Friday, October 30, 2015

What we strive to not become

Students hard at work
This week went by pretty fast.  The students have been busy working on separate projects; Eddie continuing to work on his tools and also starting on the 8mm lathe today,  Simone working on his pivot gauges, Tomas completing his balance staffs, and Theren working on a side project.
Eddie tapping in the 70 lathe

Eddie trying out sun-ray finishing

The result
Simone measuring his pivot gauge

Tomas turning his balance staff

Theren working on a restoration project
Theren restoring tools he bought from the flea market last week
Theren tracing out components for his school watch
To show the students what not to become, Henrik presented the students with an example of bad watchmaking.  It is a watch with two different screws, oil spills on the bridge, and multiple scratches all over the place, overall a horribly done job from the previous watchmaker.
A watch with 2 different screws (one flat polished and one rounded)

Henrik got a gift from Jordan in AWCI, USA, this will be put on one of the school walls. It is a poster of all the calibres from the past of the Hamilton watch company, Impressive! And thank you Jordan!

Monday, October 26, 2015

After school goodness

Kai shows the students how to draw gear teeth on Inventor
This week students learned how to make gears in Inventor thanks to Henrik`s brother Kai, who was kind enough to teach them how to draw.  It very useful to the students since they will be designing their own school watches in the 2nd year.
Kai drawing the teeth profiles using simple calculations

Henrik also gave a bonus lesson on another finishing technique used for making the sun-ray pattern last Sunday.  Using a special setup on the 70 lathe with the milling attachment they were able to produce perfectly centered sun-ray patterns.
Sun-ray pattern

What often happens in watchmaking is that watchmakers drop tiny components all the time.  Theren dropped his balance staff and everyone helped in looking for it.  With the team effort, Theren was able to retrieve his lost balance staff.
Team effort in finding Theren's dropped balance staff

This past Saturday Henrik took the students to a flea market in Fribourg called the Retro Technica.  It was filled with cool machining tools, radios, vintage video games and many many watchmaking tools, including collets, drills, taps, lathes, and many other tools.  It is a great place to get bargain deals on used tools for watchmakers.
2nd hand lathe at the flea market

vintage jacot tool

a plethora of drills, gravers, and other goodies

Friday, October 16, 2015

Wheel Working Week

Theren making his stand on the 102
Last week Theren started on a stand for his 6 glorious winding stems and 13 pivot gauges.  The stand is an optional side project that the students can do to showcase their work.  Theren made the stand out of brass and made a spiral pattern for the pivot gauges.  It took him 3 days, but it is finally finished.
The finished stand with casing

This week the students also learned how to make their first wheel, the hour wheel.  The techniques are not that new, but the setup requires extreme accuracy to make the wheel both centered and sharp.  By learning how to make the hour wheel, the students now know how to make ANY wheel.
Henrik showing the setup of making a wheel on the Schaublin 70

Eddie checking the centering of the wheel

Tomas checking the centering of the cutter

Friday, October 9, 2015

Back to Swiss

While the students were on holidays, Henrik was working hard teaching another specialized course on finishing in Kansas City, USA.  The course was held by the AWCI and had 15 of the best watchmakers selected by the association.  It was Henrik's first time in the United States of America, and he had a blast!

the American students sharing ideas

Group photo

Henrik demonstrating the use of the polishing tripod

The students polishing away

The American students working hard

Henrik explaining bluing techniques

An old polishing tool

The students discussing the use of the tools

As school has once again started, the students are back to working hard.  Besides the unfinished work, Henrik applied the same curriculum for the students as he had in America.  They learned the classical way of flat polishing, straight graining, and frosting.
A totally black polished piece

Flat polished on the tripod

Because Theren broke a tap while working his displaying stand for the winding stems and pivot gauges, Henrik had a chance to teach the students how to cook out a broken drill or screw from non-ferrous metals.
Theren's stand

The students observing the cooking process

The cooking of the drill

This week Eddie also finished learning all the machines, ending with the jigborer.
Eddie on the Jigborer

The students doing polishing exercises 

More polishing