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Thursday, June 21, 2007

Underwater Viewer

A comment on my last entry asked for photos of an underwater viewer mentioned in the entry before that. I tried emailing, but blogger only gave me a "no-reply" address, so I'm posting the pics here.
There are a lot of underwater viewing scopes on the market, perfect for nugget sniping, watching your dredge partner, whatever, but here's a great viewer you can make at home from a camp fuel can. If you want to buy one, here's a good commercially available underwater viewer. If not, read on...

Sorry the photos aren't in great focus and the flash has washed them out a bit, but you get the idea.

First, start with a camp stove fuel can. One end of the can is removed with a can opener and covered in duct tape or something else to keep the sharp edges down (also good for holding the viewer in your teeth). The other end is cut about a third of an inch in from the edge so you have a shelf on which to seat the lens.

The lens itself is tempered safety glass cut to fit and sealed on both sides with aquarium sealant. Sealing both sides prevents water from getting trapped around the edge of the glass and rotting it out. The lens is just a bit deeper than its seat on the can end, so sticks out 1/16" or so. This prevents bubbles forming on the under side of the glass. My uncle made this one and I know he has his lenses cut for him, so I'd check a local glass shop.

Here are the pics:

I said they were out of focus.

Yes, I do need to clean the lens...

So there you have it, a home built nugget sniping scope, perfect for grabbing gold right off the bottom of the river.

Happy AU hunting!

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