I have wanted a good magnifying lens to drop into my tool bag for quite a while. I never found anything that suited me. I wanted a good glass lens, and I wanted it to be protected while in my tool kit. I found some nice lenses at Tanner's in Dallas for $1.99 and decided I would make my own. The lenses have a diameter of 9 cm. You will need to make adjustments for other size lenses. I am designing a mount derived from this design to mount a magnifier to some work benches here at Dallas Makerspace.
Step 1: Gather the Parts
The wood parts are laser cut here at Dallas Makerspace. I could use acrylic, but we had lots of scrap fiberboard at the moment and so I used that. I will probably make another with a clear acrylic handle and mount a couple of white LEDs in it.
1. mount with handle
2. mount for top of lens
3. three screws and nuts. I used nylon 8/32 screws that were 1 inch long and cut them to length.
4. 3 screws and nuts to hold covers. I used 8/32 screws that were 1 and 3/8 inch in length and wing nuts.
5. if your handle material is not thich, you may want washers to keep lens from hitting table when you lay it down.
Step 2: Assembly Step 1
Position the lens over the handle. Add the top mounting piece and put screws in three holes around the lens. Looking at the mounting screws and thinking of an analog clock face, put the screws in the 2, 6, and 10 o'clock positions 3 screws are enough to securely capture the lens. You may have to jiggle the lens a bit as you insert the screws. You want the result to be a moderately tight fit.
Step 3: Assembly Step 2
Now, flip it over. Add the washers, if you want them and put nuts on the screws. You should have a useful magnifying lens now.
Step 4: Try Out the Cover
The three open screw holes allow you to position covers on both sides of the lens and affix them with the longer screws. I like wing nuts because they are quicker to remove and I have to take them off every time I use the lens. You could use something even quicker to remove, like twist ties to hold the cover on.
Step 5: Notes
I used Inkscape to produce the design. It has a handy extension under "Generate from path" called scatter that allowed me to position the screw holes precisely where I wanted them.