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david

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david last won the day on September 28 2018

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About david

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    Manufacturing tools and watch parts.

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  1. Trigus, Watchmaker screwdriver shafts are skinny for a reason. It is to reduce the force transmitted from your fingers and thumb to the screwdriver tip. The screws used in watches are very tiny and can be easily overpowered and broken.. Trying to use a pin vice could present problems from applying too much torque to the screw, twisting it in half. Breaking a screw off in a watch plate can be a disastrous problem as you may not be able to get the broken piece of screw out of the plate. Most inexpensive watch screwdrivers are usable, especially when starting out. You can start out with a less expensive set and upgrade at a later time.
  2. JDM, That Bergeon model is actually an instrument size lathe which was designed to include clock size parts. It is a bigger and stronger machine than their Geneva style lathe and will reduce machine flex caused from heavier cuts. This is due to the double pedestal bed and the larger size. It will also successfully make watch parts, is extremely expensive and has a designer label brand name. It is not, however, as precise as a Derbyshire or a Levin lathe in the instrument size machine. Due to the cone bearing spindle the rotational speed cannot match a ball bearing headstock. Also, the spindle runout cannot be brought in more than a couple of ten thousandths of an inch or the bearings will be damaged. A ball bearing spindle can have a runout in the millionths of an inch and offer a faster rotation. At one time cone bearing headstocks were more accurate than ball bearing headstocks but with the improvement of ball bearing manufacturing around WW2, ball bearing machines surpassed the accuracy of the cone bearing machines. That said, it is a beautiful looking machine and will certainly do the job for which it was designed. david
  3. Hamish, At some point a person has to conclude that a tool functions adequately for the job or it does not. Selecting a designer label tool seems to be an easy way to select quality but unfortunately things do not always work out that way. Does a SNAP-ON wrench really tighten a bolt better than a CRAFTSMAN wrench? Does a BERGEON case opener open watch cases better than the Chinese case opener? Is a BERGEON watch winder a better tool than the Chinese made watch winder. Is a BERGEON lathe more accurate than a DERBYSHIRE or a LEVIN LATHE? As most people tend to think that a highly advertised Swiss tool with a designer brand name is a superior tool, they will never be happy with actual reality. When the issues are researched it becomes evident that the BERGEON case openers and watch winders are made in China and the DERBYSHIRE and LEVIN lathes are far more accurate than the BERGEON lathe. The BERGEON lathe is manufactured by a company called DIXIE, which is owned by a Japanese company called MORI SEKI. The next question is, Is a BERGEON lathe adequate for watch work? The answer is yes. I own one and it is a fine machine. I also own a Chinese made Sincere lathe and it is also a fine machine. The BERGEON and SINCERE machines have cone bearing spindles and have accuracies limited to that particular bearing system. That said, both machines can make parts with enough precision to be used in a watch. I also have both BERGEON and HOROTEC screwdriver sets. Either type of screwdriver is able to remove watch screws. As long as the screwdriver blades are of good quality the rest is a personal preference. david
  4. JD, Does the watch front have a left handed thread? Try turning it in the opposite direction. david
  5. Rduckwor, I live in Atlanta. Can you supply any additional information? david
  6. PaulnKC, I went through the same thing a number of years ago. The device that worked the best for me was definitely a microscope. Low power loupes have a decent range of focus but as the magnification increases the range of focus decreases. At 20X any head movement will throw the watch movement out of focus. Since the microscope lenses are fixed in a frame, you can examine parts at 40X with no problems. Also, your eyes emit vapor which will fog up the loupe. I would vote for the microscope hands down. david
  7. Phydaux, Welcome to the learning process. I would bet that Mark went through the same experience when he was starting out. After somebody puts in years of study and practice they seem to make the process look easy. In truth, it isn't. As mistakes are made one learns techniques and tricks to avoid repeating them. I cannot count the number of watch parts that I launched into a low earth orbit that evaporated somewhere between the ozone layer and stratosphere. When starting out, expect to break things. Practice on the LEAST expensive movements you can find. In the beginning it doesn't matter if the movements even work. Just famillarize yourself with the components, where they go and how to disassemble, clean, reassemble and lubricate. If you start out with non working movements you will also begin to recognize why the movement failed to work. Anybody who is honest about it will admit going through the same learning experience. Relish mistakes as an important part of the learning process. david
