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.

Friday, July 7, 2017

Preparing for the coming (probably frustrating) week.

Time flies by, next week we are going to have three days trial exam of the winding stem. We are sure it must be a tough and exhausting week. We have to finish the winding stem within eight hours, it's hard to imagine we have to turn cylinders, corners, bevels, slots, filing a square with nice bevels and to make threads. Wait a minute, there is more! also hardening, tempering and surface finish. Besides, after quenching we may have 50% chance to bend our stem like a banana and we still also have 50% chance to break it while bending it straight. That's why we think we'll need eight days to finish a complete winding stem! Wish us best luck and fingers crossed. :)

Recently, Henrik start shooting some high-speed videos from our daily work and also movement analysis. That's really exciting, it helps us have a better understanding about the motion of the movement. By the way, if you want to see more videos, we also have a Youtube channel now. Please refer to the link and subscribe now. The Watchmaker Channel.

Pre-excercise of making slot on blue steel.

Making a nice thread is time consuming especially when dealing with steel. Be patient.

Practicing for winding stem. Day one.

There is a lot work to do before making winding stem. Stan is making protection ring so that he can file a beautiful square without damaging the shoulder.

Turning turning turning. Day two.

Next week is also a big week for Shuai and Eddie, because it's the final exam and it goes through the whole week. Look at the picture below, see how Shuai dressed formally today, he has his oral and theory exam today. Wish them (and us) all the best next week.

Shuai is preparing for the theory test. Very concentrated.