Dang carbides..!

Discussion in 'Watch Repair' started by RJSoftware, Dec 29, 2015.

  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  1. RJSoftware

    RJSoftware Registered User

    Apr 15, 2005
    8,271
    68
    48
    Male
    Loxahatchee, Florida
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    Hello all.

    Working on my skills. Trying to fine tune my re-pivoting skills.

    I have a small pivot lathe originally designed I think to work with the mascot pivot drill bits. The tinier mascot bits I think that are HSS steel or maybe just have a degree of carbon so they can cut.

    Thing is they don't cut so well unless I soften the metal. I don't mind doing it, just not a big fan of it. I guess also I am suppose to remove the wheel and use a dog to drive it.

    I can take two different directions, I can use my mini pivot lathe to start the dimple and then chuck it up in the lathe and drill that way. Or just continue on with the pivoting lathe. Which takes considerably longer.

    If all I want is a dimple, I can do so without heating sometimes.

    Then there is carbide bits.

    I don't have to do the heating. So that part is very desirable.

    For the mini pivot lathe I cut brass inserts from some stock I have that I turn to fit for outer diameter and then use hss micro drill set to drill the destination size hole, then turn the cup to center the object arbor.

    This works well. I also made a handle to hold the mascot drill bits but I am not so thrilled with the mascot bits. As they require the piece to be heated and quite often the mascot tips bust.

    Thing is, the carbides break too.

    It's like, I can be having the greatest success only at the near end of the drilling the bit bust. Sometimes I accidentally mishandle the bit just a fraction and "tink".

    So close but so far...!

    They are not real expensive, but this is getting annoying.

    Question 1. So what do you all do to reduce the carbides from breaking?

    Next question might seem strange but here goes.

    Question 2.

    Is there a majority used size of drill bit when doing re-pivoting?

    This is two fold, drill bit size and stock size.

    What I am thinking is that I can go large and turn down easy. So if one considers most watches at 18s, 16s being the popular sizes of pocket watches and they being more often worked on,,

    Then considering the average pivot sizes of those and maybe have 2 sizes of drill and stock to cover all.

    A larger size for the big pivots (excluding barrels) and a smaller size for the balance staff. (yes I'd like to give repivoting staffs more of a try).

    Here's another point. They sell 50 packs of carbide bits in 5 size variation. So 10 of each size. If one knows the more common sizes then they could order more specifically.

    What do you think?

    RJ
     
  2. gmorse

    gmorse Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Jan 7, 2011
    10,315
    1,082
    113
    Male
    Retired from Xerox
    Breamore, Hampshire, UK
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    Hi RJ,

    If by carbide bits you mean the miniature twist drills widely available, I believe that the vast majority of these are intended for drilling PCBs, and the design of their cutting angles and flutes just isn't appropriate for hard steel. They also tend to be far too long for our purposes. I suggest either the flat "spade" pattern or "D" pattern, both in carbide if you like, and more robust than the twist types, but made for the job in hand, so a diamond wheel and/or files are required. The spade ones are available in carbide down to at least 0.4 mm, and possibly smaller if you look around.

    Regards,

    Graham
     
  3. RJSoftware

    RJSoftware Registered User

    Apr 15, 2005
    8,271
    68
    48
    Male
    Loxahatchee, Florida
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    Hey Graham.

    Yep, those are exactly what I am talking about.

    So you mean the following:

    Spade = flat both sides. Can be made from round stock. Turn to desired diameter and then grind flats longwise on opposite sides.

    Spade is pointy tip. D is round nose tip.

    I suppose these can be made from carbide twist drills. Larger ones. I need a better diamond wheel setup. One that won't flap. Although I can compensate by watching the cut, flapping makes life harder.

    The best control I have is strapping a Dremel brand (cable driven fordome like ) wheel to the cross slide. I even have a parallel bed in same vicinity of regular lathe bed. So I can carefully grind like a milling operation.

    But getting use to operating the twist drill seems easier. But I do understand what your saying.

    I looked for the carbide spade bits on ebay but did not find any yet. If you could pm me a link.

    Also found some suitable 5/64 carbide round-stock that I could make bits out of. 5/64ths fits as the guide piece does. Then I could cut a brass guide short and slip homemade spade behind it.

    I have a handle to hold the mascot bit sizes but doubt that I could get carbide round stock in that size. You see the problem now is which direction to take.

    A. Drill with pc board carbide twist bits. No heating but very brittle bits.
    B. Drill with mascot spade bits. Heating and semi brittle bits.
    C. Drill with standard twist bits. Heating and not good small size selection.
    D. Make carbide spade bits. No heating but hard to make and brittle also.


    Also keeping in mind I can oversize and turn down.
    RJ
     
  4. topspy

    topspy Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Nov 17, 2013
    585
    15
    18
    Male
    Video engineer
    Oregon
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    In the Mascot type drills, the "D" nose is for hard metal, the pointier one is for soft.

    In my experience the PCB drills with the colored plastic rings on them are 'recycles' - bits that have already been used in the PCB plant. If you break one of these off in a hole good luck getting it back out!
     
  5. gmorse

    gmorse Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Jan 7, 2011
    10,315
    1,082
    113
    Male
    Retired from Xerox
    Breamore, Hampshire, UK
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    Hi RJ,

    Carbide spade bits are sold in the UK by Eternal Tools, (no connection, just a customer), but what I mean by "D" bits are a cylindrical shaft with a hemispherical business end that has just a hair more than half its diameter ground away along its length.

    I haven't come across anyone selling this type, so it's a matter of "DIY".

    Regards,

    Graham
     
  6. Jerry Kieffer

    Jerry Kieffer Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    May 31, 2005
    2,436
    236
    63
    Male
    wisconsin
    Country Flag:
    #6 Jerry Kieffer, Dec 29, 2015
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2015
    RJ
    The first question that needs to be answered, are you serious about micro drilling :???:

    If so, Then no offense, but I need to be blunt to be helpful. First, I would need to see your current procedure in person to comment, so I will not comment on it.
    If you are indeed serious about consistent success Micro drilling, there is no free lunch. We all including myself must or have tried all of the cheap
    get lucky undemonstrated methods before we get serious.

    Successful Micro drilling is a complete process not just a drill.

    Since I work mostly on making/restoring valuable parts, mastering a consistent successful method of Micro drilling down to .001" has been a must.

    I will describe my personal method of micro drilling that I publicly demonstrate. Hopefully there will be something of use, but If not, nothing lost.

    (1) For drills above .015" I generally spot drill with carbide center drills. For below .015", I use carbide spade drills as shown in the first attached photo. They must be short flute style as shown to assure that they are rigid and will center spot. Carbide spade drills of this type are available from National Jet.

    (2) Drills must be of the highest quality designed for the application required. This is best discussed with a reputable machine tool supply house for the latest technology. For steel, they should not be circuit board drills as also mentioned by Graham.
    Personally I prefer drills similar to the .25 mm Guhring shown in the attached photo.

    (3) Once a Micro drill is selected, it will be useless unless properly utilized. You must absolutely control the feed rate and not allow it to pull itself into the metal that will overload it and cause breakage. For these reasons, I only use leadscrews when micro drilling. The leadscrew allows for very fine control and will not allow a drill to pull itself into the metal unless permitted to. To further increase feed control, I use a much larger hand wheel than came with the lathe per attached second photo. The original is shown installed, and the larger one used for micro drilling is sitting on top of the tailstock. In this specific case, the outer surface of the larger wheel must travel about .200" for each .001" of drill advancement giving absolute control.

    (4) The Lathe tailstock must be in perfect alignment with the headstock or you will in most cases destroy the drill before you get started. While some lathes are good and some are not, I now only use machines that offer adjustable alignment in all directions. In the attached photo example, the drill is held in a 1/16" Albrecht chuck so that alignment will not be compromised when mounting drills. The all direction alignment fixture can be seen behind the chuck.

    (5) speed of the drill is very critical to prevent micro drill breakage. In order for a drill to maintain its cutting edge, it must cut continuously, If it is run to fast, it will then work harden the work piece surface and destroy the cutting edge of the drill. In order to continue drilling, excessive force will be required many times breaking the drill. A micro drill will act in the same manner as a 1" drill under optical observation. Use the same cautions on both for best results. When drilling steel, micro drill speed should rarely be above 2000 RPM.

