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Making new drawing dies for my hydraulic press WIP


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Right now my Uncle Al's forging press only has flat dies, and I really need to make some other dies for it. What I want to make first is a set of drawing dies, but I figure why just make plain drawing dies when i can make a really nice set of dies with built in stops, and with adjustable orientation. This will let me use it in one direction for drawing, in the other for forging fullers, and the stops will let me ensure I never accidentally squish too much.

 

I'm starting with a piece of 2 inch shafting that I had laying around. I know that dies wear out eventually, so my plan is to make them replaceable without much hassle. Instead of welding the dies onto the holder plate, I plan to bolt them on with 3/8 flat head sockets. This means I only need to have matched sets of holes 90 degree from eachother to change the dies, even though the holder plate itself is 4x8.

 

Splitting a round bar down the center is a real pain... so instead I cut myself two 4 inch pieces and am using a shaper to flatten them both at the same time.

 

dies1.jpg

 

I've got a ways to go before i'm at the point that I want, and unfortunately the shaper needs a new belt, as the one on it currently wants to slip if I try to remove more than 10thou in a pass, so it's going to be a while before the shaping job is done. Shapers are not the tool to use when you're worried about speed =)

 

 

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That's a good idea..Half rounds will make nice dies and I like the bolt on idea too. just a little off topic but how do you like your riverside press? Ive heard nothing but good about them and we are thinking of ordering one..Thanks

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Now that I have an inch and a quarter flat on each die, I need to get the plates that they will mount to ready so that I can accurately drill the holes, transfer punch their locations to the rounds, and drill them and tap them for 3/8 16tpi bolts.

 

dies2.jpg

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That's a good idea..Half rounds will make nice dies and I like the bolt on idea too. just a little off topic but how do you like your riverside press? Ive heard nothing but good about them and we are thinking of ordering one..Thanks

 

 

I really like my Uncle Al's press. I love that I can use both hands to hold a tool and a bar and use my foot to actuate it, and I love that it's compact and small. He's also the only commercial press out there that actually cares about shielding his hoses, a pet peve of mine with other presses.

 

 

Next step in the dies is to drill and tap holes. Unfortunately this took me all afternoon, broke one drill bit in one hole, and broke one tap in another hole ! argh!

 

dies3.jpg

 

Lastly I've just got to put the holes in the top and bottom plates, chamfer the edges, and bolt them on =)

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I like that too. shielded hoses I mean..Ive no doubt that sooner or later Id drop a big billet of something right on a hose if it wasn't covered..Good work on them dies :)

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I still need to drill 4 more holes for the 'other' position on the dies, but they line up just right in one direction.

 

Once I drill the other 4 holes, I need to weld on some 'stops' to the front of the dies, so they wont slide out the other side of the press, then weld in a pair of sockets for 'stop bars' on the outer edges of the die plates and these will be done =)

 

edit: and make some 'stop bars' for the holes and clearly mark them for what depth they're stopping at.

 

dies4.jpg

Edited by Justin Mercier
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Other position is drilled for and counter sunk.

 

dies5.jpg

 

dies6.jpg

 

Now to add a pair of sockets for stop blocks, and a tab to the front to keep the dies from sliding sliding off (what the catch tab is there for in the front on the press) and I'll call it a day. Cant find my square tubing right now though so maybe wont finish tonight.

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Justin,

Great idea. I have similar dies, but mine are just oriented at 45% to the line of the bottom plate. That way, I can forge across to draw out, and forge along to fuller or draw down. No shifting of die necessary.

 

You have a great set of heavy tools. Jealous as always.

kc

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Justin,

Great idea. I have similar dies, but mine are just oriented at 45% to the line of the bottom plate. That way, I can forge across to draw out, and forge along to fuller or draw down. No shifting of die necessary.

 

You have a great set of heavy tools. Jealous as always.

kc

You should come visit sometime =)

 

I was originally going to make them at 45 but I realized that I hated my 45 degree flat dies (which I'm making new ones of as soon as the stock arrives in the mail) because I like coming on to the press straight and can judge my work better straight on.

 

The stops will be a 1.125 inch bar the same height as the dies on each side, with a 3/4 round hole drilled in the middles of the bottom ones, the hole will be exactly 1" deep, and the stops will be 3/4 rounds 1" + 3/16, +1/4 + 3/8 + 1/2

 

The flat dies will be a pair of 1" plates 4 inches thick and 6 inches long, the bottom plate will have 2 3/4 round holes drilled at the ends to fit the same stops.

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Awesome.

 

I have stop blocks on all my dies now. A must, IMHO.

I hope to have a couple more new dies soon. I want to try a fuller die for the press, and a center rib die.

Thanks for sharing.

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My new flat dies are now done too, and I've determined that 2 rounds tends to be a bit more aggressive than I want, so instead I've been using 1 flat and one round, as per the suggestion of Delbert Ealy, and will just use the 2 rounds when fullering. For the round dies I used chunks of 1.250 bar and used the shaper to make them the same height as the bars. Actually i left them 10 to 20 thou thicker or so, so I dont squish the rounds right into each other.

 

They're both set up for 3/4" round stops. As you can see in the top photo, I've got 5/16 holes in the bottoms of the stop holes to drive out the stops if they get upset into the holes. I may turn a couple thou off of the stops to give even more clearance if I find that I'm having to drive them out frequently.

 

I can also use the holes as guides to hold in tooling as well, not that I have any tooling in mind just at the moment

 

dies7.jpg

 

dies8.jpg

Edited by Justin Mercier
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So that everyone can see my failure and learn from it! These dies would probably have worked just fine as I designed them on any press upon which the dies mount ontop of solid plates, but the Uncle Al's presses are 'hollow' between the centers, so there was no support underneath the very center of the dies, where my stops are.

 

An unexpected (but probably should have been anticipated) problem I've run into. The 1/4 inch plate base isnt strong enough for my design. The 1" plate needs to be welded and supported in the center. This will be fixed in a few weeks, as I do not have welding equipment to take care of this myself. My 1/4" stops are now 3/16 inch stops!

 

The top flats without the stops in them are probably just fine as is with drilled and tapped holes holding them to the back plate, but I'll have the top dies welded as well.

 

diefail1.jpg

 

diefail2.jpg

 

diefail3.jpg

Edited by Justin Mercier
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couple quick questions. Do you think would 3/8" plate have held up(It looks like those die holders would accept thicker plates) ? Also can you "fill" that hollow under the die with a piece of plate without affecting operation? Well one more question, have you ever tred any hot punching or butting with your press? Thanks

Edited by KYBOY
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One of the things I like about the Uncle Al's press is that you can hot punch and drift on it precisely because there is no solid plate under the die area. It was just a failure of my design that I forgot to take this into account. If i had used the bolt-on way that I had done it, but had put the stops in the front and back, not the center, there would have been solid metal under the plate to support the stops and keep them from bending the base plate.

 

5/16 is about as thick as it'll hold, but 5/16 vs 1/4 i'd have had the same problem =)

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If I understand the pics, the press pushed the stop pins through the 1" block which overloaded your 1/4" plate?

 

A shoulder on the stop pins would help distribute the load across the entire surface of the 1" block. (I'm armchair quarterbacking here, because I would have made the same mistake you did)

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