Shop made depth tool

Discussion in 'Horological Tools' started by jhe.1973, May 7, 2011.

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  1. jhe.1973

    jhe.1973 Registered User
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    Feb 12, 2011
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    Hi Everyone,

    This is the depth tool I made 30+ years ago. It was to help w/construction of a precision clock I was going to build.

    [​IMG]

    The smaller one is a commercially available one for watch work and the chunks of bronze in the rear were what I started with. The bronze had been a riser that someone made for a Delta Toolmaker surface grinder I had at the time.

    When I finished this tool and went to design the clock movement, I found the tool was too small so I had to make the taller arms that are installed on one side.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I made a few changes to the standard design. I.E. the opening mechanism & return springs because I didn't like the way spring & screw just scrape against the outside & inside of the arms of the old style.

    [​IMG]

    A couple of more things. Long before CNC or DROs. I didn't have a rotary table yet either. I turned my dividing head upright and took light cuts for the curved sides.

    Obviously a lot of hand work too.

    Best wishes to ya'll.

    Sincerely,
    Jim
     
  2. Kevin W.

    Kevin W. Registered User

    Apr 11, 2002
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    Nice job Jim, looks great.:)
     
  3. mcandrew1894

    mcandrew1894 Registered User

    Sep 28, 2009
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    Great bit of sideways thinking on the spring and adjustment screw...I've not been that impressed with the spring arrangement on the commercial stuff either...Nice Work!

    Dave
     
  4. John MacArthur

    John MacArthur Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Good looking tool! How about some pics of the clock?

    Johnny
     
  5. jhe.1973

    jhe.1973 Registered User
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    Feb 12, 2011
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    Hi Everyone,

    Thanks for the kind words.:)

    I have a brief description of the prototype clock on my web site at:

    http://www.jim-haubert.com/id7.html

    But here are a few better photos:

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    I have to run errands today, but I'll check back this evening.

    Best wishes to ya'll.

    Sincerely,

    Jim
     
  6. Mike Phelan

    Mike Phelan Registered User

    Dec 17, 2003
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    Very nice, Jim

    Yours looks much better than the shop made one!

    The regulator is a fine job as well; the craft is not dead yet, thank goodness.
     
  7. Allan Wolff

    Allan Wolff Registered User
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    Mar 17, 2005
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    Great job on the depthing tool.

    We would love to have you come on over to the Clock Construction Forum and tell us more about that regulator you built.
     
  8. AJSBSA

    AJSBSA Registered User
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    Nov 24, 2009
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    I love the depthing tool and the regulator both show great design and craftsmanship but if your building a clock from scratch you can depth the train with a very simple depthing tool it is my understanding that you only need a tool of that design type if wheels and pinions are already fixed to the arbors?
     
  9. jhe.1973

    jhe.1973 Registered User
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    Feb 12, 2011
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    Hi Everyone,

    Thank you for the kind words!

    I have used this tool for repair/service work too.

    Serviced a repo #2 Seth Thomas regulator that wouldn't run very well. I finally found the problem when I setup the escapement in this tool & measured the lift on each pallet w/a dial indicator. I found one pallet to be WAY off giving almost no lift. Corrected that & it's run fine since.

    AJSBSA:

    I'm not sure if I am following you w/your question. The pinions are one piece w/the arbor so I had to have the length of this tool to get them in. The wheels were mounted to the arbors by the time I laid out the plates so I had to have the throat depth of the tool for clearance.

    Am I missing something?

    Best wishes to ya'll.

    Sincerely,

    Jim
     
  10. AJSBSA

    AJSBSA Registered User
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    Nov 24, 2009
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    Hi Jim, I did not want to upset anyone and you have made a beautiful clock however I did not want somebody thinking they need to buy or make a traditional depthing tool like yours to make a clock from scratch.
    You have made your pinion and arbor as one I understand that but in most cases it is easier to make the pinion as separate item and then fit it to the arbor later (I use 601 Loctite retainer ). The reason being that you can cut more than one pinion at once and it is much easier to harden and temper the pinions if they are off the arbor.
    I prefer lantern pinions on my clocks as I believe they offer lower friction but there are many that hold the reverse view so I am afraid the only work in progress clock I have has lantern pinions but I am sure you can how it would work with a solid pinion. I have added enough views so that anyone could make one there several designs of this tool mine is based on a John Wilding design modified so it can be mounted in a vice.
     

    Attached Files:

  11. Scottie-TX

    Scottie-TX Registered User
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    Apr 6, 2004
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    Awsum is an understatement! I am impressed with anyone who has skills like these. Your astro reg. also appears to be VERY efficient, with perhaps only four pounds of weight.
    CONGRATS on both the tool and the clock.
     
  12. jhe.1973

    jhe.1973 Registered User
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    Feb 12, 2011
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    Thanks for your kind words Scottie! Sorry for such a long delay. This last year really got away from me & I was so busy I hadn't picked up on your estimate of the driving weight in my prototype regulator. I just now saw that this thread is still getting hits!

    I started with 10 pounds w/pulley and am now down to 7.9. That means you are quite close if you were referring to the actual pull on the drum.

    In the photo of the clock above, I noticed that there is a reflection in the door glass that makes the weight look to be slightly smaller diameter than it actually is.
     
  13. wefalck

    wefalck Registered User

    Mar 29, 2011
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    Nice job, indeed.

    How did you make the curved knurls ? Do you happen have such knurling cutters ?

    wefalck
     
  14. jhe.1973

    jhe.1973 Registered User
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    Hi Everyone,

    Wefalck:

    Thanks for your interest and kind words.:D

    When I made this tool I was visiting the person I learned clock repair from and he had some curved knurls that I borrowed. He's been gone for decades now & I have no idea of where his tools & collection went. IIRC, he said he got them when the clock/watch tool suppliers still handled them.

