Skip to Main Content
Chapter 03: Correct use of a hand lensAuthor(s): Alex Wiedenhoeft
Source: In: Identification of Central American Woods. 2011. Forest Products Society, Madison, WI. Publication #7215-11, ISBN 978-1-892529-58-9. pp. 21-22.
Publication Series: Book Chapter
Station: Forest Products Laboratory
PDF: Download Publication (1.36 MB)
DescriptionA hand lens is a powerful tool for the identification of wood, but like all tools it must be used correctly to take full advantage of its powers. The hand lens has two main parts, a lens that magnifies the object of interest (generally we use 10X or 14X lenses in wood identification; a 14X lens is recommended for use with this manual) and a housing to hold and protect the lens (Figure 1). Unlike a microscope, which is able to focus at different distances depending on the specimen and the configuration of the various lenses, thus requiring much adjusting, a hand lens has a fixed focal length. There is only one distance between the lens and the object that will produce a sharp image. This distance, generally only 1–4 cm, is easily found by examining a coin or other familiar object with the lens. Most hand lenses have no “front” or “back” to them; you can look through either side of the lens at a specimen.
CitationWiedenhoeft, Alex. 2011. Chapter 03: Correct use of a hand lens. In: Identification of Central American Woods. 2011. Forest Products Society, Madison, WI. Publication #7215-11, ISBN 978-1-892529-58-9. pp. 21-22.
Keywordswood identification, hand lens, Central America, Central American woods, commercial timber, pattern recognition, wood identification process, biology of wood, wood anatomy, wood structure, scientific names, loupe, macroscopic, sample preparation, surfacing, cutting, characters, vessels, rays, parenchyma, identification key, species description, similar woods, species summaries, wood collection, wood identification references, InsideWood
- Chapter 05: Basic characters used in the identification of wood with a hand lens
- Chapter 04: Bloodless wood specimen preparation for hand lens observation
- Chapter 08: Comments on, and additional information for, wood identification
XML: View XML