The First Microbiologist:
Antonie Van Leeuwenhoek

Leeuwenhoek is called “The Father of Microbiology” because he made and used a simple “single lens microscope” to observe living things smaller than the naked eye can see.

Odhner Single Lens Microscopes:

Our single lens microscopes are the finest available. They are made to be functional. They are made the way Leeuwenhoek made them. The threaded controls are made from hand drawn wire with custom screwplates. The lenses are ground  from shards of window pane, and polished by hand on tin laps. The metal parts are formed by annealing, hammering, and filing, giving them an ancient looking and beautiful finish. Leeuwenhoek made his microscopes to be useful, not works of art,  but the materials, the “form from function”, and the historic significance combine to make them as artful as any museum sculpture. Our version attempts to convey the same beauty.

Our microscopes are available for purchase on eBay, or you can contact us via the form at the bottom of the page. They come in brass or sterling, and with a polished or aged finish. A custom made sliding top box with special joinery is included.



A Double Knurl Nut:

The owner of a Brashear telescope needed a nut with a double, straight, convex knurl and a particular pitch and diameter. He provided a photograph of an original knurled screw with a similar size and style of knurling:

Here is the partially finished nut :

Finished and on display at the Northeast Astronomy Forum convention 2018:

A Brass Gear for an Orrery:

Orrery gears need unusual tooth counts and diameters to give the planet motions the best approximations. They are not available off the shelf, and so must be custom made. This gear has a Gothic Arch shaped cycloidal tooth form familiar from traditional clockworks. The machining process creates the epicycloidal curve by coordinating several motions. The tool not only follows this curve, but also remains tangent to it, resulting in a very smooth surface. The bore and the teeth are cut in one setup, providing nearly perfect concentricity. These teeth run together perfectly.

A John Brashear Refractor Missing a Screw:

The tailpiece clamping screw was lost:

Here is an example screw from another Brashear:

The screw part on the lathe; single point threading and knurling done, parting-off in progress:

Finished! The knurls were cut rather than swaged, so they could be matched exactly to the example:

The proud owner, Bart Fried, pointing to the shiny screw:

Pillars for an Orrery:

We made a follower rest and tried it out making pillars for a clockwork frame for an orrery.

A Dovetail Case for an Alvan Clark & Sons Lens:

Custom made black walnut case for the 8″ Gustavus Wynne Cook telescope lens. Made from lumber that has been with our family for a hundred years. The dovetails were cut by hand. Our family learned to carve from our Great Uncle Thorsten Sigstedt. He was a professional Swedish wood carver:

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