Instead of taking over someone else's thread, I would like to share my grafting setup with everyone.
In the last few years my eyes have really gone to heck.
Having tried every type of magnifying glasses I could think of, to include some through the lens dental loupes like you dental hygienist and dentist wear (start at about $500 for cheap ones), I was researching purchasing an observation microscope.
Realizing I was going to spend several hundred dollars I decided to try a cheap chicom "microscope" (magnified viewer may be a better name) for $50 from eBay. I figured it was worth the try just to see if I could do the eye hand coordination.
If it didn't work out I figured the grand kids could play with it looking at their dirty finger, bugs, boogers, etc.
I have only grafted twice this year using it but I am pretty happy with it.
It magnifies plenty for me, not sure of the true magnification, its certainly not the advertised amount. The LED light is plenty bright. It is battery operated and had a memory card slot. Uses the older phone charger (check junk drawer in garage, that where mine were)
It takes video and photos, the button for photos takes a pretty good push and makes the whole system wobble a bit. This makes it difficult to take a clear photo because the viewer is moving around.
The focus knob is exactly as you would expect from a chicom purchase, it could use about 5 times as much travel/ play. Basically it's like its coarse threaded but extra fine threads would be better.
I use a 10/0 (ten ought) bent painters brush to graft. One nice thing about the brush is I will often prime the cup with the royal jelly left over from the prior queen cell.
I am able to see larva very easily. Getting the right size larva was a bit comical because I started telling myself, nope to big, only to realize they were what I was looking for after looking at some eggs.
It does take me a bit to get the eye hand coordination going to find the right cell, but after about 4 or 5 grafts I am within a cell or two and don't really have any issues. IF you adjust the angle of the viewer you will have to relearn where the cells are.
larva brush 1.jpg
I built a custom holder to hold the viewer, it needs to be weighted on the end due to the weight of the viewer. This holds the viewer on the longer top board so you can look at the whole frame. Move the frame not the viewer.
The custom suction mounting surface is a tin can lid. (careful edges are sharp)
As far as putting the larva in a cup, I am able to do that with reading glasses.