Friday, July 23, 2021


 WEEK 120

The summer finally arrived! We had really awesome weather this week, sun everyday! And also very good temperature, not too hot or cold just perfect. David had his filing exam while Renato was practicing filing squares in the 8 mm lathe with a roller support as an exercise prior to making winding stems later on. Francesco was also filing a lot, practicing filing sharp internal corners on brass to prepare for later internal corner filing for his school watch, Alex finished his tripod and black rhodium plated the base, which came out looking really beautiful! Michael learn different techniques of hand removal and installation as well as casing-up and adjusting the winding stem to correct length. Robert continued with his tool making and learn how to use the profile projector to measure angles. As a celebration for Alex finishing his final exam and also for the summer vacation starting soon we had an outing and went to Vue des Alps which was really nice! the week ended with school inventory and summer cleaning. It was a balanced and really nice week! Have a great summer and see you again in 3 weeks!


Alex beautiful polishing tripod!


The summer outing was really fun!

Friday, July 16, 2021


 WEEK 119

Alex, Michael
Origin : Taiwan, Malaysia 
Watchmaking class: Technician & Fullskill 
Current mood: Well done Alex! Alex completed his final exams! Michael was busy hand turning balance staff between centres in the 8mm lathe. Getting some muscle memory back from hand turning is really satisfying. It was a busy week! Hopefully we get better weather soon! 

Renato & David
Origin: Zug, Zürich, Switzerland
Watchmaking class: Fullskill
Current mood: This week was about winding stem practice pieces and heat treatment/tempering/blueing steel. Turned several 3mm pieces to various lengths, each with a cone on both sides. Then started turning them partially down to the correct diameter for the square filing next week. Will try it by hand first, then with some file support in the 8mm lathe. Spent about 2 days on steel heat treatment as well. Very interesting! Hardening and tempering some steel rings I turned on the lathe (square filing limiter). Interesting how glass-like the steel is after hardening. Then prepared several screws to temper at various temperatures to get the full range of colors, see pics. Trying to hit the burgundy tone on the simple heating plate was quite a challenge. Many brown/purple mixes exist and the temperature range is tiny. Finish plays a big role as well. Fun week! (Renato)

This week I completed the steel measuring gauge. I had some difficulties in filing the sharp and correct angles (2×45° 1x 60°), but managed to complete it successfully. I used the profile projector to determine the accuracy of my angles. After that I worked on my filing pre-exam. We had an 8 hour period to complete it. I did the practice exam 2 times. Both times, I had some measurements that went out of tolerance, therefore next week I will do it again. (David)

Francesco, Åsmund & Robert
Origin: Italy, Norway, USA
Watchmaking class: Fullskill 
Current mood: Hey again. Since last time we have moved onto threading external and internal threads, drilling, turning and milling in the lathe and also got to test the microscope in the lathe, which is pretty cool for precise work. After I did all the exercises I wanted to take it a bit further and do a little project which combined all of what we have been practicing. I made a hearth shape which had to be cut out of brass, filed it to the right dimension, then drilled a hole on top of it in the middle of the corner and threaded the hole which is going to fit on a round steel piece. After this I made bevels on both sides to make it look nice. When this was done I got to try out different finishes before I decided to frost the flat surface and straight grain around it. On the way I got one of my classmate’s to help me with rhodium and yellow gold plating. Right now I have turned and threaded the steel tap, just got to use the microscope to drill a hole on the middle of the round surfaced of the steel tap in the lathe, using the milling head before I part it of. 

I’ve taken a photo of the hearth so you can see the progress. 

Until next time! 



Michael made a really nice balance staff!

Renato practiced on these test screws the effects of applying different temperatures when tempering/blueing!

He also tried out before the tempering how to harden steel by quenching, here on a steel ring!


Some nice books from Renato!

Preparing bars for square filing!

Special project!


David practicing handfiling!


Luckily this week it was not too hot, the temperature was really ideal as Alex had his practical final exam. The week was rather calm in general, David prepared for his filing exam and did 2 practice exams which went well, he will do the final one next week just before we leave for holiday. Michael turned a really nice balance staff! Renato continued with some creative work, he learned how to harden and temper steal but also how to heat blue steel for visual effects and made a series of different coloured screws representing different temperatures that they were heated at. Asmund continued with his tools and practiced a lot of machining, even turning and threading stainless steel which went really well! Francesco was practicing filing internal corners and modifying files to be able to file as sharp corners as possible, this skill will come in handy when he starts with his school watch! Indeed, a very pleasant week! Have a great weekend everyone!

Friday, July 9, 2021


 WEEK 118

Alex, Michael
Origin : Taiwan, Malaysia 
Watchmaking class: Technician & Fullskill 
Current mood: Alex and Michael both did theory lessons this week to cover up all of the theory questions they had. Alex did his Theory and Oral exam on Thursday. Fingers crossed. He did his scratch sheet and broken part preparation today and will be having his final exam next week. Wish him luck and all the best. However, Michael continued with his balance staff making. Had to slightly modify the burnisher because it does not produce a beautiful radial curve on the pivots. Hopefully we can see some hand turned balance staff next week. 