    While industry has proven many successful methods of micro drilling, interestingly, few in Horology repair actually use them.

    Jerry Kieffer
     

    Attached Files:

  7. RJSoftware

    RJSoftware Registered User

    Apr 15, 2005
    8,271
    68
    48
    Male
    Loxahatchee, Florida
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    Thanks Jerry, very informative. I never considered the bit pulling itself in and having a lead-screw controlled feed.

    As to my setup not much to show other than a small pivoting bow driven drill and a standard watch maker lathe. As to perfect centering X,Y and Z of a tailstock, well I'm not in same ball park. My quill is setup so to take dremel sized bits and the quill has some very small degree of slack and curve. Not visible by eye but under the scope I can pick a sweet spot to align and keep that spot to best of ability.

    But as to a more controlled X,Y, I have had some ideas of a solid rubber (or spring) (or rubber hose) to act as centering transmission. In short to flex and allow natural center to overcome. Once center is established that is. The tiny pivoting tool does a good job of making the dimple perfectly center.

    I can make some kind of lead screw attachment to push the tailstock quill. I have plenty of spare old micrometers that I can hack/fit somehow. I have yet to find stock same thickness as my quill, not really looked hard. But I may be able to thread a substitute quill for the micrometer control.

    Then there is just using the tiny bow drill. That might just be what I need to stick with. It's much slower but that might be the advantage needed. Slower but more control.

    The problem I find with it is that I keep my hand from accidentally exerting sideways pressure and snapping the carbide bit. It's happened a couple of times.

    I could buckle down and concentrate harder, maybe by keeping wrist on table for steady. Or mechanically overcome. And to that I was thinking about some device to spring load the feeding of the bit. But even then the bit has to be removed occasionally to remove swarf. So maybe that would not work.

    The other option that seems to be overlooked here is the heating. If I do that I can easily cut with standard mascot bits and not suffer such touchy brittle situation as carbide.

    Just hate to remove a gear/pinion if I don't have to. In my heating attempts I have success but not sure the damage done to the brass but seems softer. My understanding of brass is quick cooling softens. So having to soften the steel and maintain the brass together is a bit of a situation AND not wanting to separate them is problem. Although still functional.

    The next step I think will be to check out your all's leads to bits. See what I can adapt to.

    Any and all comments appreciated.
    RJ
     
  8. RJSoftware

    RJSoftware Registered User

    Apr 15, 2005
    8,271
    68
    48
    Male
    Loxahatchee, Florida
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    #8 RJSoftware, Dec 29, 2015
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2015
    Thanks Graham and topspy.

    Topspy. I think I am going to try the ultrasonic to dislodge broken bit part in arbors. I will let you know. :)

    Graham. I'm impressed with tool selection just out of my current ball park moneywise. I have time so I can cut my own spades using carbide stock.

    I have the diamond impregnated disc like on the site but don't have the 8mm collet for it. I have been using the cheaper dremel types but they flap from slight uneven or unreliable square to shoulder configuration. (I said that right I think).

    I was surprised to read that spade is cut on one side past center (lengthwise understood). I would imagine half to be good enough but maybe the swarf interferes?

    I remember reading in Fried book to make spades, I forget exactly now but I know he says to narrow a bit after the head. Have to look it up again hey.

    All the little details appreciated.

    RJ
     
  9. Smudgy

    Smudgy Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    May 20, 2003
    2,816
    10
    38
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    You can soften the arbor without removing the wheel if it is far enough from the end of the arbor. Put a chunk of metal that has enough mass to hold enough heat for transfer to the arbor. If you cut a piece of roundstock so that it has a bulb on the end, then a thin neck piece, then back to original thickness, it will help keep the heat from bleeding off down into your vise. I use one that is made of 1/4" steel that works well. Chuck the piece up in a vise and heat the bulb to bright red hot, then touch the end of the arbor to it, holding it there until the blue band gets far enough down the arbor to work, but not far enough to cause trouble. At that point it should be soft enough to work on. Since the part hat has been softened won't be wearing against anything, re-hardening isn't really needed so just re-polish it when you are cleaning up the new pivot.
     
  10. gmorse

    gmorse Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Jan 7, 2011
    10,315
    1,082
    113
    Male
    Retired from Xerox
    Breamore, Hampshire, UK
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    Hi RJ,

    It's the "D" bits that are ground just as far or only a very tiny amount past the centre, the spades are as you see them on that website. (I know they're not cheap, but you get what you pay for, as per Jerry's wise comments).

    I use an old soldering iron with a substantial copper head (slotted to hold the part concerned) to apply heat more controllably.

    IMG_1107.JPG

    Regards,

    Graham
     
  11. Jerry Kieffer

    Jerry Kieffer Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    May 31, 2005
    2,436
    236
    63
    Male
    wisconsin
    Country Flag:

    RJ
    Micro drilling methods commonly suggested in the Horological repair community are typically left over from the Cottage industry days of 200 years ago. In these cases, an individual would generally perform the same procedure every day for life.
    After 30 years or so doing the same thing every day, they would get real good regardless of the method used.

    However, in a general repair setting , one would need more than several life times to master all of the skills required using these methods.
    As such, even in todays repair facilities with specialized modern equipment, repair people specialize in repair procedures.

    In the world of manufacturing, it is not practical to use these methods because of a lack of inconsistency and accuracy.
    Instead, they utilize machines that only require more like 30 minutes of training rather than 30 years.

    Fortunately, in todays world, machines are available that are versatile/accurate enough to adapt to all of the required configurations required in Horology repair at a reasonable cost.

    Until you are exposed to or experience more practical and sound methods, I suspect your rate of success will not increase unless to put in the 30 years on one item like the old timers.

    Comments per your request

    Jerry Kieffer
     
  12. David S

    David S Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Dec 18, 2011
    7,094
    186
    63
    Male
    Professional Engineer - Retired
    Brockville, On Canada
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    RJ et al, this is a great thread. I have been working on the same issues except for the scale of clock repair. I am not familiar with Mascot drill bits, so I searched and it seems that they are carbon steel not HSS unless they do make HSS and I haven't found them. I have had good luck with the larger carbide pcb bits, however the ones I purchased were new not reground.

    I did pick up some of the small spade bits, but have no idea what material they are made of.

    I have a question for Jerry if you are still watching. I have checked the backlash on my tail stock feed and it appears that the best I can adjust it is a total range of 0.004", and still have a reasonable "feel". In your picture it looked like a Sherline lathe. How much backlash if any is acceptable for this micro drilling?

    Thank you

    David
     
  13. Jerry Kieffer

    Jerry Kieffer Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    May 31, 2005
    2,436
    236
    63
    Male
    wisconsin
    Country Flag:
    David
    Actually a very good question that I have never measured.

    You are correct in that you will need some amount of backlash for free movement of the hand wheel.
    For this discussion, lets define Micro drilling as .030" and below. In this case, I want the drill contained so that it will not pull into the metal, however at this small, its pull while still there, will not be that great.
    The tailstock shown is actually a Sherline and has two sources of backlash. The first being between the thrust collar and the hand wheel and the next being the leadscrew/ram thread. For critical Micro drilling, I heavily lubricate both areas with SAE 50 motor oil. This eliminates backlash without effecting feel and offers more backlash resistance than required to protect a micro drill. If not so critical, I simply apply ever so slight tension on the ram with the locking screw providing the same effect as far as the drill is concerned.

    Jerry Kieffer
     
  14. David S

    David S Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Dec 18, 2011
    7,094
    186
    63
    Male
    Professional Engineer - Retired
    Brockville, On Canada
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    Thanks Jerry,

    Also for defining Micro drilling. I seldom get down to 0.030", but do get close. I picked up a bunch of spade type bits from a chapter meeting and have never used them, since I wasn't familiar with the type. I am enclosing a photo of three of them. The smallest measures about 0.026", the middle one has 16 cast into the tip. I measure it to be about 1.6 mm.

    I know it is hard to tell from a picture, but are you able to suggest what they may be? I am going to have to get a better camera for close ups.

    I did try to drill a hole with a 0.036" version of the largest one in some mystery steel I have and was surprised that I could do it with my set up.

    David Shaver
     
  15. Jerry Kieffer

    Jerry Kieffer Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    May 31, 2005
    2,436
    236
    63
    Male
    wisconsin
    Country Flag:
    Dave
    The photo did not show up on my computer.

