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  1. #1

    Default What booklets to recommand for lathe work on small clock and watch?

    Especially use of gravers, and many uses of lathes. Also learning about turning between centres would be nice.

    I have books already but they are not enough in detail. I refer to more specialized articles in greater detail that can be had bought for several dollars, like I see on ebay and here?

    What about writer called William J. Bilger who wrote many articles on learning watch repairing and clock repairing?

    Cheers, Watchfixer
    Last edited by Watchfixer; 04-29-2012 at 07:09 PM.

  2. #2
    Registered User richiec's Avatar
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    Default Re: What booklets to recommand for lathe work on small clock and watch? (RE: Watchfixer)

    What is wrong with Archie perkins book, very detailed down to cleaning the lathe?

  3. #3

    Default Re: What booklets to recommand for lathe work on small clock and watch? (RE: Watchfixer)

    Quote Originally Posted by Watchfixer View Post
    Especially use of gravers, and many uses of lathes. Also learning about turning between centres would be nice.
    Good Day!

    Unless You can get a watchmaker experienced in turning, who would teach You the basics, my advice is to get few more books and read them. Regarding the use of gravers, either the tool steel or tungsten carbide, try "Proper Use of the Watchmaker's Graver" by Homer A. Barkus. To learn how to use watchmakers turns, turning between centres, the first book to read would be "Watch and Clock Making and Repairing" by W.J. Gazeley (who BTW is showing a lot more than just turning), and the second "The Watchmaker and his Lathe" by Hans Jendritzki.

    I have books already but they are not enough in detail. I refer to more specialized articles in greater detail that can be had bought for several dollars, like I see on ebay and here?
    There are so many books dealing with watchmaker's lathes and their use, but not a single one will have all of what one may need. Unfortunately, none of the serious books do come for a few dollars.

    What about writer called William J. Bilger who wrote many articles on learning watch repairing and clock repairing?
    That question shall have to be answered by someone else, I have not seen nor read any of the articles written by late William J. Bilge.

    A word of caution though, do not expect that reading few books will provide You with what You need, it is a lot of practice and a load of swarf behind it, which combined with what You read will produce results. I would suggest that You start using your lathe by turning brass with hand graver until You get hang of it, when You learn how to turn a square shoulder, a long pivot without taper, after You master turning brass You can then continue on steel. There are no shortcuts.

    Good luck!

    Cheers

    Dushan
    >> Experience is the name everyone gives to their mistakes. << - Oscar Wilde (1854 - 1900)

  4. #4
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    Default Re: What booklets to recommand for lathe work on small clock and watch? (RE: Dushan Grujich)

    Watchfixer,
    You brought up a good point about using the hand held graver. There is very little about it in any book that I have, and none that really covers it well. I will look in Perkins book again, maybe he has more than I am thinking. But I have 30? watch repair books. None really cover it properly, considering how fundamental it is. Most books seem to suggest to keep practicing at it until you get the hang of it. Which I think is poor advice. Because if you don't understand the principles of the cutting, you are going to waste alot of time, and probably never get any good at it, and give up in frustration. Or develop poor habits. This subject could easily take 25 pages of a book to cover properly.

    I agree with Dushan, start with the Barkus pamphlet. Reprints are cheap and easily available. Might also be on line for free. It does not cover alot, but it is a start. Read what he has to say about cutters for cross slides, because the theories are the same. It is all about proper geometry, the geometry of the cutting edge of the graver to the work.

    For learning and practice use steel gravers. Biggest mistake I see people making is having way too steep of a face angle with a regular square graver. Keep it 42 to 45 degrees. Also pay close attention to the what machinists call the "clearance angle". Use less clearance angle with carbide gravers.


    For between center work, DeCarle is good. But if you are serious about it, and have a Geneva lathe with the accessories, you must buy the book "The Watchmaker and his Lathe" by Hans Jendritzki, also recommended by Dushan. I do not have the other book he advises. This book is important because it identifies what each accessory is used for, and how to use it. Their uses are usually not obvious. If you do not use the accessories for what they were designed to do, you will break the accessory or not achieve what you want. Trouble is, the book is expensive, about $125? now. Next to impossible to find used. And only about 75 pages. Good pictures and paper quality, but the binding is terrible. Expect that the book will fall apart quickly. Bought mine about 10 years ago, so maybe the they fixed that problem now.

    I don't think I have any books or articles by Bigler.

