Author Topic: My Atelier  (Read 12971 times)

Offline Jere

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 24
    • Adventures in Watchmaking
My Atelier
« on: November 03, 2009, 11:10:50 AM »
Since I always enjoy getting a peek into others' workshops, I thought I would give a quick overview of my micro-shop.
It is small in just about every respect, a small spare bedroom, small machines, and small work (i.e. watches).
I've been at this for about 2 years now, at least in any sort of serious sense, mostly in the wee hours of Friday and Saturday night.

There are two workbenches, the so-called machine or metalworking bench, and the 'clean' bench.

The machine bench was made for me by a local woodworker, as I wanted to maximize the available space, made to a certain height, etc, and being 'in the house' it needed to look nicer than anything I could have hacked together.



The two machines are a Cowells 90CW lathe and a Cameron 164 micro drill press.

The Cowells 90



The Cowells setup for gear cutting, using their milling attachment and index plate.



The Cameron drill press, a recent addition to the bench.



A watchmaker's bench, of traditional design so that the work is at about chest level when seated, since most work is done under a loupe at about an inch or two from one's face.


Closeup of the benchtop, on the left is the box of parts for a watch that I am in the process of making.  I am about 800 hours into it, and would say about 1/4 to 1/3 or so of the way done, however there are quite a few obstacles to overcome, but that is all part of the adventure. 


A closeup of the current noodle scratcher  :scratch:
The motion work for a retrograde hour hand mechanism, just can not seem to get the return rack quite right, but it's getting close.
 

Thanks for looking,
Jere
"If only I had known, I should have become a watchmaker."  A. Einstein

Adventures in Watchmaking

bogstandard

  • Guest
Re: My Atelier
« Reply #1 on: November 03, 2009, 11:31:42 AM »
Very nice indeed Jere. It is a lot different to my swarf infested pit.

It truly amazes me how people can get such a myriad of parts to work in unison. I have a lot of patience but not that much.

It must be great to have such skills.


Bogs

Offline Darren

  • Madmodder Committee
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3795
  • N/Wales
Re: My Atelier
« Reply #2 on: November 03, 2009, 11:41:50 AM »
What amazes me is how little room you have used for all your needs  :clap:

bet it doesn't stay that tidy for long ....  :dremel:
You will find it a distinct help… if you know and look as if you know what you are doing. (IRS training manual)

Offline kellswaterri

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 68
  • Country: gb
Re: My Atelier
« Reply #3 on: November 03, 2009, 12:34:52 PM »
Great set up there Jere...Cowells, one of the best precision lathes there is...tooling hard to find 2nd hand as I found, just having waited five months for a Cowells mill, but well worth it...now looking to set it up with dro's...best of luck with your watches,
                                                                               John.

Offline Bernd

  • Madmodder Committee
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3683
  • Country: us
  • 1915 C Cab
    • Kingstone Model Works
Re: My Atelier
« Reply #4 on: November 03, 2009, 02:31:09 PM »
Jere,

I'm a bit confused here. You say you are building a watch. Those parts look rather big to be a watch.

Now for a question, when does a watch become a clock? In other words is there a size where the name changes?

By the way nice "shop area" since it's not in it's own designated room or building. Saw all that on your web site.

800 hours into those parts alone, wow. You must have a lot of patience. I know I don't.

Keep the pics coming of how a watch is made. Thanks for taking the time to show us.

Bernd
You can't fix "STUPID".

RobWilson

  • Guest
Re: My Atelier
« Reply #5 on: November 03, 2009, 03:06:44 PM »
WOW  :bugeye: great workshop  , thanks for showing

Regards Rob

Offline Jere

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 24
    • Adventures in Watchmaking
Re: My Atelier
« Reply #6 on: November 03, 2009, 03:07:42 PM »
Yes, I should have at least said "pocket watch".  Technically it would be a pocket chronometer, in the traditional English definition.  I would say if it can be carried on one's person it is a watch, if it is stationary, it's a clock.  The gray area being Ship chronometers and carriage clocks.

As I point out on my site, I am shamelessly copying one of George Daniels designs, as I find his work to be of great inspiration (and he provides alot of details in his book  :thumbup:).  His watches, as I intend mine to be, are more like a scientific instruments that are beautifully finished. 

