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Where to Get Optical Breadboards?
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Deanimator



Joined: 23 Oct 2012
Posts: 596
Location: Rocky River, Ohio, U.S.A.

PostPosted: Fri Jun 16, 2017 10:56 am    Post subject: Where to Get Optical Breadboards? Reply with quote

I've seen a number of people use optical breadboards as bases for macro rigs.

Most of the simple aluminum breadboards on Amazon appear to be out of stock, and have been for a while.

Does anybody know of a good place to get a simple aluminum breadboard at a good price, preferably in the USA?

Does anybody have any preferences as to dimensions?
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mawyatt



Joined: 22 Aug 2013
Posts: 1595
Location: Clearwater

PostPosted: Fri Jun 16, 2017 11:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thor Labs has a good selection. I built my main setup from their Al base and Al rail which is bolted to the base. They have slider clamps that I mount my camera/lens to, and another I mount my subject position fixture to. These slider clamps can easily slide up and down the rail for getting things into position, then clamped firmly down to the rail. This yields a very rigid base which is easy to manipulate.

Thor is kind of expensive, but pays back in ease of use.

Best,

Mike
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Deanimator



Joined: 23 Oct 2012
Posts: 596
Location: Rocky River, Ohio, U.S.A.

PostPosted: Fri Jun 16, 2017 11:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

mawyatt wrote:
Thor Labs has a good selection. I built my main setup from their Al base and Al rail which is bolted to the base. They have slider clamps that I mount my camera/lens to, and another I mount my subject position fixture to. These slider clamps can easily slide up and down the rail for getting things into position, then clamped firmly down to the rail. This yields a very rigid base which is easy to manipulate.

Thor is kind of expensive, but pays back in ease of use.

Best,

Mike

I think that might have been one of the sources I saw in a Google search when Amazon didn't pay off.

Thanks a lot.
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Deanimator



Joined: 23 Oct 2012
Posts: 596
Location: Rocky River, Ohio, U.S.A.

PostPosted: Fri Jun 16, 2017 11:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What size do you recommend?
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mawyatt



Joined: 22 Aug 2013
Posts: 1595
Location: Clearwater

PostPosted: Fri Jun 16, 2017 12:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have the following for my main setup base:

MB1236 1/2" thick Aluminum 12" by 36" base (1/4-20 taps) This might be back ordered, so I would get the 48" long version MB1248 if so.
XT95SP-1000 95mm One -Side Slide Rail 1000mm
XT95P11 95mm Drop On Rail Carrage (1/4-20 taps)
XT95P12 95mm Rail Plate (1/4-20 taps)
AV6 45mm Sorbothane Feet (1/4-20 threads)



My camera/lens is mounted to a Stackshot, WeMacro or modified THK KR-20 focus rail by a ARCA type adapter. The focus rail attaches directly to the XT95P11 sliding clamp carriage.This is a very sturdy fixture that allows the camera/lens assembly & focus rail to easily slide and be removed. I did have to drill and tap some holes in the carriage for the direct focus rail mounting for the various focus rails I use.

Best,

Mike
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Davids



Joined: 31 Jan 2016
Posts: 157

PostPosted: Fri Jun 16, 2017 1:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thorlabs is always great, though as mentioned prior they are a bit expensive. I purchased a board from Base Lab Tools and was very happy with their pricing, quick shipping, and overall quality of their product.

http://www.baselabtools.com
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Deanimator



Joined: 23 Oct 2012
Posts: 596
Location: Rocky River, Ohio, U.S.A.

PostPosted: Fri Jun 16, 2017 1:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mawyatt wrote:
I have the following for my main setup base:

MB1236 1/2" thick Aluminum 12" by 36" base (1/4-20 taps) This might be back ordered, so I would get the 48" long version MB1248 if so.
XT95SP-1000 95mm One -Side Slide Rail 1000mm
XT95P11 95mm Drop On Rail Carrage (1/4-20 taps)
XT95P12 95mm Rail Plate (1/4-20 taps)
AV6 45mm Sorbothane Feet (1/4-20 threads)



My camera/lens is mounted to a Stackshot, WeMacro or modified THK KR-20 focus rail by a ARCA type adapter. The focus rail attaches directly to the XT95P11 sliding clamp carriage.This is a very sturdy fixture that allows the camera/lens assembly & focus rail to easily slide and be removed. I did have to drill and tap some holes in the carriage for the direct focus rail mounting for the various focus rails I use.

