RE: [Histonet] disposable blade holder and blades for A.O. Spencer 820Microtome

From:"Alan Bright"

Dear Kevin,

If I was you I would firstly try to section with the standard knife as you need to see if the microtome sections well at 20, if it does not section well, and the knife is sharp, you will need to have the microtome checked out to make sure the slideways are adjusted properly to eliminate any play. I am sure disposable blades will not section wood samples at 20. 

If you find the microtome sections well then the preferred choice of knife would be a Tungsten Carbide tipped knife if the edge of the standard knife blunted rapidly.

Good luck

Alan Bright

Bright Instrument Co.Ltd.
St Margaret's Way
PE29 6EU

Tel No:+44 (0)1480 454528
Fax No:+44 (0)1480 456031
Web Site:

-----Original Message-----
From: Kevin Cannariato [] 
Sent: 25 August 2004 17:16
Subject: [Histonet] disposable blade holder and blades for A.O. Spencer 820Microtome

First off, forgive me for asking what is probably a novice question.

I am a geologist that would like to sample tree rings at sub-annual 
resolution. This requires taking ~20 um thick slices of tree cores. 
People who have done this before use a microtome. I have obtained an 
American Optical Spencer 820 microtome that appears to be in working 
order. We have been told that it would probably be easier to use 
disposable blades rather than the old one that came with it.

I would like to know where we could purchase a disposable blade holder 
and disposable blades for this American Optical Spencer 820 microtome.


Kevin G. Cannariato, Ph.D.
Post-Doctoral Research Associate
Department of Earth Sciences
University of Southern California
3651 Trousdale Parkway
Los Angeles, CA 90089-0740

tel: (213) 740-6733
fax: (213) 740-8801
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