Friday, February 21, 2020

HABITS

Friday, February 21, 2020


 WEEK 46


Jayne Zhuo, James Punshon, Pierre Aubert
Origin : Singapore. Sydney, Australia. Toulouse, France.
Age : 38
Watchmaking class: Technician Course
Current mood: Jayne here! This week was the continuation of our trial exams. The workshop has been quiet, as everyone has been very focused. Fortunately, the trial exams have been going smoothly for the 3 of us, and Henrik says we are all ready to tackle our real exam next week. I will just pray that my mainspring winding goes smoothly when it really counts! I think we will all sleep well this weekend, the mental exhaustion of exams is coming to a climax. Really enjoying all the new experiences though! Have a great weekend everybody! 

Markus McDonald 
Origin : Stockholm Sweden 
Age : 21
Watchmaking class: 2 years Fullskill Program
Current mood : This week was a continuation and an extension of my trial exams, originally the plan was too do my trial exam on Tuesday and do the final exam on Thursday. However after reviewing the results for Tuesday which was a clear pass I decided to extend my trial period as even though I got a pass the finishing could be improved and if extending the trial period would raise my points and my overall finish then it would be well worth it. 
The results for Thursdays trial exam was yet another pass which verifies my capabilities and additionally the square improved and the overall points. In conclusion this week was very successful as I was able to achieve a pass on two trial exams and expand my overall skill thus improving my chances for the final exam next week on Tuesday.

Michael
Origin : Malaysia
Age : 28
Watchmaking class : 2 years Fullskill Program
Current Mood : Nothing much to write this week. Just came in for one day. Trying to get a lower tolerance on the milling machine even it is in the acceptable tolerances for my tool. Figuring out how to get a straight line and parallel, using the squaring technique with less than 0.01mm tolerance. 

Alex
Origin : Kaohsiung, Taiwan 
Age : 26
Watchmaking : 2Y Fullskill Program
Current mood: Don't know what to say this week. It feels like I have been doing stuff but could not tell what exactly has been done. I guess most of the time is spent on blued steel turning as well as modifying the gravers to complete the job. Well, that's it for me.

STEP 1: PREPARING FOR THE NEXT PRACTICE EXAM


STEP 2: SETTING UP THE MILLING MACHINE (MICHAEL)


STEP 3: CUSTOM MADE PUSHERS AND ANVILS FOR THE HORIA TOOL (JAMES)


STEP 4: HAND TURNING FRICTION FIT PARTS (PIERRE)


HENRIK's WORDS:

I thought last week was fast! Pierre, Jayne, and James have done two more practice exams and they are getting better and faster! Michael got back to the milling, Alex started to turn blue steel slots with his hard metal gravers. Markus did two more winding stem trial exams and is ready for the real one! Overall everyone seems to be forming good daily habits. See you next exam week!

Friday, February 14, 2020

TRIAL EXAMS!

Friday, February 14, 2020


 WEEK 45


Jayne Zhuo, James Punshon, Pierre Aubert
Origin : Singapore. Sydney, Australia. Toulouse, France.
Age : 38
Watchmaking class: Technician Course
Current mood: James here! Our focus this week was the first trial exam of the course. The 3 of us worked on being able to strip, inspect, adjust, clean and reassemble the 6498 movement. This included correcting the flatness of wheels, analyzing and adjusting divisions and endshakes and cleaning and adjusting barrels. The stress built as the test neared, but was all allayed once we all received our encouraging feedback afterwards. More trial exams coming next week! We all now deserve a beer!

Markus McDonald 
Origin : Stockholm Sweden 
Age : 21
Watchmaking class: 2 years Fullskill Program
Current mood :This week was the same as the previous week being focused on two things, my  trial exams which I did two of and preparation. The preparation was vital as it allowed me to keep my tools sharp allowing me too reduce the amount of time in my exam, as I was able to remove material efficiently and accurately which I did between both exams.
The first exam this week was my second trial exam overall and I was able to get 21.5 percent better than my first exam additionally I did this exam two hours faster. This was fantastic as it was a huge improvement over my first exam. The second exam this week was eight hours the length of the main exam and was split between Thursday afternoon and Friday morning. The exam went very well as I was able to integrate new techniques with the finishing and the hardening/tempering whilst maintaining the same score as the previous exam in eight hours.
In conclusion this week went very well as I was able to improve my technique both for the winding stem and the exam very well.

