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School Watch- Balance Staff for ETA 6498

With both the winding stem and pivot gauge examinations out of the way, which I’m pleased to say that I comfortably passed both, we could move on to making balance staffs. A balance staff is riveted to the balance wheel and becomes its arbor. The balance staff also holds the jewelled roller and the hairspring […]

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Pivot Gauges with Straight and Conical Pivots

The second of our two micro mechanics exams was to produce a pivot gauge. We once again had a time limit of 8 hours to complete it, turned between centres using a hand lathe. The task would be a lot harder than the winding stems because this time we would be using blued steel, which […]

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Winding Stem Exam Practices

Over the course of the next month or so, we continued to practice making winding stems, to make sure we were competent at each of the processes required to produce a stem. With both micro mechanics exams only 4 weeks apart, we also began preparing for the second exam in which we were required to […]

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Brass Staking Block

Just before beginning work on the winding stems we had another project that presented us with the opportunity to use the Schaublin lathes again. Our task this time was to make a brass staking block. This would become an important tool, enabling us to measure the length and diameters of our winding stems, and subsequent […]

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Winding Stem for an ETA 6497

We were now given the chance to start making complete winding stems from start to finish in preparation for our first micro mechanics exam. For the exam would we would be given 8 hours to make a winding stem from scratch to match the technical drawing provided by WOSTEP in Switzerland. We had a choice […]

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Winding Stem Blank using a Horia Lathe and Motor

So now we were finally able to make a winding stem, well a winding stem of sorts, using the Horia lathe and motor. It wasn’t a complete stem as it lacked a square, slot, thread and a burnished pivot. It was also rather large in size relative to a functioning winding stem. For this exercise […]

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Filing Squares

The last exercise to complete before we started making the first winding stems was to perfect the art of filing squares. We had to make a set of 5 squares with the last of the set being just 0.60mm in diameter with a tolerance of +/-0.03mm. This would be the start of very small tolerances […]

Lathe Exercises

We had now completed the first part of the course so out came the Horia lathes that we would be using for both of our micro mechanics exams, albeit with a motor instead of a hand wheel. Both exams would be in February so we had a lengthy amount of time to prepare but the […]

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Acrylic Barrel Closer

After quite a few projects completed by hand we were finally able to get to grips with the Schaublin 70 Mi-CF watchmakers lathe. We were tasked with making a barrel closer and although we will not use this until much later on in the course, I’m sure it will prove to be very useful. We […]