Fig. A: The microfiche reader. Fig. B: Clean the glass
with window cleaner. Fig. C: Use a very small amount
of lithium grease to clean the rollers. Fig. D: Pop out
the screen and use compressed air to clean out any
and then soap it up with window cleaner (Figure B).
An old T-shirt is an almost lint-free cleaning cloth
that is ideal for this purpose.
3. Grease the rollers.
Whether you’re lubing car door hinges, drawer
slides, or a microfiche carriage, white lithium
grease is the professional choice for good lubrication. Just a tiny amount will do the job (Figure C).
4. Clean the interior optics.
A light is projected through the bottom and
reflected off a perfect mirror onto the semi-opaque screen. Since the tiniest dust speck will
appear jumbo-size, pop out the screen (Figure D),
blow the inside out with compressed air, and use
a scant bit of window cleaner on the mirror.
5. Place an object to view.
Microfiche pages were about 4"× 5" so there is
ample room to place a leaf, butterfly wing, feather,
or other thin object in the fiche carrier (Figure E).
For $4, I bought a set of prepared slides that
included a fruit fly, wool fibers, a slice of bamboo,
and bunch of other great stuff (Figure F). What
dust. Use a bit of window cleaner to clean the mirror
while you’re at it. Figs. E and F: Your image capture
area will be 4"× 5". Place a found item or a prepared
slide under the glass for image capture.
Photos taken off the screen of the microdoodle:
Goldfish scale (opposite); fruit fly, wool fibers (above).
Mister Jalopy is a maker, used bike store owner, and
MAKE contributing editor. He can be found online at