Chicago Electric Magnifier
#1
For the past few years, I've been on the lookout for an optical aid to assist in model building. The problem was, I have always gotten by without one, and on a limited budget, I could never justify the expense. A few days ago, I noticed this Chicago Electric Magnifying Lamp on sale at Harbor Freight Tools for less than $20. i had seen a few other magnifiers at Harbor Freight in the past, but the optics were always poor or distorted, and the focal length didn't seem to be adequate for my needs. They had an example on display at the store, and I tested it by putting my hand underneath the glass at about the distance I would plan on placing a model, and placing my eyes above the glass to a comfortable distance. The optics of the lens seemed good, so I bought one.

this magnifier is on the end of an arm that has a pivot at each end. In addition, the lens can swivel, allowing the lens to be positioned at a height and angle to assist in many situations. There is a circular fluorescent light surrounding the lens to illuminate your project. It plugs into a standard 120 volt outlet.

I got the chance to test it out on two projects tonight. One was an object I am painting, another a hopper car that I am scratchbuilding. For 20 bucks, i am extremely pleased. The light is an especially nice feature, as it illuminates my project perfectly. As with any optical aid, it takes a little getting used to in order to utilize it effectively. I found myself experimenting on different angles and distances to place the lens, but once I got the hang of it, this became an extremely useful tool. Adding details to a hopper car instantly became 10 times easier, and much less of a strain on my eyes. It made my model building experience much more enjoyable, and the quality of my work was much improved.

This is the only magnifier I have ever used for model building, but for 20 bucks I am extremely satisfied.


Attached Files Image(s)
           
--
Kevin
Check out my Shapeways creations!
3-d printed items in HO/HOn3 and more!
<!-- m --><a class="postlink" href="https://www.shapeways.com/shops/kevin-s-model-train-detail-parts">https://www.shapeways.com/shops/kevin-s ... tail-parts</a><!-- m -->
Reply
#2
...and if you take a picture of it from this angle, you get accused of having a toilet seat on an arm with a magnifier...
[Image: image.php?album_id=6&image_id=169]
Reply
#3
TrainNut,

Thanks for the info. This is exactly what I've been looking for. Now all I have to do is find a Harbor Freight Tool place nearby.

Thanks,

Kevin
Reply
#4
Ha! and you've got one too! Icon_lol
--
Kevin
Check out my Shapeways creations!
3-d printed items in HO/HOn3 and more!
<!-- m --><a class="postlink" href="https://www.shapeways.com/shops/kevin-s-model-train-detail-parts">https://www.shapeways.com/shops/kevin-s ... tail-parts</a><!-- m -->
Reply
#5
RailCop Wrote:TrainNut,

Thanks for the info. This is exactly what I've been looking for. Now all I have to do is find a Harbor Freight Tool place nearby.

Thanks,

Kevin

Well...if you can't find one you could always order one. Except you'd have to pay for shipping which may negate the savings. Wink
http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/Di...mber=97448
Life should not be a journey to the grave with intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well-preserved body but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke thoroughly used up totally worn out and loudly proclaiming
WOW! What a ride! H.S.Thompson
Reply
#6
That's a good "looking" magnifier...Just what I need for these ol' eyes (which were not very good even when "new"..). Is Harbor Freight a "dedicated" store, or would their products be sold at other places like Home Depot, Tru-Value Hardware, and the like..??
Gus (LC&P).
Reply
#7
Steamtrains,

I've never seen Harbor Freight selling products outside their own stores. As it is, the brick and mortar side of the business is fairly new (at least in my neck of the woods). They started as mail order. Check their site - they may have store locators.

Kevin, thanks for the review. I have a magnifier that I rarely use because the magnifier is relatively small and it's optics aren't perfect. As a result, it mainly gets used for positionable lighting.

Matt
Matt Goodman
Columbus, Ohio
<!-- m --><a class="postlink" href="http://modelrailradio.com/wiki/">http://modelrailradio.com/wiki/</a><!-- m -->
Reply
#8
I've got one of those, only mine came from Micheal's Hobby Store. Very handy. Thumbsup
Reply


Forum Jump:


Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)