Michael
Origin : Malaysia
Age : 28
Watchmaking class : 2 years Fullskill Program
Current Mood : Has been a really slow and progressing week for me. Learning how to use the milling machine to make angles and different cuts. Only managed to finish two screws for my pointed nose vice. There is just so many trial and error to be done. Looking forward for next week. 

Alex
Origin : Kaohsiung, Taiwan 
Age : 26
Watchmaking : 2Y Fullskill Program
Current mood: The week started slow but picked up pace in a accelerating speed!!! Cannot believe it's already Friday. I don't even remember what I did clearly. We receive tons of tools recently and spent the entire Monday trying to fit the clip on eye loupe on my super thick glass temple and I am glad I did for I can see everything while turning now, everything!!!!! I seriously don't recall the rest of the week, so I am just going to call it a week!!!

STEP 1: THE MAKING OF SLOT GRAVER (ALEX)


STEP 2: FINISHED SCREWS FOR POINTED NOSE VICE (MICHAEL)

Michael milling the other parts of the pointed nose vice.
HENRIK's WORDS:

Weeks are passing by like days now! Pierre, Jayne, and James did their first gear train trial exam, Michael finish some really cool looking patterns on his pointed nose vice, Alex learn how to grind slot gravers in the Agathon. Markus did several winding stem trial exams and is on a good way towards the real one. All in all a really enjoyable week! See you next week!

Friday, February 7, 2020

-10!

 WEEK 44


Jayne Zhuo, James Punshon, Pierre Aubert
Origin : Singapore. Sydney, Australia. Toulouse, France.
Age : 23
Watchmaking class: Technician Course
Current mood: Pierre here! The beginning of the week was dedicated to barrels- we had to dismantle them, inspect them, wind and put the mainsprings back. Later stages included oiling and adjusting the endshakes!  We also got introduced to the gear train and jeweling. The number of factors that need to be considered when servicing a watch is insane. I hope to practice all this next week and also do some micromechanics as I need to finish some pivot gauges for my 1st year! Have a great weekend everyone! See you next week :) We will get more snow, hopefully..! It is already melting.. 



Markus McDonald 
Origin : Stockholm Sweden 
Age : 21
Watchmaking class: 2 years Fullskill Program
Current mood : This week I focused on finalizing the winding stem and preparing for the exam. Specifically I made the full winding stem from cutting the material, making cones, hardening and tempering plus finishing. This was incredibly satisfying as I was able to make a full winding stem including all the steps whilst maintaining dimensions and although it was satisfying and intense I was able to prepare through technique for the exam. Secondly for my trial exam I prepared in dept notes on the steps to make the winding stem additionally I modified peg woods and finally three slot graver that I modified for the middle, right and left corners this made a huge difference for Thursday and Friday when I did my trial exam as I was able to be more efficient and get better results.

Alex
Origin : Kaohsiung, Taiwan 
Age : 26
Watchmaking : 2Y Fullskill Program
Current mood: No one hides away from their demon forever. The time has come for me to rise up and face mine, the foul beast that is the milling machine!!! Turns out it is pretty fun and not as messy as I remember it to be. Made a cool looking stand for my practice pieces to rest on.

Michael
Origin : Malaysia 
Age : 28
Watchmaking : 2Y Fullskill Program
Current mood : Henrik introduced the milling machine. Managed to finish my design for the pointed head nose vice. Tried knurling technique by using the lathe and extra milling head together. Tried to create patterns for my screw. Very interesting and really like the idea of knurling. Can't wait to try more knurling action. 

                                              STEP 1: MILLING WITH ACIERA F1 (MICHAEL)

Milling in the lathe pattern trials



                                       STEP 2: FILED SQUARES IN WOODEN STAND (ALEX)


                                  STEP 3: WHEEL TRUING & JEWELING (TECHNICIAN)




HENRIK's WORDS:

Intensive week indeed and one morning this week it was below 10 in Le Locle! Pierre, Jayne, and James got introduced to wheel truing and jeweling, it goes fast! Michael is progressing very well with the micromechanics and tool making he is now experimenting with some cool milling patterns and got introduced to the Aciera milling machine as well as milling in the lathe, Alex finished his square filings and made a cool wooden stand for them milling it in the Aciera. Markus completed his first winding stem practice exam. Even though there were many demonstrations to give I got ahead with some old projects myself which I am very happy with so far. when they look presentable I will share some pics. See you next week!



