Jump to content
manodeoro

Not such an easy (but still easy) way to drill non pre-drilled lugs when you’re a city dweller

Recommended Posts

Last year (February),as I was just searching infos for my first build, I went on forums asking for some help about drilling lugs with a dremel.

It really seemed to be a dead end way but I tried and tried again and today I'm glad to say that YES ... it's possible to drill your watch cases with a dremel.

 

I have never seen a tuto showing how to drill lugs when you live in a city flat and have a dremel but no place for a real drill-press (unless you show your girl/boy friend how to open the main door and leave) so I hope this one could be usefull.

 

So ... let's go to the facts.

 

A few days ago I had to drill the lugs of a 16610 case with non pre-drilled lugs (and a sh...y paperclip bezel construction) so I have made some pics all along the process.

I have NO drill-press (I know I could show my better half how to open the main door and leave but ... I'm not ready to do that).

 

So what did I use and how did I do ?

 

My tools :

- a punch

- my 40$ dremel-like

- a 50$ little drill stand (got it on sale on Amazon)

- an 43 mm adapter (10$ on ebay)

- a cheap (but good) vise

- 1mm + 1.3mm HSS drill bits

- cutting oil

- "The Foundation" (Zac Brwon Band)

 

I choosed a 5027000 Wolcraft drill-stand because it had a toothed rack and a return spring, it could be put in parts and in a card box (altogether with vise, drill bits and cutting oil) in less than 5 minutes.

That cardbox goes to the cellar when I dont need those tools while my dremel-like stays in a drawer with all the watch parts and ongoing projects.

 

And if you ever wonder why I use 1mm drill bits AND 1.3mm drill bits :

- it's easier (IMHO) to center on the hole you punched if you drill 1mm first then 1.3mm

- where I leave (Europe) I can buy 10x1mm HSS drill bits for about 5$ and 1.3mm HSS drill bits I bought on cousins.uk are 5$ each so I really take care of them

 

An now the process (took me about 1 hour).

 

 

1 - Open the cardbox and build the drill stand

 

You'd better protect your (kitchen) table because you will use a bunch of cutting oil

 

image.jpg

 

image.jpg
 

 

2 - Put the 43mm adapter and prepare you drill bits

 

Of course you screw you dremel on the adapter and put a 1mm HSS drill bit ... I forgot to take a specific pic

 

image.jpg

 

image.jpg
 

 

3 - Punch the watch lugs

 

Note that I had already marked the lugs with an extra-fine permanent pen

You'd better punch large enough so that the 1mm drill bit can easily find its place in the hole

 

image.jpg
 

 

4 - Place you watch case in the vice

 

I put some painter tape on the vice to protect the case

It's better to place some metal pieces under the lugs so that the case dont go down when you push a little with the drill bit

 

image.jpg
 

 

5 - Place the vice on the drill stand and center the drill bit precisely on the punched hole

 

image.jpg

 

 

6 - Put some oil on the punched hole and drill

 

Don't be stingy with the oil ... there is never too much of it

About the speed I used I cannot be precise because my dremel-like has a variator marked from 0 to 5.

I worked bteween 1 and 3 so the speed was probably between 7000rpm and 18000rpm.

From my very short experience in drilling and depending on the drill bits, I would say that the speed is good when the "steel-dust" comes out easily with some oil while you drill.

And do not forget to clean the lug and put some new oil every times it looks like the last PIC here ... about 3 times on every lug.

 

image.jpg

 

image.jpg

 

image.jpg

 

 

7 - Now you have drilled all 4 lugs with a 1mm bit, so place the 1.3mm bit on the dremel-like and drill again

 

That part is very easy as you process the same as with the 1mm drill bit.

But do not forget about beeing "oily"

 

image.jpg

 

 

8 - Now you have an early-oily 16610 case so just wash it and clean it and it will be just "early"

 

You still have to thin the lugs a little, cut nice chamfers, polish the sides and crownguards and do a nice Rolex brush on the upside of the case, but all this is itty-bitty cause you have done the tough part.

 

image.jpg
 

Hope this helps.

And please leave your comments, questions and advices.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Very nice work!!  But one detail you left out, are those SAE or metric washers you used beneath the lugs?

 

:tu:

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Very nice work!!  But one detail you left out, are those SAE or metric washers you used beneath the lugs?
 
:tu:
 


Well ... I’m French you know so, despite my openness and all respect due to the Society of Automotive Engineers, I always use metric washers


Envoyé de mon iPhone en utilisant Tapatalk

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Very nice work!!  But one detail you left out, are those SAE or metric washers you used beneath the lugs?
 
:tu:
 
@Nanuq ... may I ask/know if you work in oil and gas engineering ?

Envoyé de mon Moto G (5) Plus en utilisant Tapatalk

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@manodeoro,  I used to.  I worked on the arctic coast near Nuiqsut, Kuparuk and Deadhorse.  Are those names familiar?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 hours ago, Nanuq said:

@manodeoro,  I used to.  I worked on the arctic coast near Nuiqsut, Kuparuk and Deadhorse.  Are those names familiar?

Not at all ... I can locate those names in/near Alaska but that's all.

Ekofisk, Johan Sverdrup or Coral South means more to me as I have often heard my sons quote those names (they sometimes quote SAE too).

My 2 sons, now 33 and 28, both work in oil and gas industry.

The older one works in Norway since 2009 ... he dives a lot so I built him a 16800 COMEX last year. 

The younger one "is based" in France but during the last 2 years he has spent most of his time abroad,  Norway / Singapore / India / Russia / etc ... why do I  think about building him a GMT ? :tongue:

Edited by manodeoro
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You know it's against forum rules.... you can't mention a home made 16800 COMEX and not show pictures of it!   Let's see that beauty. 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

OMG ... I only realize now that I never posted about that watch here ...only on other board.

I solemnly promize to repair this forgetfullness 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh yes, that's a beauty. Very tasty!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, Nanuq said:

Oh yes, that's a beauty. Very tasty!

Thank you very much ^_^ 

That has been my very first build, the one during which I learned almost everything I know now :

- reworking case and crownguards

- drilling and chamfering lugs

- polishing and brushing steel

- building dials

So, though I have achieved some better builds after that one, it remains my favorite. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×