    Also, keep in mind that when making a staff, etc, you may have to resharpen the graver a couple times before the job is done. Improper geometry, combined with too fast a work speed, instantly dulls a perfectly sharp graver.

    A good way to practice is to make tools like gauges for measuring hole jewel sizes. You end up with something usefull.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: What booklets to recommand for lathe work on small clock and watch? (RE: Kevin Scott)

    25 years ago, when I got my first lathe, the only book that was recommended to me and that I could lay my hand on (surprisingly) in the local library in Nottingham, where I lived at the time, was DeCarlŤ book on lathes. One thing, however, always puzzled me: he, like a lot of watchmakers on the net now, put emphasis on using the handgraver. I can see its use for free-form turning (and have used it for that purpose), but never understood, why one would bother, if one has a cross-slide, to use it for simple cylindrical or conical items. To me it seemed to be rather a sort of token of professional pride than anything else. Or am I mistaken ?

    wefalck

  6. #6
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    Default Re: What booklets to recommand for lathe work on small clock and watch? (RE: wefalck)

    wefalck,
    Some people are in agreement with you. Especially when it comes to clock repair.
    But for me, a cross slide would really slow me down, and would not produce better results. One reason, I might use three or more different gravers for a job, and resharpen- touch up them before the job is done. Also the cross slide would get in the way of measuring. Also saves the expense of a quality cross slide.

    For me, the hand held graver gives me speed, flexibility, precision, and finish quality that I could not get with a cross slide doing watch work. But then again, some would say the opposite.

    I think it depends partly on how the individual likes to go about things. I don't think there is a definitve answer. Both side have valid arguements.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: What booklets to recommand for lathe work on small clock and watch? (RE: wefalck)

    Quote Originally Posted by wefalck View Post
    25 years ago, when I got my first lathe, the only book that was recommended to me and that I could lay my hand on (surprisingly) in the local library in Nottingham, where I lived at the time, was DeCarlŤ book on lathes. One thing, however, always puzzled me: he, like a lot of watchmakers on the net now, put emphasis on using the handgraver. I can see its use for free-form turning (and have used it for that purpose), but never understood, why one would bother, if one has a cross-slide, to use it for simple cylindrical or conical items. To me it seemed to be rather a sort of token of professional pride than anything else. Or am I mistaken ?

    wefalck
    Wefaick
    While I am no fan of cross slides, I have to agree with you on machining parts. Personally I prefer small machine type lathes with more accurate and stable carriage/cross slide arrangements along with the many other capabilities they offer. Especially if a part requires dimensional accuracy where calibrated handwheels offer greater accuracy/ efficiency.
    In the early years, I did use a watchmakers Lathe and a Graver. If it works for what is required then it works as others have mentioned. But at least by my hand, I found both to be limiting in regard to practical capabilities.

    A couple examples are as follows.

    The first photo shows a basic custom fit Patek 1559 crown that I machined from stock in about four minutes as a demo at a recent Lathe class. Final fitting required shorting the post slightly not included in the four minutes.

    The second Photo shows a single point threading setup used to chase a damaged Rolex 1500 case thread. The third photo shows a spring used to load the threading system assuring accurate location setup of the tool tip and accurate repeatable threading. (Thought it might be of interest)

    Again personally, I could no longer imagine being without these and many other capabilities that were not practical with my watchmakers Lathe.

    Jerry Kieffer
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails DSCN4149.jpg   DSCN4820.jpg   DSCN4821.jpg  

  8. #8

    Default Re: What booklets to recommand for lathe work on small clock and watch? (RE: Jerry Kieffer)

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Kieffer View Post
    In the early years, I did use a watchmakers Lathe and a Graver. If it works for what is required then it works as others have mentioned. But at least by my hand, I found both to be limiting in regard to practical capabilities.
    Good Day Jerry!

    There are several issues which dictate which method is to be used to turn the balance staff. Watchmakers' lathes were always expensive thus a lot of watchmakers used the turns only. Many of them could barely afford basic lathe with a plain tail stock, a set of collets, shellac brasses and perhaps a face-plate. Most of the time, for most watchmakers, cross slide was a luxury. Another issue was the matter of habit, once used to efficiently turn with a hand graver it was difficult to do it any other way.

    I do not think that we need to call out the cost of modern watchmaker's lathes or their accessories.

    Nowadays, cost set apart as people mostly buy used watchmaker's lathes, the choice of turning method is mainly a matter of individual's dexterity and personal preference. For example I can turn a balance staff either way, but I prefer to do it using T-rest and hand graver.

