It's coming up alright. The drawings are pretty much done and, with a bit of luck, we will start machining the first parts on Wednesday so stay tuned.
Monday, May 28, 2018
Friday, May 25, 2018
For those of you who are following the progress of the workshop, after about a week of not making any measurable progress whatsoever, Josh and Andrew programmed and machined the balance cock. What makes this project special is that for the first time we are able to directly transfer a machined component from the mill to EDM wire cutter and then back to mill without loss of accuracy. In other words, you can use Machine A, Machine B and then go back to Machine A all on the same component. We are also able to prototype components of a thickness below 0.3 of a millimetre, which is the thickness of the balance wheel cock at the point where it receives the incabloc jewel. Stay tuned for more updates.
If you missed the video we talked about last week that NYC CNC recorded while setting up the workshop a few months ago, here is the link:
Monday, May 21, 2018
Earlier this year, while we were literally unpacking and setting up our newly-arrived machinery, Josh and Andrew got a knock on the door from a young American who happened to be in Sydney. His name is John. About 10 years ago, he got excited about CNC machining and bought a tiny mill which he then installed in his even tinier New York apartment. He started video recording his journey and sharing it on YouTube. Today, he is probably the most influential CNC YouTuber with a quarter of a million subscribers. John now runs his own CNC workshop but continues to tour the US visiting various manufacturers and sharing their stories.
Josh simply could not say no to John - so he invited him into our small workshop. The video itself is an amazing story of what happens when two young people, crazy about precision machining, bump into each other.
I am sure you will enjoy it.
Friday, May 18, 2018
Another busy and productive week. The current 'release' is 2.01 which means we have now moved to top movement layer:
- train / barrel bridge designed and milled
- bridge adjusted to height and jewelled
- successful test run, correct amplitude and timekeeping
In this phase we are slowly moving away from Unitas 6498 design and away from direct compatibility. In other words, we are no longer cloning but also 'genetically modifying'.
There is still more to be done at the top layer: drilling and tapping for the crown wheel and click /click spring, as well as milling the channel for the sliding pinion. We expect to continue further as soon as we receive a few more tools and tool holders from the land of Heidi.
Obviously we are not focusing on finishes - the mechanism is still in its 'raw' form.
Very pleased to note that our project is generating a considerable amount of interest primarily from fellow European watchmakers and machinists. Can't ask for more!
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Thursday, May 10, 2018
This is probably the third or even fourth post on 102 - the most agonising tool acquisition since we decided to get into watch manufacturing. Full credit goes to a handful of subscribers who, despite my own doubts, remained stubbornly supportive and pointed out the obvious: while 102 costs more than a mid-class European sedan, it will not only pay itself off but it will outlast 5 cars.
Yet it was only after we unpacked the lathe that we were blown away with its beauty.
And I am not talking here merely about the quality of workmanship, the lack of backlash, or the way various attachments fit perfectly into each other. It is the very maturity of the Schaublin lathe that will impress any keen machinist: after 100 years of development, 102 has reached the stage where
there is really nothing that could have been done better, simpler, more accurate or more beautiful. We could hear its voice: "I, the tool, was here decades before your grandfather, making watch and clock parts. And I am here to stay, to outlive you and your apprentices. Respect me, take good care of me, learn how to play me and play with me - and you will be amazed."
In a way, my mission is accomplished. We got the Stradivarius - and we are now ready for an Aussie Paganini to play on it.
Thinking of becoming a watchmaker's apprentice? More than ever, we are looking for enthusiastic, keen and talented kids to join our project in January 2019. Time to apply - is now.