- Topics Started: 90
- Total Posts: 1360
As far as I know, the watchmaker lathe and graver system is the only aspect of machine work that still functions on the old “by gosh and by golly” system. When World War 1 came, the need for interchangable parts and the design of metal working machines began to phase out machine work as an art, and turned it into an engineering endeavor. Outside of watch repair everything that I know of is cut to a mathematical model. This became even more so after World War 2 when the introduction of NC and later CNC machinery allowed the manufacture of complex geometrys on a repeatable basis. Can you imagine a set of helicopter blades where one blade is slightly different than the other; I would not want to fly in that helicopter. This was a paragidm shift that had to be made in order for products to work consistantly and properly. If you go to Youtube and look at the inside of major watch factories today you will see CNC mills, CNC wire EDM machines, CNC Lathes etc. and very few, if any, work being done with gravers on watchmaker lathes. Documentries of several watch factories during World War 2 tell pretty much the same story but with cam controlled machines instead of CNC. So is it “left handed” or “right handed”? Actually the information is now dialed into the machine and the cutter is fed under power.