So I have cut out most of the material with a fretsaw. Now the plates and bridges must be filed down with needle files to the required shape. You can see needle files in the picture below.
This is a very delicate task. The part must be held in a vice so that one can file it and yet the vice must not damage the part. Crushing the part, pushing in a steady pin etc. are potential hazards at this stage. Also, filing must be done carefully. Thin areas can be distorted by filing, so these need some sort of support. Any mistake and the watch will not work. This is why skeletonising is more than just sculpture. In the end the watch must work and keep time!
A few days of careful filing results in this, the bridges....
... and the dial plate.
Everything look fine, except ......... please see the next few images...........
As you can see, the flanks of the bridges look terrible. The file gives you the correct shape but the surface that has been filed is quite unsightly.
A few more days of sanding the flanks with emery paper stuck on brass strips and this is what you get.......
..... a nice, even brush finish.
Next, we deal with the inner surfaces. hope you enjoyed this.