    Jerry Kieffer
     
  16. David S

    David S Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Dec 18, 2011
    7,094
    186
    63
    Male
    Professional Engineer - Retired
    Brockville, On Canada
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    Of course they didn't Jerry. I didn't send them :(



    small drill bits.jpg

    David
     
  17. Jerry Kieffer

    Jerry Kieffer Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    May 31, 2005
    2,436
    236
    63
    Male
    wisconsin
    Country Flag:
     
  18. David S

    David S Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Dec 18, 2011
    7,094
    186
    63
    Male
    Professional Engineer - Retired
    Brockville, On Canada
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    Ok as an update since I have never used these drills before.

    I had a few Albrecht chucks around that were just sitting on the shelf. I adapted a 10 mm chuck with an MT 2 arbor to fit my headstock spindle and used a smaller Albrecht for the MT1 arbor on my tail stock.

    Using some mystery steel in the headstock and using one of these smaller spade bits under magnification I noticed some " dancing around" as the bit approached the work piece. Slowly advancing the bit and it eventually stabilized and I proceeded to drill a deeper hole, as it seemed to find the true centre.

    Now having heard that and the importance of feed rate to avoid work hardening, should one just plunge at a specified feed rate....or "peck" by short plunging slightly and backing out to clear.. then repeat.

    RJ hope you are still with us.

    David
     
  19. Jerry Kieffer

    Jerry Kieffer Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    May 31, 2005
    2,436
    236
    63
    Male
    wisconsin
    Country Flag:
    David
    Successful Micro drilling will be based on feel and observation preferably under optics. This of course comes with at least some experience.

    An example of observation, when you see a drill jump around when it makes contact with the work piece, you have a defective drill or misalignment.
    This indicates there will be trouble ahead and should be corrected before proceeding. Another example would be drill deflection from over feeding or drill issues. Again requires correction before proceeding. This goes on and on and requires common sense plus some experience as with any procedure.

    Jerry kieffer
     
  20. RJSoftware

    RJSoftware Registered User

    Apr 15, 2005
    8,271
    68
    48
    Male
    Loxahatchee, Florida
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    Yep -never fear my threads, I have no aversion to any conversation direction, details are always good. I never know when something crops up that is good hey..! :) .

    On the clock arbors you got easier situation and more options. For starters you don't need the magic center finder as you can catch the center with the graver.

    Problems like the one you describe where the blade wobbled/danced at first then centered while not much of an issue with clock repair as there is much more tolerance than watch sized arbors.

    When the bit is not held center then the bore has more tension and is more apt to break and also widen the hole. Sometimes the arbor has very little extra diameter than the bit and ends up splitting.

    On clock pivots you can actually hold the drill bit in pin vise to the arbor and hold level by eye. The excess diameter gives enough strength that the natural centering of the turning object arbor will force the bit to eventually turn true given you follow it's path and not resist with counter pressure.

    Tools like my watch pivot drill has a guide for the bit and a form of "magic center" that forces the arbor tip to dead center.

    Carbide pc bits do an excellent job of cutting but are so dang brittle it's like trying to use a glass needle. As you describe the best method is to peck with short plunging and clearing off debree. Thing is just one little slip and it's "tink".

    I don't think it takes 30 years just to develop a method. I don't think an employer would keep somebody employed if it took them 30 years to finally master the job so they could make money. But I do understand what Jerry is saying. In other words why do things the hard way? I agree but I know this goes back to the finance for it.

    So I have to peck around this way or that way till I find something that works suitable enough for me. Always also knowing that I'm probably doing it sort of half ass wrong but making some kind of progress.

    Skill is one of those mixed up terms for me. The physical ability to do something sometimes is overcome by repetition I suppose is what most people mean. Juggling, one of those things I can't do. But if I really really wanted to I would keep trying till I could do it somewhat. And then if I really cared I would elaborate from there. Depending on how much I give a dang is proportional to the time frame that it would take for me to pick it up. In short I don't even consider the passage of time if I enjoy it.

    But it's the mental blocks that get me. When you can't perceive something repetition does squat because you wind up doing the same thing over and over the wrong way.

    This is one of the problems of being a fly by the seat of my pants kind of get r done now kind of guy. I know, non traditional non horo schooled type. But I would have enjoyed it most definite (more so in the past then now in my present condition).

    A mental block for me is where you hit the wall of the total inconceivable. Piano is one. I can rub my belly with one hand and pat the top of my head with the other just fine. But add progression to both hands and the brain stops. I can switch back and forth in a singular thought process and maybe I can play chop sticks.

    But I do have awe and wonder how others can do that. Maybe they have abilities to divide their minds like a psycho. The left hand do what the left hand do, the right hand do what the right hand do, and me I'm the crazy man with the big smile on his face in da middle.

    It must be freaky, say like your concentrating on something the right hand is suppose to do and you look and see the left hand doing what it's suppose to do without telling it to...!!!

    Doo do ddoo doo dooo ddo (twilight zone music theme).

    Anyway, sorry I got side tracked. See I told you don't worry.

    This is RJ signing out for the night past my bedtime and it's 2016. Yeah. another year...!!!
     
  21. David S

    David S Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Dec 18, 2011
    7,094
    186
    63
    Male
    Professional Engineer - Retired
    Brockville, On Canada
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    RJ. I wish there were more folks contributing to your Thread.

    You are certainly correct regarding the scale of clock arbors vs watch arbors and the size of drill bits etc. However as I start to progress down to smaller diameter pivots they are getting closer to the larger sizes of watches or pocket watches, hence my interest.

    I appreciate Jerry's wisdom in all of this and other posts. Sometimes it sounds like it is just get the right equipment, tooling, cutters, plug them all in and do it. But I think there is some aspect of "experienced feel", if I can use that.

    When I mentioned that my bit was "dancing around", I understand that perhaps something is not truly centred, however after a number of experiments, I have found that if I am gentle and keep trying, the bouncing around will settle down such that I see no run out under magnification, and I get the nice hole that I desire. Having said this, I haven't tried it with 0.5 mm bits.

    Should this thread gain more traction regarding drilling small holes for watches, perhaps you could agree to having the title updated to reflect the content.

    Happy New Year

    David
     
  22. Skutt50

    Skutt50 Registered User

    Mar 14, 2008
    3,374
    87
    48
    Male
    Gothenburg
    Country Flag:
    OK here are my two cent's worth!

    I think I understand where you are. My experience is that when you go down in size and try to drill a smaller hole the "small dancing" you notice with the larger drills will be about the same, but the drill being much smaller will see it differently. A dance of some 0,2 mm will mean a lot more to a 0,2 mm drill than to a 1 mm drill......

    Also if you use stiff, hard drills these will break very easily. The harder the drill, the easier it will break! Specially when the hole gets deeper and the drill tip can't "dance" any more.

    When I drill small holes in steel I turn the lathe by hand and I push the drill bit by hand. The slow turning and hand held drill bit gives me nice control over the progress. Whenever the drill want to bit into the material I can stop and reverse, before the drill breaks.

    I have a number of drills but I usually use the spiral carbide drills when drilling in steel.
     
  23. Jerry Kieffer

    Jerry Kieffer Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    May 31, 2005
    2,436
    236
    63
    Male
    wisconsin
    Country Flag:
    David
    I should first clarify that my comments in this thread have been limited to the use of micro carbide drills in a Lathe. Other equipment and types of tooling will of course can be quite different. If you enjoy skill development, then of course doing things by hand will certainly keep you occupied . If you do not have time or enjoy skill development, then you can assign capabilities to proper equipment greatly reducing skill development but not eliminate it as in industry.

    If the tip of a drill moves when making contact with a work piece, one or all of the following items are probably in play.

    (1) equipment is poorly aligned.

    (2) drills are not properly center ground.

    (3) Work piece was not spot drilled

    (4) Drill spot is not of the same angle as the drill.

    (5) Using drills that are not designed for the materials being drilled

    While you can get lucky occasionally with larger tooling, you quickly learn that micro tooling is not forgiving. For example, if any of the above items are an issue, a .010" carbide spade drill will disappear so fast with contact, that you will have no time to figure out what happened.

    Jerry Kieffer
     
  24. DeweyC

    DeweyC Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Feb 5, 2007
    1,464
    378
    83
    Watchmaker
    Baltimore
    Country Flag:
    Two glasses of wine and I decided to comment. Hope this makes sense.

