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Apparently I am showing my age. Grafting is becoming harder to do as I struggle to see. I use a magnifying desk light but find I need it so close the grafting tool hits the lens. I tried a jewelers loop but is too powerful and again I have my nose of the frame to get it to focus, I did better just with a light and no lens help. Has anyone found a good tool?
thanks
 

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I use headlamp and a 12x8 magnifying reading plate, has a weird focal point in the centre, clear but the edges are distorted, it works for me. my 3x reading glasses just don't cut it anymore. I need a better magnifier.
 

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LED 'camping' headlamp that has an adjustable angle and wear quite strong (2.75) reading glasses from the drug store.
+2 on the alligator glasses, glasses strong enough to make the larvae look like little alligators, just be sure to remove them before you try walking around. lol
 

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I tried those glasses, did not work for my vision, focal depth was way to weak. cheap built, plus the interchangeable lens were pos...mo
might work for you, but if your vision is fairly fuzzy with close up objects...good luck
 

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3.75 reading glasses and a mini maglite led version. I use the steering wheel on my truck as a frame holder and park it in the shade. I hold the maglite in my left hand and can maneuver it easier than using a headlight... Maglite works well to illuminate from the back side of the chinese tool and see if I got the larvae or not. It should be in the same position on the tool as when I approached it in the cell. Not rolled over... I used to cut the wax depth down with a sharp box cutter when beginning so that i could see what I was doing. Some experience has lead me to no longer need that modification. The key for me was to just practice my grafting. I no longer need to carefully visualize the larvae and the tongue of the grafting tool slipping underneath. I find the correct looking wet spot next to the eggs and scoop it up. Check to ensure things look good from the light underneath the tool and deposit the larvae into a cell cup.
 

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3.75 reading glasses and a mini maglite led version. I use the steering wheel on my truck as a frame holder and park it in the shade. I hold the maglite in my left hand and can maneuver it easier than using a headlight... Maglite works well to illuminate from the back side of the chinese tool and see if I got the larvae or not. It should be in the same position on the tool as when I approached it in the cell. Not rolled over... I used to cut the wax depth down with a sharp box cutter when beginning so that i could see what I was doing. Some experience has lead me to no longer need that modification. The key for me was to just practice my grafting. I no longer need to carefully visualize the larvae and the tongue of the grafting tool slipping underneath. I find the correct looking wet spot next to the eggs and scoop it up. Check to ensure things look good from the light underneath the tool and deposit the larvae into a cell cup.
What he said exactly :thumbsup::thumbsup:
 

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I'm hopeless at grafting - but here's my story ...

I've tried most forms of magnified illumination - including some crazy specs from China with which each eye looks at a different area of comb ! Totally insane. I found a stereo dissecting microscope to work well - but not exactly practical 'in the field'. Which is likewise true of a desk-lamp/magnifier I've also tried.
Eventually I unearthed this little gem in a box of bits left over from my 'once-upon-a-time' brief career in electronics:



All I've done is to cut a slot/access hole in the end furthest from the light bulb through which I can insert a 000 paintbrush. With this torch resting on the comb, the depth of field is such that I can easily see the bottom of each cell. With illumination coming from the side, it works like a dream with white or coffee-coloured wax comb.
All I do is find a cell of interest, insert the paintbrush 'reversed' and use it's blunt end to break down the cell wall side. Then re-insert the paintbrush at a low angle, rotate it to lift-up the larva onto it's bristles, withdraw (leaving the magnifying torch in place) and deposit the larva into a pre-primed cell-cup. Then repeat, which usually means moving the torch just a millimetre or two above a new cell.

This is slow going compared with how I've seen pro's work in video clips, but 'tis fast enough for me.
LJ
 

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Grafted for the first time yesterday.....did not go nearly as well as I had envisioned. First brood frame was on newer foundation....Chinese grafting tool would poke right through the wax without bending at bottom. Like slicing through butter.

Gave up and switched queens/hives, found a good frame on older comb. I could get under the larvae...but it would bump the side or stay stuck just enough that it wouldn't come out with the tool. Towards the end...everything just started to come together. I had 17 cell cups and when I checked this morning...they are only working the last 4 I grafted (about when I started to get the hang of it). Mission accomplished though....definitely learned.

As far as seeing, that may have been the easiest part. I'm 50...eyes weak so wear reading glasses. I bought the head lamp/magnifier combo that Randy Oliver recommended (I don't have the link handy) off Amazon. Had to drop down to the 2.5x to get the focal length out far enough so the grafting tool wouldn't hit my face. Could still see fine. The magnified headlamp at 2.5x showed much more than wearing my 2.5x readers.
 

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A little stale, but I use a pair of 2x readers over my prescription glasses. I found that having a better LED was more important than additional magnification. I have tried an optivisor, and though it does make everything bigger, it is harder for me to use since I have to have my face so close to the frame, and then re-position for putting the graft in the cup.
 
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