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Thread: Lapping machine - case example pics on page 3

  1. #51
    Grand Master seikopath's Avatar
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    Re: Lapping machine - case example pics on page 3

    :shock: amazing level of finish ...
    "the only reason for time is so that everything doesn't happen at once."

  2. #52
    Grand Master
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    Re: What a difference a lapping machine can make

    Quote Originally Posted by Relativity
    An interesting post - I've got a caseback with a bad tool mark in it myself and had previously thought it beyond repair. Seeing that though has made me wonder.
    Casebacks can be refinished by other techniques but there's no substitute for the lapping machine. Definitely the right piece of kit for starburst finishes; I've a couple of ideas on how to do them without a machine but they are only ideas at the moment :wink:

    If I can get them done by this guy I`ll be happy to use his services.

    Paul

  3. #53
    Master Omegary's Avatar
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    Re: Lapping machine - case example pics on page 3

    Quote Originally Posted by Windandwave
    Those results look superb. What other types of finish can be achieved with lapping machines? Are they primarily for starburst effects only?
    Pretty much any finish you can think off really, from highly polished to vertical/horizontal graining at different gauges through to a starburst finish. Essentially the vast majority of watch cases are given their final finished on a lapping machine by the manufacturers, so a trained watchmaker with the same equipment can re-finish a case to the same standards.

    Cheers,
    Gary

  4. #54
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    Re: Lapping machine - case example pics on page 3

    [quote="Omegary a trained watchmaker with the same equipment can re-finish a case to the same standards.

    [/quote]

    It's far more fun spending a few hours using abrasive papers, scotchbrite pads, Garryflex blocks etc and doing it by hand :D .....good for the soul!

    Paul

  5. #55
    Master Omegary's Avatar
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    Re: Lapping machine - case example pics on page 3

    A quick update with a few pics of the lapping machine. In some ways there's not a lot to it really, the main box has a motor which feeds three discs via belts. However it's meticulously engineered and the tool which holds the watch case and presents it to the discs is fantastic, I don't think I've ever encountered a more fluid rotation, I'm pretty sure it's oil filled to achieve such a smooth turn.

    The main machine



    After you've worked out the precise angle that you want you place the piece that hold the watch case (in the hand on the pic) on rails and then present the case to discs.

    The discs



    Three discs each for different grades of finish

    The case holder





    The part on the far left is the chuck (it's probably not called that but it'll do for now) that holds the watch case. There's a pretty large collection of different designs and sizes for different cases, Rocco was very lucky to get the complete set along with the lapping machine.

    Anyway a very quick overview for those that are interested. I still plan to do a more in-depth write up on this and show the machine in operation, these were taken very quickly on Saturday morning. Hopefully it gives a pretty good idea of what a lapping machine is like though.

    Cheers,
    Gary

  6. #56
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    Re: Lapping machine - case example pics on page 3

    Looking at the size of those discs, I'm not surprised folk are nervous about using one of these machines! I expected something much smaller for some reason.

  7. #57

    Re: Lapping machine - case example pics on page 3

    Cheers Omegary very interesting!

  8. #58
    Grand Master sundial's Avatar
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    Re: Lapping machine - case example pics on page 3

    I sold my Omega Flightmaster because there was nobody in the UK who could refinish the case :roll:

    dunk
    " but the greatest gift the railways give to us is the proper treatment of time." John Betjeman , BBC Home Service radio broadcast 4 July 1940.

  9. #59

    Re: Lapping machine - case example pics on page 3

    Quote Originally Posted by Omegary
    The part on the far left is the chuck (it's probably not called that but it'll do for now) that holds the watch case.
    Looks like custom made expanding mandrels. Used for securely holding internal bores with no marking.

  10. #60

    Re: Lapping machine - case example pics on page 3

    Excellent pics Gary, look forward to seeing more, thanks for taking the time to share,

    James.

  11. #61

    Re: Lapping machine - case example pics on page 3

    I think I need a lapping machine. Everything I look at around the house could be so much better if I had a lapping machine.

  12. #62
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    Re: Lapping machine - case example pics on page 3

    Quote Originally Posted by RobM
    I think I need a lapping machine. Everything I look at around the house could be so much better if I had a lapping machine.
    It is a lovely standard of finish, judging by the pictures. Could lapping take over from bead-blasting as the new TZ-UK finish au choix...?
    ...but what do I know; I don't even like watches!

  13. #63
    Master Omegary's Avatar
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    Re: Lapping machine - case example pics on page 3

    Another example of what a lapping machine can do, this time with before and after pics. The watch was bought as a donor as I needed a Valjoux 7750 to finish another project. As you can hopefully see the front had a strange bead blasted finish with an applied PVD finish which was somewhat faded, whilst the sides and shoulders were polished. Whether this was the original case finish I've no idea I think the sides may well have been PVD'd at some point too.

