Friday, August 18, 2017

Getting rusty after summer

After a great holiday we were back, refreshed and ready to go the next stage.  Henrik had a great time for his teaching on summer restoration course. 
Our skills needed polishing up slightly but we were soon on our way learning more practical and efficient methods to make windings stems. It will take only one third of the time to make winding stems compared to the traditional method. The new method is good for us to save lots time and has the better quality for winding stems.

A total of 6 watchmakers participated in the one week restoration course. The students tried out various restoration and part making techniques, machines, heat treatment, gold plating as well as other things, Henrik’s brother Kaj who is also a watchmaker joined in to assist Henrik. Below are some pictures from the course. 

Kaj showing students the various uses of a profile projector.

Learning how to make Breguet teeth on winding and sliding pinions.

Setup of tool and machine prior to cutting the Breguet teeth on a winding pinion.

Practicing turning with the Schaublin 70 lathe.

Bench work, Student testing spring tension.

Practicing of annealing, hardening and tempering of springs. 

The students also tried out to gold-plate some test bridges, this is before the gold plating.

Gold plating.

Students inspecting the gold platig. 

The bridges were red gold (5N) plated.

Som more practicing of turning.

The students also tried out making Geneva stripes.

The Jig-Boring machine was the last machine they tried out.

Group photo of students participating in the course. Everyone seemed to have a great time learning a lot in a short time.

This week we also learned how to use the jig boring machine to make a precise hole in the precise locaton. The jig boring machine is a really an amazing machine, we can do very precise work on this machine. The precision is even beyond what we would need as watchmakers. This is really a dream machine to own.

Any tools that are left also needs to be completed as soon as possible so that we can then learn finishing techniques. 

Stan milling one of his tools.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

The summer break is coming

Summer break is coming. We are glad that we all finished the exam finally. Some of us are happy some are not because there is some predictable accident that could happen as we talked before. Anyway, we will leave the town for three weeks and let our mind and muscle relax for the future challenge.

Today is our last day before the summer break, so we spend almost the whole day to clean our workshop and common area. So when we come back the school is still shiny and tidy.

It's a necessary pain to break the winding stem while bending it straight and that's how we learn the skill. If the straightness is not good, we fail the exam immediately. So, don't be afraid just try over and over again.

Checking the straigthness!

Our gravers need to be sharp for the exam.

Still, sharpening the gravers.

Cleaning the Lathe before the summer holiday. 

Friday, July 14, 2017

Hardening is hard

   We had three trial exams this week and felt more fimiliar with going through the whole process of making a winding stem. Beside the trial exams we just keep practicing the skill and sharpening our tools during the day.
   But still, there are some tricky processes we need to be more confident to deal with, such as hardening, tempering and bending winding stems straight. So today, we spend some time to discuss and align our approach for hardening and hope we can make the result more consistant and stable.
   This week we also upload a tempering video on our watchmaking channel, please feel free to check it out. Bluing Video.

Stan preparing basket for hardening process, but today we decide not to use basket for hardening.

Sharpening graver everyday makes turning more efficient. 

Discussing a better approach for hardening.

Heat the winding stem with required temperature for at least three minutes and quench it within salt water let us get a more stable and consistant result of hardening.

Look at the nice blue color after tepmering. This is the right color we pursued.

This week are also Shuai and Eddie's final exam, good luck guys.