    Jerry has laid the groundwork that some things simply cannot be done without proper equipment. His comments are absolutely correct about drilling hardened steel. Carbide is required and unforgiving. He uses Sherline, i use WW; but we both are using equipment that is up to the job. Jerry's advice is to go with new Sherline rather than try to find WW you can trust. This is well worth considering. My current ww lathe is my third or 4th WW; and it was bought when equipment was plentiful. I would hate to be looking for a good WW today. In fact, that is why for years I repivoted by annealing the arbor and then using a steel drill in a pinvise. I did not have a tailstock that was aligned.

    FWIW, there used to be a guy on eBay from China who sold true twist drills in carbide down to 50/100mm. I bought them in a series from 50/100 to 2.00 mm and they are e very bit as good as any drill we used in Switzerland. I also use 20/100 mm ckt bd drills when needed.

    BUT, you need to face the end of the arbor and cut a true female center for starting the drill; especially carbide which breaks the instant it starts to wander. To cut a female center in hard steel you need a carbide graver, which means the equipment to shape and maintain them (I make my gravers and slide rest cutters out of broken carbide ckt board drills and micro mills).

    If you do not have the needed equipment, then you must learn how to anneal the arbor without burning the rest of the pinion. You can then drill with steel drills which are more forgiving (I taught people how to drill with a steel drill in a handheld pinvise). But you STILL need to master cutting a female center in the face of an arbor. You can use a steel graver; but you still need to learn how to shape and sharpen it. And many people wind up buying a GRS graver sharpener (more equipment) rather than deal with the skill of hand sharpening a graver (which makes sense if you have the money). Preparing a graver by hand is boring, time consuming and a bear to master.

    Getting a truly flat face on the graver and then polishing it to remove all the stone scratches is more than I choose to put up with. I bought an industrial diamond tool grinder that is precise and leaves a highly polished face on my carbide. Before I found that I used a Deckel SO tool grinder. With these grinders a cutter can be prepared or touched up in in a couple minutes instead the 20 to 30 minutes required doing a steel graver by hand. Before the SO i had the GRS system.

    JNow you know that I find hand sharpening gravers very onerous. I would rather spend the money on the equipment and get to the job at hand; and my business can pay for my laziness. It an't bragging, it is a confession.

    Most likely you do not have that luxury. You have to master the whole steel graver prep thing.

    So, the first task is to learn basic turning; maybe take a class. Master graver prep and maintenance and how to cut true female center (one that goes down to a true tip in the bottom of a cone). If you have the smallest pip in the bottom of your cone, a carbide drill will break instantly and a steel drill will wobble until it breaks; if you are lucky it will simply refuse to cut and you will not increase cutting pressure until the drill breaks. If you have a pip, then you must reface below the pip and cut another female center. If the drill tip and the tip of the pip (it is actually a male cone at the bottom of the female cone you tried to make), then drill cutting edges simply do not come into play. I recommend learning this skill in a brass face plate and then moving to a piece of !/4 inch OD steel and working your way down.

    There simply is no short cut or trick; it is a matter of skill mastery and choosing an approach based on the equipment you have (including deciding you are not correctly equipped). BUT, you have classes available to help you master these skills.

    I taught a class once where I explained that it takes 15 years to become a useful watchmaker. A 65 year old student asked me what he was doing there. My response was that I did not know. He then chose to argue with me that he expected to be a skilled restorer within 5 years. I went through the timeline with him and he acknowledged he did not have the time left to achieve his goal. He left the course. BTW, useful was defined as someone capable of machining new parts from broken samples, returning pieces to original performance standards, etc.

    My point is, there is a reality to this stuff. Jerry is simply being honest; perhaps brutally so. But he and I both have enough years behind us to know we do no one any favors by being less than honest.

    Whether you use Sherline or WW, repivoting is a basic skill that requires the correct equipment for the approach you want to use, and basic turning skills if you use WW.

    Not sure how Jerry spots the micro drill on the Sherline. Jerry, on a hardened arbor that sticks out from the collet, how do you face a 75/100 mm arbor and then cut a female center (carbide spotting drill?). Cutter prep, cutter height, etc are just as essential with slide rest as is graver prep and presentation if you are not going to break the hardened arbor. Maybe more so since you can't adjust on the fly.
     
  25. David S

    David S Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Dec 18, 2011
    7,094
    186
    63
    Male
    Professional Engineer - Retired
    Brockville, On Canada
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    Guys thanks for all your input. And please every one continue to be "brutally honest". This is RJ's thread, but I am very interested in mastering the skill of drilling small holes in arbors.

    I hope Jerry answers Dewey's last paragraph.

    RJ as people continue to add to this thread, do you think it would be prudent to have a moderator change the title to something that represents techniques for drilling small holes in arbors?

    David
     
  26. DeweyC

    DeweyC Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Feb 5, 2007
    1,464
    378
    83
    Watchmaker
    Baltimore
    Country Flag:
    One more thought on the subject. SPEED; Americans do everything too fast on the lathe. Whether turning or drilling.

    With micro drilling, the speed is extremely slow. Frequent removal of the drill to remove swarf (even carpenters do this in wood). Light lube (saliva). If any small drill catches because of swarf or no lube, it will snap. Sped barely above stall speed of the motor. And on a WW I never use the lever feed tailstock; everything is done with the plain collet holding tailstock. Much better feel.

    Who cares if it takes 5 minutes to drill a hole for a new pivot?

    As for turning, there are times I turn the headstock by hand while cutting.
     
  27. Jerry Kieffer

    Jerry Kieffer Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    May 31, 2005
    2,436
    236
    63
    Male
    wisconsin
    Country Flag:
    #27 Jerry Kieffer, Jan 2, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2016
    Dewey & David

    My personal procedure for micro drilling is covered in post# 6 of this thread.

    however, work piece facing was not. If it is close to the collet and rigid, I simply face it off with a factory stock E-4 brazed carbide tool.
    If it extends out beyond rigid and stable for its size, I stone the end with a long skinny square fine grit stone. Facing typically causes a fair
    amount of stress that is eliminated for the most part with the stone. If stability is questionable and a part must be faced, the Watchmakers lathe with oil film bearings will have a slight advantage. The oil film will give ever so slightly if a hard spot is hit. However, when catching a center under load, this will have little to no impact.

    In this case, spotting with a spotting or short spade drill will have great advantage because no side to side load is applied if you have proper alignment.

    I recently publicly demonstrated this at a model Engineering show as follows.

    (1) I first, machined a .45mm (.018") x 20mm (.800") long shaft or pivot or whatever you want to call it per the first photo.

    (2) It was THEN spot drilled and a .12mm (.005") hole was drilled down the end second attached photo. (On the edge of the coin)

    (3) A short rigid spotting spade drill was used to spot the work piece and then a long flute spade drill to drill the hole per the third photo.
    The long flute on the drill for drilling will "give" ever so slightly with out breaking giving a little extra protection from drill breakage. In this unstable work piece example, both drills have the same tip angle assuring that the drill will drill centered to the spot. Since the unstable shaft ran true before spotting, a centered spot was assured because of no side to side stress. Under normal more stable conditions, the procedure is as accurate as can be accomplished as proven by industry everyday. The only skill required is the proper selection of equipment/tooling and the ability to turn a hand wheel.

    Jerry Kieffer
     

    Attached Files:

  28. DeweyC

    DeweyC Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Feb 5, 2007
    1,464
    378
    83
    Watchmaker
    Baltimore
    Country Flag:
    Got it. Thanks.

    Which ever way aspiring restorers want to go, basic skills need to be mastered. As we discussed in the past, using a Sherline or WW is of no concern to the piece; but you have to master the skills needed for the approach to be used. It is much more than intellectualizing about it; skill is the ability to take cognitive knowledge and make it happen in your hands. It is very challenging but people have been doing it since time began.

    I gotta say Jerry, I do not like "facing" with a stone; too much chance of getting a convex surface. On a piece that you have one shot at (say a chronometer escape wheel pinion), I want a flat or slightly concave face to work with. Maximizes the chance of getting the female center right the first time.

    Not a critique, just a personal preference/observation based on my abilities and equipment. In the micromaching course a lot of time was spent teaching us how to get flat faces and square shoulders with the graver. So I can do it very little effort.