The movement is 58mm in diameter, the finished case will be about 60-62mm, so it is a rather large pocket watch, but the focus is to make as precise a timekeeper that I can, size/aesthetics are, in a sense, a secondary concern. 

"If only I had known, I should have become a watchmaker."  A. Einstein

Adventures in Watchmaking

Offline John Hill

  • The Artful Bodger
  • Madmodder Committee
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1977
  • Country: nz
Re: My Atelier
« Reply #7 on: November 03, 2009, 03:24:31 PM »
A most impressive set up and work Jere.  I am afraid if I should ever attempt such a project the bits would get lost in the swarf and I would never finish!
From the den of The Artful Bodger

RobWilson

  • Guest
Re: My Atelier
« Reply #8 on: November 03, 2009, 03:37:22 PM »
Hi Jere
some really fine work  :thumbup:,,,,,,,, i am a big fan of the Harrison chronometer


Regards Rob

bogstandard

  • Guest
Re: My Atelier
« Reply #9 on: November 03, 2009, 03:38:07 PM »
There is a major problem here Jere.

Quote
the finished case will be about 60-62mm, so it is a rather large pocket watch

The pockets in your waistcoat must be massive, and are you taking out a second mortgage to pay for the gold fob chain? :lol:



Bogs

Offline sorveltaja

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 317
Re: My Atelier
« Reply #10 on: November 03, 2009, 05:06:30 PM »
Really nice workshop, Jere!! I must admit, that drooling is in my mind, when looking the quality of your machines :dremel:.

Offline Bernd

  • Madmodder Committee
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3683
  • Country: us
  • 1915 C Cab
    • Kingstone Model Works
Re: My Atelier
« Reply #11 on: November 03, 2009, 06:03:16 PM »
Thanks for the clarafication Jere. I forgot about pocket watches. I have a couple. I've got one that maybe you could identify for me. I'll take some pics and post them here.

One pocket watch I cherish is the barover I have. Believe that' what they call them. Used by railroad employees. Nice watch.

The wife has several carriage clocks in her collection. Did I mention her hobby is clock collection, 100 and counting. The two I like the most are the Atmos clocks.

Bernd
You can't fix "STUPID".

Offline Jere

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 24
    • Adventures in Watchmaking
Re: My Atelier
« Reply #12 on: November 03, 2009, 06:48:10 PM »
There is a major problem here Jere.

Quote
the finished case will be about 60-62mm, so it is a rather large pocket watch

The pockets in your waistcoat must be massive, and are you taking out a second mortgage to pay for the gold fob chain? :lol:


Yes, I expect I may have to visit the tailor upon its completion (or take up sewing as well...)  :D


Thanks for the clarafication Jere. I forgot about pocket watches. I have a couple. I've got one that maybe you could identify for me. I'll take some pics and post them here.

One pocket watch I cherish is the barover I have. Believe that' what they call them. Used by railroad employees. Nice watch.

The wife has several carriage clocks in her collection. Did I mention her hobby is clock collection, 100 and counting. The two I like the most are the Atmos clocks.

Bernd

I will take my best shot at an identification, there are folks on the NAWCC board that are experts at such things.
That sounds like an impressive collection of clocks!  I restored a beautiful post WWII French carriage repeater/alarm clock for a colleague (at the day job), and had trouble giving it back, it looked brilliant as a center piece to the workbench!

A somewhat embarrassing revelation is that my original impetus into watchmaking was when I realized I could never afford the sort of watches that I coveted the most, and thought about whether it would be possible make such things, after all they're just a bunch of gears and springs, right?  I am being facetious, of course, but I was much younger and knew nothing of metalwork, let alone watchmaking.  I started reading on the subject, and eventually realized that I was more interested in how watches are made than I was in watches themselves, which I imagine this forum is one of few places where that could be understood.


