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As a former teacher I will weigh in:
You have to present the material to be instructed, here a balance staff, and this will be broken down into the steps necessary, and the reason given for each step.

We assume a basic level of lathe turning knowledge here.

Are you doing all in collets? Some in collets some between centers? All between centers?

Are you going for a "tic tac" staff that runs, or a staff that gives original performance?

Are you going for original performance and original appearance, such that the next watchmaker doesn't notice it's a non original staff?

For the different expected outcomes different steps would be involved of course. Also different levels of precision accepted; an 18s American pocket will differ greatly from a JLC 104.

What's your current lesson plan?

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My master taught me by demonstration, sitting down next to him; he would explain what he was going to do. From teaching me how to sharpen the gravers, how to cut, what types of gravers to use and why, types of metal. For me that is how I learned. You learn by your mistakes and I had plenty of those. The type of lathe is very important. You have to know the lathe; I had a foot control which helped a lot. I started by cutting a very large balance staff, working down to a Pocket Watch size and finely to a small cal Ladies watch. It was a Lathe made by Boley. Don’t forget back in the early 70’s we didn’t have computers to help you out with the measurements you had to know the math. Pocket calculators were only just coming on the market. I do sound out of date.:D

I wish you luck. I know teaching a class is different to what I have added. This might help in some way. I used to teach IT many years ago to uninterested didn’t want to work students, at least you will be in front people willing to learn and will find the subject interesting.

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NickleSilver and OH, thanks for the feedback. I am planning on a lesson plan as follows:
- What is a balance staff
- Removing and keeping the old staff
- Tools needed to cut a staff
- Gravers and Sharpening
- Basics in cutting
- Measurements and old staff
- Friction fit or Rivet
- Blued Steel and (perhaps tempering)
- Selecting and prepping the blued steel
- Phase 1 - Cutting the Balance Surface
- Phase 2- Cutting up to the rivet or balance edge (friction fit) and fitting the balance.
- Phase 3 - Cutting the HS Collet surface and fitting the HS
- Phase 4 - Cutting the upper Pivot and finishing the upper pivot.
- Phase 5 - Cutting the rolled table surface (rough cut)
- Phase 6 - Cutting off the staff and flipping around in Lathe
- Phase 7 - Finishing the RT side and fitting the RT to its friction stop point
- Phase 8 - Finishing the Lower Pivot
- Phase 9 - Staking in the Balance and Riveting(as needed)
- Phase 10 - Staking on the RT
- Phase 11 - Jacot Tool and Pivot polishing and sizing the balance staff.
- Phase 12 - pressing on the HS

I do plan to spend some time on polishing the pivots while the staff is still on the lathe. As well, I plan on showing how you use the old balance staff to measure the cuts. I will also show the use of the Jewelled Gauge to measure the pivots and you bring down the size and how to leave a little extra for sizing with the Jacot. I also have a set of vintage pin gauges that I will use to measure the pivot size on the movement lower and upper jewels.

Thoughts??


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Looks good. How long have you got in teaching this? 

I think 3 hours perhaps. May need to just do a walk through of the process. Then have another session with actual work.


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3 hour workshop.....does that mean they'll all have lathes and be trying things?  You could hold a class for half a football team and give them each their own lathe to use lol.  Three hours is a lot of air time to fill without including a pile of audience activities.  I would say the approach and content would be dependent on who the audience is, and what the venue/media/forum.  Whats their knowledge level on a) watches and b) machining?

I've not taught a class but I've written many articles and I see a similarity in that I think either make you better at it.  You might know 95% of a topic which is perfect for heading into the shop and making something, but all of sudden when giving instruction you feel a lot of pressure to figure out and know cold that last  5%!

 

Edited by measuretwice

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I'm guessing this will be for a NAWCC meet? Will you be demonstrating the whole procedure? Will this be hands-on with folks bringing lathes? 3 hours for an overview, explanation and slideshow (yeah I know, it's Powerpoint but the last time I gave a talk it was with the help of Kodak), with perhaps some demonstration sounds a little long. But if there are several lathes available and the group isn't too big, then most/everyone can try their hand at this or that aspect while asking questions and there goes an hour or two right there. But if it's just a presentation I would say about an hour/hour and a half is enough. An hour and a half is already stretching the attention span of most folks for a lecture no matter how interested they are.

 

Your lesson plans looks good, of course many of the points (like Jacot use) could be a class on their own, but you seem to have everything covered.

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3 hour workshop.....does that mean they'll all have lathes and be trying things?  You could hold a class for half a football team and give them each their own lathe to use lol.  Three hours is a lot of air time to fill without including a pile of audience activities.  I would say the approach and content would be dependent on who the audience is, and what the venue/media/forum.  Whats their knowledge level on a) watches and B) machining?
I've not taught a class but I've written many articles and I see a similarity in that I think either make you better at it.  You might know 95% of a topic which is perfect for heading into the shop and making something, but all of sudden when giving instruction you feel a lot of pressure to figure out and know cold that last  5%!
 

Most likely 4 or 5 people. Will determine the level of experience prior to the session. Also not sure at the moment whether the students will be bringing lathes or if I will bring a few of my lathes, I do have 6 on Borel stands all ready to go. On your 5%, I am not being paid so no need to get stressed out.


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I'm guessing this will be for a NAWCC meet? Will you be demonstrating the whole procedure? Will this be hands-on with folks bringing lathes? 3 hours for an overview, explanation and slideshow (yeah I know, it's Powerpoint but the last time I gave a talk it was with the help of Kodak), with perhaps some demonstration sounds a little long. But if there are several lathes available and the group isn't too big, then most/everyone can try their hand at this or that aspect while asking questions and there goes an hour or two right there. But if it's just a presentation I would say about an hour/hour and a half is enough. An hour and a half is already stretching the attention span of most folks for a lecture no matter how interested they are.
 
Your lesson plans looks good, of course many of the points (like Jacot use) could be a class on their own, but you seem to have everything covered.

Thanks for your feedback. I am hoping to get some hands on from these folks as the only way to help is to see what they might do from a skill level. I suspect that non of the 5 expected to attend have ever cut a balance staff and really want to see if this is something they want to dive into. I’ll fill you folks in after I get a bit more detail on the attendees. My first time teaching this, but I did teach the internet years ago and also taught armoured corps tank troop tactics in my youth.


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Workshop went well. Cut 90% of a staff, showing all elements of measuring and cutting for balance, Hairspring. Did not finish roller table side but all were good with the information passed along and videotaped. Asked to do another in Jan.


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good show,  keep up the good work !   during my aprentisship,   there were a couple "old foot pedle lathes",  about 4 inch.  as i rember,  his main point points were "sharpening cutting tools and you don't always need high speed to make a good cut".   hang in there,  vin

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