Jump to content

WIP: My New Watchmaker's Bench


Recommended Posts

Hello Everyone,

For the past couple of weeks, I've been putting together a little watchmaking area in my office.  I cut down a 2nd hand IKEA table and fit it onto a large built-in bookcase in my office.  Since then, I have been assembling various bits & pieces on and around it. It's far from complete, but I did want to share what I have accomplished so far with people more expert than me to see what they think...and get some feedback?  Have I missed anything?  It's still very much a work in progress, but hey...why not share early, see what people think and perhaps avoid a tragic error of some kind  🙂

g.
----

2022-07-23-Bench-Original-Condition.jpg

2022-07-24-Watchmaking-Bench-Basic-Setup.jpg

2022-07-26-Watchmaking-Bench-Desktop-Listing.jpg

2022-07-27-Watchmaking-Bench-Desktop-Image-A.jpg

2022-07-27-Watchmaking-Bench-Desktop-Image-B.jpg

2022-07-27-Watchmaking-Bench-Desktop-Image-C.jpg

2022-07-27-Watchmaking-Bench-Desktop-Image-D.jpg

2022-07-27-Watchmaking-Bench-Desktop-Image-E.jpg

2022-07-27-Watchmaking-Bench-Desktop-Image-F.jpg

2022-07-27-Watchmaking-Bench-Desktop-Image-G.jpg

2022-07-27-Watchmaking-Bench-Desktop-Image-H.jpg

2022-07-28-Watchmaking-Bench-3-Cameras.jpg

2022-08-06-Watchmaking-Bench-3-Cameras-With-Macro.jpg

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Nice.

The only thing that worries me is your working height. The table height seems a little low for working with loupes, unless you are working exclusively with a stereo microscope. 

You might consider getting a tabletop watchmaker's bench or saw off the legs of a small side table to bring the working surface to a comfortable height. Ideally it should be about chest high to chin high, depending on the focal distance of the loupes being used.

Good luck and enjoy!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, HectorLooi said:

Nice.

The only thing that worries me is your working height. The table height seems a little low for working with loupes, unless you are working exclusively with a stereo microscope. 

You might consider getting a tabletop watchmaker's bench or saw off the legs of a small side table to bring the working surface to a comfortable height. Ideally it should be about chest high to chin high, depending on the focal distance of the loupes being used.

Good luck and enjoy!

Hello @HectorLooi,

Lei ho.  Thanks for the input!   

I had the same concerns, so I sourced a four-legged stool that I will chop down if the height of the bench turns out to be wrong.  Thanks for the tip!  I'll post updates as I settle it in.  I'm sure I'll be making a bunch of changes as I gain experience, but I thought it might be useful to other newcomers like myself to document the journey....so thanks again!

g.

----

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Hello Everyone,

It seems to me that there might be a typo in the Chicago School of Watchmaking (Sweazey & Sweazy, p.1) course materials with respect to the different reported heights of stationary vs. portable work benches:

image.png.8c57f359cf74ae0ce80cb705d10a1ff1.png

So, which working height is it?  38 inches or 42 inches?  Well, according to de Carle (1981, p. 166) the average Watchmaking tool bench is 36 inches high but only if a high stool is not being used:

image.png.3b60170708d8fc77725c7d41d02b0ab2.png

Using my home-made bench as a reference, I have determined that my bench top, at 30 inches, is certainly too low.  After a couple of hours my lower back is telling me that I'm crouching too much.   

@HectorLooi - You predicted this, and you were right.

My bench is currently at least 6 inches too low, and perhaps even more.  But were I to raise my bench to a working height of 42 inches, the working surface would be at the height of my eyes, which is certainly too high.  I believe the discrepancy between the two working heights is due to the seating height of high desks vs. normal desks. 

Given the seating I am using is a standard hydraulic office chair designed to integrate with a standard office desktop height of approximately 30 inches - which lies within the proper range of ergonomic desktop heights (CPT, 2022) - my inclination is to fabricate a supplementary desktop of about 6 inches high with adjustable feet that will allow me to fine-tune the working height upward by about an inch or so.

The other refinements that I plan to integrate into the supplementary workbench are:

- Side rails, because they help (a little) to keep "pinging" parts from flying too far away
- Front Groove, because it will stop tools from rolling off the front

g.
----

 

REFERENCES

CTP (2021), WHAT IS THE BEST ERGONOMIC DESK HEIGHT? [Online] Available from: https://controlphysicaltherapy.com/what-is-the-best-ergonomic-desk-height (Accessed 2022-08-21).

de Carle, Donald (1981), CLOCK AND WATCH REPAIRING, 2nd Ed., London: Robert Hale. 

