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Author Topic: Watch Dials: Super Thin and Precise Cuts?  (Read 6170 times)

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irockhound

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Re: Watch Dials: Super Thin and Precise Cuts?
« Reply #30 on: September 21, 2020, 11:08:40 PM »

True, If you can back it first before lapping to thickness that will help.
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dpn

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Re: Watch Dials: Super Thin and Precise Cuts?
« Reply #31 on: October 06, 2020, 12:10:53 PM »

A couple of quick updates:

The Buehler is an amazing machine. Unfortunately, I'm actually using a Buehler Low RPM precision cutter instead of a Buehler IsoMet 1000. The 15HC blade I'm using is 4". Combined, this has meant that I haven't been able to cut perfectly flat and adequately thin dial veneers *in one cut*. Because I've had to reposition to complete my cuts, I've had issues with flatness and thickness.

I have a 5" Buehler 15HC blade on the way, and I believe that the extra working room will allow me to cut perfectly flat (and thinner) fordite veneers in one cut. If this blade is insufficient, I will be buying a used Buehler IsoMet 1000 myself instead of just using my friend's equipment.

Here is a video of the Buehler in action: https://youtu.be/rWUV9SNuA90

Here is a shot of the Buehler in action:



I've completed one "proof of concept" dial with a flawed piece of fordite. As a photo, it's not much to look at and I'm not comfortable sharing it. As proof of concept showing a watch with a fordite dial, I'm incredibly proud of it -- my overall process is sound, and the next steps I need to refine the process and get to saleable final pieces I'm proud of are clear.

I'm getting close enough to feel really optimistic. But for two pieces of luck (finding 0.2mm half height brass dials and have a friend with a Buehler), this project wouldn't have gotten far at all.
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Felicia

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Re: Watch Dials: Super Thin and Precise Cuts?
« Reply #32 on: October 07, 2020, 11:00:16 AM »

Thanks for the picture. Always curious about the equipment.
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dpn

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Re: Watch Dials: Super Thin and Precise Cuts?
« Reply #33 on: October 07, 2020, 02:31:50 PM »

The Buehler IsoMet "Low Speed" precision cutter is a really cool piece of equipment. It's intentionally crippled by only being able to cut smaller samples. It's also $5,700! In the picture you can see my partial workaround -- hot glue -- as the chucks I had available were too small to accommodate the 29.5mm diameter fordite core.

It was really cool to watch it in action, though. It's a great design -- the gravity feed allows for very minute adjustments, and I can see that it really excels at what it's marketed for: Delicate sectioning of fragile materials with the lowest possible risk of deformation.

I'm really hoping that the $500 5" blade I bought will fix the issue, and let me complete thinner cuts in one pass. If that doesn't work, I'll have to pick up a used Buehler IsoMet 1000.
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Felicia

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Re: Watch Dials: Super Thin and Precise Cuts?
« Reply #34 on: October 14, 2020, 09:25:49 PM »

Ooh. $500 blade.😱
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dpn

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Re: Watch Dials: Super Thin and Precise Cuts?
« Reply #35 on: October 15, 2020, 08:11:33 AM »

Quick update: I bought my own Buehler IsoMet 1000. It's currently not functional, but I'm sending it in for repair. Even if the repair is expensive, I'll still be coming in at a far lower purchase price than a new unit.

I've had difficulty scheduling time with the Buehler IsoMet Low Speed sectioner, so no other progress to report.
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dpn

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Re: Watch Dials: Super Thin and Precise Cuts?
« Reply #36 on: November 03, 2020, 08:22:07 PM »

Quick update:

I've cut my first series of fordite veneers, and I'm in the fun-but-difficult stage of assembling my first run of dials.

Here's a scan of my first workable batch of fordite sections (ranging in thickness from 0.3mm to 0.5mm). The final patterns of these will change, as I'll be grinding them down to their final height. (This is a good thing, as some of the patterns below are pretty uninspiring. It'll also be heartbreaking, as some of my favorites below will likely shift too.)

It's coming together!

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Felicia

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Re: Watch Dials: Super Thin and Precise Cuts?
« Reply #37 on: November 05, 2020, 04:12:02 PM »

Cool.
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dpn

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Re: Watch Dials: Super Thin and Precise Cuts?
« Reply #38 on: November 06, 2020, 10:37:50 AM »

So, this is going to be my last update here -- at least until I'm ready to start experimenting with other stone materials for dials.

In sum: This process works, and works well. Broken down, here's how I'm able to produce watch dials featuring very thin (0.2mm) Fordite sections:

1. Acquire rough fordite. Use a hole-saw to cut a ~29mm diameter core of fordite.
2. Use a Buehler IsoMet Precision saw to cut very thin (~0.4mm is ideal) sections of fordite.
3. Use Epoxy 330 to glue the thin section of fordite to a half-heigh (0.2mm) brass dial blank.
4. Use the brass dial blank as a guide to trim the small amount of fordite overhanging its edge. Use the central hole on the brass dial blank as a guide to drill a hole through the fordite.
5. Grind/polish the fordite/brass dial to the final height of 0.4mm and then take care of the final polishing/finishing of the fordite.
6. Install into a watch.

I've successfully produced a few of these dials and installed them into watches. I've got a lot of work ahead of me to finish, announce, market, and sell my dials. Here's a quick photograph of one of my dials installed in a working watch:

IMG_1092 (1) (Large).jpeg
*IMG_1092 (1) (Large).jpeg (138.38 kB . 864x1080 - viewed 102 times)

Thanks to everyone who helped me figure this out! I'm absolutely delighted that I was able to pull this off.
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irockhound

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Re: Watch Dials: Super Thin and Precise Cuts?
« Reply #39 on: November 06, 2020, 10:56:54 AM »

CONGRATS!!!!!     :occasion14:
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Felicia

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Re: Watch Dials: Super Thin and Precise Cuts?
« Reply #40 on: November 06, 2020, 10:28:43 PM »

 :blob1: :WEEEE: :hello2:
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dpn

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Re: Watch Dials: Super Thin and Precise Cuts?
« Reply #41 on: November 07, 2020, 04:59:41 PM »

Here's a better shot of my first two completed watches. Thank you all again for the encouragement and great ideas.

_DSF3227.jpeg
*_DSF3227.jpeg (457.58 kB . 1280x854 - viewed 105 times)
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ileney

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Re: Watch Dials: Super Thin and Precise Cuts?
« Reply #42 on: November 08, 2020, 08:25:45 PM »

Wow those are spectacular!!! :Worthy:
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dpn

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Re: Watch Dials: Super Thin and Precise Cuts?
« Reply #43 on: November 16, 2020, 09:22:07 AM »

Thanks all for the advice and encouragement. I'm still ecstatic that this worked at all.

Next up: "Surfite" dials.
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Slabbercabber

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Re: Watch Dials: Super Thin and Precise Cuts?
« Reply #44 on: November 17, 2020, 05:35:09 AM »

Really nice work.  I'm glad all that effort paid off.  Have you found a source for your logo on the dial face?
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