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david last won the day on May 5

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About david

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    WRT Addict

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    Manufacturing tools and watch parts.

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  1. Old Hippy, I think back in the early 1970s there were numerous independent watch repair shops and several watch repair schools. The Chicago School of Watchmaking, Bulova School of Watchmaking plus many watch repair programs offered in various community collages. The mechanical watch industry was almost destroyed after the Japanese figured out a way to miniaturize the piezoelectric quartz crystal by machining it into the shape of a tuning fork. This paved the way for a more accurate, more dependable watch at a much lower cost per watch. This also led to the ultimate demize of the independent watch shop. The mechanical watch industry was brought back to life by the Swiss watch companies. Unfortunately, for the small independent repair shops, they also took over the service and repair aspects of the industry. This was also sad for the customers who purchased their watches because these companies turned watch service into a rip-off operation. My dentist was quoted around $2000.00 and an 8 month turnaround from Patek Phillipe to clean and lubricate his watch. A small independent repair shop might have charged $150.00 with a 3 day turnaround. david
  2. Back in the 1970s there were numerous independent watch repair shops and watch repair schools. Once the major Swiss factories figured out that they could extort their customers by refusing to sell replacement parts and threatening to cancel the warranties, if anyone except the factory opened the watch, the independent watch repair shop was doomed to extinction. This also spelled the end of the line for most of the watch schools and apprenticeships. The watch schools now are financed by the major watch factories (Swatch, Rolex etc.) to train people to work in their facilities. Unfortunately, although the schools are excellent, the factory job can't begin the provide the variety of challenges that can be learned from an independent repair shop. A student can graduate from a fine watch school and end up spending years black polishing balance cocks or loading staffs and balance wheels into a pneumatic staking press. In my view most of the interesting challenges are in the amateur sector repairing and restoring watches as a hobby. That said, the BHI course is one of the last home study accredited horological institutions that will offer their program to someone wishing to pursue watch restoration and repair as a hobby or even a part time business. david
  3. Dean DK has several YouTube videos that cover his experience with horology. In this video he talks about his experience with the BHI course. His comments are generally positive. He is an extremely talented guy and maybe someone can talk him into joining this forum.
  4. JD Richard, After doing the machine work the part should be hardened and then tempered. Watch this video, it should answer a lot of your questions. https://youtu.be/mkGygB7BMsQ
  5. Swiss Watch School

    I think the larger lathes with the milling attachments are Schaublin. I am afraid to speculate what they cost. The turns are still made by Horotec and are quite expensive. david
  6. JD Richard, If the steel was so hard that you had to cut it with a carbide graver then you will probably have problems trying to thread it. Pivots and staffs are not threaded and milled which allows the machining to be done with a prehardened piece of steel. For a winding stem, which needs to be milled and threaded after turning, I prefer to use unhardened steel (drill rod) to begin with. If prehardened steel is your only option, it would be a good idea to anneal it before beginning to machine it. david
  7. This is a video of a Swiss Watch school. The students have access to very nice machinery to learn about making watch parts.
  8. The reason for the different types of steel has to do with their application. End mill cutters, drills and reamers produce heat under normal use and the "O" type steels hold up better. The "W" types are used for low heat usage applications and are typically used for knives and scissors. As I mentioned before, the "A" type steels exhibit almost no deformation after heat treatment and are used for stamping dies. There are many other types of steel that have uses in many applications such as shock resistance ("S7"), "P" series steels (for injection molds) and so on, but the "O", "W" and "A" are the most common types for drill rod. david
  9. JDRICHARD, I buy mine from MSC but there are a bunch of others such as TRAVERS, McMaster Carr etc.. Drill rod is also sold on Ebay. david
  10. The prehardened and tempered "blue steel" from watch supply houses is generally water hardening tool steel. The cost for a 6 foot length of the unhardened material in a similar diameter is only a few dollars. Six feet should be more than a lifetime supply for most watchmakers. david
  11. The items other than the hole plates and sector arm are separate accessories but the edit timer ran out before I could make a notation. david
  12. This is Sincere's indexing system. It currently sells for $280.00 and works very well.
  13. I just ran across this YouTube video by a German Watchmaker named Philclock. Since he is in Germany the lathe is called a VECTOR but it is actually the same lathe as the Sincere.
  14. Industrial supply houses, such as MSC, sell drill rod. It is stocked in hundreds of different diameters. The most popular types of steel are "O" (oil hardening), "W" (water hardening), and "A" (air hardening). The water hardening rod is the least expensive and is generally used in applications where deformation due to heat treating is not an issue. Ironically this is the most common steel for watch staffs. This is probably due to the choice of material available at the time watches were first made and succeeding watch makers stayed with the tradition. Oil hardening rod is generally used for end mill cutters, reamers, drill bits etc. and cost more than the water hardening steel. Air hardening steel has the least amount of deformation, is the easiest to heat treat, and is the most expensive. It is used in applications where size and geometric deformation is a critical issue such as stamping dies. Of the three types I listed any of them can be and are used to make watch staffs. david
  15. Lathe Belts and Oiling

    JD Ricahad, Yes, those are the type of lathe belts I can't stand. They are the very reason I switched over to O-Rings. I went through the learning curve with the welded belts as well. Even a welded belt that looks perfect still has a hard spot at the seam. I know that some people swear by welded belts but I prefer the seamless O-Rings. david