Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Burnishing Pivots

Today I finished manufacturing the components needed for the click assembly on my clock.  This included a click (the long blue piece) the click post screw, which holds it in place and the two brass posts that hold the click spring in place and keep tension on the click.  In the picture below I have the ratchet held in place by a drill bit.  Once the clock is assembled it will be held in place by the barrel arbor.  Its function will be to keep the mainspring from unwinding.

I also had to burnish (polish and compress the metal) for a couple of the pivots on the wheels I had to modify or extend.  This was accomplished by using a Horia hand lathe and some patience.

I will be able to do a function test of the clock very soon.  I need to remake the pallet arbor that was destroyed when the cutter dug in on it when I was trying to modify the part to fit the new plate.  I will upload a video of the very roughed out clock ticking when I reach that stage.

Dry-fitting the click assembly
Burnishing pivots with the hand cranked lathe

Monday, October 29, 2012

More manufacturing

I continue to complete components for the clock project.  Today I finished with my pivot extension which brought the week wheel into tolerance and I also build, hardened and tempered the click post and nut.
 Forming the flats for the click nut
 The week wheel pivot extension, blued
 The week wheel extension, installed
 The click post screw and nut before heat treatment
The click post screw and nut, finished

Friday, October 26, 2012

Getting to know the lathe

We have started turning out parts on the Vector lathe. This is useful for many reasons as it allows for accurate manufacturing of cylindrical parts such as screws, supports, tools, pivots etc. We started out using free-form hand gravers before starting on the slide rest which allows more accurate cutting. The project I am currently working on is turning out many different parts for my clock. The current part I am working on is an extension to the pivot on the week wheel of the clock that needs to be modified to fit in our clocks. The one pictured blow is my first attempted. The part is turned, hardened then blued in the kiln. I decided to remake the part because the nominal dimension of the stock as outline in the plans didn't match the existing wheel's dimensions. I will upload the piece when I finish it.
 Vector Lathe- Made in Germany
 The staking tool has many uses
My first test pivot extension

Saturday, October 13, 2012

The Klok

Our big project has started in class.  We are building a clock, or at least all of the parts minus the wheels and springs.  I am currently working of the front and rear plates but there is an ongoing problem in trying to drill out the holes that the escape wheel pivots will inhabit.

The issue here is that the hole is drilled with a 0.65mm bit, and even when using a precision drill press and a great amount of patience and care the bits have the tendency to break off and lodge themselves in the hole.  This would normally not be a problem but you can't continue drilling until you remove the bit and the only way we have found to do that so far is to boil the plates in a water and alum solution until the lodged drill bit dissolves and that can take a bit of time. 

With any luck I'll be able to finish the drilling early next week and post some pictures of the results.

While my plates are boiling I have been working on several different ETA movements in class, I am able to get the 2824-1 completely apart and back together in under 30 minutes.  Once we start cleaning and lubricating the watches this experience will be invaluable.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Smaller still

For a challenge Elaine, my micro-mechanics instructor gave me a tiny movement to get some practice dis and re-assembling. When you are viewing and working with the watch movement under magnification it's east to forget how small the parts are. It's also important not to squeeze too hard with the tweezers unless you want microscopic springs flying all over the place to be lost forever! 

 102050 movement pictured with razor for scale. You'll notice it's missing the regulator assembly because I may have accidentally destroyed the exceedingly delicate hairspring

Thursday, October 4, 2012


Today we received our first watch movements.  The task given was to disassemble and then reassemble each movement.  I was able to complete 3 by the end of the day, each smaller than the last.  From here we will move on to cleaning and then lubricating the movements.

Monday, October 1, 2012

All together now

I've completed the next project.  It took a total of two and a half days to complete the parts and the reject pile was fairly substantial.  Hardest part was getting the shoulders of the cut square and even.

Moving right along is turning a piece of half-inch brass bar stock into a 10mm square cube.  Tolerance on this are fairly generous at 0.1mm so I was able to complete the filed part in just about an hour and a half.  Once this is completed I applied a frosted finish using grit and a granite slab.

The most difficult part of the project is in process right now, all twelve edges need an identical beveled and polished edges.  This stage is completed with a burnishing tool.  I should be able to complete that and post the final project in the next couple of days.

The completed parts

The brass cube