    BUT, the reader has to decide which way to go, commit to that way and learn the skills needed to make that way work. I am convinced you cannot straddle a fence without getting hurt.

    I think the Sherline equipment is excellent and very inexpensive when compared to trying to tool up with a WW lathe. I use the mill quite a bit and I like the fact that any needed accessory is available at a lower cost than it takes to make it yourself. I skelentonized the Elgin 37500 dial on the Sherline (http://www.historictimekeepers.com/preproduction_display_cased_3750.htm). I even use the Sherline mill to rough out my spring detents for chronometers.

    And whatever approach someone wants to choose, the Sherline books are an excellent source for learning about micro machining and precision setups. They were invaluable to me when I got serious.

    I personally like the intimacy of the WW. I can get right on the work and see what I am doing (although I can no longer focus through a 10X loupe on most days).

    The major drawbacks I see for younger people is finding good WW equipment at a reasonable cost, and mastering graver prep. You either develop skill or buy the needed equipment for grave prep. Even with a Crocker jig there is much to master. In school we finished the graver by polishing it in diamond paste on the granite plate on the GRS sharpener. Good graver results require a perfectly flat face the best finish possible on the graver!

    If they go Sherline, there is a suite of other skills that need mastering. But the equipment is readily available and model makers have proven time and again the skills can be mastered. Teachers for WW techniques are hard to find.

    So folks, if you are having difficulties, you are not unique. It takes the right equipment, knowledge and skills; hopefully someone who can position your hands or look over your shoulder. It truly is not easy until you mastered it.

    Keep plugging at it and get the best instruction available.
     
  29. David S

    David S Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Dec 18, 2011
    7,094
    186
    63
    Male
    Professional Engineer - Retired
    Brockville, On Canada
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    Thanks again Jerry and Dewey.

    I am afraid that I am in the engine lathe or machine lathe rather than the WW lathes with a graver. Never used a graver and don't even know anyone around here that could be a mentor.

    I think it will be helpful to this thread to add some sources for appropriate micro spotting bits and spade bits. I checked National Jet, but it looks like you have to contact them as I couldn't find any bits listed on their site. I don't have a good experienced source of local machine tool knowledge. My local guys have catalogues of stuff, but they have no idea where most of the stuff comes from.

    In my case I would like to find sources for spotting bits in the above 0.030" diameter, same for suitable bits.

    Jerry in your last post how did you support the .8" small diameter arbor that you machined for drilling? Was it chucked up close in a collet?

    David
     
  30. Jerry Kieffer

    Jerry Kieffer Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    May 31, 2005
    2,436
    236
    63
    Male
    wisconsin
    Country Flag:
    Dewey
    As you mentioned, its all about the equipment that choice to use.

    Work pieces that are mounted secure enough to be faced with a Graver, can just as easily be faced in a machine lathe probably even easier if one is unskilled. As you mentioned, a convex surface is not ideal for catching a center with a graver, but less of an issue with a spotting drill.
    On hard surfaces that need to be polished, I prefer a very fine stone if they only require a slight amount squaring up to be flat. The finish from the stone will greatly minimize the time required for the polishing. If freehand work will duplicate the original in unstable situations, I use it.
    If it must be perfection, I simply use my ball bearing file and stone rest with a square stone as in the attached photo. These items were simple to machine in the Lathe. Damaged stone for illustration only.

    David
    The .45mm shaft was cut in steps held in a WW collet.
    Spotting and center drills are available from machine tool supply houses. Just call and explain what you are looking for. Examples are Travers, MSC, Enco etc.
    In addition, I WOULD NOT suggest that you purchase any carbide spade drills for drilling in hard steel, until you have mastered unhardened steel with less expensive HSS and carbon spade drills. These drills are readily available as pivot drills from Time Savers.

    Jerry Kieffer
     

    Attached Files:

  31. RJSoftware

    RJSoftware Registered User

    Apr 15, 2005
    8,271
    68
    48
    Male
    Loxahatchee, Florida
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    #31 RJSoftware, Jan 4, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2016
    I don't know why but I just don't see eye to eye with allot of what you guys say about the time required to pick up these skills.

    I just feel like where talking apples and oranges here. Where if I manage to get the job done I am happy and so I would be able to charge for my services if need be.

    One thing I wanted to delicately touch on in your guys replies that is a little disturbing is the "brutally honest" sentimentality. I will call it that for language sake.

    The thing is that I am enjoying myself in this exploration. Well when one of you says that it's going to take a hundred million years to do what your thinking of doing...

    Well a little evil leprechaun snickers a bit. He sits on my shoulder and whispers little nasty things to say but I just ignore him. This subject is really non personal and just as subjective as any other. A million ways to skin a cat so I make no objections. So I tell my little leprechaun to shut up and he disappears.

    I understand how the fascination of a thing can wear off after a while. See, I'm still stoked a bit about turning under a binocular microscope. I still love it.

    And this micro drilling. I have accomplished a couple of task already. I love it too. It is fun..!!!

    So you may be thinking in terms of efficiency and accomplishments and monetary gain. Well, I don't think so much like that.

    My accomplishments have been book and internet only. No mentors. At one point I had looked at watch repair as a complete impossibility and have risen to the point of turning staffs and now accomplishing micro drilling.

    Am I really there? Well, kind of maybe. Lately I had a 00 lady elgin (I think as I recall) and attempted a few times to cut a staff for it and just gave up.

    I got tired. Didn't want to do it. Lost interest in it. It was a customer watch and I do trade ups for the work I do. Thing is sometimes I start to look at things as worth it - not worth it. Instead of an experience. So the arrangement I have with people makes it easy for me to hit the eject button when the experience starts to bum me out.

    So I can see how the fascination and newness wears off of this as it is work. But I still got allot of the machine romance going for me.

    Organizing seems to be the biggest problem. I just got too much stuff. I have a policy of acquisition first then sort by osmosis. So slow and painful debates on what to toss out. Value and possibilities that fight for consideration of tools I will probably never use. But just in case...

    I got to get a steam shovel and blind fold and just pile it out front in the "free for taking" so I can make progress. No peeking while I make the pile. One glance and I spend hours day dreaming of some possibility. Rats..!

    My grandfather's shed was the same way. You couldn't go out into his shed to get some item and not get lost in thought. So many things you could not believe he had. My brain would just overload and I wound up forgetting what I originally intended to get. This was pre internet era. The shed had that cold concrete floor that I never seemed to mind much. One dim light above a bench surrounded by shelving of the most mysterious tools imaginable. He started collecting back in the 30's.

    So it is a strange world of pleasures. One that I would not discourage anyone from exploring no matter how old or young or inexperienced. Just the sight and feel of the machines alone is an experience. Sometimes I even find myself just sitting and polishing/oiling some machine. I don't know why I do it sometimes. Feels like some sort of ritual I do. Tribute to some energy force.

    The bow lathe, micro pivoting lathe, turns and the Jacot are another cool experience even though they are difficult in their way. There is a pleasure in just holding the bow.

    Honestly. Just one accomplishment feels good. I don't care so much about absolute mastery or what is the reality of being masterful at the task. Each accomplishment feels good.

    When I accomplish something that at first seems like an impossibility, it gives me a high. I like it.

    RJ
     
  32. DeweyC

    DeweyC Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Feb 5, 2007
    1,464
    378
    83
    Watchmaker
    Baltimore
    Country Flag:
    RJ,

    I think we are talking past each other. Jerry and I are about attempting "perfection" in our craft. Jerry essentially wrote the book on precision machining with modern inexpensive equipment. His body of work has not been judged by himself, but by his peers to be of the highest quality. Yes, he evaluates each aspect of his work against his own standards, but the place he holds is based on the judgments of others.

    As for me, some consider me a second or first tier US watchmaker. My year in Switzerland was great, I learned that I am in fact a schmuck. I was 57 and at the peak of my career. There was a 22 year old kid in the two year course who a year earlier was working as an outdoor electrician in Canada. Never saw a Dumont tweezer in his life. Every damned tool, watch part and especially the watch of his own design he was making were simply joys to behold. And to make matters worse, he was the most generous and humble kid I ever met

    He turned down Gruebel and Forsey and went to work for a boutique finishing shop in Ireland upon graduation (http://www.forbes.com/sites/hannahelliott/2011/08/15/irelands-watchmaking-revolution-the-brothers-mcgonigle/). His name is Aaron Sauer. Look him up on facebook.

