Friday, November 24, 2017

3 Weeks Before Winter Break

Last weekend is our global food night ,Stan and his wife Amanda cooked some Taiwanese family traditional dish for us such as pork stew, tomato fried eggs and stir fried cabbage. It's really tasty and everyone enjoyed the food.

After boosting with delicious food we keep going with our works before winter break.

Familiar dishes made our home sickness less.

Pork stew. We can eat tons of rice with this dish.

Felix restores balance staff for his British pocket watch.

Nice and shiny. The tapering cylinder at both end is designed as oil traps.

Let's turn on the night club mode. Oh ya~~

Sif is making hour wheel this week.

Yi Ting is finishing her tri-pod base.

Stan turning the winding stem.

CJ modifying his sun ray grinding tools.

Ratchet wheel before restored.

After restored. Bling Bling

Crown wheel before finishing.

Crown wheel after restored.

Henrik showed us how to properly ream holes for guide pin.

The drill is very delicate, we should to use it properly.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Continue pushing

This week we had our first snow in winter, and it means that there are not much time left for us to finish our works and tools. It's Yi-ting's turn to take the hour wheel exam this week, and she succeed in making a good hour wheel in 4 hours. Felix and Sif finished their first balance staff this week. Felix also try to make one balance staff in two hours, and he succeed in making a functional one. That's pretty awesome. Stan was busy donig his last four pivot gauges, and he got some trouble in make the dome shining and black polished. It's the most difficult part for him not the small dimater. CJ finished all the works that we have to finish so he got some extra projects to do. He practiced black polishing with different size screws, and they all look nice. He also took his second-hand tool to school to see if there were something to modify. He found a little problem for his screw polishing tool, and he mill a part to replace the old one. Now, he could use the tool for his next week porject.

Yi Ting turning pivot gauge.

CJ modify his polishing tool.

Le Locle is already super cold to us.

Felix measuring balance staff

Decoration for the Christamas.

Black polished screw from CJ.

Angular rule with straight graining from Sif

Sif using jig bore.

Stan turning pivot gauge.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Starting our own journey

Last weekend, our alumni, Tryggvi and Robert, came back to school to visit and share their experience for working in the industry. Both of them have a great job now. They shared lots of reality that how most people work in the real watchmaking industry.  Although we may not use some of the  skills we learned from school, it's still good to learn as many skills as we could. We will never know when we will have a chance to use them. Tryggvi shared what he learned from his work, such as how he used shorter time to oil parts. In addition, he also shared his bench test experience when we find a job. He said the most important thing is to keep everythig clean, and don't hesitate to ask questions if we don't know something. It's really good to hear someting from the people who work in the watchmaking industry.
On Sunday, Henrik took us to France for a flea market. The flea market is for watchmaking tools and parts. We all got some good quality second hand tools in that market. we are really glad we came there.
This week, we all have different journey. Stan finished his first balance staff, and it took him about one week from learning to finish making. He also try to finish some tools before December. Sif and Yi-ting started to learn how to make a balance staff in a morden way. Although it's quicker compared to the traditional method, it still took many days to learn to make one. Cj is learning how to cut an hour wheel, and this is also one of our exams. This exam isn't really difficult compared to winding-stem or pivot gauge. However there are lots of details we need to remember if we want to get a good result.
Now, our school provides short-term course for the people who work in the industry. Last course, three professinal watchmakers came to learn  the micro-mechanics and restoration for balance staff.
Our school also provide other courses for different watchmaking techniques. If people want to learn something new, it's a great chance to learn here.

                                                  Our alumni, Tryggvi and Robert came to visit

                                                            Tryggvi shared some experience

                                        Flea market for watchmaking tools in France

                                               Sif measured the total lengh of the balance staff

                                              Yi-ting  measured the total lengh of the balance staff
Stan's first balance staff

                                                               CJ is cutting wheel on the lathe

                                   Professional watchmaker took notes for the balance staff

                                Professional watchmakers turning balance staff's

Friday, November 3, 2017

After Fall Break

Last week we took a fall break to recharge ourselves for the last intense five weeks before Christmas holiday.  During these five weeks we have to learn balance staff making, hour wheel making, and clean up all our tool making works.

This week Felix start his hour wheel making course.

With profile projector, we can compare the hour wheel tooth very easily with the original design.

Function check.

CJ and Stan learn how to restore balance staff from a pocket watch. There are a lot of details from measuring to making. We try to take as much note as we can.

Balance staff pre-exercise,  making a pivot with round shoulder.

Balance staff pre-exercise, making a tapering cylinder which roller table could friction fit in.

Balance bridge support from Yi-Ting with black rhodium plating.