Category Archives: Techniques

This page features a collection of techniques and lessons I’ve learned in the process of designing and making my watch. Some of these techniques have been informed by reading books or the Internet, some of them have just been learned the hard way through experience. I am an engineer not a trained watchmaker so everything here is for information only; copy me at your own risk!

Learning to weld aluminium

I was lucky enough to use a friend’s TIG welding setup earlier in the year to make a frame from stainless steel box section. Since I mostly machine aluminium in my workshop, I decided it was time to learn to weld pieces toegther, not just turn them into swarf. Here is my first attempt on a piece of 2mm thick sheet:

It took a couple of runs to get the current set to something reasonable, the early runs being just to the left of the torch. The longer weld is actually joining two pieces of sheet together; the reflections exaggerate the ripples. While this top side looks ok (pretty good I’d like to think for a first attempt), the weld doesn’t penetrate right through for most of the length so a bit more heat is needed next time. There is also some contamination of the weld visible (black holes), probably from something on the edges of the sheets, which I didn’t brush clean. 

Aligning the centring microscope

I had been having problems when trying to cut pinions, ending up with misshapen leaves as if the cutter was off centre. The centring scope had been used to centre the cutter each time so this was suspect number one. 

A quick search on the web for the maker of my scope, Aubert, revealed they were still in business. They even provide instructions for their current scopes on their website ( 

Initial inspection of my scope failed to find the four adjustment screws, Continue reading Aligning the centring microscope