Continue prepping upper frames, some finish & trim work - May 2010

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Below B is fitting 16 chatons to the rough upper plates. He indicated that these are necessary at this time since he is unable to make final adjustments to the eight arbor’s end shake until these are finalized. The chatons all contain roller bearings. These arbors are within the celestial and strike trains and are only those that span the entire width of the main plates, an 11" minimum length. The first photo shows the counter sunk holes ready for the chatons. The second the rough chatons before the edges are beveled. Notice how B has inserted one of the plastic faux jewel rings in the lowest one and this is used to hide the side ring of the roller bearing assembly. For all of the inner pivots there will be such a ring. For arbors that continue through the plate another ring is on the outside. For all arbors that end within the plate a faux jewel dust cap will be added. This will add to the red colors contributed from the rest of the pivots most of which have actual jeweled bearings. Basically all pivots that have heavy loading and run continuously between the plates, most of which carry a relatively heavy load, or that will turn greater than once per hour, will use roller bearings. This comprises about 20% of the total.

There are 16 machining steps for each chaton hole.: drill 2. Drill 10 mm hole, 3 counter bore 13 mm hole. 4, 5, 6 center drill 3 screw holes. 7,8,9 drill three 1.3mm holes, 10, 11, 12 counter bore for screw heads 13,14,15 tap thread in three holes 1.6mm metric. 16. ream the 10mm main hole.  Then you have to make the chaton and three screws. Repeat for all 16 chatons. Total parts count for 16 chatons, 112.  

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Below are some more examples of chaton work and fabrication of a cock that will contain the drive gear for one half of the split remontoire system. The rough parts are shown in the first photo. Next the chaton recesses are drilled, next the chatons are inserted, fourth the chatons are secured to the frame and dust caps attached. Last photo is the completed drive gear.

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Below are side by side comparisons of the completed drive gear inserted into the movement along with this same assembly early on in the fabrication process from March 2008.

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Now we have reached the stage where some components are ready for the final machining of their surfaces but prior to the final polish and plating procedures which will come at the very end of this project. First we see the dishing of the pinions. All pinions that are of any significant size will have a decorative profile. As one can see from the first photo, dishing changes a monotonous pinion surface into a pleasing decorative one. In the fourth photo one can see the slightly smaller diameter ring next to each pinion facing away from the wheel. Each arbor will be turned to taper down to the smaller diameter at this end. The next photo shows an example of the decorative collets that each wheel and some pinions receive. Finally an initial trial of what the screws will look like after heat bluing.

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Now begins the fine machining of the remontoire differential planetary wheel cage. The third photo shows the completed cage next the part as it was first fabricated in October of 2007. To be honest I think many other clockmakers would have thought the initial machining to be sufficient. An added benefit to this process is the reduction in material and therefore the overall mass to the entire remontoire unit. This will result in a more efficient system. The machining is identical for both sides.

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Now the finish machining of the remontoire split differential is complete. This is an important, and one of the central features of the movement as this drives the remontoire. (There cannot be simply one central feature on a movement of this complexity. There are many focal points of interest).

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Below compare the split differential as completed to that initially fabricated in November of 2007.

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Many of the components of the remontoire will undergo further machining to reduce weight and to make the entire system look far more refined. Below are the stepping cage components. The parts are already too delicate to be secured to the mill bed only with perimeter clamping. Its interior must also be secured using green shellac. Also each pass of the cutting tool can only take off only 5 thousands of an inch at a pass to avoid twisting the part; resulting in a long, tedious process. Last photo is a view of some of the special rotary cutters B has had to make so far for this project. They do not include any of the custom fly cutters used to create the frame assembly.

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Shown are the movement components that have so far been installed into the rough upper frames. Much of the time train is here along with some of the lower train wheels of the celestial and two strike trains.

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