    Anyway I decided it would look better with a starburst grain applied to the top, polished shoulders and horizontal graining to the sides.

    Before







    There was some deep pitting and the case had taken a fair few knocks and scrapes in its life, so a bit more metal than usual had to be removed.

    After







    A big improvement imho.

    Cheers,
    Gary

    P.S. Anyone got a spare 7750 movement or donor watch going begging? :lol:

  14. #64
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    Re: Lapping machine - case example pics on page 3

    That is brilliant. If nothing else it means if I completely wreck my pride and joy then there's someone who can resurrect it!!

    Joe

  15. #65

    Re: Lapping machine - case example pics on page 3

    S U P E R B!!! give Him a big thumbs up from me, it looks like a NOS case..!!

  16. #66
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    Re: Lapping machine - case example pics on page 3

    Fantastic 8) Would love to see a Flightmaster get the treatment to see how it compares to Bienne. Looks to me like it would be just as good :)

  17. #67

    Re: Lapping machine - case example pics on page 3

    I loved going through this thread.
    Forgive my ignorance but did anyone else see pictures of the machine and think "this machine cost as much as a new german car....how come" ???

    It would seem to me your watchmaker has got the feel for the machine quite quickly, well done to him.
    Before & after pictures are always a treat to see.

    Thanks for the postings that made this such an informative thread.

    Cheers - Darren

  18. #68
    Master minkle's Avatar
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    Re: Lapping machine - case example pics on page 3

    Quote Originally Posted by Omegary



    :shock: :shock: :shock:

  19. #69
    Master Omegary's Avatar
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    Re: Lapping machine - case example pics on page 3

    Quote Originally Posted by Darren Cal.11/12
    Forgive my ignorance but did anyone else see pictures of the machine and think "this machine cost as much as a new german car....how come" ???
    I'm guessing it's because so few are actually produced. There's only three in the UK that I know of including this one so even globally it's hardly going to be a mass produced item. Just imagine just how much cars would cost if the world market was say 200.

    It is very well made and the tool which holds the watch case is a fabulous piece of engineering. I take your point though considering this second hand example was around 30,000 it doesn't look like much really. If they're was more demand for them I'm sure the prices would come down but maybe the high price is what puts other watch makers from ordering one, a catch 22 situation perhaps.

    Cheers,
    Gary

  20. #70
    Grand Master 100thmonkey's Avatar
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    Re: Lapping machine - case example pics on page 3

    It has produced a lovely looking piece but personally I like to see the warts and all character that wearing and ultimelty expecting wear brings
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  21. #71
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    Re: Lapping machine - case example pics on page 3

    Quote Originally Posted by Omegary
    It is very well made and the tool which holds the watch case is a fabulous piece of engineering. I take your point though considering this second hand example was around 30,000 it doesn't look like much really. If they're was more demand for them I'm sure the prices would come down but maybe the high price is what puts other watch makers from ordering one, a catch 22 situation perhaps.
    Great piece of kit, that's for sure. 8) I can't see a manufacturers name on it, do you know who makes it Gary?

    While 30k may sound like a lot, if you were setting up a business refinishing cases it wouldn't be long before it had paid for itself. As I recall having a case refinished back to factory specs in Belgium costs 180 EUR, let's say 150 for easy reckoning. :wink: At that price you'd only have to refinish 200 cases to recoup your investment - I don't know how long it takes, but at one per day that's just over 6 months.

    Rich.

  22. #72
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    Re: Lapping machine - case example pics on page 3

    Quote Originally Posted by Richie_101
    Great piece of kit, that's for sure. 8) I can't see a manufacturers name on it, do you know who makes it Gary?
    Hi Rich, I've no idea who made it, as you say there's no obvious identifying marks. It was supplied by Rolex, from what I understand they bought a lot of new equipment when they moved to their new UK HQ. Rocco's had a weeks intensive training course with Rolex too which probably explains why he's getting good results in such a short space of time. AFAIK he's the only person outside of Rolex to have been offered the training and he's been invited back, so they must think pretty highly of him.

    Cheers,
    Gary

  23. #73
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    Re: Lapping machine - case example pics on page 3

    Thanks for the info Gary.... I think Rocco is going to busy (and rightly so!). :wink:

    Rich.

  24. #74
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    Re: Lapping machine - case example pics on page 3

    Quite amazing, and lovely to see. I hope the pushers are going to be getting a bit of attention too, or they'll look a bit incongruous sticking out of the side of that case.

  25. #75

    Re: Lapping machine - case example pics on page 3

    Quote Originally Posted by Omegary
    Quote Originally Posted by Darren Cal.11/12
    Forgive my ignorance but did anyone else see pictures of the machine and think "this machine cost as much as a new german car....how come" ???
    I'm guessing it's because so few are actually produced. There's only three in the UK that I know of including this one so even globally it's hardly going to be a mass produced item. Just imagine just how much cars would cost if the world market was say 200.

