Hi Glenn (et al), I’ve been using Optivisors for roughly 25 years, to
more accurately gauge the qualities of the meetpoints and/or
curvatures on the gems I facet and carve. Although I don’t have a
specific “favorite” lens plate, I do seem to use the #DA-3 and -5,
more than the -10, preferring the #3 for general work and the #5,
when I need just a that much closer/better view.
Like most folks in our ‘crafty’ trades, I’m a bit of a tool junkie,
and like few other forms of procrastination quite so much as that of
modifying and hybridizing tools! For the Optivisor, I have a few
armatures that I’ve created, over the years, which’ve helped get me
out of more challenges than I can name. These all mount to the top
of the visor frame, and are attached by a single, #6 nut and bolt,
interchangeably. I keep telling myself that, one day, I’ll have a
veritable “farm” of Opti’s all over the place, each with armatures
attached, but I haven’t quite gotten there, yet. Anyhow…
The first device is a piece of 20ga. brass sheet, about 5" long by
1/4" wide, which has a 1x1.25" sheet of thin brass attached to its
end, with 30, 60 and 90 degree v-shaped notches nicked/filed into
its left and right edges. This serves as my “hands-free” machinist’s
square, and aids me with repetitive design tasks (like gauging
opposing v-grooves, in both metals and stone); instead of stopping
what I’m doing, putting down the current tool or workpiece and
hunching/scrunching myself around the workpiece with a metal square,
I simply look up, then down at the work again, and off I go!
Next, I’d picked up a pair of flip-up #5 welding goggles at Frei &
Borel’s, last summer, (part #129.378, on p. 36 of their current
catalog), but found the frame too large to use with my Optivisor.
After drilling out the two sleeve pins that held the moveable lenses
onto their base, I cut a 1.5x4.5" arm that both replaces that base
and reaches over the top of my Opti’s lens frame, then attached it
with the same #6 bolt as before, and… VOILA! An Optivisor with
dark lenses that I can flip down for use with platinum fabrication
and repairs, then flip back up, when working with gold or silver!
Finally, I have an arm with a GIA table proportion gauge attached,
which I use with a #10 Opti’. I find it an awful lot easier to lower
my seat and “anchor” the side of the lens plate housing to one side
of my bench, and the tweezers of a stone I’m viewing to something
else on my bench, than to continually try to “guesstimate” where to
begin measuring proportions, when that’s an issue. This way, nothing
moves, and both the gauge and stone sit at exactly the right
distance, sharply in focus.
Hope I’ve helped, Glenn!
All the best,
Douglas Turet, GJ
Lapidary Artist, Designer & Goldsmith
P.O. Box 162
Arlington, MA 02476
Tel. (617) 325-5328
eFax (928) 222-0815