    Again personally, I could no longer imagine being without these and many other capabilities that were not practical with my watchmakers Lathe.
    I do not disagree, I too have and use several lathes, watchmaker's as well as toolmaker's, many jobs I would not attempt doing with a watchmaker's lathe either. However, we need to acknowledge that most people have only a watchmaker's lathe with a limited number of accessories, most often without cross slide, and perhaps not even the means to grind cutting tool to a required shape. Not to mention the majority of members on this list who are either collectors or retirees who are hobbyists, at the best, they have no justification to invest in expensive tools even if they can afford them.

    Also, consider equipment that You own and kind of work which You do as opposed to the majority on this list.

    Cheers

    Dushan
    >> Experience is the name everyone gives to their mistakes. << - Oscar Wilde (1854 - 1900)

  9. #9
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    Default Re: What booklets to recommand for lathe work on small clock and watch? (RE: Dushan Grujich)

    I have considered already all those pros and cons, but to me somehow the graver always appeared to be an anachronism in the days when even actually 'amateurs' can afford a slide-rest. It is somewhat strange that it survived for some 150 years after Maudslay invented lathes with a leadscrew.

    wefalck

  10. #10

    Default Re: What booklets to recommand for lathe work on small clock and watch? (RE: wefalck)

    Quote Originally Posted by wefalck View Post
    I have considered already all those pros and cons, but to me somehow the graver always appeared to be an anachronism in the days when even actually 'amateurs' can afford a slide-rest.
    Good Day!

    Well, by the same token the mechanical watch is also an anachronism but it is still being produced and is selling quite well judging by the prices paid for them.

    I will advocate neither method of turning, as I use both, except when turning a single balance staff. When one turns a staff, which is less than 3 mm (0.120" ) in length, using cutter mounted in tool post on a cross slide it tends to be overkill, in my opinion. If I had to turn hundreds or more staffs I would consider completely different approach, but for a single staff, of one type, I shall stick to the T-rest and a hand graver. Complete job, from a piece of blued steel wire to finished staff ready for riveting, usually takes less than thirty minutes including finishing pivots in Jacot lathe.

    Try it once, perhaps You shall see the difference.

    Cheers

    Dushan
    Last edited by Dushan Grujich; 05-01-2012 at 06:35 AM.
    >> Experience is the name everyone gives to their mistakes. << - Oscar Wilde (1854 - 1900)

  11. #11
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    Default Re: What booklets to recommand for lathe work on small clock and watch? (RE: Dushan Grujich)

    Quote Originally Posted by Dushan Grujich View Post
    Good Day Jerry!




    I do not disagree, I too have and use several lathes, watchmaker's as well as toolmaker's, many jobs I would not attempt doing with a watchmaker's lathe either. However, we need to acknowledge that most people have only a watchmaker's lathe with a limited number of accessories, most often without cross slide, and perhaps not even the means to grind cutting tool to a required shape. Not to mention the majority of members on this list who are either collectors or retirees who are hobbyists, at the best, they have no justification to invest in expensive tools even if they can afford them.

    Also, consider equipment that You own and kind of work which You do as opposed to the majority on this list.

    Cheers

    Dushan

    Dushan

    You and I as well as others have developed our own methods of doing things over many years. As long as we are satisfied with the results and capabilities, there is no need or advantage to change a thing. However, I suspect most of us with many years experience have long forgotten the challenges that we faced when we started.
    I also may have a little different perspective since spending several weekends a year with horological students. These students range from experienced professionals to the beginning hobbyist. The most common concern is not the cost of equipment, but achieving the ability to do what they need to do in the shortest amount of time because of the value of time in todays world.
    In the old days time was very cheap and equipment was very very expensive as you have already mentioned. Unfortunately in todays world time is very expensive and equipment is inexpensive in comparison.
    Over the years, Horological manufacturers have proven that the most efficient method of producing parts was/is to machine them. The additional benefit was the limited amount of skill required to operate the machines compared to traditional watchmaking repair methods. They of course were unable to hire enough naturally talented highly skilled and efficient workers to do it any other way.
    Unfortunately, highly accurate and versatile equipment to produce watch parts in this manner has not been commonly available at reasonable prices until the last 20 years or so.
    In class, I cover machining methods for all to evaluate and consider as an option for those who do not have the time or God given talent to master traditional methods.

    Jerry Kieffer

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