Best,

Mike

Thanks. That gives me the detail I needed.
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johan



Joined: 06 Sep 2011
Posts: 993

PostPosted: Fri Jun 16, 2017 2:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't know how much of a rush you're in, but if you're looking at this for the base of say a vertical rig, then if you can wait a week or two there's a manufacturer coming out with a really neat base, feet and vertical mounting arm for under £100 - combined! I'm betatesting one under NDA, but as soon as it's available I'll put up a post about it on my site.
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Deanimator



Joined: 23 Oct 2012
Posts: 596
Location: Rocky River, Ohio, U.S.A.

PostPosted: Fri Jun 16, 2017 3:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

johan wrote:
I don't know how much of a rush you're in, but if you're looking at this for the base of say a vertical rig, then if you can wait a week or two there's a manufacturer coming out with a really neat base, feet and vertical mounting arm for under £100 - combined! I'm betatesting one under NDA, but as soon as it's available I'll put up a post about it on my site.

Thanks for the information.

I'm more interested in a horizontal rig, but at that price, I can afford to have both.

I'm certainly in no rush, since I haven't been working since late April. Had an interview Monday and another Monday, so I may be buying equipment again soon.
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jnh



Joined: 27 Apr 2015
Posts: 84
Location: US East Coast

PostPosted: Sun Jun 18, 2017 6:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Aside from Thorlabs, there's also Newport, but their bread boards are rather expensive, as has been mentioned above. You could also look into www.baselabtools.com - decent quality boards and quite a bit more affordable.
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Sager



Joined: 09 Jan 2015
Posts: 42

PostPosted: Thu Jun 22, 2017 12:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the tip on http://www.baselabtools.com they have great prices! I own quite a few Thorlabs and they are great but the product range at Base Lab is even better...

I'm going to quote some custom sizes with them and see what they say.
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ray_parkhurst



Joined: 20 Nov 2010
Posts: 1641
Location: Santa Clara, CA, USA

PostPosted: Fri Jun 23, 2017 3:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

johan wrote:
I don't know how much of a rush you're in, but if you're looking at this for the base of say a vertical rig, then if you can wait a week or two there's a manufacturer coming out with a really neat base, feet and vertical mounting arm for under £100 - combined! I'm betatesting one under NDA, but as soon as it's available I'll put up a post about it on my site.


Hope to hear more about this Johan. Please post when your review is available and you can disclose the mfr...
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nathanm



Joined: 02 Jun 2016
Posts: 222
Location: Bellevue, WA

PostPosted: Fri Jun 30, 2017 1:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I too use Thorlabs, but it is good to have an alternative.

Ebay almost always has 2nd hand optical breadboards, and they are usually just fine.

BUT, I did have Ebay purchase for an optical breadboard that must have been used in biology lab for something gross. It stank of what I think must have been mouse urine. It cleaned up well, but it wasn't my finest Ebay purchase.
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Deanimator



Joined: 23 Oct 2012
Posts: 596
Location: Rocky River, Ohio, U.S.A.

PostPosted: Wed Jul 26, 2017 7:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just accepted a job offer, so I'm going to have money again.

What's the minimum size recommended for a basic rig?

I was just looking at Baselabs, and they do indeed have very attractive prices.
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RobertOToole



Joined: 17 Jan 2013
Posts: 915
Location: United States

PostPosted: Wed Jul 26, 2017 7:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sager wrote:
Thanks for the tip on http://www.baselabtools.com they have great prices! I own quite a few Thorlabs and they are great but the product range at Base Lab is even better...

I'm going to quote some custom sizes with them and see what they say.


Be careful with Baselabtools. There is an old thread here somewhere where I describe a huge hassle with them. I ordered a board, it had to be made, then once they shipped it, they used a corrugated box without any protection at all. As you can guess, the box arrived damaged where the board punched through the box. They had to re-order the board for me again, so I had to wait, again! Eventually they shipped the second board professionally packed on a small skid.

Robert
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