    However, as I intend to make my own 'someday', I just did a quick internet search and found some useful information at these two forums:

    http://www.practicalmachinist.com/vb/general-archive/making-fine-knurls-98323/

    http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net/showthread.php?t=42317

    Hope this is of some help.
     
  15. jhe.1973

    jhe.1973 Registered User
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    Hi Everyone,

    I just found a reprint of a book titled 'Making the Small Shop Profitable" first printed in 1918 at Amazon and it has a great section on knurling and how to make your own concave & convex knurls.

    It is also at Google Books, but it didn't let me download a copy so I am getting my own.

    Just passing it along!
     
  16. wefalck

    wefalck Registered User

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    Thanks.

    The thread in 'practicalmachinist' I had seen before, the other one was new to me.

    It's a pity they don't make those elegant knurls anymore ...

    wefalck
     
  17. doc_fields

    doc_fields Registered User

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  18. jhe.1973

    jhe.1973 Registered User
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  19. jhe.1973

    jhe.1973 Registered User
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    Hi Everyone,

    I mentioned that I made this depth tool over 30 years ago, but I didn’t mention that I took so much time hand finishing it because I wanted to enter it in a NAWCC craft competition someday.

    Well, the day finally got here this year.

    I’ve always said that I want to get a job as a procrastinator, but I keep putting of going out to look for one.

    So sad ………, I'll never realize my life's dream…..sigh!

    I had to scale back what I had in mind for a display and settled on making a plexiglass stand. Plexiglass is a bit tricky to machine, especially if you want to polish it afterwards. It MUST be kept cool or tiny cracks will form that will at least show up in the polishing and may lead to the part breaking into pieces if stressed.

    Here is a tool I made for a lathe job that had a lot of turning/boring and final polishing. The cutting end is a broken blade of a HSS reamer welded to a couple of scraps of CRS:

    1.jpg

    I spent quite a bit of time with a high-speed hand grinder to create the scoop shape to peel the plastic as much as possible. This also helps keep the heat from building up.

    For this stand, I didn’t have the time for this type of cutter. Lucky for me, in my stash, I found two HSS lathe tools that had the correct radius for the inside of the fingers that were to grip the depth tool.

    The first one I cut in half and welded to what was left of an end mill:

    2.JPG

    To help keep the cutting edge as free as possible, I relieved a lot of metal by hand up as close as I could get to the cutting edge:

    3.JPG

    Here I am cutting the back of the fingers that have been formed with this last tool:

    4.jpg

    I found that WD40 works great for a coolant and you only need a tiny bit every so often. Not a flood, as long as the part looks shiny, it has enough ‘coolant’. If it starts to get dry, it will look white.

    Here is the piece with the fingers developed. There has been no polishing yet and you can still see the grain of my surface plate through the machined plastic:

    5.jpg

    Next I am cutting the angled sides with the second tool bit mounted in a flycutter:

    6.jpg

    More in next post…………………
     
  20. jhe.1973

    jhe.1973 Registered User
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    Close-up of the cutter to show how drastically I increased the back rake, once again, for cooler slicing of the plastic:

    7.JPG

    Here is the finished stand with no polishing yet:

    8.jpg

    And finish polished. This was done with wet/dry finishing paper and kept wet. First 500 grit and then 1000 grit:

    9.jpg

    For the final luster, I used a cotton buffing wheel w/white rouge, but I caution against it. You have to be SOOOOOOO careful. You have to watch from the side and see when the surface is starting to polish. You don’t actually touch the buffing wheel and instead just let the few, tiny loose threads near the surface do the polishing.

    Actual contact with the wheel will heat the surfaces so quickly that the flats will distort into ripples and the corners will round off.

    Usually, I used Brasso for the final polish, using stiff cardboard as from a cereal box as the ‘sandpaper’. But I just didn’t have the luxury of time that would have been required.

    Here is a detail that isn’t apparent when the tool is assembled. The springs have notches in the ends to keep them on the ‘screws’, which have smooth shanks pressed into the bronze sides:

    10.jpg

    My daughter is the manager of Awardstudio.com and she made the plaque with my trademark and applied it to a standard wooden base. The glass dome I found years ago in an antique shop and fit perfectly. This shot was at the National:

    11.jpg

    It was down the wire, but was worth it!

    12.jpg
     
  21. David S

    David S Registered User
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    Dec 18, 2011
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    Lovely work Jim. I make lots of tools / jigs, but they are mostly functional, since I want to get using them...no time or desire for polish. However I certainly appreciate the effort and dedication it took for this and your other post.
     
  22. jhe.1973

    jhe.1973 Registered User
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    Thank you David for your comment and for taking the time to post it!
     
  23. jhe.1973

    jhe.1973 Registered User
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    #23 jhe.1973, Jul 20, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 21, 2012
    Hi Everyone,

    I was just preparing to post the story of this depth tool in another forum and I noticed that I neglected to include detail views that I had at the National.

    Here are two details that aren’t apparent when the tool is assembled. The springs have notches in the ends to keep them on the ‘screws’, which have smooth shanks pressed into the bronze sides:

    10.jpg

    This view is of the tool open and closed around the hinge point. It shows how the springs move closer to the fulcrum as the adjusting screw moves away from it. So, as the arms open, the effective force of the springs decreases and the leverage of the screw increases allowing me to use rather stiff springs with a delicate, fine pitch screw for the adjustment:

    11.JPG
     
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