    It is very well made and the tool which holds the watch case is a fabulous piece of engineering. I take your point though considering this second hand example was around 30,000 it doesn't look like much really. If they're was more demand for them I'm sure the prices would come down but maybe the high price is what puts other watch makers from ordering one, a catch 22 situation perhaps.

    Cheers,
    Gary
    Lapping machines in general are not so ultra rare... but maybe it's because it's a watch-specific lapping machine?

  26. #76
    Master pacifichrono's Avatar
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    Re: Lapping machine - case example pics on page 3

    Boy...I could do some serious damage with one of these! :roll:


  27. #77

    Re: Lapping machine - case example pics on page 3

    What a great thread, and superb pics and write up, Rocco is my new hero! :)

  28. #78
    Master PreacherCain's Avatar
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    Re: Lapping machine - case example pics on page 3

    Quote Originally Posted by 100thmonkey
    It has produced a lovely looking piece but personally I like to see the warts and all character that wearing and ultimelty expecting wear brings
    In general, I agree - I quite like a bit of wear patina on my older watches. There are limits, though...

    I contrived to drop my TV dial speedy yesterday morning (the first spring bar failure I ever had: the bracelet fell off the clasp and the whole lot hit the pavement). Fortunately the movement seems in good order, it kept perfect time in the last 24 hours and the chrono functions all work fine (thank you Lemania for making a robust movement, even if it's, er, "functional" looking!) and it didn't damage the glass, but there's a deep "scuff-dink" about 8mm long on the lower left-hand edge of the case which is seriously ugly - fortunately not really visible on the wrist. I'm pretty sure it's a keeper, so it's not an imminent cost, but the watch is now also a candidate for a re-finish. :(

  29. #79
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    Re: Lapping machine - case example pics on page 3

    Quote Originally Posted by PreacherCain
    Quote Originally Posted by 100thmonkey
    It has produced a lovely looking piece but personally I like to see the warts and all character that wearing and ultimelty expecting wear brings
    In general, I agree - I quite like a bit of wear patina on my older watches. There are limits, though...
    (
    I sort of agree to a certain extent. However if the wabi is fairly serious and a little tlc can easily improve the watch then why not, especially if the dents and scratches haven't been added by yourself. It's one thing to look at a mark on a watch and think ah that was a brief flirtation with a Vespa in the summer of 81. Quite another to not know what or where any of the marks represent, all IMHO as ever.

    How about this for an example, this is a Rolex Sub case that I photographed today as it needs some cold welding and then re-lapping. It's a pretty beat up example and it almost looks like someone got creative with a junior hacksaw in places.







    If this was mine I'd definitely get it repaired especially as it would mean I'd be far more likely to wear it.

    Not exactly sure how this is going to turn out but the guy who's going to do the back filling is pretty confident it shouldn't be a problem. I'll post some pics once the welding is completed and then some of the final re-lapped case. It won't be for a while though so please bear with me.

    Cheers,
    Gary

  30. #80

    Re: Lapping machine - case example pics on page 3

    Gary, that sub...wow, serious damage and look forward to seeing how it turns out but i just have a feeling its somehow going to look perfect once done.

    Thanks for sharing these great posts.

    :D

  31. #81
    Craftsman djkennedy67's Avatar
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    Re: Lapping machine - case example pics on page 3

    If your watchmaker can refurb that case to as new he is very impressive.

  32. #82
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    Re: Lapping machine - case example pics on page 3

    Quote Originally Posted by dreamboat10
    Gary, that sub...wow, serious damage and look forward to seeing how it turns out but i just have a feeling its somehow going to look perfect once done.

    Thanks for sharing these great posts.

    :D
    Indeed - the posts are really interesting and I look forward to seeing how this case ends up after attention. I shudder to think what happened to the poor blighter wearing it: it looks like it's been under a tank! :shock:

  33. #83

    Re: Lapping machine - case example pics on page 3

    Great thread Gary!! 8)

    Unfortunately it means everyone on here will now be bidding on beaten up crap on ebay and then PM'ing you!! :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

  34. #84
    Master
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    Re: Lapping machine - case example pics on page 3

    can't believe the state of that sub, has someone really taken a hacksaw to it? i will be seriously impressed if someone can sort that mess out.

  35. #85

    Re: Lapping machine - case example pics on page 3

    Quote Originally Posted by no.3
    can't believe the state of that sub, has someone really taken a hacksaw to it? i will be seriously impressed if someone can sort that mess out.
    Well as Gary says it will be cold welded first, then finished on the lapping machine, so in theory it should look as new once done.

    Takes some mad skills though.