Hi Jere
some really fine work  :thumbup:,,,,,,,, i am a big fan of the Harrison chronometer


Regards Rob


I agree, Harrison's works (and those Englishmen who followed him, Arnold, Mudge, Earnshaw, etc., and much later Daniels)  are the sort of makers and their time pieces that excite me the most, they were pushing the envelope of mechanical timekeeping, by scientific and theoretical methods, creating objects that were both works of art, but at the same time a novel scientific experiment.  When one considers the tools they had to work with, often handmade tools and machines, it is truly amazing. 
"If only I had known, I should have become a watchmaker."  A. Einstein

Adventures in Watchmaking

Offline raynerd

  • Madmodder Committee
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2863
  • Country: gb
    • Raynerds Projects - Raynerd.co.uk
Re: My Atelier
« Reply #13 on: November 04, 2009, 01:52:28 AM »
Jere - thanks for another insight into your shop. I do very much envy your lovely Cowells 90CW lathe with the added wheel cutting attachment. I was on the Cowells website several years ago and getting very excited about saving up for such a lathe. Needless to say, marrage, kids and a mortgage got in the way. Undetered, I am still moving forward with my Boxford Model A, Asian Clarke cl300m and Chester Conquest Mill. The equipment will surely surfice in my ambitions of firstly making a clock.

Whilest reading your site, it looked like you were using P.P Thornton wheel cutters, have you ever attempted your own single point cutter or are they too small for a watch?

Chris


Youtube: craynerd
Projects at - www.raynerd.co.uk

Offline Jere

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 24
    • Adventures in Watchmaking
Re: My Atelier
« Reply #14 on: November 04, 2009, 05:20:04 AM »
Chris,

I have not yet tried making a cutter for wheel cutting, however, I will need to for the escape wheel, since none exist for the shape I need.  That project is not too far off.
Since I had no experience at wheel/pinion cutting, and cutters were available, I made use of them.  That reduced at least one avenue for potential failure.
They are quite costly, but very well made (PP Thornton) and I expect should last for a long time. 
"If only I had known, I should have become a watchmaker."  A. Einstein

Adventures in Watchmaking

Offline raynerd

  • Madmodder Committee
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2863
  • Country: gb
    • Raynerds Projects - Raynerd.co.uk
Re: My Atelier
« Reply #15 on: November 04, 2009, 06:22:37 AM »
Jere, I was directed to P.P Thornton on the NAWCC board a while ago and then again from the yahoo group "Clockmakers". They are certainly well known for well made cutters and apparently, cutters that should outlast my time using them! I am working to a budget in some respects. I don`t mind paying for quality equipment that I can use many times but cutters seem overly expensive when you need some many and different ones for clocks built. I worked out it would cost me £208 plus VAT and Postage for the cutters for this one clock alone. I`m going to have to give single point cutters a trial as you may have seen in my thread in the project logs or my blog: http://clockbuilding.blogspot.com

I look forward to reading your documentation for cutting your escape wheel and making the cutter.

If you could spare some time, I would be infinitely grateful if you could tell us a little more about the Jacots Tool and how it is or can be used. I am currently reading three clock building books and various sources on the internet and all go into some detail about its use but I still can`t see exactly how it is used.

Just curious, perhaps I have missed the topic when reading your site but what tweezers are you using? I am looking to purchase a pair, possibly Dumont but I am unsure which are the most suitable for clockmaking and have read various contradicting pieces.


Regards
Chris
Youtube: craynerd
Projects at - www.raynerd.co.uk

bogstandard

  • Guest
Re: My Atelier
« Reply #16 on: November 04, 2009, 10:19:22 AM »
Jere,

Quote
eventually realized that I was more interested in how watches are made than I was in watches themselves, which I imagine this forum is one of few places where that could be understood.

I honestly believe you have struck the right chord there.

I never thought about it before, but speaking for myself, and I hope the others in our mottley band, I don't think any member on here has the feeling that they are really at the top of the class in what they have decided to call their own specialisation, but everyone does have a real interest in what other people stick their fingers into.

Methinks that is why, most times, we are all wanting to learn more.


Bogs



Offline Darren

  • Madmodder Committee
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3795
  • N/Wales
Re: My Atelier
« Reply #17 on: November 04, 2009, 10:41:56 AM »
Well put John, describes me perfectly


Always ready to learn and then try to apply, though rarely could I be called a craftsman  :lol:
You will find it a distinct help… if you know and look as if you know what you are doing. (IRS training manual)

Offline Bernd

  • Madmodder Committee
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3683
  • Country: us
  • 1915 C Cab
    • Kingstone Model Works
Re: My Atelier
« Reply #18 on: November 04, 2009, 10:54:33 AM »
Jere,

I started a thread in the "General Crafts" section on the pocket watch I have. Didn't want to hi-jack your thread.

I also included a few pics of some of the wifes collection.

Bernd
You can't fix "STUPID".

