Saturday, December 18, 2010

Week 20 & 21 Dec. 6-18, 2010

This week I got into refinishing some more parts. I spent about 3 days figuring out how to bevel all of the wheels for the AMS1 and W-01. It took a lot of patience and time under the microscope to get the wheels looking nice. Then I plated them rose gold. Now I have to wait because we don't have the right pinions for them. Hurry up and wait I guess...

Originals on the top, refinished on the bottom.

Here you can see the bevel made on the spokes and inner/outer rim. Doesn't look shiny or nice at all in these pictures but I didn't have the time or patience to try to get the lighting right for that...

Here is a bit better photo...

I also took some time to do some spotting and finishing on the AMS1 mainplate. It just took a while to figure out how to remove the milling marks. I found the best way was to use some diamond paper in the M1.

I didn't do much this past week as it was the last week of official school before holidays. Had some drinks a few times after school so not much accomplished. I'll do an update after I get something noteworthy done. Not sure when that might be yet... but Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Week 19 Nov. 29-Dec. 4, 2010

Well this week started out pretty boring. I was just finishing the rest of the screws for both of the watches. Not very exciting but I needed some of them to test out things on the AMS1. Here is just a random shot of a 'nest' of screws before hardening.

The next day we received the black rhodium for electroplating. I had planned to use this for my moon phase wheel on the AMS1. So I got started testing out the plating on different pieces. It took a while to get the look that I wanted but I finally got something. I found that when electroplating the black rhodium on a sandblasted surface got rid of the sandblasting for some reason. But it still left a nice matte black surface which is kinda what I was going for. Here is just a trial wheel. 

So after the plating I sandblasted the section that is to be the moons. I used a piece of brass as sort of a stencil to cover the part of the wheel I didn't want sandblasted. In this pic the wheel on the left is the result after sandblasting.

Then I designed a pattern for the stars and used the M1 to make spots. After that I found a picture of the moon I liked and using a piece of widia, I scratched off the sandblasting in the areas that were lighter. I was not expecting it to end up looking this good. I am extremely happy with the results! It's almost exactly how I imagined it so that is a big bonus.

Here you can see the before/after look.

In the pattern of the stars I made the big dipper. Can you see it?

Anyways I'm really happy with how this piece came out. It is totally finished and ready to go in the watch. I have one spare so I can do testing with that one and not mess up this one.

After the moon phase wheel I worked a little bit more on finishing some parts for the W-01 watch. I made the snailing pattern on the barrel and cover, and then coated with rhodium. You can see the before (bottom) and after (top). You probably have to view the images large to see the detail in the finishes.

The crown and ratchet wheel are finished in a sunray pattern.

Then I finished the setting mechanism parts. The wheels are circular grained, the minute wheel being rose gold plated. Before the plating I had to remove the pinion because I wanted to leave it steel color and have only the wheel rose gold. The other parts are straight grained using a diamond plate. 

The setting lever (bottom right) was a more complicated piece to finish. I wanted to straight grain it. But the piece has a pin on it so I first had to drill the original pin out. Then I straight grain the piece, and then push a new pin in. So it's more complicated than the yoke or setting lever spring. Another note is that even though we are making the finish on all these parts nice, you won't be able to see any of the parts when the watch is in the case. Just how high quality watchmaking is!

The next step on the W-01 is to get the mainspring in the barrel and refinish the gear train wheels.

Last thing I did this week was to make a few bridges for the AMS1. There are five in total and I managed to get the escape wheel and fourth wheel bridges milled out. Kind of a long process because of so many different curves but it's nicer and faster than doing it all by hand I guess. I also started the third/center wheel bridge but I'm not quite finished yet. 

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Week 18 Nov. 22-27, 2010

This week was the official start of our WOSTEP school watch. As you may or may not know, the school had their own caliber (W-01) manufactured and our class is the first one to use it. Like I said before we are not allowed as much freedom with design as the previous classes and that's why I wanted to do my own side project.

Anyways, we still have to do a bunch of work to the watches. We have to make locating pins and refinish all the parts and make decorations. Nothing too complicated but still work. So this week we started by getting all the parts the school has received so far. I made the locating pins and started some of the refinishing work. Here are some pictures.

You can see in these pics the spotting of the gear train. This finish is done to hide the milling marks from the cutters used. It is traditional in watchmaking and is seen on many watches.

I got watch number 0006. The first 4 were reserved for the school. I didn't really care which one I got though...

Unfortunately I scratched one part of the spotting I did already so I have to go back and redo it.

And here are some of the bridges. the underside has to be finished as well, even though no one will ever see it. 

As of this weekend I am just making some screws for both the W-01 (WOSTEP) and AMS1 (my watch). I'll just refer to them like that to create less confusion. Screws are not really the most exciting thing to make, but they have to be done so I might as well get them over with. There are not too many screws for the W-01 watch but my watch has over 30 screws, and 15 different kinds of screws. I really should've planned that better... 

I did make a few things for the AMS1 watch this week. As I said last week, I made a click. Well here is the picture of that...

And this week I made the click spring for it. I'm not really sure if it's going to work yet, but I hope so. I am planning to hide it underneath the click so it won't be seen. This makes it quite small and delicate. But I can't really test it out until I make all the bridges anyways so more on that later.

I was also able to harden and temper my moon phase wheel. I also sandblasted the top and it is almost ready to be decorated. I have two other spare wheels to test some decoration on but it is going to look great I think. Here is just a picture of how the system is going to work with the star wheel and cam I made last week. In this pic the star wheel and cam are not fixed yet so it doesn't look quite right, but hopefully you get the idea.

