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Thread: Big picture inspection mirror

  1. #1
    Supporting Member mklotz's Avatar
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    mklotz's Tools

    Big picture inspection mirror

    Normal size inspection mirrors (top in photo below) are fine for examining small details but I find them difficult to use when I want to view larger arrangements; my mental perception mechanism has a hard time synthesizing all those miniature pictures into a meaningful composite. Clearly, the answer is a bigger mirror where space permits.

    Big picture inspection mirror-mirror-1.jpg

    I had some 3 x 5" mirrors lying about so I tried handholding that and it worked well to capture the whole view. But the glass edges were a bit sharp and I was concerned about shattering the mirror so I framed it. A sheet of 1/16" model aircraft panel fitted with retainers made from ice cream bar sticks and Starbucks' coffee stirrers protects the mirror and makes handling more comfortable.

    There were still some applications where handholding wouldn't work so I made the handled carrier shown in the middle of the photo. As shown in the photo below, the naked mirror is held in the supports with the ribbed rubber tubing stuff used to secure screening in aluminum window screens. The clamps are movable so it can be adjusted for even larger mirrors should that become necessary.

    Big picture inspection mirror-mirror-2.jpg

    I'm in the process now of framing another mirror to replace the naked one in the metal carrier.

    If you're not up to making one of these yourself, there's a commercial solution that's just as good, indeed better. It's a woman's makeup mirror, flat and magnifying with built-in LED lights...

    https://www.amazon.com/Portable-Ligh...%2C240&sr=8-46

    Just add an easily detached handle. The lights are a major improvement over my unlighted design.
    ---
    Regards, Marv


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  2. The Following 7 Users Say Thank You to mklotz For This Useful Post:

    baja (07-31-2020), clavius (07-30-2020), Jon (08-06-2020), Paul Jones (08-03-2020), rgsparber (08-03-2020), Saltfever (08-06-2020), Tule (07-31-2020)

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    Thanks mklotz! We've added your Large Inspection Mirror to our Miscellaneous category,
    as well as to your builder page: mklotz's Homemade Tools. Your receipt:




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    Supporting Member Paul Jones's Avatar
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    Paul Jones's Tools
    Marv,
    I agree with your assessment for a larger mirror. More than 30 years ago my wife used up the all the skin tone creme face blush in an Estee Lauder compact. Rather than throwing it out I repurposed it. I now use the plastic cased compact which has a 3.5x2 inch mirror for all sorts of inspections. The cool thing is the mirror is protected by a locking hinged cover. I keep it in my machinist chest and the mirror stays protected. The hinged cover works well with pointing the mirror in tight spots. It fits in my pants pocket. It was a fantastic find and very useful but the mirror is showing its age with some silvering going out of the corners. It could be improved with a metal rod for inspection like you did.
    Paul

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    You could also use a "selfie stick" to hold and adjust the mirror, or put your phone on the stick and take a movie or a still shot.

  6. The Following User Says Thank You to woodcutter For This Useful Post:

    Paul Jones (08-07-2020)

  7. #5
    Supporting Member mklotz's Avatar
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    mklotz's Tools
    Quote Originally Posted by woodcutter View Post
    You could also use a "selfie stick" to hold and adjust the mirror, or put your phone on the stick and take a movie or a still shot.
    I don't own a, spit, cell phone or a, double spit, selfie stick and the first time it occurs to me to buy either I'm going to eat my gun!

    However, I must admit to using my camera, the kind you can't make phone calls on, to flash photo nameplates in dark corners so I could read what is printed there.
    ---
    Regards, Marv


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    Supporting Member rgsparber's Avatar
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    rgsparber's Tools
    Marv,

    Ah, you are an inspiration to me. Here is my version - https://rick.sparber.org/LargeInspectionMirror.pdf

    Thanks!

    Rick
    Rick

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    Altair (08-14-2020)

  10. #7
    Supporting Member mklotz's Avatar
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    mklotz's Tools
    Quote Originally Posted by rgsparber View Post
    Marv,

    Ah, you are an inspiration to me. Here is my version - https://rick.sparber.org/LargeInspectionMirror.pdf

    Thanks!

    Rick
    Wow, "inspiration". High praise indeed, particularly so since it comes from one of my sources of inspiration. Many thanks.

    Thanks also for the ingeniously simple all-attitude mirror mount idea. I've tucked that away in my ever more leaky mind. Hopefully, I'll get to use it before it leaks out.
    ---
    Regards, Marv


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    rgsparber (08-06-2020)

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    I have seen "selfie" sticks in the $ type stores, and some even sell the smaller inspection mirrors. Yep - $1.00 (plus tax...)

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    Thanks rgsparber! We've added your Large Inspection Mirror to our Miscellaneous category,
    as well as to your builder page: rgsparber's Homemade Tools. Your receipt:





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