[Histonet] Spencer AO 820 microtome questions

Michael Folsom mwfolsom <@t> rgbio.com
Tue Mar 16 19:53:05 CDT 2010


Does the chuck have a clamp in it?  If so soak a piece of soft wood that
fits in the chuck in 100% ETOH (pulling a vacuum on it would help) and
transition into paraffin.  Once its soaked in paraffin pull it out and
allow to solidify.  Your tissue will need to be flat embedded in a
simple boat.  Use a razor blade to cut it out but leave a good bit of
paraffin behind and around it. Once its cool use an artists pallet knife
(small) to melt the surface of the paraffin on the wood and the back of
the block and weld in place with the melted paraffin.

Re: the knife - they make a knife holder that holds either hi or low
profile disposable blades which fits in the microtome's knife holder.

One thing about the old AO - they are almost indestructible but never
back up the crank because it can strip the gears.

Good luck -

mwfolsom <@t> rgbio.cm

On Tue, 2010-03-16 at 14:20 -0400, Scott Parker wrote:
> Dear all,
> I have access to a Spencer AO 820 microtome (a "black beauty" in
> Histo-parlance)  that is does not have a disposable blade holder nor a chuck
> for holding paraffin cassettes. The microtome otherwise appears to be in
> good condition. I would like to get suggestions for where I might be able to
> purchase a chuck and disposable blade holder for this classic model.
> Alternatively, would it be a better idea for me to put this piece of
> equipment on display in a glass case and instead purchase a newer microtome.
> My work involves relatively low volume, basic sectioning of paraffin blocks
> for teaching and research. I don't need anything too fancy, just a microtome
> that is reliable and appropriate for student researchers to use.
> Thank you in advance for your responses.
> Scott
> Scott L. Parker, Ph.D.
> Assistant Professor Biology
> Coastal Carolina University
> P.O. Box  261954
> Conway, SC 29528-6054
> Office Phone: (843)-349-2491
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