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!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Week 15 Nov. 1-6, 2010

This week I worked on my power reserve system. First I made the new barrel arbor. It isn't an overly complicated piece but it has a lot of surfaces that need burnishing so it took a while to complete. And there was also the problem of not having a big enough Jacot tool for burnishing pivots that big. So I had to use the lathe to do it which took longer. But I think it came out looking ok.

Here is the original plan I made on the CAD program. The one half will be the same as the original arbor because that part is staying the same. But the other half will have to accommodate the power reserve system and all the parts. There is another square part I had to make for the wheel that is fixed to the arbor.

Here it is out of the lathe:

Here I am just testing the wheel that fits on the square part of the arbor for the power reserve. I have to adjust the height of the wheel to fit.

Not sure if you can see the square, but it's there...

Here is a comparison between the original arbor (left) and the new one for my watch (right). As you can see it is much bigger which means my watch will need to be thicker.

At this stage the burnishing was only partially done. The surfaces are still not quite good enough. The barrel arbor is a part that gets a lot of use so it needs to have a good burnished surface to prolong it's life. From this picture you can see the surface on the far right is quite good, but the others still have marks from the lathe on them. All these surfaces have a rotating part that touches them so they need to be burnished well.

I also made the two intermediate wheels for the power reserve system. These are basically to reverse the direction of the barrel to another wheel which carries the satellite wheel for the power reserve. It needs to operate in the opposite direction of the barrel so these two wheels are what reverses it. Since the barrel and the wheel for the satellite are the same diameter, these wheels have to be set up at different heights but still interact with each other. Again hard to explain without showing in person or with good pictures so just trust me. I am using the center wheel pinions and making them into the shape I want because they already work with the barrel. Here is the drawing for them:

And then I turned this:

Into this:

Obviously that's just one side of one of them but you get the point I hope.

And lastly I made a new screw for the ratchet wheel. It's kind of a weird screw because it has a huge diameter head (3.30mm) but is very very thin (0.35mm). So you can imagine the slot is very shallow and you have to be very careful when tightening it so you don't slip with your screwdriver. If you're wondering why the hell am I polishing screws already for a watch that isn't even close to completed (Rob), well luckily for me I chose a very common movement and I can use almost all the original parts like screws and undecorated wheels to do all the testing for it so I won't need to touch any of this stuff until the final assembly!

Lastly, I just wanted to show a few more drawings for other parts. The first one is for the barrel bridge that will go on the dial side. I need this because of the power reserve system. The bridge will also have jewels for the two intermediate wheels I talked about and also for the rack that holds the power reserve indicator. I had to change the position of a screw and locating pin but nothing big.

And here is the plan I used for the numerous times I milled out the swan neck. As you can see, lots of different milling spots and locations to center so it was not the most simple of pieces.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Week 13 & 14 Oct 18-30, 2010

Well some good and bad news to tell. The bad news is that the center and third wheel bridge got ruined when I tried to make it the same height as the other bridges. The pins I made for it were pushed in and I drilled the hole too deep so the hole showed through when I tried to even them all out. This led me to the ultimate conclusion that I am going to try and make my own mainplate. Don't ask how I came to that conclusion but I did.

Now that we have a CAD program to help with designing it seemed like a good idea to just make my own mainplate. That way I don't have to plug all the holes in the 6498 one. This will also help with my power reserve and moon phase design as I can just incorporate it into the design of the mainplate and won't have to add a module on top.

Unfortunately this means a LOT more work. We have ordered the german silver which I will use for the mainplate and all new bridges and it should be here next week. German silver is actually way nicer for bridges and mainplates anyway so that is another positive thing.

Here are some pics of the ongoing design and planning. I will have to write out a very specific schedule to make this mainplate as it has a lot of different depths and places to mill.

Dial side, very complex!! Each color is a different height of milling. And I don't have a computer to mill this out. I have to set it all by hand and be sure of everything at every step. 14 different depths!

Bridge side, a little less complicated... but as you can see, 9 different depths.

I have done a lot of designing and drawing out on the computer of almost every part so that I can plan the milling and making of parts better and faster. I really don't think I would be doing my own mainplate without this program.

As I mentioned a long time ago, I will be putting a power reserve into the watch. Power reserve indicates how much power the watch has before it needs to be wound. Anyways, I finally figured out a good way to do it. It took me whole day to figure it out, with the help of my classmates and Mr. Accolla as well. I will have to take a picture of the design once I get it drawn out on the CAD program. I have the section view built up but not the top view. But if you know anything about the power reserve in most JLC watches then it is similar to that. I'm really excited to see it work. And I only have to make one wheel and pinion!! I will also have to make a new barrel arbor to fit the new system.

So that's it for that part. I am still designing things as I go and drawing more of the parts on the CAD. Hopefully I will have a copy of every part on there at some point so I can have it for personal use sometime in the future. I think it'll be quite handy.

Other than all that, I started to get into finishing some parts. Some of the parts I know I won't need until the end. The original 6498 minute wheel will now serve as the wheel for the moon phase and also for the setting of the hands. So I got rid of the pinion and it will have a larger post. I also created a new design for it. Just some milling out of new spokes. the pin on the wheel is to move the star wheel for the moon phase. I will take some pics of the system this week. I also did a bit of electroplating on these wheels. They won't be touched until the final assembly so I figured I would just do some of that now.

Here you can see the original minute wheel (top right). The wheels on the left side are just three different looks for the new system. You can see the pin for the star wheel. And now there is no pinion on it because it has no use anymore (cause the hour and minute are not in the center anymore). The wheel middle right is the new minute wheel. And the wheel bottom right is the new hour wheel. The four bottom wheels are circular grained and plated with rose gold. I think they look pretty sweet! The pictures really don't do any of these wheels justice. The top left is just original brass, and the top right is how the wheel comes from the manufacturer.


Which wheel on the left do you prefer, top middle or bottom?? I can't decide...

As I am posting this Monday, I guess some of these next pics are from today, but oh well. I finished decorating the barrel drum and cover and plated them with rhodium. I made a curved sunburst pattern on the wheels and the pattern is mirrored to look the opposite on the drum and cover. Much easier to show in person I guess. Plus these pictures are pitiful so I'll have to try them again.

I guess you can't really tell how different they are, I'll have to have a photo session this week and try a little harder to show some details.

Are you wondering why the hell there are cap jewels in my barrel cover? Well it's because the power reserve has a large wheel that sits on top of the cover and I didn't want it to rub if the wheel is not sitting flat so this is the solution we came up with. Technically you won't see it with the power reserve system in place anyways, but I think it's a cool idea.

That's it for now. I will have to try to take some better pics as these don't help explain a damn thing I said in this post. But I guess if you are into watchmaking you will get the idea...