Handle for an old Microtome?

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From:Bret Morrow <bret.morrow@yale.edu> (by way of histonet)
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I've got an old American Optical Corp. Microtome model #860.  It has a
sliding blade-holding unit that has "thumb-screw" bolts on the top which
control the angle of the blade as well as hold the blade in position.
The problem is that there is no "handle" to hold on to as you pull the
blade across the frozen sample.  The protruding bolts on the top of this
unit make it difficult to spend a day cutting sections.  I can see no
place to attach a handle with the exception of the side of the
blade-holding unit which has a "sliding dovetail"--a 1/2 x 3 inch or so
long tab which it looks like some type of handle could be slid over and
locked into place.  Currently, we are using handles which attach
directly to the blade.  These were usually used, in the old days, to get
the final edge on the blade by "stropping" it on a leather strap (Thanks
to the nice people at Sturkey for giving them to us!).  The blade
handles seem to work, but I am concerned that it may result in some
change in the thickness of the section since you are pulling directly on
the blade itself.  Any differences in the thickness of the sections
would result in potential error in my research.

Is anyone out there familiar with these microtomes and have an idea
about the handles which they came with?

Thanks in advance,
Bret A. Morrow, Ph.D.
Associate research scientist
Associate clinical professor
Yale University

voice 203.785.4515
fax  203.785.7670
email  bret.morrow@yale.edu

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