And lastly I wanted to show the diagram of my power reserve system. It looks pretty complicated and I suppose most people wont have a clue what the hell is even going on here but I find it interesting and wanted to share anyways. Feel free to ask any questions about it or anything else. Cya!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Week 17 Nov. 15-20, 2010

This week I continued with milling the recesses of my mainplate. The dial side was much more complicated having different shapes of milling. Lots of calculations needed to be made to get the proper shapes. Thankfully I was able to keep my focus and by the end of Tuesday I had the mainplate 95% milled out. Here is a look at the dial side:

And here are some more close up pictures of some recesses. As you can see the finish left by the milling cutter isn't that nice.

So glad it all worked out! A big step in the whole process.

I also made a few more things this week. I had to make a new setting lever spring. This is part of the keyless works. The holes on the old one were not going to work because they were too big. Also if you have ever seen a 6498/97 before it is easily distinguishable by this part. So making a new one will set my watch apart a little bit. Here is my design (left) and the original (right)

Here you can see how different mine is in direct relation to the original pin and hole locations.

I also was able to finish the partial cam and star wheel for the moon phase system. The cam isn't technically a cam in the traditional sense of the word. It's basically just a cylinder with a small finger that actuates the moon phase wheel. But anyways here you can see it after partially making the cylinder and finger.

You can see in this photo there is a straight edge on the back of the finger and in the next photo it is rounded off. I did this in the M1 after making the recess for the screw.

I also made locating pins in the back of the cam to position it on the star wheel in the same place each time. It also serves the purpose of keeping the cam attached to the start wheel so they both move simultaneously. The pins of the cam aren't visible, but they fit in the two holes of the star wheel.

Here's a pic of the almost finished pieces. Click on the images for a larger view.

Next I made the new cannon pinion. My plan was to use the original one, but I needed to attach another pinion onto it to connect to the new displaced minute wheel. I first had to shave some material off the shaft of the pinion. I had some trouble centering the piece on the lathe but finally I got it and I was set. Then I took another cannon pinion and shaved off the shaft so all I had was the pinion teeth left. then I just had to drill a hole slightly smaller than the shaft of the original and push it on. Here is the result. The new one (left) and the original (right).

Lastly I was able to make the new click. The click is also something that is very recognizable on the 6498/97 so I am making a new one. Unfortunately I forgot to take some pictures so I will have to post them later. But it was a pretty simple part to make. It is shaped like a comma actually, or a number 6/9 if you prefer. I'll post some pictures soon.

Bye for now.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Week 16 Nov. 8-13, 2010

Well it was a big week this week for me. We got the German silver for my mainplate and all the specific drills I needed to get it done. So I was ready to get started. Making a mainplate is no easy task (for a human). The first step was to drill all the holes in the plate. There are a lot of holes to drill and tap, and a lot of recessed areas in the plate that need specific depths to make the parts functional. I had to check, re-check, then check again with someone else if all my holes were in the correct locations and that I had them written down correctly. After this I printed out the list of the 49 holes to drill, with specific co-ordinates from the X: 0.000 and Y: 0.000 point I was headed to the M1 to get busy.

Here is the plate after flattening it in the M1. Nice finish hey! But it won't last...

After flattening I had to use a center drill for all the holes I was drilling to make sure they didn't go off center. Obviously this adds to the time because I can't just go with the bit, drill the hole and move on. Here is the plate after the center spotting.

Then I went and drilled all the holes. There were 49 holes in total, ranging from size 2.80mm to 0.50mm. Some of the holes have to be tapped to accept screws. and some holes have to be very accurate because they are the locations for the jewels. Those holes must be exactly 0.01mm less than the jewel that fits in them. I had special reamers for those holes to be precise. After all the drilling here is the plate again.

The barrel bridge fits!

The next step was to tap all the necessary holes for the screw locations. These holes are drilled to 80% the size of the tap so that the teeth take up the other 20%. To make sure all the holes would be tapped straight I used the M1 attachment to center the hole, then put it on the lathe, and then used the tailstock with a pin vise centered on a brass rod to tap by hand. Didn't take too lang and was more accurate than tapping freehand. I didn't tap the 0.60mm threads yet because my mainplate is quite thick and the tap will not pass through the plate so I will wait until the recess has been made in the specific area.

All of the drilling and tapping took 8 hours. A long process for sure, and that was the easy part. If you are wondering why is my mainplate not round, well there are a few reasons. I had to leave spots to screw the mainplate onto another brass plate to hold it while milling the recesses. And I also milled the sides 90 degrees to the winding stem and the dial feet. I have to drill holes into the side of the mainplate so this will help in aligning perfectly 90 degrees and straight. A good idea I thought!

So I had to make a holder for my mainplate so I can remove it from the M1 without gluing it all the time. I flattened a piece of brass and made the tapped holes for the screws. Then I fitted 2 pins where the dial feet holes are so it will align in the same spot in case I need to take it out in the middle of milling to check the depth of the mill. To the left is me flattening the brass on the lathe.

After all that I started to mill the recesses for the gear train and balance. I figured this would be the easier part so I would do it first.

It went quite smoothly until I was milling the recess for the barrel. It was the last step but I somehow miscalculated my starting zero point and milled too deep! I was extremely angry with myself after being almost finished. Luckily there was enough spare material on the dial side that I could save it, but this meant going back to all the previous spots to mill deeper. So 2 hours later I was done the bridge side. It looks pretty damn good, actually starting to look like a mainplate!

The last thing I was able to do was mill the recess for the barrel bridge on the other side. I almost had a problem when the holder moved but I noticed it before I started milling and fixed it. But now the barrel bridge fits and all is good. Here is a pic of the barrel bridge recess. That little extra part sticking out is for the rack that will hold the hand for the power reserve indication. I had to put it in this location because of the shape of my dial.

Now I just have to mill out the complicated setting mechanism recesses and I'm done, riiiiight. Not going to be easy or fun.... wish me luck!