Sweazey, Thomas B. & Sweazy, Byron G (1963), Master Watchmaking: A Modern, Complete, Practical Course, TOOLS and MATERIALS of the Trade), Chicago:  Chicago School of Watchmaking.

 

Edited by Gramham
Reference adjustment
Link to comment
Share on other sites

My traditional bench is 38". I also use a motorized sit/stand worktable, it allows me to move from microscope height to loupe height with relative ease.

38" is pretty much the standard in the U.S. for the traditional watchmaker bench.

Chair height should be adjusted for the user so that feet are more or less flat on the ground.  Workbench height should be such that you can comfortably rest your arms on the bench top, while holding tools, parts, etc. This makes for more stability. The work should only be about shoulder height or above,  you do not want to be hunched over while working, just looking down a bit.  At least this is what works for me.

IMG_20220821_083010.thumb.jpg.b1e9da4802e77fa7a0b7d6edf8d1ae3f.jpg

IMG_20220821_083043.thumb.jpg.8d9ad7ca61486463b087056b1c94a078.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have the identical bench to dadistic that I brought over from the States (many years ago). I always found it quite low, so I found a Bergeon top like in this post, which took it from 38" to 42". I just checked a couple other benches in my shared workshop; old Bergeon with arm rests, 38"; new Bergeon with armrests (on blocks to raise to 40"), ex-watch school bench with armrests, 38" on blocks to hit 40". So it does seem that somewhere in the past 38" became a standard somehow.

 

The two 40" benches are used by folks around 175cm tall (5'8"). I'm 183cm, 6ft (using the 42" high bench).. I use a doctors stool on wheels that's easily adjustable in height at my bench. The general rule I learned early on was to find a bench height/ seat height combo that keeps your back straight and your thighs parallel to the ground. I will often vary my seat height depending on what I'm doing, or just to vary things. Would be nice to have an adjustable height bench too.

 

I have two microscopes set up, one on a set of drawers 32" high, that I can straddle, and can roll right to it keeping my regular stool height. The other has a dedicated chair and sits a little higher.

 

 

20220821_160700.jpg

Edited by nickelsilver
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.



  • Recently Browsing

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Topics

  • Posts

    • These are the places where I oiled with HP 1300...  These are the places where I oiled with HP 1300...  I can see that the cannon pinion is moving as it should once I installed the pallet fork. I created a small video but was not able to upload it. It is a mov file type. I need now to source a GR4014X mainspring, a stop ever #9433 and both calendar disc as the days/dates are peeling out... This is the mido watch which holds the ETA Movement.... I just want to thanks all of you guys for your help, specially @eccentric59 who nailed it! So, I would consider this case as closed unless of course any question from any of you... Best regards Fernando     I could not download the file... I will tray to located. Many thanks. 
    • Thanks a lot everyone!  I'll update you as soon as a final decision has been made by my friend (and depending on her decision, what I may find inside). 
    • Thanks Marc, clearly I have a lot to learn about metallurgy. I’d expect the cutting of tool or spring steel to be a lot harder to cut into a precise shape- I expect I’d have to anneal it first? 
    • Unfortunately if you have used mild steel you will have little hope of hardening and tempering it, it simply doesn't contain enough carbon. You need to use a steel with a higher carbon content like tool steel or spring steel. One good source for this is engineers feeler gauges which can be picked up relatively inexpensively and provide a range of thicknesses of material. this will then harden and temper in pretty much the way you have described.
    • Thanks for this excellent tutorial and very fine illustrations @Jon! Really first class! 👍 I noticed that your image was a bit too small to read with ease, so here's a larger copy of it. I summarized @nickelsilver's method for adjusting beat errors to the following, but you can find all the info in the thread I linked to: “For everyday work, from the smallest ladies’ movements to marine chronometer, I set the balance with the cock on a bench block so the roller table is in a hole, balance on the block. Lift up the cock and move it over- not flipping it, just moving laterally, until I can see the slot in the hairspring collet, get in there and adjust (for tiny watches this is usually with an oiler, larger, a small screwdriver). Go back in the watch and check on the machine. I hold a balance arm of the rim with tweezers while moving the collet.”    
×
×
  • Create New...