Activity: Making a Case for your Student Microscope

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We are frequently asked if we carry a sturdy, hardshell carry case for our student microscopes.

We do not sell a hard case.  We can do the next best thing however - help you make your own.

Using two materials that most people should be able to find for about $20 or so, you'll have a sturdy carry case that will protect your microscope when you are not using it, or when you want to carry it somewhere to use it.

I am convinced that my homemade case will protect our student microscopes from all but the harshest treatment.

You'll need:
  1. A toolbox with a removable tray.
  2. A large piece of foam, say an inch or so thick. You'll find foam padding in fabric stores, or you can get an egg carton style mattress pad at Target/WalMart, etc. for about $10.
  3. A ruler
  4. A pair of sharp scissors

Now the details.

Once we found the right components, the rest was easy.

With case and foam in hand, just cut the foam to give a nice snug fit inside the box.  I measured and cut my foam in one piece so that I would not have pieces slipping out of place as I got the scope out for use.  Take some measurements, and sketch out your plan on some paper before cutting.

I have not provided measurements and such here because your needs will vary according to the type of foam that you have found for the project.

Once I cut out the main piece of foam, I found that I had enough left over to pad the lid as well, which really makes for a protective case.  Since the head is so much narrower than the base of the scope. we left some space between the foam and the plastic case for slide boxes, cover slips, etc. (see photo).

I did some searching for the right box for this project.  I have tried coolers, Rubbermaid Tubs, and any number of other containers. The Plano toolbox was the best that I found at the time.  Just find any well built plastic toolbox that is at least 20 inches long with a removable tool tray.  You may have to take a few measurements of your microscope before making your purchase.

For other care information for your microscope, see "The Care and Feeding of your Microscope", also here at GreatScopes.


John Lind, GreatScopes Scopemaster

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