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.