    :D

  36. #86
    Master Omegary's Avatar
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    Re: Lapping machine - case example pics on page 3

    Quote Originally Posted by no.3
    can't believe the state of that sub, has someone really taken a hacksaw to it? i will be seriously impressed if someone can sort that mess out.
    We're not exactly sure what happened to it tbh. I suspect it's been in an accident as the top right lug is bent inwards slightly (yet another thing to try and rectify), so it's had a pretty severe impact at some point. As for the scare on the left side, I've not idea what could have caused that. Obviously you're looking at highly magnified imaged so the damage probably looks far worse. Here's a couple of complete case pics, the case back needs a bit of back filling too.




    Cheers,
    Gary

  37. #87
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    Re: Lapping machine - case example pics on page 3

    if your man can repair damage like the crown guard he must be a magician.
    hope to see the finished restoration in the future

  38. #88
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    Re: Lapping machine - case example pics on page 3

    I know very little about the process of cold-wlding or adding new metal to stainless steel. I`m interested to see the outcome on this. I`ve heard of a process called micro-welding and there's a BHI member who has expertise in this. Not sure if it applies to this sort of repair.

    As always, it's nice to know what is and isn`t possible.......at a price.

    Paul

  39. #89

    Re: Lapping machine - case example pics on page 3

    Quote Originally Posted by walkerwek1958
    I know very little about the process of cold-wlding or adding new metal to stainless steel. I`m interested to see the outcome on this. I`ve heard of a process called micro-welding and there's a BHI member who has expertise in this. Not sure if it applies to this sort of repair.

    As always, it's nice to know what is and isn`t possible.......at a price.

    Paul

    Damage like that can be filled with lazer welding. I'm not sure what exactly 'cold welding' is though?

  40. #90
    Master Omegary's Avatar
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    Re: Lapping machine - case example pics on page 3

    A little update about the damaged Sub case.

    Just taken a few pics of the welded case which is now waiting to be lapped and thought some here might be interested to see the inbetween stage. This is obviously work in progress and pretty much trial and error by my watchmaker and the jewellery guy who did the welding but it's coming along nicely imho.

    Caseback


    Front


    Some macro shots to hopefully show the finesse of the intricate welding






    Remember that nasty gash on the top left lug?


    Well here's what it looks like welding after a very rudimentary polish, just give a quick idea of what can be done.


    Next stop the lapping machine, although that won't happen for a while yet because of other commitments.

    Cheers,
    Gary

  41. #91
    Grand Master sundial's Avatar
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    Re: Lapping machine - case example pics on page 3

    Clever stuff ... I had no idea that such mini welding repairs are possible ... look forward to seeing the final result.

    Best wishes

    dunk
    " but the greatest gift the railways give to us is the proper treatment of time." John Betjeman , BBC Home Service radio broadcast 4 July 1940.

  42. #92
    Master Omegary's Avatar
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    Re: Lapping machine - case example pics on page 3

    Thanks Dunk.

    It'll be a while before the case is finished completely as Rocco (the watchmaker) is doing some more training at Rolex on how to relap the crown guard side of Subs, however but that's not until November. I suspect he'll refinish the rest of the case before then though and leave the right side until after the training. Anyway I'll update this post once there's been some progress.

    Cheers,
    Gary

  43. #93

    Re: Lapping machine - case example pics on page 3

    The quality of the finish produced by the lapping machine blew me away but i'm stunned by the welding too.
    Must be very difficult to work on such a small scale. These guys are craftsmen.

  44. #94

    Re: Lapping machine - case example pics on page 3

    This is turning into a good thread.

    Youtube has a few videos of the welding precess, worth a look.



    http://youtu.be/iS8pNahKTe8

  45. #95

    Re: Lapping machine - case example pics on page 3

    This thread just gets better....keep it coming :)

  46. #96
    Grand Master seikopath's Avatar
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    Re: Lapping machine - case example pics on page 3

    :shock: that micro welding is pretty amazing

    Looking at that damage to the watch , I hate to think what happened to the hand that was wearing it (if it was being worn at the time)
    "the only reason for time is so that everything doesn't happen at once."

  47. #97

    Re: Lapping machine - case example pics on page 3

    Excelllent stuff, thanks for the updates.

    :)

  48. #98
    Master Wooster's Avatar
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    Re: Lapping machine - case example pics on page 3

    Quote Originally Posted by Omegary

    Remember that nasty gash on the top left lug?


    Well here's what it looks like welding after a very rudimentary polish, just give a quick idea of what can be done.
    I wish I could be repaired so nice :lol:

  49. #99

    Re: Lapping machine - case example pics on page 3

    Watchcases can be healed, chicks dig scars... ;) :D

  50. #100
    Master PreacherCain's Avatar
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    Re: Lapping machine - case example pics on page 3

    Wow. That welding is extraordinary: working on that scale must be extremely tricky. Most impressive!

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