Friday, January 31, 2020

BARRELS, FIRE & LATHES


                                                                   WEEK 43


Jayne Zhuo, James Punshon, Pierre Aubert
Origin : Singapore. Sydney, Australia. Toulouse, France.
Age : 32
Watchmaking class: Technician Course
Current mood: Hi guys! Jayne here. Yeah more exciting stuffs this week. We learned to service Barrels and continued with our oiling of winding and setting mechanisms. Beware of springs jumping out at you :) Other than that, great week with everyone in class as usual. Oh, it snowed this Tuesday finally! Can't wait to start next week with everyone here again and acquire more watchmaking knowledge! 



Markus McDonald 
Origin : Stockholm Sweden 
Age : 20
Watchmaking class: 2 years Fullskill Program
Current mood : This week I focused on many different things firstly I worked on finishing the final component for the winding stem, the thread which was done in both a brass and steel. Working on both of these metals was very educational as it allowed me to see the clear differences in cutting and performances and how they would perform on a more complex piece.
Additionally I did hardening and tempering which I applied to a steel ring which I made, this is a crucial tool for making the winding stem as the significance of this is that I wouldn't of been able to do the square on the winding stem. Finally I made two test winding stems which combined every aspect of what I had learned. This was challenging as making one aspect of the winding stem is straight forward, combining everything whilst maintaining the tolerance was another challenge altogether. 

Alex
Origin : Kaohsiung, Taiwan 
Age : 26
Watchmaking : 2Y Fullskill Program
Current mood: The week went by quickly as usually. Learned the assembly and disassembly of the 8mm lathe, it was a bit messy since you have to put every parts in the oil to service them.
Square filling on winding stem seems hard in the beginning, but I got a hand of it after some practice, overall not too bad. And the most exciting of all, heat treatment as well as tempering. There is nothing more adrenaline stimulating than that.   

Michael
Origin : Malaysia 
Age : 28
Watchmaking : 2Y Fullskill Program
Current mood : Learned how to use the profile projector. The measuring accuracy is 0.001mm and it can also measure in degrees and minutes. Not only that, my favorite part is, it can also be use as a microscope to view the top of the piece. Very useful to check if the scribes are actually on point. Other than that, starting to file on Steel this week. Very challenging indeed. Can't wait for next week to learn the milling machine. 


STEP 1: HEAT TREATMENT (ALEX)



STEP 2: WINDING of MAIN SPRING EXERCISE (JAMES)


STEP 3: SERVICING the LATHE (MARKUS & ALEX)


HENRIK's WORDS:

We got some snow this week which was nice to see! Pierre, Jayne, and James got introduced to barrels and mainsprings this week, they are really steaming ahead fast in the program! Michael is progressing very well with the micromechanics and tool making, I will show him the Aciera F1 milling machine next week: I also show Markus and Alex how to service the 8mm watchmakers lathe and how to control and setup the spindle on them, as well as hardening and tempering of steel which will certainly be useful to them when they have to make steel watch parts. Markus also made a complete brass prototype winding stem and Alex started to file squares to practice for the winding stems. See you next week!

SNOW ARRIVED!


Friday, January 24, 2020

The Movement

                                                                   WEEK 42


James Punshon, Jayne Zhuo, Pierre Aubert
Origin : Sydney, Australia. Singapore. Toulouse, France
Age : 38
Watchmaking class :  Technician Course
Current mood: So happy to be here! All nerves and tentative thoughts quickly washed away once school started. Have thoroughly enjoyed the first two weeks of school, which included an introduction to micro mechanics and watch assembly among other subjects.
Have a great group of peers, everyone is getting along super well and operating as a tight unit. Looking forward to what the rest of the year will bring.



Markus McDonald 
Origin : Stockholm Sweden 
Age : 20
Watchmaking class: 2 years Fullskill Program
Current mood : This week was primarily focused on finishing and improving my slot pieces from the last week from 2 mm too 0.80 mm this included making a piece that maintained a set value and tolerance whilst having 2 cones and being a complete piece. This was a great exercise as it challenged me too make a piece that not only maintained tolerance but also finishing which when combined with other elements such as threading and squares results in the winding stem which is one of the most interactive components of the watch. However although I was able to finish all five pieces I found myself redoing several of the pieces for the sake of consistency and quality, as the more practice and repetition results in a better result.


