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by Tony

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About a month has gone by and school is going by wonderfully.  We’re still in the filing stage and it’s been quite tedious to be honest.  So far our projects have been the Anvil/Pusher Holder, Balance Tack, Movement Holder, and bracelet links.  It’s funny because the Anvil/Pusher holder is the only one that has been completed.  Everything else is partially done because we need to learn how to work the lathe to complete the rest. This is our last week of filing and next week, the lathes come out.  So for prospective or interested students, the filing stage is about a month long.  Some days are purely just for work.  So that means eight hours of filing and sawing.  I can tell you that my fingers have been a bit sore lately!

I said earlier it can be quite tedious but all this has a purpose.  Each project has gotten smaller and smaller.  My sensitivity with using the file has greatly increased and I’m filing a lot more flatter now.  Believe me, it’s not as easy as you think. I’m sure J. Peter could do these with his eyes closed :p

Not too much to report now but in the next week or so I’ll have a lot of info to give out.  Other than that, filing is pretty much all it’s been so far. Sorry for the vague and general post but it’s all I got so far. Till next time.

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  1. J.Peter
    Posted September 30, 2008 at 9:36 pm | Permalink

    Tony, thanks for the post. If you think your fingers are sore now wait until next week when the lathe comes out. You’ll likely spend a day or two sharpening gravers by hand on your india stone. This will likely end up with you having some fingers wrapped in band-aids.

    As for my filing skill. I’m sure its not what it was two years ago. I mostly use my files for simple tasks like shortening a pin for a bracelet or making a generic end piece fit, nothing precise. It is a valuable skill to have, even if you only have to pull it out every once and a while, plus you are building dexterity and attention to detail.

  2. Cameron
    Posted October 1, 2008 at 3:55 am | Permalink

    Thanks for the update.

  3. Prem
    Posted October 1, 2008 at 8:51 am | Permalink

    Hello Jp and Tony,
    Seldom do we realise the importance of mundane tasks, and as Jp can testify, when faced with a serious problem in-store can we only excel in those tasks like filing for example. I remember quite clearly our initiation in these specific tasks at the Technicum Neuchateloise in La-Chx, Switzerland, and it was quite similar to the experience that you are facing Tony! All us students at that time kept saying, when are we going to do watch work?
    The answer, is teaching you basics, takes time, and in Time, I learnt that. The patience required to do balance truing, or hairspring work is much greater than filing work, so the school is bulding your skills- from down to the topmost rung of watchmaking, and it is a severe testing ground. Many may fail in their endeavours to be at the top, and graduate a watchmaker! The idea is to keep going and learn skills every new day. I am still learning after 25 years of being a watchmaker, and it is this incredible thirst of watchmaking that keeps me going….and for that matter, no two watchmakers are ever alike….
    Cheers and good luck on the lathes!

  4. Justin
    Posted October 2, 2008 at 5:05 am | Permalink

    Thanks for the update, Tony. Good luck.

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