Best way to get a large rectangular magnifying mirror

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  • #1
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Hi, I am trying to buy a magnifying rectangular mirror for a science project. While simply buying a glass mirror with magnification is available, I have yet to been able to find a mirror large enough for my purposes. It would need to be rectangular 12"X7.5" mirror with at least a 10X magnification. After doing some research, I have come to the conclusion that making a concave mirror out of flexible mirror sheets would be my only option (and the most cost affective.) I am currently in the process of looking for a flexible mirror to bend into a parabolic shape for magnification purposes. I am fairly unfamiliar with with mirror types so any help would be greatly appreciated. Would something made out of a reflective mylar mirror-like sheet work? If so, where can I purchase my own? Details would be great. Thank you so much.

Ryan
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
2,193
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Hi, I am trying to buy a magnifying rectangular mirror for a science project. While simply buying a glass mirror with magnification is available, I have yet to been able to find a mirror large enough for my purposes. It would need to be rectangular 12"X7.5" mirror with at least a 10X magnification. After doing some research, I have come to the conclusion that making a concave mirror out of flexible mirror sheets would be my only option (and the most cost affective.) I am currently in the process of looking for a flexible mirror to bend into a parabolic shape for magnification purposes. I am fairly unfamiliar with with mirror types so any help would be greatly appreciated. Would something made out of a reflective mylar mirror-like sheet work? If so, where can I purchase my own? Details would be great. Thank you so much.

Ryan
I think you're on the right track, given your budget constraints.
If your need is general magnification versus precise magnification, reflective mylar is a great choice.
Don't know enough about this to offer further advise, but best of luck!
 
  • #3
K^2
Science Advisor
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Keep in mind that a rectangular sheet will no longer have rectangular outline after you buckle it into a parabolic shape.

Your best bet would probably to take a parabolic dish of the right shape, which could be for a satellite antenna, a larger circular mirror, or whatever, and vacuform the reflective material to it. So long as the curvature isn't too great, you should be able to make that work. Then you can cut it into desired shape.
 
  • #4
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I think you're on the right track, given your budget constraints.
If your need is general magnification versus precise magnification, reflective mylar is a great choice.
Don't know enough about this to offer further advise, but best of luck!
Thanks pallidin!

i am also looking into using acrylic mirrors instead. supposedly the image will be clearer than using mylar but it wont be as flexible thus being harder to shape into the correct parabola to magnify the image. any advice?
 
  • #5
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Keep in mind that a rectangular sheet will no longer have rectangular outline after you buckle it into a parabolic shape.

Your best bet would probably to take a parabolic dish of the right shape, which could be for a satellite antenna, a larger circular mirror, or whatever, and vacuform the reflective material to it. So long as the curvature isn't too great, you should be able to make that work. Then you can cut it into desired shape.
ok thanks! im still a little worried that the mylar wont be enough of a mirror for my purposes though. essentially what im looking for is a larger, more powerful version of this:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001KYSARA/?tag=pfamazon01-20
except maybe plastic or acrylic mirror instead of glass for price purposes
 
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  • #6
K^2
Science Advisor
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Could you maybe explain the application?
 
  • #7
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Could you maybe explain the application?
well the system uses a series of mirrors to bend the image 90 degrees as well as magnify it. i have already built a small version of what im looking for using the amazon mirror, https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001KYSARA/?tag=pfamazon01-20. the other mirror in the system is flat with regular magnification. the system basically does this: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/2/29/Pentaprism.png with the top mirror being the parabolic one.
 
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  • #8
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OK, you have built a small version using the amazon mirror.
Nice!!!! A true experimenter!
Nothing like a "proof of concept" to encourage scaling up. Good job!

Hoping the best, and perhaps others like K^2 can continue to offer good suggestions.
 
  • #9
2,685
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Go to your local book shop / stationary shop. They often have large 12 x 8 inch magnifiers.

Generally, they are designed for old people reading books but I'm sure there'd be something for your requirements.

They're cheap too, the ones by me are around £2.50 each ($4.00).

Scroll down this page to Rigid magnifier sheet to see the sort of thing I'm on about:
http://www.my-history.co.uk/acatalog/Magnifiers.html

Not the magnification you want, but I'm sure there are others out there that might be suitable.

And again:
http://www.coopersofstortford.co.uk...ford-page-light-magnifier-stand-prodst05843i/
 
  • #10
7
0
OK, you have built a small version using the amazon mirror.
Nice!!!! A true experimenter!
Nothing like a "proof of concept" to encourage scaling up. Good job!

Hoping the best, and perhaps others like K^2 can continue to offer good suggestions.
thanks for the support! I'll post some results soon!
 
  • #11
7
0
Go to your local book shop / stationary shop. They often have large 12 x 8 inch magnifiers.

Generally, they are designed for old people reading books but I'm sure there'd be something for your requirements.

They're cheap too, the ones by me are around £2.50 each ($4.00).

Scroll down this page to Rigid magnifier sheet to see the sort of thing I'm on about:
http://www.my-history.co.uk/acatalog/Magnifiers.html

Not the magnification you want, but I'm sure there are others out there that might be suitable.

And again:
http://www.coopersofstortford.co.uk...ford-page-light-magnifier-stand-prodst05843i/
I know of the exact item you are referring to. I actually thought of doing this as well. I tried it and the large magnifier leaves plastic lines across the image and the picture isn't very clear at all. unfortuantly it seems that they are typically built for text. even regular magnifying glasses don't really work in my system because it causes the virtual image to be too far behind the mirror. it almost seems like the object lies a couple feet back. thanks for the imput though! keep it coming!
 

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