Punch dies for hand-powered hydraulic press?

Sheet Metal Fabrication techniques, questions and help. "Tricks of the Trade"

Moderators: Harold_V, GlennW

User avatar
davesisk
Posts: 35
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 9:53 am
Location: Raleigh, NC, USA

Re: Punch dies for hand-powered hydraulic press?

Post by davesisk » Fri Jul 23, 2004 11:14 pm

I've gotten a quote from unipunch, and the smallest vee notcher is about $700. I've asked unittool for a quote as well. I see the Whitney Roper mechanical notchers are also in that same price range. Ouch.

Do you guys think it would be possible to make something like this? Does it really need to be completely machines, or could I weld and/or bolt the parts together? Would the whole think need to be made of tool steel (expensive!), or do you think thicker mild steel (like 1" x 2" bar or similar) would be sufficient to notch 1/8" thick angle? Would the edges break off or bend with mild steel? Or would a combination of maybe a spring-loaded fixture made from welded mild steel with some sort of bolt on tool steel blades (the cutting edges) would work? Any ideas on what to use as blades? Maybe just rectangulat tool steel bars?

Any suggestions appreciated. This has become quite a quest!

Dave
Metal Projects: [url=http://www.ipass.net/davesisk/metalprojects.htm]www.ipass.net/davesisk/metalprojects.htm[/url]

User avatar
Ries
Posts: 208
Joined: Thu Mar 25, 2004 11:05 pm

Re: Punch dies for hand-powered hydraulic press?

Post by Ries » Sat Jul 24, 2004 4:50 pm

It seems like 75% of the posts on this and most other internet metalworking forums are variations on "how can I make a complicated, industrial quality item, without spending any money on tools?".

Well, the short answer is you can have it fast, cheap, or good, pick one. After 20 years in the trade, you can maybe pick 2. I know old timers who can make a corner notcher in a day out of scrap. But they have used all kinds of tools for so long the principles have become automatic, and they have an intimate knowledge of machining, heat treating, and have used large industrial scale tools enough to know what breaks where and when.
You absolutely need to use tool steel for the blades, if you want it to last more than once. You need to heat treat the type of tool steel you use appropriately for its alloy, of which there are hundreds, all different. You need to use the right relief angle for your intended use, alloy, and thickness of material. If you are willing to take the time to study up on how press tooling is made, how to choose and heat treat blade material, and be prepared to make a few mistakes, you can make you own.

The roper whitney manual style corner notchers wont work for your application. They are for sheet metal, and top out at 16ga steel.

Frankly, 700 bucks for a unipunch notcher is a pretty good deal. But you ought to be able to find a used one for a lot less, if you dig around on the internet. Go to machinetools.com, search for press brakes, then email a few of the dealers that have more than one, and ask if they have any unipunch style tooling for sale. Chances are they have boxes full of the stuff.

The scotchman v notcher accessory is ready to go out of the box-
www.scotchman.com/tooling_options.php
lower middle of the page. But probably in your $700 range as well.

MetalPro, a line of really cheapie homemade style ironworkers, makes 2 corner notchers for their machines- $150 and $499. Maybe that $150 bucks is more in your price range.
MSC carries them-
www.mscdirect.com/IWCatProductPage.proc ... &Keyword=Y

But really, you cant make stuff without tools. In fact with tools, you can not only make stuff out of metal, you can make money. To buy more tools. More tools are always good.

User avatar
Steve_in_Mich
Posts: 1119
Joined: Sat Jan 04, 2003 4:14 pm
Location: Mid Michigan

Re: Punch dies for hand-powered hydraulic press?

Post by Steve_in_Mich » Sat Jul 24, 2004 11:03 pm

Ries,
The roper whitney manual style corner notchers wont work for your application. They are for sheet metal, and top out at 16ga steel.


the R-W #50 corner notcher spoken of here is designed for this application and will handle 1/4". See the item in the second post in this thread.
Just because you don’t believe it - doesn’t mean it’s not so.

User avatar
davesisk
Posts: 35
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 9:53 am
Location: Raleigh, NC, USA

Re: Punch dies for hand-powered hydraulic press?

Post by davesisk » Sat Jul 24, 2004 11:18 pm

Believe me, I'd love to acquire all the professional tools to do this with ease. However, this is currently a hobby, and it's hard to justify thousands of dollars worth of tools to do one simple task. If there isn't a way to do this without it costing an arm and leg, then it seems like there's some substantial opportunity for someone with ingenuity to come up with something that fits a hobbiest budget! Just my humble opinion... [img]/ubb/images/graemlins/cool.gif"%20alt="[/img]

Thanks for the links, I will check those out...

Thx!
Dave
Metal Projects: [url=http://www.ipass.net/davesisk/metalprojects.htm]www.ipass.net/davesisk/metalprojects.htm[/url]

User avatar
davesisk
Posts: 35
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 9:53 am
Location: Raleigh, NC, USA

Re: Punch dies for hand-powered hydraulic press?

Post by davesisk » Sun Jul 25, 2004 4:08 pm

Hey guys:

Well, I've got this partially finished. All the pieces are welded together. I've tried it out with a penny and a small piece of 1" x 1" x 1/8" angle stock as well. It's ugly, but it works like a charm! I made an surprisingly accurate notch in that piece of angle iron...I'm pleasantly surprised.

HOWEVER, I've still got to find a way to attach the file pieces or some other form of tool steel. Just punching a notch once rounded the corners just a bit. I definitely need a hard surface as the cutting surface. Someone suggested that I abandon the file idea, and I might very well do that in favor of the other tool steel mentioned.

I've got some pics that I loved to post, but my FTP server is unavailable right now, so I'll post them as soon as it's available.

Remaining questions:

1) OK, so I essentially can't drill the file pieces. Any thoughts on any other way to attach them? Most of the force they'll see will be downforce, but there will be some sideways force at the very beggining of the notch. I'm pretty sure this tool steel can't be welded...think JB Weld or something similar might work?

2) If I'm not very careful, the top punch will get itself sideways and jam. I'm still thinking how I can correct that. I've kind of already got the heel that was posted above...there's still just enough wiggle room for it to get a little sideways. I'm still thinking a bar that it slides up and down on make help keep it square...any thoughts?

Thx!
Dave
Metal Projects: [url=http://www.ipass.net/davesisk/metalprojects.htm]www.ipass.net/davesisk/metalprojects.htm[/url]

User avatar
Steve_in_Mich
Posts: 1119
Joined: Sat Jan 04, 2003 4:14 pm
Location: Mid Michigan

Re: Punch dies for hand-powered hydraulic press?

Post by Steve_in_Mich » Sun Jul 25, 2004 8:50 pm

Perhaps some carbide inserts with holes already provided might assist you even if you must introduce them in sequential stages to complete the notch.
Just because you don’t believe it - doesn’t mean it’s not so.

User avatar
Ries
Posts: 208
Joined: Thu Mar 25, 2004 11:05 pm

Re: Punch dies for hand-powered hydraulic press?

Post by Ries » Wed Jul 28, 2004 12:32 am

Steve- you are right, of course- I was forgetting the RW angle iron notch/bend cut combo. I was thinking about the sheet metal notching tools that Roper Whitney also makes.

Post Reply