Friday, October 23, 2020

TASTER COURSE!

  WEEK 81

Pierre Aubert
Origin :Toulouse, France.
Age : 24
Watchmaking class: Fullskill
Current mood: All holes were drilled! It was now time to make sure all holes were signed with the mainplate! I realized the center wheel and incabloc holes were off by 0.03mm. While this would still be a functional watch, I wanted to make sure they’d be centred to the micron: I centred everything on the lathe with the wobble stick and also with the microscope and set 0s at the high point of the holes. I turned the excess material away to make it centred again and then went to turn these two holes to their final diameters by checking with pivot gauges! Now off to a good week of rest! See you soon!


Name: Markus McDonald.
Origin: Stockholm, Sweden. 
Course: 2 years full skill course.
Current mode: 
This week I started the trial exams, this was very interesting as even though their are less parts than the gear train. Balance, palet fork and escape wheel this section was still a challenge as even though it wasn’t hard it required a lot of focus for the adjustments and problem solving making it both challenging and stimulating.
In conclusion this week was interesting but at the same time demanding making it a solid experience.


Michael
Origin : Malaysia
Age : 28
Watchmaking class : 2 years Fullskill Program
Current Mood: This is another week of completing pivot gauges. Done half of the pivot gauges. Looking forward for the one week off next week. Recharge and come back again after our break! 


Alex
Origin : Kaohsiung, Taiwan 
Age : 27
Watchmaking : 2Y Fullskill Program
Current mood: Another rather intense week. Been working on a personal project. It is a nice change after non-stop pivot gauges. Hope I can get it done soon so I can post it on the blog. See ya~



STEP 1: WOODWORKING! (ALEX)
Pierre, Alex and Michael were discussing a different approach to drilling, as for this special project they did not have an enough large drill press, interesting setup for sure!

Worked like a charm!


STEP 2: TURNING! (WILLY)
Willy trying out the Schaublin 70!



STEP 3: TASTER COURSE! (ANDRES & RENATO)
Andres working on a movement.
Renato the same.



STEP 4: SCHOOL WATCH! (PIERRE)
Pierre on the jig borer working on the school watch.

Pierre adjusting the balance bridge and center wheel jewel holes.









HENRIK's WORDS:


This week turned out to be very interesting! Andres from South Korea and Renato from Switzerland came for the taster course, both seemed to be very passionate already about watchmaking and perhaps we may see both in the near future here in our school. Willy got introduced to hand filing, drilling and turning this week, Pierre continued with his school watch, now nearing bridge completion, Markus is going strong with the escapement course and already did 2 practice exams, Alex and Michael are completing some final pivot gauges and other interesting micromechanical exercises, all in all, a very pleasant week! Have a great weekend everyone.

Friday, October 16, 2020

VINTAGE CHRONOGRAPH!

 WEEK 80

Pierre Aubert
Origin :Toulouse, France.
Age : 24
Watchmaking class: Fullskill
Current mood: I dedicated most of the week to drill the remaining holes for my bridges: escape wheel, crown wheel, ratchet, second gear train bridge screw and a second pin for the balance bridge. For the gear train bridge screw I had to file the bridge equally in order to be able to measure the available space for the screw. I then had to chose an appropriate location for it, it will be asymmetric and give a look that I like :) One side has a screw at the bottom, a pin at top while the other has a screw at the top and the pin at the bottom. It’s getting cold here, have a good weekend everyone!


Name: Markus McDonald.
Origin: Stockholm, Sweden. 
Course: 2 years full skill course.
Current mode: 
This week we had the chronograph course this was nice as it allowed me to focus on personal work specially the pivot gauges.
For the pivot gauges I adopted a production style where for one step at a time I made several pieces. 
This started by getting all the pieces together and checking overall quality of the body, next in the Bench lathe I would divide the body into two sections. Then checking the quality and getting the bodies as good as possible. Next degussit Stone and finally the burnishing.
This method worked out very well as I was able to make each step as good as possible reducing chances of error.
In conclusion this went very well and I was able to make a couple of pivot gauges a long with getting 85% of the body done.


Michael
Origin : Malaysia
Age : 28
Watchmaking class : 2 years Fullskill Program
Current Mood: This is the individual week for us since there is a chronograph course week going on. Have been doing my pivot gauges coursework for the week and it is getting there slow and steady. The new technician course student is here and I will be starting my technician course with him. Can’t wait to start the new journey. 


Alex
Origin : Kaohsiung, Taiwan 
Age : 27
Watchmaking : 2Y Fullskill Program
Current mood: Nothing much to say, the week of turning pivot gauges. I am all the down to 0.11 now. Hope nothing breaks, fingers crossed.



STEP 1: VINTAGE CHRONOGRAPH COURSE! (STEFANO & JAMES)
James checking a vintage chronograph.
Stefano checking and adjusting the vintage chronograph movement.

Checking the original hammer position and function.

James drawing the original hammer in the profile projector.

Milling the new hammers in the pantograph




Milled hammers, two for each, Valjoux 22 and Valjoux 23.


Tapping the holes.

Heat treatment between two steel sheets to keep hammer protected and hopefully flat after quenching.

Finishing the hammer.


New hammer in movement.

Checking the function of the new hammer.






STEP 2: BIRTHDAY! (MARKUS)
Happy birthday Markus!



STEP 3: SCHOOL WATCH! (PIERRE)
Drilling the final screw holes to the bridges.
Modification to the mainplate.

All screws and pins in place for the bridges.




HENRIK's WORDS:

Very exciting week indeed! Stefano and James came back for a more advanced subject. This time to study the vintage chronograph and its restoration and repair in depth, we covered a lot! Apart from learning the classical chronograph rules and adjustment points, analyzing the mechanism etc. they both even made two return to zero hammers each from scratch, one fully adjusted with some finish, and a spare one for later use for a real restoration project. Also Willy from Singapore arrived for the technician course, and Markus had his birthday. A very efficient and smooth week! Also another Henrik’s Minutes short video was published about screwdrivers by The Naked Watchmaker; https://www.thenakedwatchmaker.com/blog/2020/7/28/henriks-minutes-tweezers-the-watchmakers-first-tool-b2mgd?fbclid=IwAR3VAzr8WaluG4s0eWMXiSMRC4VUmsWvz7uJq5HoHm9jg0b_xKxIjCFeyys Thank you! Have a great weekend everyone!

















Friday, October 9, 2020

CALM BEFORE THE STORM!

 WEEK 79

Pierre Aubert
Origin :Toulouse, France.
Age : 24
Watchmaking class: Fullskill
Current mood: Getting there! I made mock-up pins so that I can drill the holes I left to be drilled for later. In fact, if not precisely located with pins, the holes won’t be aligned with the main plate holes. I will later make some nice locating pins, but for now those are enough as I am only worried about function! Also glad that Autumn has really settled in Le Locle :) It’s time for comfort food. Have a good weekend everyone! See you next week :)


Name: Markus McDonald.
Origin: Stockholm, Sweden. 
Course: 2 years full skill course.
Current mode: 
This week I continued with the escape section covering both practical and theory.
The theory went well covering a bit every morning being centered around the fundamentals of the Swiss level escapement. This was super interesting learning the different rules and variables that allows the movement to function from a theoretical level. 
It also helped to put the escapement into perspective in regards to the history of watch making how we went from great grandfather clocks to simple yet functional wrist watches and how the foundamentals of those old clocks had carried on being relevant.
This applied greatly to the practical angle of the escapement how one would adjust the regulating organ and it’s importance. In conclusion this week went well, being quiet varied in what we covered allowing for a good mix of practical and theory this allowed for it to be both interesting and stimulating.


Michael
Origin : Malaysia
Age : 28
Watchmaking class : 2 years Fullskill Program
Current Mood: Finally! Scored my pivot gauge exam. Happy man. I also made a wooden mallet for future centering purposes. Looking forward to next week which is the individual week to make the mandatory pivot gauges ranges from 0.07-0.20mm and some tools.



Alex
Origin : Kaohsiung, Taiwan 
Age : 27
Watchmaking : 2Y Fullskill Program
Current mood: Finally! Scored my pivot gauge exam. Happy man. I also made a wooden mallet for future centering purposes. Looking forward to next week which is the individual week to make the mandatory pivot gauges ranges from 0.07-0.20mm and some tools. 



STEP 1: WINDING STEM! (ALEX)
Alex winding stems getting black polished!


STEP 2: SCHOOL WATCH! (PIERRE)
Pierre fitted trial locating pins for his bridges
Testing the bridges on the mainplate with the locating pins.


STEP 3: WOODEN CENTRING HAMMER! (MICHAEL)
Head to be customized later.




HENRIK's WORDS:


Another very diverse week for me, lots of escapement theory and demonstrations. Markus reached a very interesting part of the escapement course and is doing very well. Alex and Michael continue with micromechanics and also made their own wooden hammers probably got inspired by Pierre who used it when centring parts in the lathe. Pierre continues to progress very well with his school watch. Next week will be a very intensive and interesting one since I will ones again run the Chronograph course, and also one more Technician will join the team! Have a great weekend everyone!

Friday, October 2, 2020

THE ESCAPEMENT!

 WEEK 78

Pierre Aubert
Origin :Toulouse, France.
Age : 24
Watchmaking class: Fullskill
Current mood: Making some progress :) I had to separate my bridges before I can proceed to any further machining. In fact, I can drill my remaining holes once I have made pins to locate my bridges precisely. Moreover, my recesses can only be turned once my bridges are semesters as my balance recesses would have hit the gear train bridge if I had done so 😁. Have a good weekend everyone. See you next week!

Name: Markus McDonald.
Origin: Stockholm, Sweden. 
Course: 2 years full skill course.
Current mode: 
This week I focused on the escapement section for the fundamentals, learning the theory the various parts and how to adjust them and applying it too all the seven movements. This went well as I was able to get the hang of it especially the adjustment Being an incredibly satisfying experience seeing everything run smoothly made this a very solid experience.

Michael
Origin : Malaysia
Age : 28
Watchmaking class : 2 years Fullskill Program
Current Mood: Another week of pivot gauges trials and I did actually broke my 0.11mm pivot again during the real exam and I have to do it next week! For all of the horology god and goddess bless me with dexterity so I won’t break it again and pass with a good score please.

Alex
Origin : Kaohsiung, Taiwan 
Age : 27
Watchmaking : 2Y Fullskill Program
Current mood: Another weeks of micro-mechanics, it was the week of winding stem. Mostly practicing and trying out different strategies for hardening and squaring filling. I would say the end result is fine to say the least.


STEP 1: THE ESCAPEMENT! (MARKUS)
Various old escapement parts and escapements.










STEP 2: BOOKS AND TOOLS! (ALL)
The new edition of the complicated watch book, I like it! it has a small pocket with colored movement plates of complications and also fold out drawings, very practical when reading it!






STEP 3: SCHOOL WATCH! (PIERRE)
Pierre sawing out his bridges, leaving the scribed line as filing reference for later.



STEP 4: FILING SQUARES! (ALEX)
Alex hand filed squares (for winding stems) are starting to look very fine!




HENRIK's WORDS:

This week was really nice and creative! We also found some nice stuff on Saturday at Mr. Simonin watch tool and book store. Markus is discovering a new mechanism inside of the mechanical watch movement; the escapement (the distributing organ). Alex is making and finishing some winding stems, he discovered a good technique for filing and finishing the square. Pierre is also progressing well with his school watch. Michael is continuing with pivot gauges. I finished an interesting restoration project myself and will be writing an article about it in the future. My watches got featured ones again in The Naked Watchmaker, thank you! All in all, a really enjoyable week!

The Naked Watchmaker; https://www.thenakedwatchmaker.com/

Some of my watches can be seen here; https://www.thenakedwatchmaker.com/blog/2020/9/25/lost-and-found