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  • Just thought I'd quickly share a watchmaker's screwdriver I finished making last night. I plan on making 2 (for now, at least) to replace the 2 largest sizes from my set, that suffered from stripped out set screws.

    The body, and whatever you call the little spinning finger rest on the end, were just made from 1/4" brass hex stock. The screws were made from O1 drill rod, and I'm just reusing the blade inserts from the existing screwdrivers. This was my first time using a screwhead slotting saw blade (as opposed to a screwhead slotting file), and the larger screw shows my inexperience - the slot is off center. I think I got the set screw dead on though.





    Max
    http://joyofprecision.com/

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    • Nice work on the screwdriver and great attention to detail. You know you'll end up remaking that screw though, or it will haunt you forever.

      I was checking out your web page and it looks like you do very nice work in general. I have an old Elgin railroad watch that belonged to my grandfather that needs a new staff and I've always been tempted to try making one. I don't have a watchmakers lathe, but I do have a Hardinge and a stereo microscope. Maybe one of these days...

      Tom
      Tom's Techniques

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      • Originally posted by TGriffin
        Nice work on the screwdriver and great attention to detail. You know you'll end up remaking that screw though, or it will haunt you forever.

        I was checking out your web page and it looks like you do very nice work in general. I have an old Elgin railroad watch that belonged to my grandfather that needs a new staff and I've always been tempted to try making one. I don't have a watchmakers lathe, but I do have a Hardinge and a stereo microscope. Maybe one of these days...

        Tom
        Thanks Tom, I really appreciate that! I won't say you can't turn a staff on your Hardinge (they are excellent collet lathes, from what I understand) but the challenge will be the pivots. Turning such a small diameter is a lot easier with a t-rest and a graver (there is an excellent old text called A Treatise on Staff Making and Pivoting, that describes a graver technique for this and it works extremely well). I seem to recall some of the older precision bench lathes having t-rests available as options and I see no reason why it shouldn't work fine on a larger collet lathe... it probably wouldn't be too hard to make a t-rest to fit on top of your cross slide for turning the pivots after you have the other dimensions turned. If you decide to try it, let us know how it goes!

        -Max
        Max
        http://joyofprecision.com/

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        • Indexer and carriage stop

          Not that there is anything special about these two projects (except to me), but I wanted to post them anyway.

          The first is my micrometer carriage stop:

          I picked up a large micrometer head off ebay and made the holder/clamp. This project was special because there was only .016 clearance either side of the hole for the clamping screw. Missed it one way, I'd be into the lathe ways, missed it the other, the micrometer head. Now I know that 16 thou might as well be a mile for most of you, but I was just starting out with an ebay edgefinder, a Craftsman cross slide table, and a junk Chinese drill press, and I nailed it. Let the warm and fuzzy feelings begin. It has served me well, usually as a measurement of depth of cut with my milling attachment.

          Next was my indexer:

          Learned lots on this one. Took a 72 tooth gear and made an indexer out of it. Learned that CRS has lots of internal stresses when I bored the perfect hole for the perfect arbor I had made. Then when I milled off the sides, nothing fit anymore. So I bored it out, and made a brass bushing for each end. My first press fit. Pretty pleased with myself on that.

          Under the pointer is a ball bearing and spring, which gives a nice click every 5 degrees. The idea was to make an arbor for a 3 jaw chuck to fit it, but hurricane Ike turned the chuck into a ball of rust. Never got back to it.

          Bill
          Definition: Racecar - a device that turns money into noise.

          Comment


          • I really like that indexer, Bill! I've been kicking some similar ideas around in my head, and seeing yours is sort of inspiring. Thanks for sharing!

