David Kailey

Guillotine tool you should have one DIY for under $30.

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I think all beginner smiths should build one of these asap. They provide accurate, consistent, easy, productive, and simple effects on your forge work. I have seen these things sell for anywhere from $150 - $300 but with only 1-3 sets of dies. For $20-$30 you can make your own and have all 4140 or 5160 tool steel dies.

Find yourself a junk yard or a spring repair place. Get a used spring pack from a 2 ton or bigger truck, you want find springs that are 2-3 Inches by 3/8" or thicker.

Then build the holder to fit that material.

Here are the pictures of the guillotine tool I build and use. I have sold over a dozen and they are reasonable to make and you can have a set of dies for less then $0.60 a set.

Here is what's left of the spring pack I got for $14. I cut 2.75" for the bottom die and 5" for the top die.

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Here is the my guillotine tool and extra dies. 

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This is the storage rack I made for my tool and dies.

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I always anneal and straighten the leaves of the spring pack and then I always cut several 2 3/4" and 5"  pieces so I have stock available to create new dies as needed. I have a total of 2 hours invested to build my tool. I have 6 sets of dies now. I built a set for buchering tendons that is set at 3/8" so it can't go any deeper then 3/8...every one of them comes out perfect.IMG_20170420_142145_731.thumb.jpg.9f21832c1657999450a55c4de9d376b1.jpg

Few tricks when making your own. Make sure you weld the bottom cross braces on about a 1/4" above the mounting plate..... this allows scale to be removed with easy and its also not able to build up and get your bottom die stuck. Always cut you upper die at least 1.5 " above the top cross brace. This will allow you to grind down the mushrooming from hammer blows several times before the die is to short and has to be replaced. Building this tool will really help you tackle more complex forgings with better consistency efficiency and better quality. Anything you see being done under a power hammer or with a hand held tool can be made into a die for a guillotine tool. Hope this helps.

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I keep planning on making one. :rolleyes: 

Thanks for the write up and tips David. 

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I used flat springs for the construction of my guillotine tool. Alter all it is just high quality flat bar, with a slight bend in it.

If you can find some 1-1/4 inch or so round stock, bolt, or what ever, cut a section about an inch long and weld it to the top die as a target for the hammer. Think of it as a sacrificial target. If it mushrooms, clean it up. IF after time it needs replaced, then replace it, and you have a new target for the hammer to hit.

The one think I would strongly recommend is to make extra upper and lower die blacks. You can grab a set of blacks and weld on or shape what ever type die you need later. Trying to find the material to make a new top and bottom die will be a challenge and will eat up valuable time later. Time taken away from the project at hand.

Drill a small hole in each upper and lower die set so you can wire them together. The first few die sets are not a problem, but as you gain more and more sets it keeps the set together. 

The beauty of interchangeable die sets is you can have one die for the top die and a completely different die from another die set as the bottom die. 

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I had some down time a few months ago and made one. I didn't have access to a welder just yet, but I knew I would soon, so I made it just by riveting it together. The only weld on it was to get the Hardy shank welded on the bottom. I was concerned the rivets wouldn't hold, but I've put a beating on this thing and it's good to go! Only issue I have now is finding decent priced tool steel to make dies with- using mild steel thus far has been just fine so far

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Skyscrapers and ocean going ships used to be riveted.  If you think they won't hold; that is more an issue with the design and not the riveting

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Nice sweet and simple design. This has been on my list for a while. I have a truck spring set aside for just this purpose. Thanks for the great pics! 

 

 

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My mechanic offered me TWO truck leaf spring packs some months back, which I had to decline from lack of storage space. Now I'm REALLY regretting it. 

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I made one last winter, I haven't used it much but when I do it is THE tool for the job. I am using 3" wide by 1/2" brush hog blades for the dies. I still have 3 left, need to make more dies so I can use it more. I put spacers on the top cross piece so I could make 3/4" fuller dies. I will have to get pics and post them.

 

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I made a couple guillotine tools a few years ago--started out just for different sizes fullering and added some different sizes ball bearing races--cut and flattened --welded on top and bottom dies that make a nice looking feature between twists or just by themselves. I also made a parallel fuller that works great. My gallery pictures vanished some years back and I have not tried to replace them. Even a simple fuller made from different sizes rod can make a nice tool.  This web site is a great inspiration for making blacksmithing a great hobby. Thanks Glenn and the rest of the people here.

                                                                                                                                                                                         E. Jerry Carroll

                                                                                                                                                                                       Bordertown Forge

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On 5/25/2017 at 0:54 PM, Donniev said:

 Only issue I have now is finding decent priced tool steel to make dies with- using mild steel thus far has been just fine so far

Tool steel is very expensive and unnecessary. For most uses of that tool, cold rolled will suffice.

George

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Just finally got one out together. Probably way overkill but that's the bonus of had having plenty of scrap laying around work. Now to start making the dies 

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Got it all welded up, but it won't let me load the finished pic. I believe i have to take a lower resolution pic. 

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On 7/26/2017 at 9:28 AM, George Geist said:

Tool steel is very expensive and unnecessary. For most uses of that tool, cold rolled will suffice.

leaf springs off a truck at a junkyard, they sell for about .25 to .30 a pound..... which is cheaper then new mild steel. In my experience the top of the mild steel mushrooms very fast compared to the leaf spring which is usually made from 5160 high carbon steel  

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I agree with David. Leaf spring works well and can often be had for free.  I have a friend that's works at a bus garage that saves me all the springs and axles. In turn I make things for him. 

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The dies in mine are made of 1/2” armored car leaf spring, courtesy of LouL

 

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