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Weldedwood

Making roller dies

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I've read these forums for a long time and finally decided to sign up. I have the shop outfitters pedestal roller (338?)  I am having some dies made for rolling flat bar "the hard way". I'm building a rail for a curved staircase, and using 1/2" x 1 1/2" hammered flat bar as a cap rail. I know, it'll be slow rolling with my roller, but it's what I've got! My question is, after the bar is heated, hammered, and straightened back out, how wide should the grooves be in my dies? I know too big and it'll be sloppy and crooked, too tight and it will bind and get stuck. If it's 1/2" thick bar, 9/16? Anybody have any experience making dies? Thank you

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How close is the tolerance on your hammered bar?  That will drive the width of the groove.  I'd make it tighter rather than looser, if you hit a fat spot in the cap rail with the roller you can grind/sand/blend down the rail thickess.  

Be aware that if you are using the spiral stair formula in Parkinson's book, it's wrong.  Doesn't work.  

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