            -Max
            Max
            http://joyofprecision.com/

            Comment


            • Good job on the screwhead polishing device mars-red. I'm curious as to how it is used, would you give us a how-to on that?
              Jim

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              • Originally posted by J Harp
                Good job on the screwhead polishing device mars-red. I'm curious as to how it is used, would you give us a how-to on that?
                Thanks Jim! The collet holding piece, held captive at variable height by the set screw, takes WW collets (8mm body diameter, for anyone unfamiliar with them). Prior to use, the tool must be perfectly leveled. The screw is held, by the threads, in the correct size collet mounted into the tool. The tool is placed, feet down, on a small sheet of glass on a good work surface. Here, depending upon the type of work being done (whether an embryo screw is being ground in preparation for slotting, or an already slotted screw is being finished), an abrasive is fixed to the glass. In my case, I made the feet tall enough so that I can use my set of Arkansas stones underneath the tool (with the feet still able to contact the glass). More typically, a small strip of abrasive paper would be taped to the glass, followed by a polishing paste (diamontine mixed with oil works very well) applied either to a strip of paper or directly onto the glass itself. The collet-holding piece is adjusted to a height where the head of the screw to be polished comes down to meet the abrasive, and is then locked in place with the set screw. The tool is moved so that the screw head passes along the abrasive, but the feet of the tool remain against the glass. This allows screws to be finished perfectly true and flat, which is a requirement if a perfect, black polish is desired. Once upon a time, there were screw head polishing attachments available for jewelers lathes but if you can find them these days they are incredibly expensive and usually incomplete. If an absolutely perfect, black polish isn't desired then a tool like this really isn't necessary because polishing semi-manually with the screw mounted in the lathe will suffice (though having a tool like this would probably still be less fiddly).

                For a visual walkthrough of using this same type of tool, check out the bottom section of this page (this guy has made some really nice tools, in his quest to build a tourbillon detent chronometer from scratch): http://watchmaking.weebly.com/screwhead-polisher.html

                I still have two of the feet to make for my tool before I can start using it - I recently received the tool back from a friend who was borrowing it to make a fitted storage box for it. Once completed I'll post up here and show some pics of it in use.
                Max
                http://joyofprecision.com/

                Comment


                • Thanks Mars-red.

                  Your screw polishing device looks a whole lot like something we used to polish fiber optic connectors after the fiber had been glued in. Adhesive backed lapping paper was stuck to a sheet of glass and the connector was placed in a tool very similar to yours. Lube with a little water and move the whole thing in a figure 8 over the lapping paper.
                  Definition: Racecar - a device that turns money into noise.

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                  • Your spindle support block

                    I have been slowly going through these threads and your invention caught my eye. Nicely done!

                    I am going to have to stea...er borrow your design.

                    Thanks for sharing it.

                    Mike

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                    • I had a dream the other night about bolting a 3/8" stub to a Kant Twist clamp to use in my Noga holder. I played around with the idea and ended up having one of my guys weld a piece of 3/8" drill rod to one of my 1" Kant Twist clamps. I should find lots of uses for it.

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                      • Great idea,that would be handy for a number of things!!

                        Funny how ideas come to mind during the night , had the best planning happen during that time.

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                        • While sorting a drawer with about 5 pounds of loose bolts, I created this list to help me figure out what was what. After laying out a representative sample of nuts and bolts which I was sure of what they were, I wrote down the outside diameter. There were some variances. It was the standard and metric bolts that were giving me a fit.

                          The list isn’t perfect, but when I find a loose bolt, I can identify it pretty quickly with this list using some dial calipers and standard and metric thread pitch gages.
                          Last edited by Ron of Va; 03-08-2012, 06:51 AM.

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                          • Originally posted by rancherbill
                            Thanks that is a great tool. I made a copy and will use it when I tackle my bucket.
                            Heh, Americans


                            M6 = 6mm...

                            M10 = 10mm...

                            M45 = 45mm...

                            You get the idea You just need some calipers with a remotely logical scale on them!

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                            • I don't recall ever seeing a #10 with 28 tpi. Shouldn't the most common pitches for #10 be 24 and 32?

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                              • Originally posted by cameron
                                I don't recall ever seeing a #10 with 28 tpi. Shouldn't the most common pitches for #10 be 24 and 32?
                                You were right, I changed it. Thanks.
                                It was easy to change. I have it in a Word document.
                                I can email a copy to anyone who wants one.
                                [email protected].

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