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Author Topic: Learn as I learn  (Read 1993 times)
Ben8763
Deck Hand
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Australia Australia


« on: July 25, 2013, 03:47:46 pm »

Hi all, I've had an idea and would just like some feedback on whether anyone is interested.

Firstly a little information about myself, I'm a 20 year old Australian student, currently studying Industrial design, my ultimate goal however is to become a watchmaker.

My plan is to finish my degree and then study watchmaking overseas, most likely Switzerland. Speaking to 2 local watch makers recently I told them of my plan, they both seemed to think it was  great idea and mentioned one last thing "If you study over seas, don't come back, you wont get work". The industry in Australia just isn't big enough for me to find work, and as a result I won't have much luck trying to study here either, so they suggested I learn as much as I can on my own, they also recommended doing an online course but at the moment I can't quite afford it.

SO, I had an idea: I would purchase tools and cheap watch movements and teach myself as much as I possibly can, and let the Brass Goggle community learn with me. I'm mad about steam punk and I know you guys are mad about clockwork so I figured this was the best place to do this.

I'll plan to post up my successes and failures as well as step by steps on everything I'm doing, hopefully I'll learn something and if you guys are interested, hopefully you will to!


So what does everyone think? I understand this will likely be the blind leading the blind but it could be a lot of fun, I learn much better from hands on "blind" work, as I am able to spend as much time as I need trying to understand things.

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Captain Shipton Bellinger
Master Tinkerer
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United Kingdom United Kingdom

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« Reply #1 on: July 25, 2013, 06:14:34 pm »

I think that it is a rather splendid idea and look forward to seeing your progress.

May I suggest that you start with clock rather than watch movements. They're a lot easier to start with - much more forgiving and a lot less easily damaged.

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Capt. Shipton Bellinger R.A.M.E. (rtd)

walking stick
Zeppelin Admiral
******
England England


« Reply #2 on: July 25, 2013, 07:45:57 pm »

Look up Horological for more information on clocks and watches.  For instance there is The British Horological Society.
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Maets
Immortal
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United States United States

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« Reply #3 on: July 26, 2013, 01:28:30 am »

Sounds interesting.  I'll be watching!
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IGetPwnedOften
Snr. Officer
****
United Kingdom United Kingdom


If at first you don't succeed, use a bigger hammer


« Reply #4 on: July 26, 2013, 11:20:00 am »

I think it's a subject most of us would be interested in.

Best of luck  Grin
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typhonatemybaby
Deck Hand
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United Kingdom United Kingdom


« Reply #5 on: July 26, 2013, 11:20:33 pm »

Ive been studying the subject of horology for two years now and am soon to enter my 3rd and final year at the school of jewelry in Birmingham (UK). I love the course, as it lets me play with old clocks all day, and hope to gain employment in the sector upon leaving ( the profession is in need of new members pretty much anywhere as far as I can tell). Its great fun getting to making things out of brass using hand tools and to work on old antiques bringing them to life.

you might be able to find an Australian equivalent to the British Horological Institute, which is the industry body for the UK. Its the one that issues a lot of the professional certifications etc. They also produce a reasonably good technical journal with lots of good articles ( though I could personally stand to see it get a little heftier. I think they are a bit starved for content as sadly many of the professions finer minds are retiring or sadly dying as the years march on and fewer people fill their shoes). the journal does publish worldwide, but youd have to become a member of the institute which is a few bob unfortunately. its not a closed club, but the subscription is something like £100 per year or something like that...

good luck with your swiss ambitions! Ive sometimes heard it said from guys in the industry that the swiss firms can get a bit parochial and "not invented here" ish about things, but I would hope that that can be overcome if it is there. I dont personally intend to head over there as Im specialising in clocks more than watches and that lends itself more to self employment, there being few clock factories now, but i can definitely see the appeal.
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Ben8763
Deck Hand
*
Australia Australia


« Reply #6 on: July 27, 2013, 04:28:28 am »

typhonatemybaby: Unfortunately there is no real equivalent institute for watchmaking operating within my state, and due to the fact that I am still studying as well as a situation at home, moving isn't an option at the moment.


