Monday, October 18, 2010

Week 11 & 12, Oct. 4-16, 2010

Missed last week so another double week update. The first week didn't have much in it except for a bunch of major fails so I guess it isn't that important. Plus we were preparing for our official escapement exam. I did attempt to make the swan neck for the balance. This proved to be not an easy task. Let's just say I never want to make one of these for a long time. I had to mill it out 5 times..... FIVE!! The first one bent accidentally. The second one had a tap stuck in it. The third one melted in the hardening process. The fourth one broke at the round part because it was hardened into the wrong position. Finally on the 5th attempt I made good. What a nightmare. Every single time I tried tapping the hole for the adjustment screw the tap broke. The thread is 0.40mm, and just for your information Bergeon taps are not so hot. Not impressed!

Anyways, here are some views of the useless springs...

My second workbench....

Milling the spring

So if you remember from the last post I said I had to make a new regulating arm. Well I did that easily and I'm nearly finished that part. Just to show an example of the inside corners here is a pic. On the left side you can see it is nice and sharp. And on the right is what it looked like after the milling. It looks even better through a 10x loupe. I will be polishing the top and still need to make some beveling.

I also had to drill and tap the spots to hold down the swan neck on the bridge. You can see the holes in the pic here. The threads are 0.50mm and were way easier to tap. Once this was done I made the two screws for the swan neck. 0.50mm thread - 0.80mm long, the head is 0.75mm diameter and 0.40mm long. Pretty small screws. The first one I made got away from me and I couldn't find it. This job can be frustrating sometimes!

As you can see there are still sharp edges everywhere so not close close to 'done' yet...

The long regulating screw is just temporary for now. The ones I could find that were already made are not very nice. They have a cross slot on the end and it isn't very centered. So I'll just make my own with only holes. I'll show some pics next week of that screw. Not easy to make as it is very long (2.40mm) and very skinny (0.40mm thread).

Here are the parts together (minus the jewel of course, if it ever comes...). I think it looks pretty awesome! Basically just how I pictured and drew it so that is good. Really happy with how it is looking. I'm excited to actually get it running!

One last thing I made last week. It's a holder for saw blades. The ones we had before were much smaller at the holding point so the blade was not so steady. Especially when using a saw blade only 0.10mm thick. It wasn't working to cut slots for screws that small. So I designed this holder to hold more of the blade. It worked perfectly and the screws for the swan neck were made with this thing. Now I can make super small screw heads easier, yay!

On a side note we are starting to work on hairsprings on our watches. Delicate shit I tell ya!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Week 10 Sep. 27-Oct. 2, 2010

Bonjour! Ca va? Ok my French sucks so that's where I'll stop that. Anyways, this week we had a practice exam for the escapement adjustment section of the course so there isn't as much to show about my school watch. We had the test on Monday and it was basically to see where everyone was at and if we could do the official exam. Needless to say we have some work to do! We were all quite slow and didn't finish in the 4 hours we are allowed. But we did get better as the week went on. I'm not sure when the test is yet but until then I have been doing a few things.

One of the things I did for my watch last week was finish the pallet fork bridge. I made the bevels polished and circular grained the top. I'll let the pictures do most of the talking.

It took me a while to get the graining correct. I still need to go over it again because there are still some straight marks from the previous graining. At first I tried using the M1 to do the graining but after about 10 different tries with different grains and speeds I realized that just turning the M1 by hand was the right way. It was turning too fast before and not leaving a nice grey finish like in the picture below.

Here is a pic of the interior corner I talked about in the last post. I think it turned out pretty nice being the first one I've done. It might not be "perfect" but I think it is good. You can see in the pic the difference in finish from the side (flank) of the bridge, the top, and the polished bevel.

Just a close-up of the jewel and bevels from the top.

And lastly here is a picture of the purpose of this piece! Looks cool with the escape wheel and bridge in. Obviously the banking pins still have to go in so it isn't functional per se. Also you can see I started beveling the escape wheel bridge as well. I don't think the bevel is quite big enough, do you? I suppose it's hard to tell from these pics...

The other thing I started last week was planning for the swan neck. After drawing it out on the CAD program I discovered I made a pretty big oopsie when I made the regulating arm. It isn't thick enough to have the screw from the swan neck hold it in the middle. So now I have to remake that part as well. Prototyping ain't easy! But it makes for a bigger bevel on the jewel sink so that is ok....

Cya next week