normally has a large magnifying glass on a base close to her sewing machines. With the sum coming in while she was in the room, she started smelling "something". A cardboard box was smoking! The magnifier had focused the beam perfectly...

It was "...under sunshine at a window..."

We were lucky.

Woodbloke said...

Hi Kari - you'd have made a good Borg Queen in that outfit!...cool or what? - Rob

Kari Hultman said...

Swirt, I haven't had the chance to use them yet, so you may be right about the light.

Village Sexton, thanks for the information and the well wishes. :o)

Al, they are dangerous for sure. I read in the paper a couple months ago about a lady who was using a magnifying glass outside and caught her clothes on fire. Glad to hear that you and Sandy were lucky.

Thanks, Rob!

Docwks said...

Thanks for the advice I got a different brand, Bosch & Lomb. But what a difference! I spent Saturday and part of Sunday out on the back porch carving a Cherry bowl. This was in between redoing two computers. Carving is much more fun!

Eric Wolf said...

Kari, Go RAMS! That is all. :-)

Tinsmith said...

Have you seen this video?

Kari Hultman said...

Mr. Bill, these are great for seeing tiny splinters in your hand, too. :o)

Eric, indeed!!

Tinsmith, clever video!