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pike3e

Cutting Dies for a press

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Does anyone have any pics of dies used to hot cut bar stock or billets. I have one made from a scrap peice of I beam and it works ok, just needs dressing often. I was just wondering what others used?

 

Thanks

John

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Charles McRaven in "Country Blacksmithing"  more recently republished under a different name as I recall.

 

There are several blacksmith made shears shown in "Practical Blacksmithing", Richardson.

 

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Seems like most cut offs for the press need constant sharpening. That process of cutting on a thin blade tends to turn the edge into a fuller.

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Mcraven's shear couldn't be simpler,

2 pieces of blade about 6-8" wide by two feet long. Bottom piece has a hardy tang welded on so it sits vertical atop the anvil. 

Top piece is hinged to bottom piece at the top of one end by a stout bolt and a few feet of handle welded on the other end. 

Looks like a pair of scissors in operation. Not designed for sole use I don't think, and the cutting action can be assisted by sledge hammer if needed.

The bevel left on the scrap blade is sufficient. 

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I have a press cutoff tool  that I have cut at least a thousand pieces of 4340 and 4140 off with and my edges are pretty much as sharp as new  It is basically 2 v blocks with stops on both ends that have set screws.  I have a 1" HSS lathe tool bit in each one.  When they eventually get dull I will flip the tool to one of the other corners.  Grant Sarver described this tool a few years ago here and on the NWBA site and I made one.  It has been a great tool. 

He mentioned having problems with HSS breaking and he used Cold rolled square 4340 heat treated.  I can't get 4340 square without forging it so and I would then need to get it surface ground.  So I tried the HSS tool bit and it has been great.  He had employees using his and some of them may have used it too cold . 

The two cut off surfaces have to be well aligned when cutting thinner steel.  Slightly colder steel actually cuts a little better than really hot if the edges are not perfectly aligned. 

Edited by JNewman

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A shear doesn't need nor want any more bevel than gives it a little relief. Just enough it doesn't sit flat on the blades is plenty. IIRC 83-85* was a good bevel for metal shears, placed high edges facing of course.

If you can sharpen grader edge it's the cheap stuff but probably good enough. I've found just cleaning up a good smooth torch cut tends to go through grinding disks at an alarming rate unless done at red heat. Then again I salvaged Vascowear from work and the stuff has a lot of tungsten carbide in the 150pt. high alloy steel matrix so it wouldn't just grind off on pavement.

For most things it's more trouble than it's worth.

Frosty The Lucky.

 

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