    You should be proud of what you have accomplished. No one should diminish that.

    But having been in the presence of excellence, I personally aspire to that and am willing to share with others on the same journey.
     
  33. karlmansson

    karlmansson Registered User

    Apr 20, 2013
    2,495
    84
    48
    Doctor
    Linköping, Sweden
    Country Flag:
    I've been reading this thread with interest and I have to second that.
    I think that you, RJ, are looking for a simple answer that may simply not be there. Jerry has touched upon the subject of getting it right every time several times now. Dealing with restoring, failure isn't really an option.
    But if you have spare material to go on an arbor, you may get away with spotting off center once. Or if you know that you can get a spare part if you mess up, that's a different story,

    I'm also a fan of the "making do with what you have"-approach but I've come to realize that this has limitations. And I soak up information such as the "brutally honest" stuff provided by Jerry and others to have as an ideal to strive for. Maybe I'll be able to pull it off myself one day, with the right tools and know-how! In the mean time I'll try to know my limitations and practice drilling with equipment that is less than ideal on parts where tolerances are more forgiving.

    Dealing with drilling in the tenth of a mm range appears to me as a very different world from drilling 1mm and up. So I'd take the advice here as good information rather than discouraging disclosures. Information on techniques that will lead you to success every time, not the occasional one.

    So again, thanks for a great read! This one is going in this "this will come in handy in while!"-archive!

    Best regards

    Karl
     
  34. RJSoftware

    RJSoftware Registered User

    Apr 15, 2005
    8,271
    68
    48
    Male
    Loxahatchee, Florida
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    #34 RJSoftware, Jan 5, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2016
    Simple answers are good when they do come. :)

    For me, I don't want to hear "you can't do it because...". BUT as I had expressed "all opinions appreciated".

    But as even you point out that a junior can have exceptional talent that surpasses some 30 year expectation. I understand exactly what is meant and do appreciate the knowledge of experience being shared. After 30 years of doing same thing one could do it behind the back with one arm tied etc..

    I have no issue with anybody. Just maintaining a philosophy of mine.

    The only commentary that got me was the older gentleman being told he was wasting his time. To that I say think in terms of pleasure experiences.


    Besides, I have already managed to drill the center of a minute arbor using one of the redone carbide cheapy pc board bits. A .03" inch hole. I used my mini bow driven pivot drill and adapted it with a custom magic center finder that I turned in brass. It worked.

    So reality beats cold brutal opinion. Lol...!

    I notice you guys don't mention the little pivoting tool.

    It's a cool tool for sure. For those that don't know, the secret of the little tool's ability to drill the hole exactly center is the way in which the bit is forced center and the object arbor is forced center. There is no other conclusion using this beautiful device.

    The adaption that I made was to directly take advantage of those cheap pc carbide bits. All that was needed was to turn some round stock brass to diameter of the bit holder and then drill that center with the desired carbide bit size. The pc carbide bits are made long and in this case that part helped as to reach to arbor. Simple.

    I think everybody likes the way carbide cuts. Still yes they are brittle. So yes I was fishing for a good simple answer. Oh well.

    The thing is on the one failure I almost had it done. So the cheapo pc carbide bit worked. Just I screwed up at the last second. I was thinking that maybe of using lube as I did it dry. That and they are cheap hey.

    Plus I think it busted more because I had an errant hand movement from pushing the bit in. The approach was more like shoveling as I kept removing the bit to remove the swarf and then re-insert. Toward the end I became careless.

    So I have been thinking that what I need is to devise a way to minimize my handling of the drill bit as something like a steady spring pressure that would hold the bit in a safe manner to avoid the accidental jerking hand motion where I broke the previous bit.

    To the swarf I could drill pilot hole extra small first, this would create airspace/relief for desired size and swarf not removed during process.

    But as Jerry points out the bit is also pulled into the work. So having a controlled (screw fed) feed is to be considered. So that could be the simple answer desired.

    I also want to replace the bow with a fly fishing reel. Direct drive reel. So that it's hand operated but nicer action. Just for fun of it.

    Please don't take any of my commentary as insult or lack of respect. Think of me as the devils advocate. Sometimes I just question for the sake of questioning.

    That's all I'm saying. If it amounts to pumping sunshine up my own skirt -oh well.

    RJ
     
  35. David S

    David S Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Dec 18, 2011
    7,094
    186
    63
    Male
    Professional Engineer - Retired
    Brockville, On Canada
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    RJ could you share a pic or two of the "little pivoting tool".

    Perhaps there is a bit of inventor in me, but I like trying different ways to do things based on the equipment and materials I have on hand. Having said this, I very much appreciate advice from those that have "been there done that", and have mastered the task with their choice of equipment.

    I believe that at this stage in my life I am not going to buy another lathe, so I will continue to make jigs and fixtures to assist with what I already own.

    David
     
  36. Jerry Kieffer

    Jerry Kieffer Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    May 31, 2005
    2,436
    236
    63
    Male
    wisconsin
    Country Flag:
    Dewey & Karl
    You guys are just to kind.

    Dewey
    I really appreciated the knowledge you shared when we meet very briefly. Others should be so lucky.

    Jerry Kieffer
     
  37. karlmansson

    karlmansson Registered User

    Apr 20, 2013
    2,495
    84
    48
    Doctor
    Linköping, Sweden
    Country Flag:
    RJ,
    The story of the elderly gentleman also got to me. But you have to consider it in terms of professional training. If you are aiming for proficiency at a level that will enable you to use it as your living, that is very different from doing it from pleasure.
    I'm heading into a very different field for a living than watchmaking and I'm okay with my hobby taking time to master. I find great pleasure in learning new procedures and being able to restore and refinish parts and movements, always striving to leave things better than how I found them.

    There are limits to when it advisable, or even allowed, to start an education in life. In my field (medical), where it in Sweden takes you at least 12 years from starting school until you are a finished specialist, there are some regulations as to how late in life you are actually allowed to embark on your trip to becoming a doctor. Which makes perfect sense to me. The retirement age in Sweden is 65. You sort of have to earn your keep before then, education is paid by the state and so limitations apply. Maybe the situation with the elderly horological student was different but I think it only fair to lend some perspective on the aspect of time so that people can sort their priorities out.

    It sounds to me like you are in the process of fault finding in your own process. I think several people here have given you lots of advice on the pitfalls and how to best avoid them. First and foremost by using the right tools for the job, starting with drills that are intended for use in hard steel, not PCBs. Getting a correct drill could maybe be a good and not too expensive way of starting to acquire the right tools? Because as I wrote earlier, the goal is to get it right every time and to just simply not "mess up". Right?

    Best

    K
     
  38. DeweyC

    DeweyC Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Feb 5, 2007
    1,464
    378
    83
    Watchmaker
    Baltimore
    Country Flag:
    RJ,

    You need to go back and read the post; please provide the quote to which you refer. You give the student and me too little credit. The words "wasting his time" are YOURS; not mine. I certainly will not put up with your putting words into my mouth. The fact is, once he understood it takes a couple years of opening of opening and servicing standard watches, then the time needed to decide where he wanted to go from there, then the time needed to acquire the machine tools and learn how to use them, not to mention the theory, equipment and knowledge to do precision timing, HE decided his goals were overly ambitious.

    My suggestion to you is that you pay much more attention to DETAIL. To be clear, I am quite put out by your mischaracterization of my anecdote.

    At 62 I just qualified as a Basic Wildland Firefighter. I would LOVE to qualify for western fires; but my lungs restrict me to helping with prescribed burns in meadows. If you are lucky, you will reach an age when you understand you have to start picking your goals with care. Time does run out.
     
  39. RJSoftware

    RJSoftware Registered User

    Apr 15, 2005
    8,271
    68
    48
    Male
    Loxahatchee, Florida
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    #39 RJSoftware, Jan 5, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2016
    Well ok, my apology. Just the way I took it. Thing is I sort of see myself in that guys position. My life is too long a story but accurate to say it's late in the game and I have little going my way.

    I sort of took it you where making example of the "brutally honest" sentimentality. So I guess I misunderstood. Yes, details.

    I do understand what you mean by picking the goals with care and I can appreciate that, so we have that in common.

