Four Blades from One !

Discussion about cameras, microscopes, stains, and gadgets, along with useful tips for preparation of fungi samples
Post Reply
User avatar
Lancashire Lad
Frequent user
Posts: 737
Joined: Wed May 13, 2015 11:59 am
Location: Red Rose County
Contact:

Four Blades from One !

Post by Lancashire Lad » Thu Jul 30, 2015 1:24 pm

This link relates to non mycological microscopy, but describes a method of obtaining four usable blades from one double edged razor blade.

https://www.mccrone.com/mm/quarter-razo ... ectioning/

The page also shows quite nicely, that razor blades have much finer edges than generally available commercial scalpels. ;)

It may not be obvious from the page, (which specifically mentions an X-Acto™ knife holder), but almost any "chuck" type hobby knife handle, such as are available from most craft stores etc. would be suitable for holding the blades created by this method.
(eg. various types, including the X-Acto, are shown here: - http://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_sb_nos ... obby+knife ).

Regards,
Mike.
Common sense is not so common.

Leif
Frequent user
Posts: 546
Joined: Mon Jul 13, 2015 9:09 am
Location: East Hampshire

Re: Four Blades from One !

Post by Leif » Thu Jul 30, 2015 2:20 pm

Next you'll be telling us how to make four sheets of toilet paper from each standard one. :)

I use a kitchen knife, freshly sharpened. It is a Japanese one, and they make knives with a more acute angle, compared to European knives. I don't know how my knife compares to a razor, except it is easier to use giving me more control. I have some razor blades specifically for sectioning fungi, but they were rusty when I pulled off the protective cardboard! I used to have a cut throat razor for slicing fungi, it gave me the heebie jeebies.

User avatar
Lancashire Lad
Frequent user
Posts: 737
Joined: Wed May 13, 2015 11:59 am
Location: Red Rose County
Contact:

Re: Four Blades from One !

Post by Lancashire Lad » Tue Sep 01, 2015 5:14 pm

Just as a follow up to this, since discovering the method, I've been making and using these cut-up razor blade scalpels and I'm very impressed!
The end result is a knife that's much thinner and sharper than your average scalpel, and cuts like a dream.
(By far the best tool I've used so far for cutting cross sections of rust sori from leaves).
Razor Blade Myco-Knife.jpg
I bought an aluminium X-Acto knife for £4.99, (Nice quality and should last for several years).
The consumables came in the form of a bulk pack of 100 Wilkinson Sword double edge blades for £10.00.
As can be seen from the photo, the cut blades can be trimmed to varying shapes, depending on choice - or what best fits the handle.

I'm using tinsnips to cut the blades. However, I've also tried it with a pair of robust kitchen scissors, and they do the job quite easily.
Being so thin, the cut blades are quite flexible, but in use, they are so sharp that virtually no force is required to make the cuts.
(I wouldn't recommend these for cutting hard or woody specimens though).

As I should get 400 usable "mini" blades, if each blade makes only three cuts, that works out at less than 1p per cut! - cheaper than a coverslip!

Two things to note: -
Beware that with scissors, the offcuts can tend to fly off into the distance! - so it's as well to make the cuts over a suitable container. (Tinsnips cut more slowly, but the offcuts tend to just drop off).
Shouldn't really need saying, but these blades are incredibly sharp. Take care when handling / cutting / fitting them to the blade-holder handle.

Regards,
Mike.
Common sense is not so common.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest