Friday, May 22, 2020

INTENSE!

WEEK 59


Pierre Aubert, James Punshon, Jayne Zhuo
Origin : Sydney, Australia. Toulouse, France. Singapore.
Age : 33
Watchmaking class: Technician Course
Current mood: Jayne here! A tough week of hairspring/oscillator work. I think we are all a little cross-eyed after hairspring adjustment! We definitely deserve a nice walk outdoors over the weekend. 
Some interesting lessons this week regarding the factors that influence isochronism. Who would have thought that a shock can cause both a gain and a loss in time.
Looking forward to mastering hairsprings next week!
Have a great weekend everyone!

Name: Markus McDonald.
Origin: Stockholm, Sweden. 
Course: 2 years full skill course.
Current mode: This week I focused on my pivot gauges getting the time for the body and measurements down and consistent. Additionally I worked on the burnishing developing strategies and an approach that ensured consistency, as the pivot is one of the most important parts of the pivot gauge and although I had too redo many pivot gauges I was able to yield some result even down too the 0.15 mark which was required.
In conclusion although this has been a difficult module for patience and skill, through perseverance I was able to yield results and improve making the time worth it as burnishing and making a pivot gauge is a real skill.

Michael
Origin : Malaysia
Age : 28
Watchmaking class : 2 years Fullskill Program
Current Mood: Weather is HOT this week! Returning to the school with a clear mind. (Shaved my head!) Managed to modify and finish the pallet fork holder. Hand filed a big 50X50mm square for anvil purposes. Made an Antimagnetic friction hold part rest from plastic. Looking forward to next week! 

Alex
Origin : Kaohsiung, Taiwan 
Age : 27
Watchmaking : 2Y Fullskill Program
Current mood: Another week has past, lots of grinding and not so much turning. Started turning pivot gauges now, it's not as difficult as I thought it would be, so that's great. Also the weather is outstanding this week, finally do I not have to walk around with a thick jacket on or in the back pack. Hope the weather continues.


STEP 1: WATCHMAKING TOOL MAKING (MICHAEL)
SUPPORT FOR PALLET FORKS.

UNIVERSAL PARALLEL VICE.




MICHAEL PRACTICING MACRO PHOTOGRAPHY, SHOOTING THE TOOLS HE JUST MADE.

STEP 2: TURNING BLUE STEEL (ALEX)
ALEX FIRST TIME TURNING HARDENED AND TEMPERED STEEL WITH STEEL GRAVERS!




 HENRIK's WORDS:

Intense week that's for sure! Lots of hairspring theory and practical demonstrations for the technician course! We are now almost at the end of the balance and hairspring course, next week we will commence trial exams. The Fullskill students are continuing to make tools and pivot gauges, they will continue for some more time as the pivot gauges are hard to make to within +-0.0025 mm tolerance. I had a fantastic experience with Peter from The Naked Watchmaker https://www.thenakedwatchmaker.com/ making a project together, will let you know ones it’s online!   Have a great weekend everyone!    

MAKING A PROJECT TOGETHER WITH THE NAKED WATCHMAKER!



Friday, May 15, 2020

VIBRATING/COUNTING & BLUING AND MORE

WEEK 58


Pierre Aubert, James Punshon, Jayne Zhuo
Origin : Sydney, Australia. Toulouse, France. Singapore.
Age : 23
Watchmaking class: Technician Course
Current mood: Pierre here!
Really interesting and intensive week! We covered a lot of material. We started repairing hairsprings as well as preparing new hairsprings from scratch in my case. That included preparing new balances, pinning up the hairspring to its collet, vibrating and second counting! More to come next week..! In the meantime, let’s get some rest :) Have a good weekend everyone.


Name: Markus McDonald.
Origin: Stockholm, Sweden. 
Course: 2 years full skill course.
Current mode: This week I focused on preparing for the exam specifically on minimizing my time for two sections that combine for the exam. Making of the body and pivot/ burnish.
Section one went very well as over a couple of trials I was able to bring down from three hours too one hour and twenty minutes whilst producing both a consistent and solid body.
The second part was making the smaller pivot and burnishing it at the dimension of 20 this was not as simple as it required more use of the microscope as even with the ten times making out the details and consistency and quality of once’s application of the technique was harder. Although this was a bit more challenging I was able to improve. In conclusion this week was quiet intense in preparation for the exam as it required a more condensed approach and modifying of tools too meet the requirements.


Michael
Origin : Malaysia
Age : 28
Watchmaking class : 2 years Fullskill Program
Current Mood: Really enjoyed the week. Had fun tempering/bluing and making the pallet fork holder working. The lower spring pushes the upper spring upwards and downwards when it moves along the pivot. Spring hole is intended for using tweezer to micro adjusting the height when moving the spring. Extra or substitute screw type holder will be added for more mobility in the future courses. Looking forward to next week for more of watchmaking.


Alex
Origin : Kaohsiung, Taiwan 
Age : 27
Watchmaking : 2Y Fullskill Program
Current mood: Did a bit of everything this week. The milling machine, the lathe, the drilling machine, ,the 8mm lathe, also tried bluing for the first time. Getting to see the color shift is very interesting and intoxicating. If only I have all the time in the world...

STEP 1: PREPARING HARD METAL HAND GRAVER'S (ALEX)
GRAVER BEFORE 

GRINDING GRAVER


AFTER GRINDING GRAVER


STEP 2: EXPERIMENTING WITH HEAT BLUING (ALEX & MICHAEL)
DIFFERENT HEAT BLUING COLORS ON SOME STEEL TEST PIECES (DISREGARD THE FINISH, THESE ARE ONLY TEST PIECES IN SEARCH OF THE TEMPERATURE THAT GIVES THE DESIRED COLOR).

COLORS AT DIFFERENT TEMPERATURES NOW NOTED DOWN FOR THE REAL PIECES THAT WILL LATER BE MADE.

STEP 3: VIBRATING/COUNTING (PIERRE)
VIBRATING THE OSCILLATOR TO 18000/VPH (2.5 Hz)

 STEP 4: SEARCHING FOR THE CALIBRE (JAMES)
JAMES HAD TO IDENTIFY THE CALIBRE FOR ONE OF HIS VINTAGE MOVEMENT'S IN ORDER TO FIND A BALANCE STAFF FOR IT, USING HERE THE BESTFIT CATALOGUE IDENTIFYING THE PATTERN OF THE WINDING AND SETTING MECHANISM PARTS, BINGO! IT'S A PARRENIN 160.





HENRIK's WORDS:

This week was amazing! So much going on with the student’s projects! Hairsprings adjustments and balances are going really well at the moment, learning to vibrate balance and hairsprings to the correct frequency for the ETA 6498-1 which is 18000 vibrations per hour (half oscillations) or 2.5Hz. The micromechanics course continues to be very creative with practicing bluing and experimenting with shapes. I also had a look at my two marine chronometers I have in my possession to show the students, I got the electric one running for the first time since I got it, thought it would need some serious attention, but I was surprised, it started to run immediately when feeding it with 6 Volt DC (recommended voltage from an article I found online writing about the exact same one I have!) I fed it with my pen plater which can be adjusted from 1-10 Volt, feeling like Frankenstein the moment when the monster started to make noise and move! you can find them on my Instagram, search for;  henrikkorpela. Have a great weekend everyone!  




Friday, May 8, 2020

BACK TO CREATIVITY!

WEEK 57


Pierre Aubert, James Punshon, Jayne Zhuo
Origin : Sydney, Australia. Toulouse, France. Singapore.
Age : 38
Watchmaking class: Technician Course
Current mood: James here! Hairsprings have begun! It`s still early days, but so far so good. We spent the week learning the theory and practical application of the oscillator, and today we took some time to modify some tools to assist our hairspring and balance work.
We dive further into the flattening and centering of hairsprings next week, so wish us luck!
Great warm weather here today, so should be a warm, green weekend. Enjoy everyone!!



Name: Markus McDonald.
Origin: Stockholm, Sweden. 
Course: 2 years full skill course.
Current mode:This week I continued on with my burnishing, working on both improving the quality, broadening the tools and techniques and recording the progress be it with the micro meter or clock. Additionally I worked on making the dimension a lot more precise from 0.60-0.80 in length too 0.40 with a 0.20 width in dimension. This was a whole different level as it required not only a lot more use of the micro scope but also a lot more care when burnishing as the risk of breaking it was ever present.
I found this shift too be quiet intense, only possible thanks too starting bigger and gaining confidence before shifting too the very realistic measurements that would be a lot more common.
In conclusion although I have been doing burnishing now for several weeks I have found every day both important and essential as although it might not seem much, the skill needed to achieve a consistent black polish and a consistent piece is an art form.


Michael
Origin : Malaysia
Age : 28
Watchmaking class : 2 years Fullskill Program
Current Mood: Finally finished with the balance support tool. Milled it in the Aciera F1. Has been a very slow week due to some technical errors. Changing and readjusting some bad habits. Looking forward to next week for the next tool - pallet fork holder.  


Alex
Origin : Kaohsiung, Taiwan 
Age : 27
Watchmaking : 2Y Fullskill Program
Current mood: The week is good, finished the winding stem for the restoration project. Though I was whipped a couple of times by the belt because it snapped but it was all worth it, learned how to weld it back together and it was really nicely polished! Also did quite some cleaning, this must be what Cinderella felt like. Looking forward to new project next week!!

