I Can See (Again)

visiondevicesBuilding models and appreciating the work of others requires that one be able to see what one is doing. Like most people, I am getting more farsighted as I get older. I have reached the point where getting the scale rule into focus means holding at arms length. This happened gradually and, although I plugged away, I realized that I was spending less and less time actually doing hobby things. I credit a particular episode of TrainMasters.tv, Eyesight and Modeling Part 1 with giving me the kick in the pants I needed to do something about it.

The episode revolves features Pat Lawless a modeler who is legally blind and yet produces work of a quality that anyone can admire. Using everything from Optivisors to USB microscope, Pat gets things done despite his poor vision. I made me realize that my vision had (mildly) deteriorated and that that was a sorry excuse for not enjoying the hobby.

I came away from episode with two concrete action items:

  1. Get my Optivisor fixed and get a lens of the correct focal length. With a 14″ focal length, LED light frame add-on and new tightening nut, I was back in business and more comfortable.
  2. Get my eyes tested. The test determined that I need +2.50 or 250 magnification for close work. I acquired several pairs of dollar store reading glasses to use for tasks where the Optivisor headset was inappropriate. At a dollar or two a pair, I can treat them as consumables which they very nearly are: I sat on a pair the other night and dropped a pair last week.

The only downside other than the steady attrition in reading glasses is that I worry about looking judgmental when I whip out a pair of readers and nose right up to layouts at train shows.

2 thoughts on “I Can See (Again)”

  1. We are the Borg. 😉
    Seriously though, good for you for getting the eyes checked and getting the tools you need to see. I’m now lost without my reading glasses. I should look into an Optivisor for modelling too. Maybe we’ll discuss this over lunch sometime soon…


  2. Yes, lets! And given your growing interest in fine machine tools, I suggest you consider some prescription safety glasses. I have been debating with myself about investing in a pair.


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