Thursday, 28 April 2016


The thread for the pocket watch spindle ( doesn't appear to be 10BA after all. Aaargh. I'm going to have to start the hunt for the thread all over again. Maybe 9BA?


Up until now I've been using a large vice that I bought to use on the drill press. It's just too big though, and uses up too much of the Z axis travel when milling. So I bought a small machinist vice.

It's a quick release vice and is tightened by the knurled knob. Tightening by hand isn't enough to firmy grip, fortunately there's a hole for a bar in the knob. Unfortunately one wasn't supplied. Fortunately I had some bolts so I made a tightening bar:

It was a good chance to try out my new knurling tool. The knurl came out OK, but didn't quite mesh properly on the larger diameter.

The bar works well though:

Pen and Pencil Set

This pen and pencil set is something that I've done before. The pencil is one of the drop lead workshop pencil kits and the pen is a standard ballpoint kit.

This time though, I used the CNC to mill the hinge recesses and the pen recesses. This was always the tricky part of making a pen box, but the CNC makes it much easier and leaves a much better finish. As the wood is pine it's difficult to get a good finish to the recesses, but the CNC leaves a good enough finish that it could be left bare, after some sanding.

The outside of the box was stained.

The hinges and catch aren't as nice as I'd like. I think I may try coming up with my own hinges and catches, maybe milled from brass or aluminium.

CNC 4th Axis

The 3040 CNC machine came with a 4th axis for making round things. I finally got round to setting it up as I think I can make the pocket watch spindle on it.

I had a go at some manual carving and all seems well.

I now need to find some software that will let me make round things. I think I'll have to make my own.

Saturday, 16 April 2016

Pocket Watch

I am attempting to make a new spindle for this watch:

The spindle attaches to the knob that is used to wind the watch and also set the time. It drives the movement with a square end and has a threaded end that the knob screws on to. At some time in the past someone has opened th ecase and hinged the movement out without removing the winder and it has snapped in half.

I've attempted to find out what the thread is on the knob end, and it seems to be 10BA. So I bought a die and tap set for that thread. Unfortunately it didn't fit in my die holder. So I made a spacer for it on the lathe:

I have made a first attempt at the spindle, which was tricky as I didn't have nice easily machinable metal in a suitable size. I managed to make the spindle minus the thread, and unfortunately broke it in half when I attempted to thread the end.

Attempt 2 next...