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Thread: My go on watch case lapping

  1. #51
    Craftsman
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    Great work on the omega case. Bravo.

  2. #52
    Bulova case from the 70´s

    Before



    After (waiting for new crystal)




  3. #53
    Grand Master magirus's Avatar
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    Excellent work on that Bulova.

  4. #54
    Craftsman TimeThoughts's Avatar
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    I really need to look in here (Mods & Wreckers) more often.

    What an excellent post.

    I can tell you as an owner of a Rolex Explorer II you should get intellectual property on your jigs & kit and start refurbing Exp II fixed bezels - they are scratch magnets and it looks like your finish out Rolex'es the factory finish on the Exp ii !

  5. #55
    Quote Originally Posted by TimeThoughts View Post
    I really need to look in here (Mods & Wreckers) more often.

    What an excellent post.

    I can tell you as an owner of a Rolex Explorer II you should get intellectual property on your jigs & kit and start refurbing Exp II fixed bezels - they are scratch magnets and it looks like your finish out Rolex'es the factory finish on the Exp ii !

    I'm in the process of building a new machine that (in theory) should produce perfect straight graining - if it works I'll be happy to give your Exp II bezel a "touch up"! ;)

  6. #56
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    Excellent , very educational!

  7. #57
    Todays work - Speedmaster MK2









    Not perfect, but the case was quite polished and handlapped to start with - so I'm pleased with the result! :)

  8. #58
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    Looks good from here.

  9. #59
    Quote Originally Posted by IanM View Post
    Looks good from here.
    Tnx!

    The case had been polished a few times and "refinished" by hand - so the corner where quite round and welding would have been necesary to get corners fixed.
    The owner decided this was good enough!

  10. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by McGyver View Post
    Tnx!

    The case had been polished a few times and "refinished" by hand - so the corner where quite round and welding would have been necesary to get corners fixed.
    The owner decided this was good enough!
    There's definitely a point where it can be taken too far. I think refinished cases are better if a degree of wear is still there. Otherwise it just looks like it's been replaced.

    Just my view though.

  11. #61
    Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by IanM View Post
    I think refinished cases are better if a degree of wear is still there.
    That’s very difficult to achieve, and impossible with the Bulova above. There’s no half way house when there is that much damage and wear. Based on Macgyver’s comments the same probably applies to the Omega. No-one wants to refinish a vintage watch, really, but sometimes it’s the only way once it’s too far gone. Original is best, but only a few 40 or 50 year old watches get this far with their factory finish intact.

    I think he’s done a fantastic job and it’s great to read about McGyver’s journey perfecting the equipment and the process.

  12. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by Si View Post
    That’s very difficult to achieve, and impossible with the Bulova above. There’s no half way house when there is that much damage and wear. Based on Macgyver’s comments the same probably applies to the Omega. No-one wants to refinish a vintage watch, really, but sometimes it’s the only way once it’s too far gone. Original is best, but only a few 40 or 50 year old watches get this far with their factory finish intact.

    I think he’s done a fantastic job and it’s great to read about McGyver’s journey perfecting the equipment and the process.
    Absolutely. It wasn't intended to be a criticism at all. The results that Mcgyver has achieved are nothing short of amazing and all the more impressive considering he's made the equipment to do it.

  13. #63
    Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by IanM View Post
    Absolutely. It wasn't intended to be a criticism at all.
    I know, sorry!

  14. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by Si View Post
    I know, sorry!
    No worries.

    Ian.

  15. #65
    Master
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    Great work OP. Is this work at a 'family and friends' hobby level or are you taking on work on a paid basis? Hope you don't mind the question, I'm just curious.

