Monday, 9 July 2012

My new Sherline lathe/mill

This is the great next step for every watchmaker - the acquisition of a lathe. After much research, I decided to go with a Sherline lathe/mill, these affordable, well built and accurate mini lathes should be more than sufficient for the upcoming tasks.

The lathe, mostly assembled:

One surprising cost I ran into a few days after my lathe arrived was that of brass stock. I picked up a flat, 50mm round and 20mm round.

Here's my current workspace, with the lathe mounted on a board.

My first mini-project, the creation of a movement holder for a Elgin s16. I've read a lot about watch machining, but I've had very little metalwork experience (a couple of courses in high school). So there will obviously be a steep learning curve in the coming months. The most important thing learned from turning this ring was the speed at which brass should be turned - too fast and you end up creating copious amounts of brass 'dust' instead of swarf..

You can see some of the brass 'dust' on the lathe bed in the following photo. I've also added the milling column to the lathe bed so I can machine this block of brass flat into a small set of watchmaker's turns.