Jump to content

Has anyone converted a punch press to blademaking equipt?


Recommended Posts

      I have line on a couple big, elec driven, heavy flywheel punch presses from 60's period. Rated at 45 tons, Cycle (or hammer) rate is 90 per minute, stroke is 4" +/- 2.5", shut height of bed is 12' (not sure what this last spec is describing). No question regards this equipt being more than structurally robust for the purpose.

     My main question: has anyone converted a machine of this nature to a be a press for forging purposes? Most specifically, will the flywheel mechanism generate sufficient force to work a damascus billet efficiently? Not to stand in for an air hammer where drawing out and shaping to dimensions, but to perform initial billet "packing" and then after final stack/forge weld, any subsequent "deformation" (laddering, etc)  functions?  

Link to post
Share on other sites

The issue is, and I may be wrong, it that a punch press is designed to run all the way to the end of the stroke (no matter what is in between the dies) before returning to the top of stroke position.  There is no soft link in the system.  If the stroke is interrupted before the bottom of the travel, something is going to fail.

A power hammer has a soft link somewhere in the stroke path, rather than breaking or trying to run in reverse, the springs absorb some of the excess travel.  You lose power in the stroke, but the machine survives.

People have turned punch presses into hammers, but I don't know the details.

discussion

If you were doing some sort of repetitive die forging, this might be the machine

The forging starts about 4:00

ax

 

g

Edited by Geoff Keyes

"The worst day smithing is better than the best day working for someone else."

 

I said that.

 

If a thing is worth doing, it is worth doing badly.

- - -G. K. Chesterton

 

So, just for the record: the fact that it does work still should not be taken as definitive proof that you are not crazy.

 

Grant Sarver

Link to post
Share on other sites

Having owned the mate to this one https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=faoLGu_vPXc for several years. I would advise converting to hand power and thinking of it as a vertical wheel fly press. Geoff posted while I was typing but I would agree with what he said. If you can get one cheap it is a great stand in for a conventional fly press. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Geoff, Matt...thanks for your replies/keeping me from spending foolishly!!

   Hadn't thought that when on stroke, that punch head is going all the way to end of travel, or something is gonna give. So that pretty much rules out using to do an initial packing, or shaping to billet dimensions....without an array of dies similar to what's seen in video of Granford Bruks type setups. Machines I'm researching are big (~10 feet tall/fly wheel ~3.5 feet), but not that big (and lotsa dies would break the bank). Could be useful for stamping in patterns if I can get it cheap, but guessing the scrap price somewhere in $750-1000 range now days. If spending $1k just for putting in patterns, better path would be a roller setup. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, this topic comes up every so often, and the answer is always the same.  They are not hammers, and can't be made into hammers.  The whole "must complete stroke or something will break" thing is why they're all scrapped now, OSHA won't allow them.  

 

If you can score a big power fly press, aka friction screw forging press, those are awesome for that task.  Grant Sarver used those to forge tongs in closed dies. They don't have to complete the stroke like a punch press does, they just squish and bounce back.  Realistically, you'll be better off financially building a hydraulic press of power hammer.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Alan...Thanks for reply,

    between you guys on the forum and a friend I've asked, you've steered me away from a "I can make this thing work" FUBAR. One friend mentioned that Jim Poor uses one to press in pattern dies, so somebody is using to work at least one facet of damascus.  Mr. Poor has access to a lot more resources than I ever will, (but that doesn't diminish my love of big bad ass machines).

Thanks all....on to next hair-brained scheme.   

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

I have scrapped 2 and kept the flywheels ….two others are now in use as belt grinders/sanders. One of the wheels saved is 36 “ in diameter With a 2 3/4” bore….I have the shaft and bearings but have not set it up yet.

I love those flat true wheels under the belt. 
 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
22 hours ago, Jan Ysselstein said:

.two others are now in use as belt grinders/sanders. One of the wheels saved is 36 “ in diameter With a 2 3/4” bore….I have the shaft and bearings but have not set it up yet.

Now I'm drooling with envy.

“So I'm lightin' out for the territory, ahead of the scared and the weak and the mean spirited, because Aunt Sally is fixin’ to adopt me and civilize me, and I can't stand it. I've been there before.”

The only bad experience is the one from which you learn nothing.  

 

Josh

http://www.dosgatosdesignsllc.com/#!

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCdJMFMqnbLYqv965xd64vYg

J.States Bladesmith | Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/dos.gatos.71

https://www.etsy.com/shop/JStatesBladesmith

Link to post
Share on other sites

I think that is the appeal.  It's a great honking big chunk of steel already built into a frame.  I think you could repurpose the frame into a hammer or a press but the cost of getting and moving it would need to be near zero.

 

g

"The worst day smithing is better than the best day working for someone else."

 

I said that.

 

If a thing is worth doing, it is worth doing badly.

- - -G. K. Chesterton

 

So, just for the record: the fact that it does work still should not be taken as definitive proof that you are not crazy.

 

Grant Sarver

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
×
×
  • Create New...