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So I'm setting up my lathe to do some practice and I realized, I have no idea what magnification to use.  I can't use my microscope because it's boom mounted on my bench and I'll be using the lathe on another bench dedicated to machining.  I was thinking of using my loupe and mounting them on some safety glasses, and I found these as well https://www.ebay.com/itm/121632270152.  So I bought these to try out and, as expected, they are worth every penny--they are cheap and don't focus on one point so I get a different image for each eye...  I'm going to try and soften the plastic so I can direct them to focus on a single point.

There are professional grade versions of these, but they can be found for $250-$1000, but these rarely are seen above 5X and I'm thinking 10X would be better for most turning work, or maybe not.

So, just curious as to what others use for lathe work magnification, both magnification factor, and what you use to magnify.

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In school everyone uses loupes. I  immediately set up a microscope on my lathe once school was finished, couldn't work without it. I have Zeiss surgeon loupe glasses, but they aren't really practical. I highly recommend a simple boom mount microscope.




Edited by nickelsilver
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I use a 4x clip-on loupe Behr (brand name) loupe on 2.5x reading glasses (which I need to see anything close.)  Good for most lathe work for me, but I'm sure a boom mounted stereo microscope would be great, especially for tiny work, if you can swing the price.  Agree there's no one solution.  Depends a lot on your vision and any required correction.  If you do use a loupe, it should go on your dominant eye (Google "dominant eye" if you don't know what this means) and practice working with both eyes open.

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