Those who are interested in this "Learn as I learn" thing, how would you like it structured? All updates posted within this thread or separate threads for each task/information?

Also would you like focus areas? I was thinking I would do one part on completely dismantling a particular movement and then complete reassembly in another, with some sub sections for focus areas e.g. cleaning, oiling (on some of the cheaper Chinese movements I might not bother, I fairly sure they're not oiled all that well when they arrive... if at all), then more focused assembly such as positioning the balance and pallet fork.

What does everyone think? If you want it in sections as mentioned then I'll do my first one this week on tools and movements.
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IGetPwnedOften
Snr. Officer
****
United Kingdom United Kingdom


If at first you don't succeed, use a bigger hammer


« Reply #7 on: July 30, 2013, 11:25:12 pm »

I think separate threads would be better, but done in such a way as to not overwhelm the forum - for example if you're going to dismantle and then reassemble a piece, one thread would be fine for that.

I'm looking forward to this  Grin
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Ben8763
Deck Hand
*
Australia Australia


« Reply #8 on: July 31, 2013, 06:26:54 am »

I want to get going ASAP buuuut, I have to order a new movement, coming from either the states or the UK it'll probably take a few weeks
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Abslomrob
Deck Hand
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Canada Canada



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« Reply #9 on: August 01, 2013, 01:59:28 am »

What are you planning to start with?  And what tools are you using?
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Ben8763
Deck Hand
*
Australia Australia


« Reply #10 on: August 04, 2013, 08:51:05 am »

I was going to start with a 2650 movement, because a lot of people on here will recognize these from the Chinese made pocket watches on eBay. Tools are basic, I'll do a post tomorrow detailing tools, work space and some dexterity exercises.
« Last Edit: August 04, 2013, 09:27:27 am by Ben8763 » Logged
Ben8763
Deck Hand
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Australia Australia


« Reply #11 on: August 04, 2013, 10:19:50 am »

Waiting on some Westclox Dollar watches too
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Abslomrob
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Canada Canada



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« Reply #12 on: August 04, 2013, 04:49:33 pm »

I wouldn't bother with the dollar watches; those things aren't designed to be serviced easily, so learn on a real watch.  The things you'll learn servicing a westclox won't really be transferable to most other types.
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Ben8763
Deck Hand
*
Australia Australia


« Reply #13 on: August 05, 2013, 12:27:12 am »

I understand that, I should have clarified the dollar watches are simply to give some folks a look at 0 jewel movements as Ive seen some recent posts about them and issues with them. 



Anyway I found a spare 2650 movement so ill start today
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Ben8763
Deck Hand
*
Australia Australia


« Reply #14 on: August 05, 2013, 01:31:30 am »

Plus I really like the Dollar watches Cheesy, no idea why
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Abslomrob
Deck Hand
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Canada Canada



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« Reply #15 on: August 05, 2013, 01:43:33 am »

And dont' get me wrong; it's certainly possible to service them (unless they're riveted, which is rare).  I've never worked on one myself, but I do Timex's every now and then, which tend to have the same basic design. Timex is the ultimate form of the main competitor to Westclox: Ingersoll/waterbury/New England/US Time.
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Ben8763
Deck Hand
*
Australia Australia


« Reply #16 on: August 05, 2013, 02:31:12 am »

All the later model ones were riveted, at least that's true for Westclox. I have been looking into milling off rivet head and threading the posts to make them easier to get at but it would be a lot of effort for little gain.
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Ben8763
Deck Hand
*
Australia Australia


« Reply #17 on: August 05, 2013, 02:33:11 am »

Just had a start on this movement, really need to work out a better camera setup to show everything but still leave space for my head...

I might end up filming everything, cuttinh screen-caps for the forum and posting a link to the video
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Abslomrob
Deck Hand
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Canada Canada



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« Reply #18 on: August 06, 2013, 01:34:55 am »

A camera with a good macro function is very helpful; taking pics as you go has save me numerous times when I've forgotten where and how the parts go back together.  And the higher resolution is key when you've got two screws of slightly different length and you aren't sure which goes where...

I use a DSLR with a prime 50mm lens and set of macro tubes that let me take very detailed closeups when needed.
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