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Ed Caffrey's Workshop Talk to Ed Caffrey ... The Montana Bladesmith! Tips, tricks and more from an ABS Mastersmith.

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Old 05-19-2021, 08:53 AM
KenH KenH is offline
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Widening/Flattening dies

Time for a short update on the widening/flatting dies I made. They work, but need to work better. To refresh, here are the widening/flatting combo dies I made:

I had a 1.5" wide piece I shaped for the widening die. The flattening die is 2" wide which is ok. I think the 1.5" is be ok for the widening die if I had moved the flatting die all the way to one side leaving more space for the widening die to move billet around on die. As it is the flatting die blocks any movement to press on the left side of billet. Turning the billet over does help, but it just seems like better to have more space there.

That image doesn't have the pins in place yet. I've got some chain coming tomorrow to attach to the pins.

Ken H>
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Old 05-19-2021, 09:52 AM
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Ed Caffrey Ed Caffrey is offline
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Looks good Ken! Widening on a press is tough, no matter the press or the dies....just hard to control.

Just keep in mind that any time you are not working directly under the cylinder's ram/the center of force, bad things can happen. And the further you get from that "center of force" the worse it gets.

I'm sure you guys have figured that out by now....but just a reminder.

Usually with combo dies, you see drawing and flat.... just because of what I initially said about it being so difficult to widen on a press.


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Old 05-20-2021, 04:26 PM
KenH KenH is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ed Caffrey View Post
Looks good Ken! Widening on a press is tough, no matter the press or the dies....just hard to control.
I'm learning that - Are there any tricks to widening a billet? The drawing die doesn't seem to widen at all, but surely does draw billet longer.
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Originally Posted by Ed Caffrey View Post
Just keep in mind that any time you are not working directly under the cylinder's ram/the center of force, bad things can happen. And the further you get from that "center of force" the worse it gets.
Yep, I remember you mentioning that before and decided not to make the base longer than the stock 5" to prevent myself from putting too much pressure out to the side.

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Originally Posted by Ed Caffrey View Post
Usually with combo dies, you see drawing and flat.... just because of what I initially said about it being so difficult to widen on a press.
Yep, that's what I was trying to make with my combo die set. I've decided the widening part should be made from thicker material, perhaps 1/2" or 3/4" to provide more curve to the widening part. Also have the top of the flat die and widening die the same height so the billet can be slid over on top of the flat die for the widening die to press on left side of billet.

Here's what I did with chains to allow removing pins with hot dies. This is the lower left, the other 3 pins are handled the same.

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