Making a watch case (part 8), making the top ring section

Making a watch case (part 8), making the top ring section

The top ring section is made in pretty much the same way as the centre section. I get a bar of brass and bend it into a ring and solder the joints. This technique is worth developing here because it can be extended to precious metals even though, with brass, the relatively inexpensive cost of the metal means the ring section could be machined from a solid piece of metal.

In the picture, above, I'm flattening out the ends to make a good join.

joint nicely flattened

Now the joint is nicely flattened I bend the metal back so the join is good:

bending the metal back to make a good join,

see here I haven't bothered to make the ring too circular yet; the flat section around the joint makes it a bit easier to get the end joints properly flat and square-on to each other.

Now the metal needs to be cleaned thoroughly so there is no grease on the joint. The ring is fluxed and hard silver solder used to solder the joint. This leaves me with this:

joint soldered,

that can now be hammered on a stake to make it more circular.

I made the ring and checked the size against the, already made, middle section and found it was too large! I've done it again. Well, it's all good practice, I'm not too worried at this stage, so I removed a section of the ring

removing a section of the ring to make it shorter.

The removed section is around the solder joint, so I remove the last joint

ring with a section taken out,

and hammer the ring closed, checking the join is square-on to give a good intersection

ring hammered to close it together.

Here's a close up of the join

A close up of the ring join,

I'm certainly getting better at doing this. Mind you, I'm giving myself plenty of practice with my getting the sizes wrong! I'll just double check the size is right before I solder this one:

Checking the size of the ring with the middle section.

I realized that, for the top section, I needed material on either side of the middle section ring, i.e. a thicker ring. This was why I ended up doing it again just now. I didn't have enough metal to continue the profile of the watch but also to provide a shelf for the watch glass to go into. When I'm sure of the final design I can get the sizes a bit tighter, but for now I need plenty of extra material.

I soldered the ring again,

The ring soldered again,

then hammered it on a stake to a near circle.

Next I put the ring on a lathe chuck, and used some copper shims to lift the ring off the front of the chuck to give a bit of space for the cutter to get at all of the outside of the ring. I take the shims out before the piece is turned, otherwise they could shoot across the room!

Putting the ring on a lathe chuck

Here I am turning the outside of the ring,

Turning the outside of the ring.

I cut the front of the ring too

Cutting the front of the ring.

I then take the ring off the chuck and reposition it to cut the inside of the ring and, also, the other face. The ring now matches the outside diameter of the middle section with plenty of material for cutting the watch glass shelf

The top section matches the middle section.




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