Sectioning wood stories

From:Gayle Callis

A sales rep from Leitz (now Leica), and many moons ago, sectioned wood for
a wood products industry in Pacific Northwest before her sales career using
a sledge microtome, a Leitz 1400.  This instrument was/is easy to use and
sturdy enough to cut huge decalcified paraffin embedded canine bone samples
for us. Ho Hum, some of my best work!  

Gayle Callis  

At 11:19 AM 2/28/02 -0600, you wrote:
>As with other replies re this topic , I have never sectioned wood
>however histologists are famous fro procrastination so:
>When wood veneers used to be made they were actually turned on a
>modified lathe and the sections made using a long knife similar to
>microtome knife. For hardwoods such as mahogany the wood was first
>soaked in warm water or steamed to soften it. Most of the veneers were
>however longitudinal rather than cross sections.
>In the case of hard woods and with some conifer cones, sections were
>made by cutting one side, polishing with abrasives, glueing this side to
>a slide and then grinding down the other side to achieve a thin enough
>section i.e. similar to the process that we use for routine ground
>sections of teeth.
>With a small enough piece and one able to be infiltrated, it should be
>possible to embed in plastic and prepare a section or a ground section.
>Time consuming yes - but how many people would be able to boast to their
>grandchildren - well I was not only a histotech but I prepared unique
>sections of wood?
Gayle Callis
Histopathology Supervisor
Veterinary Molecular Biology - Marsh Lab
Montana State University - Bozeman
19th and Lincoln St
Bozeman MT 59717-3610

406 994-6367
406 994-4303 (FAX)

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