  16. #66
    Quote Originally Posted by benny.c View Post
    Great work OP. Is this work at a 'family and friends' hobby level or are you taking on work on a paid basis? Hope you don't mind the question, I'm just curious.
    Ask away! ;)

    Actually it's both! I'm an engineer but working in the finance sector for many years.
    My father was a research engineer/toolmaker and I have been ”playing” with laths, mills etc since I was abt 8. The finance sector is not the place to be if you want to spin a piece in a lathe now and then, so I took up watchmaking as a hobby. I serviced and refinished my own watches but soon got so many requests for help from others that I had to start a small company to be able to pay tax etc ”the right way”!
    I now work one day a week with watches and have no intention of expanding – I just want to make it worth while and compensate for my lost day at my real job! :)

    I tend to go all in and end up being a total nerd with my interests and find forums and especially DIY-sections to be great inspiration and great resources of knowledge.

    I used to build HiFi-equipment and electrostatic speakers and as an example, forum tips lead to tests using a spark transformer from a oilburner, salvaged at the local scrapyard, as a low frequency transformer for a speaker project – It works great, cost nothing and many years later is still in use – thanks DIY!

    This thread is not intended as an advertisement for my work, it's just a log of how I did it and the results. I hope it will help some one with a plan to start lapping and if not, at least kill some bad ideas of how not to do things! :)

  17. #67
    Journeyman
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    Nice job!

  18. #68
    Master
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    That sounds ideal. Still at a nice scale without the pressure of doing it full time.

  19. #69
    Apprentice
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    NEW LIFE

    Thank you for the pictures and the explanation of your work and machines. Amazing but humble show of your skills and ingenuity.

    You don't show before/after pictures of all the watches, but the Bulova is impressive. I find myself going up and down your post comparing the old vs. new. If it is the same dial, the refinished case makes it look so much better... eye catching! If it is not, you've still added new life to an otherwise very tired and boring piece.

    I know a lot of collectors with a drawer full of pieces such as the Bulova. They just don't get worn. Maybe they would be if they looked like the Bulova or that Seiko!

  20. #70
    This evenings work - an old Heuer case!

    Before







    After






  21. #71
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    Another great transformation.

  22. #72
    Craftsman Exiztence's Avatar
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    I think this is very impressive, would it be right to assume that you could "recut" chamfers on vintage Rolexes?

  23. #73
    Quote Originally Posted by Exiztence View Post
    I think this is very impressive, would it be right to assume that you could "recut" chamfers on vintage Rolexes?
    -Yes and No!

    I need some more practice on cases with crown guards and perhaps a new jig to get the width of the chamfer perfect!

  24. #74
    Master
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    What a talent. Well done.

  25. #75

    Post

    Excellent work, indeed !!
    If i'm not rude, have you made also the worm drive ?

    Thank you for sharing.
    Last edited by aldo; 22nd December 2015 at 20:44. Reason: wrong verb

  26. #76
    Quote Originally Posted by aldo View Post
    Excellent work, indeed !!
    If i'm not rude, have you made also the worm drive ?

    Thank you for sharing.

    No - I have to much junk in front of my lathes gearbox so I took a shortcut and got me a 30:1 set from Conrad! ;)

  27. #77
    Got a nice Tissot Navigator on my bench that had been badly polished and the owner wanted it restored to its former glory.

    As the case had been badly abused som corners etc are not perfect as I would have to remove to much material and my welder is still in its prototype state - I will have to do as it is!

    What I had to work with:



    After lapping and polishing







    Last edited by McGyver; 15th June 2016 at 08:38.

  28. #78
    Journeyman
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    Nice job! I'm really curios about your "prototype welder".

  29. #79
    I have been lapping some Speedmaster MkII cases for friends and when a watch from "my" year, 1970, was for sale localy I could not resist any more!

    The watch when I got it:







    The case had seen quite a bit of lapping by hand and the surfaces whera all but flat.

    A couple of hours later





    Not perfect but good enough until I can get my welder working!

  30. #80
    great stuff! I'd love to have a workshop and be able to do this type of thing myself.... one day! haha

  31. #81
    Great thread! Hats off to you - some really impressive work there, thanks for sharing :-)

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