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Reamer or Broach

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9 hours ago, Michael1962 said:

Yes there are small ones, but others pop up as well such as Vevor, plain old Variable Speed Mini Lathe, Weiss, JY.

Vevor is one of the retailers  (they do not manufacture anything) selling at rock bottom prices, for the lathes that means minimal features and accessories, with QC practically absent.


I understand that most of all lathes on the internet will have been fabricated in China.

All of them without exception. The only smallish lathe and milling machines still made in Europe which could be of interest are Proxxon (aimed to hobby model making segment), and Wabeco. 


Having said that, I saw a Youtube video on a Proxxon (if I remember correctly) that had a wooden drive pulley on the motor. I am puzzled as to how that would occur?

That pulley is made of sinterized fiber, not wood, which is to increase friction. There is no disadvantage in strength, however with such little power involved that is never a concern. That being said being objective the Proxxon lathe is overpriced of a good 100% for what it delivers.

Anyway my warm suggestion for enthusiasts in watchmaking or clockmaking is not to get fixated with tools and details. Take things into your hands, take apart and put together as best you can with few basic tools. Only if the interest is still there and there with good  reason some months lather then it makes sense to start spending big about machining tools.

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Get the five sided broaches they are the best. 

The normal tool used is the cutting broach then followed by the smoothing broach, Thos smoothes out any edges and hardens the hole to some extent, being smooth aids the pivot with less friction.

Hello Michael , I deal with Labanda on a weekly basis , and I often pop in and see Geoff who is the owner . If you want to know any information on what he sells ,he is very helpful .Just give Labanda

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The only reason that I have started looking at a lathe is the issue with bushing.

Bergeon kit bushes require a parallel hole, ala Bergeon reamers.

Tapered reamers are best used with bushes that are also tapered, ala machined by the repairer.

Trying to taper Bergeon kit bushes would be very impractical. Bergeon reamers require a drill press at a minimum. I have a Dremel workstation and I am looking at that as to whether it could be used with the Bergeon reamers. The jury is still out on that. I doubt it will be rigid enough.

@oldhippy would say to not get the Bergeon reamers and to machine your own bushes. Far more economical. A lathe however? $'s and which one? The secondhand market over here is more around industrial lathes. The market for mini lathes is just about new everywhere and that leads you down the path to the Chinese lathes or lathe/mill combinations.

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1 hour ago, Michael1962 said:

The only reason that I have started looking at a lathe is the issue with bushing.

Ok. Leaving aside the fact that as you have mentioned as well there are ways to ream and bore soft materials without a powered tool, just for my curiosity, do you have a problematic piece at hand now? Or it's that you foresee the need to execute a perfect clock rebushing? Because my philosophy about this hobby is, take baby steps and worry about the bridge only when it's time to cross it.

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Did anyone see The Repair Shop on the BBC (UK) They have a clock guy there who stripped, cleaned and re-bushed an old mantle clock. It's obviously edited but he made the bushing look so easy. He used a hand wound reaming tool followed by a hand operated bushing tool. They didn't go into great detail but it shows there's a lot of methods out there.

Hand Reaming 2.jpg

Hand Reaming1.jpg


Mini Lathe.jpg

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Looks like an old K W M bushing tool. He has everything to hand even a watchmakers lathe.  I can't comment on how he went about it. It is easy to bush clock plates, it's like anything just a bit of practice is all it takes, just don't practice on a valuable clock.  

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