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mars-red
01-17-2012, 04:26 PM
Hello everyone,

Just thought I'd quickly introduce myself. I've been interested in machining for a few years now - it sort of grew from my interest in mechanical watches and watchmaking. I found that the deeper I got into watchmaking, the more of a need I had for making some of my own tools, and I now have 3 lathes (one of the Enco 3-in-1 machines, an unmarked antique instrument lathe with a spindle that takes Stark collets and has a 3 foot bed, and an antique E. Rivett WW pattern jeweler's lathe). I find that at times I enjoy toolmaking even more than watchmaking, and that was quite unexpected.

Being self-taught, I'm still pretty green but have learned enough to get by and with enough patience and forethought (working around the limitations and shortcomings of my equipment) I can usually obtain good results.

I have a very deep interest in older, more traditional, manufacturing and metalworking techniques as well. In particular, the way files were made by hand, and the way fusee chains were made by hand, really fascinate me.

I suppose the best way to introduce myself is to show off one of my more recent toolmaking projects, and one I'm rather proud of, it is a tripod-type WW collet holding jig meant for polishing the heads of small watch screws (useful for restoring screws as well as applying finish when making screws from scratch). Here are a couple pics of it in its current state (I still need to make 2 of the feet, and redo the hardening/tempering of the set screw). Here is the "business end", shown with one of the feet installed and a WW collet in place:
https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-KuOFdd5nkf0/Tohq2pmph4I/AAAAAAAAAaU/t9N79TIYi0U/s720/screw_head_polisher_13.jpg

And here is the top of the tool, showing off the recently made foot, and the pretty temper I achieved on the nut that tightens the collet:
https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-vAGLx6r18O4/Tohq3tpY7zI/AAAAAAAAAaY/cvWBY5UM5sc/s720/screw_head_polisher_12.jpg

If anyone wants to see the gritty details on the making of this tool, I blogged about it in 2 parts:
http://joyofprecision.tumblr.com/post/11787759843/making-a-screwhead-polisher-part-1
http://joyofprecision.tumblr.com/post/11791610942/making-a-screwhead-polisher-part-2

Well, so much for a "quick" introduction! :)

-Max

sasquatch
01-17-2012, 04:37 PM
Mars-Red, nice looking piece of work there!!

Any chance of seeing a pic or two of your'e lathes??

(we always love pics!!)

mars-red
01-17-2012, 04:58 PM
Mars-Red, nice looking piece of work there!!

Any chance of seeing a pic or two of your'e lathes??

(we always love pics!!)

Thanks very much!

Yeah sure thing. I'll need to take some updated pics of them... but here is my jeweler's lathe immediately after I received it. I got it for $60 shipped from a seller on e-Bay... needless to say it needed some attention. And it came with no motor or accessories. I spent lots of time acquiring a decent number of collets for it, a faceplate, lots of gravers, centers, and a small JT adapter and chuck. I still really need a cross slide for it.
http://a2.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc3/12641_1264507488554_1105753445_826455_1563519_n.jp g

Here is my unknown instrument lathe (any help identifying this would be greatly appreciated!). It came to me with a Skinner 3 jaw chuck and a really nice Stark cross slide. The tailstock was reamed to a #2 MT by the previous owner:
http://a8.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash4/s720x720/375515_2468110897887_1105753445_2822698_1701707684 _n.jpg

That pic shows the lathe in a temporary installation, just so I could play around with it after dissassembling, cleaning, and adjusting. That's an old VW ignition distributor housing that's being turned down.

I blogged about this machine too - there are more pics and info here:
http://joyofprecision.tumblr.com/post/11848611550/antique-instrument-lathe

No pics of the Chinese machine at the moment. When I get home tonight I'll get a few more pictures of how these machines currently sit. The instrument lathe is now sitting atop a proper lathe bench but I need to fabricate something to mount the motor and intermediate shaft.

sasquatch
01-17-2012, 06:06 PM
Very impressive!!

A very nice presentation. That Instrument lathe looks to be a real find, very sturdy and well built.

It will be very interesting in the future when you find out the maker of that lathe.

Wondering,, have you checked "Tony's Lathe site"?

I,d send these pics to him, he would appreciate that, and may have some info for you with the Vast pile of info he has.

Thanks again and forgot to say "Welcome"..

mars-red
01-17-2012, 07:44 PM
Very impressive!!

A very nice presentation. That Instrument lathe looks to be a real find, very sturdy and well built.

It will be very interesting in the future when you find out the maker of that lathe.

Wondering,, have you checked "Tony's Lathe site"?

I,d send these pics to him, he would appreciate that, and may have some info for you with the Vast pile of info he has.

Thanks again and forgot to say "Welcome"..

Thanks sasquatch! Yes that instrument lathe is an absolute joy to use (especially compared to my Chinese machine). I spent countless hours poring over Tony's site and it was definitely a great learning experience... but about all I learned about this particular machine is that it is patterned after an early Stark (even down to the oversized width of the pulleys and the large, hardened steel, front bearing in the headstock). I never thought about sending the photos to him, but I suppose it couldn't do any harm!

I just snapped a few more pics of the machines as they currently sit in my workshop and thought I'd share them.
This is my Enco combination lathe/mill:
https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-_g_PHpem_9Q/TxYRJOackZI/AAAAAAAAAck/-zSUkPC-WdE/s912/chinese_lathe_1.jpg
This is the first machine I bought, and I've done some good work on it (the screwhead polisher was made almost entirely on this machine) but it would have been easier to learn on a proper piece of old American or British iron.

Here is the instrument lathe, awaiting the motor/countershaft:
https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-QMaKgva1O4s/TxYRJLQ7STI/AAAAAAAAAcU/k69kRBvGAzg/s912/instrument_lathe_1.jpg
I'm going to use that piece of channel iron propped up in the back there to mount the motor/countershaft assembly on a pivot, and weld a plate to fill in that hole in the top of the cabinet.

Here is the E. Rivett WW lathe, with a pile of its accessories and cutting tools:
https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-qDnBohBpa8U/TxYRJwBi3sI/AAAAAAAAAcs/mieSK4e2W_Y/s800/rivett_ww_lathe.jpg
Cosmetically it leaves plenty to be desired, but it performs really nice. Unfortunately, it does not have a collet holding tailstock and that is really limiting me these days. Between that and not having a cross slide for it, it's got me pining for an upgrade. I'll probably agonize over that for a couple of years before doing anything about it.

And just for fun here is a close up of a few specialty watchmaking tools:
https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-xmZXGfdchoA/TxYRJCTqZSI/AAAAAAAAAcY/vF7x8_YKbtM/s912/misc_watchmaking_tools.jpg
At top, a set of truing calipers, in the wooden case a set of jewel chucks, and to the right a depthing tool (mating gears/pinions are mocked up to the perfect depth between the centers, and the outside points on the runners are then used to transfer that distance to the movement plates).

sasquatch
01-17-2012, 07:50 PM
WOW,, really nice!!

Thanks again for posting that for us!!

mars-red
01-18-2012, 09:25 AM
Just as a follow-up, I wanted to mention that I sent Tony an e-mail with all the information and pictures I have relating to that instrument lathe. If anything significant comes of that I'll create a thread for it.

Thanks again for the welcome, I think I'm going to like it here!

Abaker
01-18-2012, 11:26 AM
I have to echo everyone else - really nice work!