Clock Progress: Filing

Now that my filing skills have progressed, it's time to put the final touches on the clock plates.

We cut out these plates months ago, when our filing and sawing skills were still... Mediocre at best. We didn't even know how to file a sharp corner!

The first step is getting the plates realigned to each other and finalizing their exterior surfaces. High-quality watchmaker and clockmaker quality means absolutely no sawing or filing marks—emery paper or lapping film is required for the final finish.

Next, the windows have to be filed flat and square. This is tricky, and requires a file with a fully-dressed "safe edge," which is flat and featureless, and won't mar the adjoining surface.

This takes practice and a lot of back-and-forth. Lining up the windows along the same axis is already tricky, but getting the corners perfect makes it a real challenge. The window on the bottom is almost done, while the window on the top still needs work.

The final product should look sharp and crisp, almost as though it was done by a machine. This would have been impossible just a few months ago, but we're progressing nicely!

Watchmaking student at the Lititz Watch Technicum, formerly a radio and TV newswriter in Chicago.