  8. J Berry, You should suggest that your friend moves the tools to your home. david
  9. JD Berry, It looks like you hit the mother load. The tool in the first photo is expensive and almost impossible to find. If you watch this video you can see a similar tool in operation: https://youtu.be/mkGygB7BMsQ The tool in the second photo looks like a set of dies and a holding base. It would be used in conjunction with a press for pressing in watch crystals and backs. The tool in the third photo is a small general use drill press. It is good for drilling applications that do not require a high rate of speed. Extremely tiny drill bits will break if turned too slow. I have a Dumore high speed drill press that turns at around 20,000 rpm and is suitable only for extremely small diameter drill bits. david
  10. Praezis, India gets most of their steel from melting down old ships. The steel used in ship plates contains silicone which makes it great for ship plates but not so great for machining applications.
  11. From your posts it appears that you are familiar with both the one day session and Mark's course. In that case would you advise PHYDAUX to take the one day course for $1245.00 or Mark's course? david
  12. JDM, Then it is just a one day session assembling watch parts to form a watch. Do you feel that the price AWCI charges is worth it? I personally feel that a person could gain a lot more knowledge from Mark's courses than a one day session from the AWCI. This was the initial question that was asked by PHYDIUX. david
  13. Industrial suppliers such as MSC, McMaster Carr and others sell different grades of drill rod. The most widely used for watch pivots is water hardening drill rod. This does not mean that water hardening steel is the "best" material, only that it is the most widely used. The three most commonly used types of drill rod are water hardening, oil hardening and air hardening. Water hardening drill rod is the least expensive and air hardening is the most expensive. As air hardening steel is subjected to the least amount of shock from heat treatment, is has the most dimensional stability. This is why it is used for dimensionally critical parts such as blanking and piercing (stamping) dies. Since the making of watches began long before the invention of modern steels, water hardening steel is still used because it was formulated first and established a tradition. A watch pivot should be made to the correct dimension (@ 1/10 of a millimeter) and reasonably hard (@Rc 50) to resist wear. If it is much harder than that it will transform from spring hardness to wear hardness and be more subject to breakage. I went through a lot is experimentation to finally successfully turn something that small in diameter. I would turn the pivot down to about .010 inches and then watch it snap off when I tried to machine to a smaller diameter. The goal was about .004 inches in diameter. I think most people would turn it down to .010 thousandths and then grind it down the rest of the way in a Jacot tool. Instead of taking that route I set my watch lathe up with high precision dial indicators and fed the cross slide in using very small increments. I also used a carbide cutting tool. david
  14. With the exception of the hair spring and watch jewels, most watch parts can be machined by the watchmaker. If the AWCI course steps the student through the process of machining the pilar plates, cutting the gears, making the pivots, etc, etc, etc. Then it is probably worth the price. It the course consists of purchasing premanufactured parts and assembling them, then it should be called a course in assembling watch parts and not advertised as making a watch. A few years ago I took the TIME ZONE WATCH COURSES (1,2,3). and learned a great deal. The course included purchasing an inexpensive Chinese movement (or any movement the student wished to purchase), taking it apart, cleaning the parts, reassembling the parts, lubricating the watch and setting the timing. Marks course is probably much better but did not exist at that time. At the end of the course the student had a watch they could wear. I felt that it was a good course but I never would have paid $1200 plus dollars for it. The TIME ZONE course definitely could not have been called MAKING A WATCH. The other side of this is whether the person want's to become a full time "professional" or work on watches for their own enjoyment. As with many other occupations having a diploma from a prostigious institution has a lot to do with where you will work and how much you will be paid. If you want to work on watches for your own enjoyment, then education is the only important aspect. Education can be achieved through courses like Mark's watch school, books, YouTube videos and, most importantly, practice, practice, practice. As far I know Steffen Pahlow never went to a prestigious watch school, or for that matter, any watch school, yet produces incredible restoration and repair work. Phillippe de Four did go to a formal watch school and also produces incredible work. Watch school did not seem to be the determining factor in the quality of their work or their knowledge of the subject. In the end it was up to them. david
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