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I thought some of you might want to watch me make this watch! You can follow on instagram but I will try to keep up here. It's a "unique" watch I would say so bear with me (New Bern pun!). Right now it involves making two brass rings that will seat in two hemispheres. I couldn't make the hemispheres yet so I cheated a bit and bought some until I can find a way to spin them myself (spinning metal is really hard on a lathe and I worry about my ancient (WW2 era) South Bend.

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I started with 2 3/4 brass (360 I think) and brought it down to size and threaded the outside and plan to cut the two rings from this but first I still need to open up the inside and create a groove along the interior rim. Center drill, 5/16 bit and will be moving to boring bars. Okay you are all caught up!

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Please  keep  us posted..I Lived in New Bern back in the eighties..The place  has changed alot since then! My favorite  memory is of a used car dealership  that  used  to advertise they were able to keep their prices so low because  of low overhead..Their office was an old outhouse. The place was actually  in James city on US 70 about a mile  past the bridge  on the left headed towards  Havelock. What movement  are you planning  on?

Edited by yankeedog
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I am making the movement (it's a bit of a surprise, just something I have been thinking of making for a long time.) It's going to get really complicated with a new calendar function and a minute repeater all on three mainplates.  Should be fun!

 

New Bern is an interesting place for sure; always seems to be on the verge of becoming something you can't identify.

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Really! this is going to be one interesting watch.I cant do anything like it. cleaning ,lubricating and parts swapping are the extent of my skills. I am going to enjoy watching a ground up build.

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Well first update - my lathe setup failed me. Boring proceeded fine...

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Once finished, I made a groove on the inside edge (a catch for the lower plate) and all ready for cutoff

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All setup and cutoff started.... Now here's my problem - I have been using the original "lantern style" tool post and the old style tool holders. On these the height is adjusted by a wedge under the holder and just a single bolt holding everything in place. With the amount of pressure the whole setup was at its limits and failed - the toolholder dropped and being stronger than the brass took out my part on its way down - lathe jams...

 

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The solution would be to get a quick change tool post that can take the force better. Ah well a couple day's work....

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Update - Basically redid all previous steps (turn, thread, hollow) and back to cutoff. 

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 So reground the cutoff tool a bit and went really slowly till it just starts the deform (once the brass gets so thin it can't hold itself steady) then cut it off with a hack saw.

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Both came out without issue and will of course need cleanup later but I am satisfied with it - Now on to some pillar plates. 

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Are you going to case up a minute repeater perpetual calendar movement that exists? If not I'd strongly suggest trying simpler first, like make new bridges for a 6947, then a mainplate, then try adding a simple calendar. Then try making the gearing. This is from experience; by the time you get to the gears you might be surprised how much time (years?) have passed.

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Ok, and don't want to be a downer, but you've picked two of the most difficult complications to do there. A tourbillon is a cakewalk in comparison. Just for a little perspective, I used to put together repeaters from kits, all parts made, beveled decorated already, the manufacturer expected their watchmakers to do 10/year. That's just assembling and making the strike work correctly, filing a few hundredths off here and there, thinning springs, a bit of flat polishing. Also did a bunch of perpetual calendars...

I'm only suggesting a simpler first piece because I've seen many trained watchmakers set out to do that, only to give up in despair a couple of years later. Just making a simple watch not including the escapement or winding parts (surprisingly tricky to get right) is a major accomplishment. I'd hate to see you get discouraged and end up like others I've known.

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Thanks for the advice! I have years if need be (at least a few hopefully). I am sure I will have a few questions for you when it comes to adjusting the repeater mechanism. If I get too bored with the pace I will start a more traditional watch, no worries.

 

Also no perpetual calendar more of an astronomical calendar (more math, fewer parts haha).

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A bit early in the week for an update but here it is...

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Turning down 2" stock (definitely 360) to fit the lip created in the rings (they aren't both the same which will have to be remedied (I cut them shallow just as guides so I am not very concerned). 

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You can see the brass is actually of two varieties with the smaller 360 and the ring 836 which is why it is a more red color. 836 Brass is 85% copper while 360 is about 65%. The 836 was used only because it is what I found in a size large enough for it but I think in the future I will try to find larger diameter 360. The outside being turned to size, now the inside will be turned to fit the ID of the ring. I need a final size in order to do that so I will need to clean up the ring.

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Looks like you switched from 3 jaw to 4 jaw chuck? I never knew quite how useful the 4 jaw can be until I got one. Very versatile. Also if I remember correctly brass doesn't like any positive rake to the tool- makes it dig in and grab. Good luck on your project.

Sent from my RCT6K03W13 using Tapatalk

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I did a couple projects with a cheap three jaw chuck early on and was so confused why parts were never in the same position when I put them back in (no longer concentric).  As soon as I tried a 4 jaw it all kinda just clicked.  They are magical and frustrating things.

 

Are the two hemispheres the case?

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Update - Creating the pillar plates.

Once the rings were cleaned up they could be used to size the plates which fit within the rings and have a lip that catches on the underside of the ring. Turned to size then cutoff...

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As you can see my WW lathe was having a bad time with the cutter grabbing the piece from the three jaw and chucking it across the room doing a great deal of damage to these little brass parts. If they can't get polished out I will need to remake them later but they will work to get the case done.

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With the first one done it's second verse same as the first.

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I am still designing the central rod which will hold it all together but I will also need to cut the middle plate.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Sorry for the delay on updates - I am currently unable to thread the hemispheres because I can't grip them in the lathe without deforming them enough to prevent the threading tool from digging in and forcing the hemisphere to spin. Will have to make a jig but I am not able to make a radius turning at the moment. Also, It's spring so gotta get the boat ready for summer! 

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