Making Four Quarter Blades from a Generic Double-Edged Blade
Step 1. First, the razor blade is
cleaned. The oil residue from manufacturing is wiped off with soft
paper and ethanol. Then both sides of the blade are carefully “taped”
to remove the Teflon™ coating. The Teflon coating from the cutting
edge is removed by brushing the edge with another “quarter blade.”
If the coating is not removed, it could transfer to the surface
of the section and confuse the result of the analysis.
Step 2. The blade is held securely
with a pair of flat- nose pliers and cut into four parts with a
pair of heavy-duty scissors or tin snips along the lines indicated
in Figure 2. The four cutting edges should not be touched by the
Step 3. The “quarter blades” are stored on a
Post-it® note on a microscope slide or in a small plastic box. Double-coated
tape should not be used because it holds the blades too tightly and they can be
damaged when being removed.
Step 4. The blade can be put into an X-Acto™ knife
holder as shown in Figure 3.
Note that the blade’s cutting edge is very delicate. To
protect this edge, all hand-sectioning of multilayer plastic films
or other semi-hard samples must be performed on a soft surface,
such as a plastic slide.