    I hope you do well with your fire fighting position. Very honorable thing to do.

    As to me, I have always done the best I can do. I never been a slacker but as of lately things changed. I woke up one day and found it difficult to walk down the hallway to the bathroom. When I got in the shower I found I could not feel the hot water on left side of my body. Thought I had a stroke but it was a neck injury.

    Some time later after I unknowingly signed a paper agreeing to have intern do the surgery I awoke and was asked to move my right arm. Felt awkward and slow. I was told it would go away. Years later now it's the same.

    My left side has normal strength but severely numb but also burning feet. I often get fire ant bites but blissfully don't know it. My right side is weak, slow and uncooperative.

    I have a difficult time walking now and I have been denied disability. I tried only 1 time and just said heck with it. So I have been trying to find a way. Something other than doing the government cheese.

    The one thing I really dread is walking in front of other people. Everybody stares. Some people laugh or catch themselves laughing. I look ridiculous I know. That's the part of my life I hate. But I am struggling not to wind up in a wheel chair so I say F them.

    I sell at the flea market but am hoping to get enough skill going to maybe do this for a living. So you know some of us don't have much else going for them. I have people that come to me for clock and watch repairs. I don't advertise they come to me. So at least I got that.

    Honestly it seems easier just to resell things. But I do enjoy repairing. I see people making better money off of what I repair with much less effort. I know I need to charge more just wanting to improve my technique before I start advertising to genuine paying customers who pay because they want the watch/clock not the profit only.

    RJ
     
  40. DeweyC

    DeweyC Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Feb 5, 2007
    1,464
    378
    83
    Watchmaker
    Baltimore
    Country Flag:
    RJ,

    Thank you. And now it is clear why you strive so hard. I do trail work with a group of men and women in the their 50s to 80s. We watch each other age and insist on doing the work (clearing blowdowns, brush cutting, digging drains, building bridges and shelters etc). Eventually, we each have to hand over our favorite jobs to someone else. Having worked with these guys for 10 years has helped me learn how to age. But it ain't easy.

    This has been my year of finding out I am old; one system after another but nothing like you have had to face. You are a tough guy.

    Sorry if I was harsh, I did not take the time to think what your battles are. I was just hurt. This is the problem with relationships via internet,.

    Looking forward to us helping each other on the journey to excellence. No soppy sympathy/pity in this, seriously. Just an understanding tip of the hat

    Warmest regards,

    Dewey.
     
  41. RJSoftware

    RJSoftware Registered User

    Apr 15, 2005
    8,271
    68
    48
    Male
    Loxahatchee, Florida
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    Thanks Dewey.

    I review the advise and the best is Jerry's screw feed control to prevent the bit being sucked into a lock up. The other advise is the one about turning by hand at slower rate.

    That and I did not lubricate at all. For some reason, not sure if I recall correctly but someone may have advised in past that no lubrication is better because the swarf gets stuck maybe. I don't really recall just something vague.

    David S.

    Here is a link to thread about my two pivoting tools. The one with the rotating wheel I do not use. It's more for just examining the wheel as it turns. It can not serve as a drilling tool unless it was modified.

    The other tool with the 4 extra guides is the type of tool you may desire. It also has the driving pulley with hairpin designed to push the wheel from bow or other string/band arrangement.

    I plan to drive it with a fishing reel and rubber O-ring.

    https://mb.nawcc.org/showthread.php?120788-Two-types-of-pivoting-tools

    Now somewhere the question was posed, how do you get a stuck broken carbide bit piece out? I have one like that and thinking that the ultrasonic might work.
     
  42. DeweyC

    DeweyC Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Feb 5, 2007
    1,464
    378
    83
    Watchmaker
    Baltimore
    Country Flag:
    Re: Dang carbides..! (some concrete examples)

    Below are photos of three tools that will help improve your turning skills. Sorry for the quality of some of the shots, I wanted to do this but I have lots to do today and I did not want to set up the good camera. If better shots will help, I will do that but not until tomorrow.

    Also, the examples are exaggerated so you can see. But, if you use a 10X loupe you can evaluate your work very closely using these tools. A good backlight and your eye make these very sensitive assessments. Don't be afraid to spend more time checking than turning.

    A carbide tipped micrometer (Ideally electronic for rapid unit conversion), a precision ground flat and a set of feeler gauges (cheap enough to have both metric and SAE).

    IMG_2450 (Large).jpg

    Forgetting about measurement, the jaws of the carbide micrometer will reveal if you are turning a true cylinder or a taper.

    IMG_2451 (Large).jpg

    The ground steel flat will reveal if your pivot is straight, barrel shaped or concave.

    IMG_2453 (Large).jpg IMG_2454 (Large).jpg IMG_2452 (Large).jpg

    The feeler gauge is used to measure shoulder heights (you do NOT need a Levin depth micrometer; there are cheaper and better ways to measure long lengths in and out of the collet).


    IMG_2455 (Large).jpg

    When I get the chance, I will put up some shots on how to mark lengths for a staff or such. Just let me know if this kind of post is useful.
     
  43. dshumans

    dshumans Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Sep 17, 2009
    402
    28
    28
    #43 dshumans, Jan 6, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2016
    I'm not "serious about micro drilling" but I have to do it occasionally to repair repeater watches. I have found that carbide twist drills down to 0.20 mm can do the job for many pocket watch arbors. The best ones are made for drilling the eye in teeny stainless steel surgery suture needles and can be found on eBay by searching "suture needle drill bit". They also have extremely short "starter drills" of the same sizes that are so short they don't break when forming a centered dimple. The most important issue is having the tailstock and headstock exactly centered. I put a dead center cone in both and make sure the centers line up exactly. Then I use a collet holding tailstock to hold the drill in a collet and the headstock to hold the arbor or pinion. The starter drill makes a centered dimple and then very careful hand pressure on the drill with a slow speed on the lathe seems to get the job done. I usually use spit instead of oil as a lube. The repeater train wheel arbor shown in the pictures is drilled with a 0.22 mm carbide twist drill so I could plug it and cut a new pivot on it.
    Drilling Pinion.jpg Pinion Drilled.jpg
     
  44. RJSoftware

    RJSoftware Registered User

    Apr 15, 2005
    8,271
    68
    48
    Male
    Loxahatchee, Florida
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    #44 RJSoftware, Jan 6, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2016
    Re: Dang carbides..! (some concrete examples)

    Great post Dewey C.

    On using the feeler gauges for shoulder heights/lengths. I have been using pin gauges instead. But they are round and makes for guessing to line up edges when viewed in the scope. So I will definitely give feeler gauges a try.

    The carbide jaws of mic to same cylindrical is good one. I suppose that in conjunction with the flat would work well when doing long cylinders for whatever purpose.

    That is one of those things have been dealing with. How to turn a long cylinder object and keep it true. I have the cross slide but really don't like using it. Mine is not the best. The base of it has small flex/slack so it varies pressure at the graver unless I am really slow with it. It's a home made cross slide. Someone did an excellent job making it, just needs a thicker base.

    Looking forward to how you do the marking. I don't seem to have a regular method or seems situational. I sometimes spot a irregularity or something and I turn the lathe and make a scratch mark with the graver. I then compare the scratch and see if it's in the ball park and make another scratch if not. Then pick the best one and cut a groove.

    The best way for me seems to be hold the original up to the stock and scratch the lines till I am happy with a distance.

    Another thing, I sometimes like to start a small cone till I get the diameter. I do test/fit test/fit etc..

    The hairspring side of the staff for the collet seems to be the most critical. Although I know the collet can be compressed or expanded, it seems to be the most rigorous in terms of precise measure. I have been using my pin gauges by pushing into the collet till I get the one with the best feel and then mic the object till it gets in that ball park.

    Maybe the cylindrical trick with the mic jaws will answer that. So I don't have to cheat by fudging the collet more closed. Typically it's one turn too much.

    I don't know why, but it's been easier for me to do the roller side taper. I think that with the taper it's not soo much all or nothing. I can test fit and follow Fried's instructions about the roller starts to stick half way of the taper. The double roller is just extra work.

    Also there is the business of leaving a remainder to be reduced after polishing. Which I admit sometimes I do not always do. When I do I have been just using powered stone and oil. It's just there handy always. In the books I read I'm suppose to save the last thousandth for polishing. I need to get diamontine.

    How do you polish btw, you use a graver and paste?

