Eyeglass Loupe Holder




About: I miss the days when magazines like Popular Mechanics had all sorts of DIY projects for making and repairing just about everything. I am enjoying posting things I have learned and done since I got my first ...

I have a set of loupes from Harbor Freight. You are supposed to be able to hold them with the muscles around your eye socket. While needing both hands recently to work on some fine wires, I decided I needed a way to hang the loupe on my eyeglasses.  

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Step 1: What Is Needed

I needed some 16 gauge steel wire and a small piece of heat shrink tubing. I also needed a needle nose pliers, a heat gun, and a ruler.

Step 2: Cut Wire

I measured all of the bent sections, etc. and figured I needed 10 inches of wire. I could have cut only 9 inches and it would have been just right.

Step 3: Bend the Wire Around the Loupe

Bend the wire to make a circle around the base of the loupe. Center the circle between the ends. Open the circle and wiggle the ends of the wire into the heat shrink tubing. See the second photo.Be careful not to tear the heat shrink tubing. Work with the wire so it fits around the loupe and the heat shrink tubing is loose on the wire.

Step 4: Shrink the Tubing and Bend the Wire

Use a hair dryer or a heat gun to shrink the tubing so the wire does not slip back and forth to open the circle. Do a little bending on the wire as necessary to make the circle fit the base of the loupe as much as possible. When bending the wire the heat shrink tubing will suffer less damage if the pliers jaws are kept between the tubing and the bend. Bend the ends in the form shown.

Step 5: Bend Again

Bend both ends of the wire as shown. The distance between the two straight sections should be just a bit more than the widest part of the loupe's base.

Step 6: Bend to Fit the Eyeglasses

Bend both ends of the wire down at an angle just a bit more severe than a right angle. Bend a kink in each piece to provide a smooth, rounded area for contact against the eyeglass lens. Do this on both ends of the wire. Trim excess wire away. See the text boxes. Adjust the right angle bend for the right amount of tension between the loupe on the front of the eyeglass lens and the bent wire on the back side of the eyeglass lens.

Just slide the loupe and the wire holder over your eyeglasses when you want to use the loupe. Slide it off and change magnification power by inserting a different loupe. This loupe holder frees you to use both hands on some delicate project without the distraction of trying to keep the loupe squeezed by the muscles around your eye socket.

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    15 Discussions

    Phil BFikjast Scott

    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    I do not use it often, but it works well. It is too bad wrestling the shrink tubing into place means bending the wire, so that it must be put back in place. But, it still works out well. Thanks.


    5 years ago on Introduction

    Phil, Excellent idea. We must shop at the same places. It's difficult holding those cheap plastic loupes by squinting etc... This is a really great idea that I'll be trying soon...

    1 reply
    pfred2Phil B

    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    They don't sell the model I have anymore, but this is what replaced it:


    Mine does not have the lights, or the round external magnifier either. Mine does have the two sets of visor lenses though. I never use both lenses because that is just too strong.

    Mine has the 1.8X and 2.3X magnifying powers. I use mine along with 2.00 reading glasses so that may be why the second range is useless to me?

    I'm kind of glad the visor I have is the plain Jane model. Less weight, and fiddly bits to worry about. My only complaint is that the headband forehead part is vinyl and that is a bit uncomfortable. I figure I'm going to have to sew a scrap of old towel cloth to it. Or maybe wrap it in a paper towel, or something. I did something similar with my welding hood and that seems to have done the trick. Wrapped paper towel around the headband in the front.

    You get nice stereoscopic vision with the visor.


    5 years ago

    Brilliant and, for me, most timely. I recently bought the same loupe set and have been unable to properly squint to use it. Once again, Phil has come to my rescue. Thanks!

    1 reply
    Phil Bksoutherland

    Reply 5 years ago

    You are too kind. Thank you for your comment. I am glad it will work for you.

    I thought about various ways to do what the heat shrink tubing does to hold the wire loop at a proper size. I hit the prototype version with a small weld bead, but only a few will have access to a welder. Tape would probably work, at least for a while. I settled on heat shrink tubing as something almost anyone can get at a reasonable cost. Almost everyone has access to a hair dryer, too.

    Phil B

    5 years ago

    Interesting. Thanks. Animations, like Toy Story, are able to bend the laws of physics in ways not allowed to those of us who tinker in home workshops.


    5 years ago on Introduction

    Rats! I was hoping for a <A HREF="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y7lq3qVbP_8">pivoting loupe</A> like Geri's :-)

    2 replies
    Phil Bkelseymh

    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    I am sorry. I have only my iPhone and am not doing well at opening the link you provided. Now I see someone at Instructables did something similar earlier using a rubber band. I will check your link when I am near a computer again. Thank you for commenting.

    kelseymhPhil B

    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    Sorry, Phil; it was mean as a bit of a joke. I love your project -- it's so well aligned with your others.

    The video and link are a brief scene from the film Toy Story 2, where the old-man character comes to repair the Sheriff Woody doll. The character wears glasses with a loupe that swings out of the way on one side, and a penlight tied to the other side.