Friday, April 12, 2013

Large Tourbillon Balance Model

A project we are working on in class is a 4x scale tourbillon model.  A tourbillon (french for 'whirlpool') is a watch complication originally designed to help prevent positional errors due to gravity in pocket watches.  It involved placing the whole regulating mechanism in a rotating cage that usually turns once every minute.

So far we have completed the upper and lower cage segments and the posts that hold them together.  Yesterday I turned out the balance wheel on the lathe then cut out the central arms using the vertical mill attachment.  Overall I am extremely pleased with the results.  Future upgrades for the wheel may include inertia blocks on the outer or inner rim.

Here is the balance blank

The arm template superglued into place for sawing then milling

The complete balance, it's huge at just under 50mm

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