STEP 1: WINDING STEM AND BLACK POLISHING (ALEX)
UPPER STEM IS THE FINAL PRODUCT, LOWER STEM IS THE BRASS PROTOTYPE.

CLOSE UP OF TURNED CIRCULAR GRAINED FINISH IN SLOT AND BLACK POLISHED CYLINDERS.
STEP 2: BALANCE SUPPORT (MICHAEL)
SCISSOR STYLE BALANCE SUPPORT WITH MICHAEL'S SPECIAL STYLE GRIP ON SCREW!
MICHAEL PREPARING THE F1 TO MAKE THE BALANCE SUPPORT.


HENRIK's WORDS:

We are back to creative mode this week! The milling machine (Aciera F1) and larger lathes (Schaublin) have been used a lot this week as well as the smaller Horia lathes. Even though it was not necessary to black polish the winding stem that Alex did for the antique pocket watch movement, he did it anyway as an exercise and it came out looking really nice! Also, Michael did a really cool balance support for dynamic poising (scissor style) which he will later enjoy in the timing course. Since a lot of the balance exercises were completed this week the technician course started to work on hairsprings, mainly to prepare the tools and to understand the basic rules of hairspring manipulation. Have a great weekend everyone! 

OUR FRIENDS CAME FOR A VISIT! AND ITS GETTING VERY GREEN IN LE LOCLE! 



Friday, May 1, 2020

BACK TO IT, KIND OF!

WEEK 56


Pierre Aubert, James Punshon, Jayne Zhuo
Origin : Sydney, Australia. Toulouse, France. Singapore.
Age : 38
Watchmaking class: Technician Course
Current mood: Pierre here! We are officially back in school! I think it is safe to say that this was a very taxing week week for all of us 😆: we’ve had to adapt to our new schedule again and the massive drop in temp. here in Le Locle. In fact we’ve gone from sun and 19C to rain and 3C 😂. The work progressed quite smoothly though! We’ve started the Balance and Hairspring section of the course, it is really interesting. Off we go on a well deserved weekend! See you next week everyone



Name: Markus McDonald.
Origin: Stockholm, Sweden. 
Course: 2 years full skill course.
Current mode: The first week back has been both refreshing and intense as getting back to the old routine and having a separation between work and home has been quiet nice. The expected change in routine and the shift in the weather from summer too a more winter chill has made the adjustment quiet taxing. However even though things have been intense this week, I have found it a lot more rewarding and focus oriented than the last week of working from home making the coming weeks a welcomed change.


Michael
Origin : Malaysia
Age : 28
Watchmaking class : 2 years Fullskill Program
Current Mood: This week has been productive. Excited and enthusiastic. Learned how to harden and temper steel. It was very interesting and fun! Managed to do some square hand filing exercise given and more hand turning. Finished the fraction fit plate to be fitted with cylinder, female and male cones pins. Also made a wood vice piece for hand filing purposes. 


Alex
Origin : Kaohsiung, Taiwan 
Age : 27
Watchmaking : 2Y Fullskill Program
Current mood: First week back to the school, still trying to pick up the pace after the long month. Despite of the drop in efficiency, the program is advancing well. I have started a restoration project for an old movement. A working prototype was made and a proper winding stem is in progress. Look forward to next week where I can get back to it.


STEP 1: MAKING A WINDING STEM FOR OLD MOVEMENT (ALEX)
MAKING FIRST A BRASS PROTOTYPE.

TRYING WITH MORE PARTS.


CHECKING DIMENSIONS IN THE PROFILE PROJECTOR.

TRIAL ROLLER DIE THREAD FORMING ON BLUE STEEL, BEFORE.

AFTER.

CHECKING THE FUNCTION OF THE PROTOTYPE, WINDING POSITION.

SETTING POSITION.

CLOSE UP OF THREAD MADE WITH ROLLER DIE.

STEP 2: HEAT TREATING STEEL (MICHAEL)


STEP 3: STATIC POISING TOOL (TECHNICIAN COURSE)

THE TECHNICIAN COURSE ENTERED THE BALANCE AND HAIRSPRING MODULE, CHECKING HERE BALANCE STAFF PIVOTS WITH THE POISING TOOL IN THE MICROSCOPE, AFTER THEY WILL BE POISED USING THE SAME TOOL TO DETECT HEAVY SPOTS.




HENRIK's WORDS:

We finally got back to some kind of normality, its not exactly the same as before the virus, but certainly much easier than the complete home-schooling system. The students seemed very happy to be back!

As I mentioned before, Peter Speake-Marin launched the school interviews and made a homepage for us on The Naked Watchmaker page which really looks professional and cool!! Ones again Thank you so much for this Peter!!


The student interviews on YouTube;







Enjoy the weekend and see you next week!