    The Jacot tool is not my favorite tool. But I would like to make a modification so that the graver can be held square without so much struggle. Such small flats seems wrong. I like the bow for the Jacot, that part works good.

    I plan to make a home made Roll-o-fit like the one Stephan Phallow uses in his video. I really like the controlled manner in which the carbide wheel is guided down to size up the pivot. It looks like an easy machine to duplicate.

    At one point to address the issue of the Jacot tool I was considering building some kind of fiberglass structure to hold guiding rails for the burnisher/file to glide in a more controlled manner. But I like the home made Roll-o-fit better. For that I need a carbide drum.

    I can deal with the Jacot tool if I keep the burnisher/file motion down to a minimum. But it sucks when I break a pivot after spending a few hours cutting out the staff.

    Either too zealous of a reduction effort instead of choosing a larger bed or the tilt of the burnisher/file presenting an escape crack to bind up into when pushing the bow.

    I know about Fried's shovel system. But I need to polish up on my polishing...! :)



    Thanks Dshumans. What are the dead center cones? I definitely going to check out the "suture needle drill bit"..!

    RJ
     
  45. David S

    David S Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Dec 18, 2011
    7,094
    186
    63
    Male
    Professional Engineer - Retired
    Brockville, On Canada
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    Can you post a link or description of the exact spotting drill you are referring to? I think I have found some but they have different point angles.

    Thank you

    David
     
  46. DeweyC

    DeweyC Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Feb 5, 2007
    1,464
    378
    83
    Watchmaker
    Baltimore
    Country Flag:
    Re: Dang carbides..! (some concrete examples)

    Rj,

    Lots of good questions. Have my coffee.

    First, to dispose of marking out lengths. The pics should be self explanatory. Sadly I had to go to Switzerland to find this out; shows how stupid we are by ourselves. Much of the stuff I do has been poached; some is of my own imagination. I give credit where I remember but if I don't, it is only because I have too much crammed into too little space.

    The idea is to ink your material. Dykum blue works, but a permanent marker is better. Then you use the jaws of your caliper to mark out you lengths by scratching the ink. You use the dip stick at the end to measure your lengths.

    Important, whenever you measure, measure from one spot (datum point). If you try to measure this shoulder then that shoulder, the cumulative errors will get you. For staffs, my critical measurement is bottom pivot to top of hub. I will use feelers at the roller diameters and rivet, but I want to make sure everything comes out at the hub top.

    IMG_2458 (Large).jpg IMG_2459 (Large).jpg IMG_2460 (Large).jpg IMG_2461 (Large).jpg IMG_2462 (Large).jpg IMG_2463 (Large).jpg

    OK polishing/burnishing.

    Definitions:

    polishing is a grinding operation. It smooths the surface by removing material.

    Burnishing is a compression operation. It smooths the surface by compressing the material, which makes it denser and harder.

    Both can yield a BLACK finish. This is not a subjective term; it is an objective definition and the best way to learn it is to see it. It has to do with with how light from different angles make the surface suddenly go from bright to black.

    Application depends. I burnish pivots. But, it is very possible to burnish too much and snap the pivot. Happens during your exam (usually enough time to make two). I polish arbors and other steel work.

    Regarding Jacot, you can in fact just leave the burnisher still and rotate the work. The movt of the burnisher when done by a trained person is at most 1 inch. It is the relative speed that is important; pluse notch selection snd pressure.

    You mention starting with a taper when you need to sneak up on a diameter. Everyone does that.

    Cones: For staffs and stems I will rough out material in the WW and go to dead centers. I cone both ends.

    Three reasons we specify a 90 degree cone. It fits the female centers on Steiner points. It is easily recognizeable by eye (everyone can identify a right angle within a couple degrees and many even closer). Third, it is easy to compute the added length from the OD (important when your exam score depends on 1/10 points for each 5/1000 mm to target).

    For grinding materials, I use Tetrabore in three grades on a bronze or steel polisher. This results in a beautiful gray finish that is very acceptable on detents and stems. Again, it easiest to learn when you see.

    Polishing materials include dimantine and diamond pastes. Equipment includes everything from wooden toothpicks to a 6 inch zinc block I cast and turned from a couple billets.

    You mention Fried. Burn the book (maybe keep the section on verge fusees). Many top people I have drunk with come to the conclusion he did not try to actually do much of the stuff he proposed; they seem to be thought experiments.

    Daniels is good, but he leaves Easter Eggs for you to discover on your own. This is an old watchmaking tradition which has some merit ("if he can't figure it out from here and he is too dumb to ask, then he is not good enough to do it") and I have a few on my own website. But anything I write is stuff I have done and know.

    Sadly, it is a time proven means to separate out those who want a free repair (guys who keep showing up with "please show me") or a " quick trick" from those who are seriously trying to improve.

    Marvin Whtiney told you what you needed, as does WO Smith. As near as I can figure, the most honest TEACHER/author is Archie Perkins. Get his three books before they disappear. When I quit AWI in 2000, I excised articles of interest from 25 years of their magazine. When I was done I realized Archie had written a complete book on restoration month by month. I wrote him to let him know I figured out what he had done and after 15 years AWI decided to publish his books. Think about it; all those line drawings by hand before computers could be any help. A labor of love.

    If you take Archie's book on the Watchmakers Lathe and the Sherline book on table top machining, you pretty much have everything it took most of us years to learn about lathe work.

    For learning watch Adjustment, get Jendritski's book on watch adjustment. Do not expect to master that content from reading and trying; but it will open your eyes and help you in your work.

    If I failed to address something, let me know. May be a couple days if I screwed up big time. My work on forest health is actually my first love these days and I have a bunch of meetings and writing to do.
     
  47. dshumans

    dshumans Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Sep 17, 2009
    402
    28
    28
    David & RJ...

    By "dead center cones" I meant the pictured collets with a pointed cone used for many purposes, including lathe turning on centers. The "dead" part just means that the cones do not turn with a lathe. I put one in the headstock and one in the tailstock and move them together at the points to get them centered correctly.

    collets.jpg

    The starter drill for making dimples is pictured, here with a 0.20 mm carbide twist drill. The 0.20 mm carbide drills are currently eBay item 380336218832. A 0.57 mm starter drill bit is 151790567415. You only need to use the tip of the starter bit to get a centered cone shape dimple, so 0.5 mm is fine for any size. It is also pictured with a 0.20 mm carbide drill bit. Of course, tungsten carbide is very brittle so care must be taken not to break them.

    starter drill bit.jpg bits.jpg
     
  48. gmorse

    gmorse Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Jan 7, 2011
    10,315
    1,082
    113
    Male
    Retired from Xerox
    Breamore, Hampshire, UK
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    Re: Dang carbides..! (some concrete examples)

    Hi Dewey,

    I like your approach! What's your take on De Carle?

    Regards,

    Graham
     
  49. RJSoftware

    RJSoftware Registered User

    Apr 15, 2005
    8,271
    68
    48
    Male
    Loxahatchee, Florida
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    Re: Dang carbides..! (some concrete examples)

    Thanks Dewey. I will be hunting Archie's books.

    Burn Fried books... Lol... well not yet hey. (odd bit of irony coming from a fire fighter -lol). :)

    One quick story, my daughters have a best friend who got married to fire fighter. He's a good dude but very young.

    One day I was driving them home from their favorite swimming hole (the whole gang) and suddenly I get smoke coming out from under my hood.

    I pull over and pop the hood and see a little fire going on over my alternator. He sees the fire and ran around the car to pull the kids out. He's screaming about the fire, his wife screaming etc. They are going hysterical. They struggling to get the kids out of the car...

    Me, I looked around and just casually grabbed a few handfuls of sand and knocked the fire out. Turns out the AC compressor had locked up and the belt got hot and caught some old grass and pine needles in the engine on fire.

    I sort of teased him about it for a bit. He was probably in the right but I wasn't going to just stand there and let my engine burn. He's a good dude and can take a ribbing.

    I cut the belt off which only effected my power steering and the AC. Started it up and went home.

    RJ
     
  50. David S

    David S Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Dec 18, 2011
    7,094
    186
    63
    Male
    Professional Engineer - Retired
    Brockville, On Canada
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    Re: Dang carbides..! (some concrete examples)

    Dshumans thank you very much for the spotting drill part number.

    David
     

Share This Page