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It’s perhaps the ugliest photo of my Roubo-style workbench ever taken, but the image above is a picture of its Southern yellow pine benchtop that’s magnified 200x. It looks a bit like the canals of Mars filled with Marshmallow Fluff (sorry, I’m still a bit hungry after lunch).

Isn’t it a fascinating and useful photo? Nah. But I have a new toy on my workbench and I had a few minutes to kill before a photo shoot this morning. The new toy is the EyeClops BioniCam, a digital microscope intended for children who like to look at bugs and (most likely) their own boogers.

The EyeClops magnifies things by 100x, 200x and 400x. And when you take a photo it drops the picture on a USB flash drive that you can then put in your computer. I’ve always wanted a decent digital microscope so I can view sharpened edges for defects and for fun (the threshold for “fun” is fairly low in Southwestern Ohio).

This isn’t my dream microscope. But recently discounted the EyeClops to $20 from $80. So I bought one to get SuperSaving shipping on another order. I’m still learning to focus the thing , it’s a bit touchy. But it’s fun.

My edges look horrifying at 400x. But then so does everything else (freckles, notebook paper, apple skin). In the photo above, I think the white lines are actually film finish , my benchtop has an oil/varnish blend on it.

After I get a little better at using the instrument, I’ll post some more photos. I took some cool photos this afternoon of what maple looks like after it has been smooth-planed.

OK, now I gotta get back to work. I have split infinitives to reunite.

– Christopher Schwarz

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Showing 7 comments
  • Christopher Schwarz

    I’ve been using it to take pictures of saw teeth this morning, which is interesting. Too bad it doesn’t have more depth of focus.

    It’s a fun toy and convenient. But now I want a real one.


  • Stephen Shepherd


    I went out and bought one of these locally at a fairly good price. It looked a bit cheap, but the quality of the images is amazing. The focusing is problematic, but this has some potential.

    Thanks for the heads up.


  • Gene

    Thanks for the heads-up on the BioniCam! My son really wanted one of these for Christmas, but at $80, I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. At $19.95, I’ve placed the order, and will hold it for his birthday in Feb.

  • megan

    a split infinity? did you break the table saw blade?

  • J.C.

    Gadgets are fun! Especially when you can use them for things outside of their normal usefulness. And speaking of dynamite, I’ve got a short vid of some guys using black powder to break down a sizable log. Great fun and if anyone’s interested I can forward it.



  • Mattias in Durham, NC

    That’s pretty cool. Look forward to seeing some future sharpening articles taken to absurd levels of preciseness.

    As for evoking the idea of fun, you can always try adding a stick of dynamite. For instance, a pile of bricks: not fun. A pile of bricks and a stick of dynamite: fun.

  • The Village Carpenter

    I think you should take a bunch of close up photos of different things and then have us guess what they are. That might raise your "fun" threshold to that of Pennsylvania’s. :o)

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