Alex
Origin : Kaohsiung, Taiwan 
Age : 26
Watchmaking : 2Y Fullskill Program
Current mood: It's been a rather exciting yet annoying week. Started turning but kept on breaking the gravers. Must have spent about 40 percent of the week just trying to fix them. But over all it was a nice experience. Looking forward to have more of it next week!!!

Michael
Origin : Malaysia 
Age : 28
Watchmaking : 2Y Fullskill Program
Current mood : Enjoying the grinding of filing brass pieces by hand. Meanwhile, I literally smell like I am wearing a brass scented cologne almost everyday this week. Learned how to use the drilling machine as well. Managed to finish the balance bridge holder within the tolerances.. 'hopefully' (not graded yet). Started on the next task which is the brass wheel turing guide. Very challenging to file the 45° degree angle on the piece. I need more time please! Till next week. 


STEP 1: BULLET HAMMER (JAMES)

Customized hammer made as part of our introduction to micro mechanics.

STEP 2: EXERCISES (ALEX)




HENRIK's WORDS:
This week was as nice as last week, the temperature and sunny days makes the work so much more enjoyable! The week was not too intensive but still lots of new things for the students to learn, Pierre, Jayne, and James got introduced to the movement and the concept of the watch as well as the winding and hand setting, Michael learn how to drill and tap with a drill press, Markus finished his slots and will begin soon to make complete winding stems, Alex progressed well with the 8 mm lathe and the basic cuts with hand turning. I am in the process to promote my 2020 short courses and if you are interested to take any of them you can find them here; http://www.khwcc.ch/specialized-programs.html See you next week!

Friday, January 17, 2020

LE LOCLE's POPULATION IS BOOMING

WEEK 41


Pierre Aubert
Origin : Toulouse, France
Age : 23
Watchmaking class : 2Y Fullskill Program
Current mood: Quite happy with the work done this week: finished most of my tools required for the first year of micro-mechanics. I will therefore be starting off my second year next week. The second year is dedicated to watch servicing and movement theory. I will take on this second year with Jayne and James who arrived this week for the 9 Month Technician course! We will merge to one blog post for the three of us as of now! See you next week for new adventures, have a great weekend everyone!  

Markus McDonald 
Origin : Stockholm Sweden 
Age : 20
Watchmaking class: 2 years Fullskill Program
Current mood : This week was very exciting as we had new students joining for the operator course which changed both the environment and dynamic within the workshop and school. This brought new responsibilities for me and the current students as we wanted to assist the new students to integrate and adapt to the workshop in regards to tools and machinery. This along with my work in preparation for the winding stem (specially the slot and cone) had me making several test pieces which combined the two, this in combination with meeting new people, preparation for the winding stem made the week more intense than usual however just as fun and yet more refreshing.


Alex
Origin : Kaohsiung, Taiwan 
Age : 26
Watchmaking : 2Y Fullskill Program
Current mood: The week fly by rather quickly, as usual. Nothing special happened to me, have been doing gravers all week long. The more exciting thing would be sharing experiences on the use of lathe to the new comers, a refresh course for me essentially. Actual turning will happen next week, looking forward to it.

Michael
Origin : Malaysia 
Age : 28
Watchmaking : 2Y Fullskill Program
Current mood : Learning to use the Lathe. Amazed by the potential and usefulness of the lathe for a watchmaker. Few attempts on making the Balance Bridge Holder (Brass). The classmates are very helpful and friendly. Looking forward for the next week. 



STEP 1: DRILLING ESSENTIALS
 
 Michael, James and Jayne learning how to drill holes with the Aciera 6T for tool making. 


 Continuing the tool making on the Schaublin 70

STEP 2: FINISHING TOOLS

 Doing some house keeping with the 1st year tools ( Pierre)


HENRIK's WORDS:
We are now full house with 6 students, it was really nice to get to know the new students, this also brings some more activity in the school which is great! this week started in a nice way with Alex, Markus and Pierre who continued with finishing old work from last year. I introduced the new students, Michael, Jayne and James to micromechanics, specifically; drilling, filing and turning, which they seemed to like, they also finished some tools which will come in handy during their course, other than the new students arriving, it was  a very sunny and fun week! See you next week!