Renato & David
Origin: Zug, Zürich, Switzerland
Watchmaking class: Fullskill
Current mood: Made use of the fact that the milling machine was free this week and milled the whole week. Had lots to mill. Milled the 2 halves of my custom poising vise, glued them together and milled the 'pit' where the balance will eventually go. We had a little investigation in finding out why sometimes the zero 'changes' on the machine. Finally we figured it had to do with too fast manoeuvering of the slides when repositioning the end mill. Something applicable to e.g. lathes as well. Good lesson that is not mentioned in any machining book. Also finished milling my custom end pieces of the pointed head nose vise. And finally got some teflon & titanium coated razor blades... not for shaving, but for finishing internal corners on brass pieces. Curious if the high tech coating make any difference :) (Renato)

This week I worked on making a measuring gauge out of steel. I met some difficulties by marking the outline of the shape of tool too light. Also the markings I made were parallel with the graining of the stainless steel, which also increased the difficulty of it being legible. I had to remake the same piece multiple times as overfilled the piece, as I could not see the outline of the markings that I made. The solution I found was to mark the steel opposite the graining, and I went back and remarked it, also adding lines .20 and .40mm away from the real lines for safety. I was successful in filling the piece out, next week I will continue to fine tune the corners. (David)

Francesco, Åsmund & Robert
Origin: Italy, Norway, USA
Watchmaking class: Fullskill 
Current mood: N/A

The dividing head!
Learning to mill basic shapes in the lathe!

Making a nut!

Francesco setting up the lathe for milling!

Michael setting up his tea before burnishing balance staff pivots!


Wonderful book!

Renato continued with the next steps of his pointed nose vice, starts to look very interesting!




So, this week was another creative one! We covered the dividing head of the Schaublin 70 which provides very precise angular positions of the spindle, this is used when for example a wheel or pinion needs to be made in restoration as one would need a certain number (depending on the number of teeth or leaves that needs to be made) of exactly equally divided positions of the spindle to mill spaces in the material (to be the wheel or pinion) and the left over would be the teeth or leaves, and since we anyway learned how to use the dividing head, we also learn how to use the milling head of the lathe. Michael resumed his balance staff making and Alex took his final oral and theoretical examination and started to prepare for next week’s practical final examination, wish him good luck! Renato and David continued with machining some of their tools as well. At the end of the week, we even had some time to see how a centring microscope can be used with the Schaublin 70 due to Francesco’s very creative projects suddenly requiring all this knowledge, which is very beneficial for everyone! Have a great weekend everyone!

Friday, July 2, 2021


 WEEK 117

Alex, Michael
Origin : Taiwan, Malaysia 
Watchmaking class: Technician & Fullskill 
Current mood: Alex is currently busy working on movements for his repair points. Michael started with a balance staff restoration project and had to measure the dimensions and diameter in order to hand turn the balance staff. Work is still in progress. Hopefully we get better weather soon! 

Renato & David
Origin: Zug, Zürich, Switzerland
Watchmaking class: Fullskill
Current mood: Worked exclusively on the 8mm lathe after last Friday's intro. Did various pieces to practice the various basic cuts (cylindrical/pivot, male/female cone, convex/concave shape plus respective combinations). Was very happy with the performance of the gravers I prepared previously. They cut nice and stay sharp :) The 8mm lathe and hand turning have an artistic touch, as you're shaping the brass without any 'mechanical guidance'. After doing all the pieces of the little 'brass family' (see pics) during the week, I feel that my hand turning skills are quite solid now. I even found some sort of systematic strategy to do the tricky female cones. Next step will be doing the same on steel, which will be interesting for sure... great exercise! (Renato)

This week I worked on finishing the bushings for the pointed head nose vice. I made the bushings 0.03mm bigger than the holes that were drilled in the milling machine. I used the drilling machine to with brass pusher to press the the bushings. After press fitting all of them I milled the surface flat. I also started working on the brass wheel truing guide and the steel angular rule tools. (David)

Francesco, Åsmund & Robert
Origin: Italy, Norway, USA
Watchmaking class: Fullskill 
Current mood: Hi everybody, my name is Francesco and I come from Italy. 
Åsmund and I have been busy with the lathe this week, after the lesson we started to practice with brass cylinders.
At the end of the week Mr. Korpela taught us drilling and tapping with the Shaublin 70, how to set up the Agathon for sharpening gravers and all the instructions needed for the proper use of the profile projector. Robert started the “black polishing” technique with screws. At the end of the week I have just started using the profile projector for my personal school project. Have a nice weekend!

Last day for Markus! We will miss him very much and hope he will enjoy his new adventures in watchmaking!

Åsmund and Francesco practicing turning with the Schaublin 70.

We had 3 sessions on the Agathon grinding machine this week.

Renato got introduced to the 8mm lathe and practiced some basic cuts on brass!

Robert got introduced to the classical art of black polishing!

Francesco using the profile projector to trace his mainplate that he will use as base for his school watch.


Renato brought some more books for everyone to enjoy!


Åsmund tried out the school camera to practice some macro shooting on one of his favourite watch.

We suddenly got an extreme amount of rain!



From too cold to too wet! for a few hours we got a small lake outside the school! Markus had his last week with us! we will very much miss him and hope he will enjoy the new chapter in his watchmaking life, hopefully he will not forget us and come and visit us from time to time!! A very busy week which I realize is more of a normal for us! Otherwise super creative week and very diverse subjects!! Have a great weekend everyone!