Offline Jere

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 24
    • Adventures in Watchmaking
Re: My Atelier
« Reply #19 on: November 04, 2009, 01:07:40 PM »
Jere, I was directed to P.P Thornton on the NAWCC board a while ago and then again from the yahoo group "Clockmakers". They are certainly well known for well made cutters and apparently, cutters that should outlast my time using them! I am working to a budget in some respects. I don`t mind paying for quality equipment that I can use many times but cutters seem overly expensive when you need some many and different ones for clocks built. I worked out it would cost me £208 plus VAT and Postage for the cutters for this one clock alone. I`m going to have to give single point cutters a trial as you may have seen in my thread in the project logs or my blog: http://clockbuilding.blogspot.com

I look forward to reading your documentation for cutting your escape wheel and making the cutter.

If you could spare some time, I would be infinitely grateful if you could tell us a little more about the Jacots Tool and how it is or can be used. I am currently reading three clock building books and various sources on the internet and all go into some detail about its use but I still can`t see exactly how it is used.

Just curious, perhaps I have missed the topic when reading your site but what tweezers are you using? I am looking to purchase a pair, possibly Dumont but I am unsure which are the most suitable for clockmaking and have read various contradicting pieces.


Regards
Chris

To touch on some of your comments/questions...

My first choice in books on horological wheel (gear) cutting is J. Malcolm Wild's book "Wheel and Pinion Cutting in Horology."  His website is http://www.j-m-w.co.uk/contact.html.  He provides just about anything one would need to know on the subject, and gives instruction on using a bench lathe, the Myford for clock wheels/pinions and a Schaublin 70 for watch wheels, however the methods are applicable to any make.  There is a chapter on making cutters, including making multi-point cutters.  He also shows how they make them at PP Thornton, it is thirty-some steps, (as I recall) and are made from M42 cobalt HSS.  Perhaps I am naive, but seeing what's involved, I think their prices reflect the product, but it doesn't make the price any easier to swallow.  I bought them as I needed them, and do not wish to add up what they cost me in total, it may make me a little ill...  When I bought most of them the exchange rate was hovering around $2 to £1 !

Perhaps I will post the Jacot setup I made on the Gallery page and describe its use, rather than do it here.  In short, it is simply a means of supporting the pivot of an arbor or pinion on the lathe for the purpose of finishing/polishing/burnishing the surface.  There are various ways to do this without a Jacot, per se, some very experienced folks even do it by hand with a pinvise and a block of wood.

For tweezers, I am a fan of Dumont.  For clockwork, I would go with a sturdy size, say #1 or even #OO which are fairly thick, the advantage of working on clocks is that most things can be picked up in the fingers.  I use #2 for most watch parts and recently switched to Brass tweezers, which are about the size of #3, mine happen to be Peer-Vigor brand, but Dumont also makes them.  The brass is nice since it will not scratch parts and they have a slightly more delicate feel to them.  For steel tweezers, Dumont makes each size in about 4 or 5 different grades of steel, I bought the high end "Dumostar," but it is likely completely unnecessary for general work (it was one of first watch tools I ever bought).  For watches, magnetized tools can cause trouble, and their higher grade steels are non-magnetic, harder, and chemical resistant, etc.  

Jere

"If only I had known, I should have become a watchmaker."  A. Einstein

Adventures in Watchmaking

Offline CrewCab

  • Madmodder Committee
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 851
Re: My Atelier
« Reply #20 on: November 04, 2009, 02:50:52 PM »
Jere

Thanks for starting an interesting and enjoyable thread  :thumbup: ........... I'm enjoying it (and learning lot's as well)

Thanks  :beer:

CC

Russel

  • Guest
Re: My Atelier
« Reply #21 on: November 05, 2009, 12:46:51 AM »
Wow, I love George Daniels designs! I will be following your thread with great interest!

[Edit] I just took a look at your fine website http://watchmaking.weebly.com/  Your website is very impressive! Thank you for creating such a pleasing website with lots of links to great watchmaking information.
« Last Edit: November 05, 2009, 12:53:40 AM by Russel »

Offline NickG

  • Madmodder Committee
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1890
Re: My Atelier
« Reply #22 on: November 05, 2009, 05:34:29 AM »
Wow, beautiful work Jere.
 :bow:
Location: County Durham (North East England)