[Histonet] advice needed on histo instrumentation

From:"Malcolm McCallum"

Hello everyone,
I need some guidance from the wise!  I am trying to balance cost with usefulness!  I am at a very small college, but we have some $ to purchase some instrumentation. I hope I don't sound clueless, mostly I am looking for advice and sources!
I have always done my staining and tissue processing manually.  I seldom do anything other than paraffin embedding, so would a tissue processor save me much time, is it worth the cost?  which models are best for low volume use?  
I believe that an automatic stainer might allow me to run the stainer while I teach, manually changing solutions every 30 seconds in monotanous and quickly eats up a day!  One study might have 200 to 300 slides on average with an occassional one having more and many having fewer.  Basically I am describing reproductive cycles in amphibians and reptiles and doing basic morphology.  Some experimental stuff to.  What models might work best?
Ultracold Freezer:    The smallest size I can find is 5 cu.ft. should I go with that or 9 cu. ft?  Just used to store some DNA samples and Enzyme samples for classes and limited research.  best make model?  prices?
rotary microtome:  I do have a Leica SM2000R sliding microtome, but I would prefer the rotary for most of the stuff I do!  Any tips, advice on the best models?  I am afraid of the used models!
disposable versus permanent knife?  Never used disposable, and I do like the permanent blade.
Automatic Knife sharpener?  I can only find one brand.
where is the best place to get Slide warmers and Embedding Ovens?
I have a TBS tissue embedding center (TEC-120 or 220 not sure which it is). I have never used one!  Always used an embedding oven to embed tissues.  What is the advantage?  
I already have an Olympus BX51 neumarski DIC. Is it possible and for how much to convert to fluorescence? would I need additional lenses?  (current lenses: Plan 4x/0.10 [red stripe on it], UPlanF1 10x/0.30 [yellow stripe on it], UPlanF1 20x/0.50 infinity/0.17 [green], UPlanF1 40x/0.75 [blue], UplanF1 100x/1.30 oil infinity/0.17 [white]).  I used a little bit of fluorescence during graduate studies and would like to develop my skills if it is possible!
I also have an Olympus DP11 Camera system attached to the numarski.  Would anyone be able to recommend an economical computer imaging system?  This camera was here when I got here, we always used a computer uplink and using microcards is pretty inconvenient! I don't have any instructions for it, I know how to operate it, but I don't even know if it can be linked directly to a PC.
This stuff was all left by the former faculty member and I have to admit there are probably some of you out there saying "I landed in heaven!"  Anyway, any help in this regard would be great.  I would really like to eventually develop a histotechniques course, and most of what I need is 
Malcolm L. McCallum
Assistant Professor
Department of Biological Sciences
Texas A&M University Texarkana
2600 Robison Rd.
Texarkana, TX 75501
O: 1-903-233-3134
H: 1-903-791-3843
Homepage: https://www.eagle.tamut.edu/faculty/mmccallum/index.html
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