High Tech Microscopy on a Very Tight Budget
Among microscopy amateurs there is a long established tradition of grinding lenses and making their own microscopes.
( Antonie van Leeuwenhoek, who is known as the "Father of Microbiology", was a linen-draper by trade with no formal scientific education, yet his skill at making microscopes and his observations won him international recognition.)
When it comes to non optical microscopy (electron and scanning probe) the idea of making your own microscope at home is more intimidating. Mostly because of the cost and difficulty of getting parts you'll need.
But it seems that this man, John D. Alexander from Gilbert, AZ, found a clever way to build a scanning tunneling microscope using cheap and commonly available parts.
Have a look at his site www.geocities.com/spm_stm/Project.html
If someone of you will try to build his own microscope, let us know.