Jclonts82

recommendations on hammer dies?

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I'm in the process of buying a brand spanking new Anyang 88#, picking up in about 3 weeks. I think it comes with flat dies, and I'm buying a set of combo flat/drawing dies along with the hammer. I like all sorts of smithing, decorative, structural, but probably 75% of what I do is bladework, with a preference for pattern welded blades. no swords... yet....

I plan on making lots of hand held spring tools, flatters, fullers, texture etc..., to use with the flat dies, but I'm curious what dedicated (ie dovetail and keyed in) hammer dies others prefer for what type of work, ANY type of work, they do.

 

What other dies are recommended by Y'all? And would you make them yourself, or is it easier to save up pennies and buy them? I'm NO machinist, but do have a friend that has a lathe and mill he uses often (gunsmithing) and would be willing to do some machine work for me. I have also seen some dies that essentially are fabricated and 'clamp' over existing flat dies, worth considering... Id appreciate any input/opinions.

 

Thanks

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I personally would keep the flat dies mounted and when I need a drawing die, use a saddle die over it, secured by a couple bolts. Dies like this are simple to make.

This is the way my 150 Iron Kiss came to me from Arnon Kartmazov, and I can switch out dies in a minute or less.

Great system.

I also have a saddle with a hardie in it for mounting spring top tools.

Just my 2 cents.

Having trouble with pics.  Pictures below out of order.

4D4B4725-2D94-46CA-B1A2-35445A76AD3C.jpeg

Some drawing dies

764B8F82-006A-406A-BC83-5B6617D8D87E.jpeg

 

Hardie saddle and set of kiss blocks

1DA61640-D4A5-4A8A-B947-4C569FD78FCE.jpeg

Saddle drawing die

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Awesome stuff. Thank you for the pictures. I REALLY like the multiple thickness kiss blocks. Again, thank you.

 

Mr. Johnson of Anyang saw my post here, said for me to call him even though he was on the road to Bladeshow. He and I discussed some options, i will chat more in person in a few weeks. I can’t get over the customer service from him. Second to none, theres my plug for the day. 

 

I’m interested in ALL ideas, I like to read, research, and just think about all sides of a coin before I actually start anything physical. Right now I’m looking for ideas and examples to run around in my head for a while. 

 

I swear if I’m not trying to figure something out, or have the next 4-5 projects mulling over in my head at all times think i might go crazy. Lol

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On 5/30/2018 at 5:37 PM, Jspool said:

Dies like this are simple to make.

So months later I'm finally to a point that I am making some dies. One that I want to make are some ladder pattern dies for Damascus. I've only seen that done on a press before, but I imagine with some care and taking your time, it should work out on a hammer?

 

I have done the version with cut the groves first, then forge flat. However I want some cleaner, closer patterns and I think that forging then grinding will probably get me there. Anybody have thoughts as to which direction the 1/4 round stock should be layered on the rectangular die?  long bars mean forging 3" of knife at a time, short bars across the long face means forging 5" of knife at a time... My concerns are if I forge more blade at once, there might not be much room to expand, I'm unsure how accurate it is, but I have read from various makers that an average of 15% stretch can be expected. However if forging the short way, much more PSI so have to be careful not to go too deep, or shearing something...

 

Anyone made ladder damascus dies for a power hammer?

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I run my slots across the die.  Unless you have a huge press don’t even think about pressing 5-6” of grooves at a time.  Start with just a couple inches of billet on the die then move it in another couple inches being sure to fit the grooves you just pressed into the die so everything remains lined up for the length of the billet.  Only press red metal. Do not press cold.  You can use kiss blocks if you please if that makes keeping a constant thickness easier.  Good luck. Looking forward to seeing your results.

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Yeah, I welded the rods across the die, so the hammer will only hit about 4" of steel at the same time. I'm probably going to do this near, but not quite, 'welding heat'. say 1700-2000. I ran some quick tests last night on some mild steel 1/2" square stock that was just in the red, seemed to do just fine. Next I'm going to practice on some leaf springs that are about the thickness and width of my pattern welded billet to get a feel for higher carbon stuff under the dies. I've got a ~600 layer kitchen knife in the works, and desperately do not want to screw that up!

Slow and repeated blows will be the key here. Sometimes steel tends to bounce off the Anyang 88 on the flat dies, cant have it do that and get out of alignment..., we will see if careful baby taps will get me there. *fingers crossed*

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I'm more of a single WHOMP, re-position, WHOMP, type of worker.  Have you seen the various dies on display at the Deutsches Klingen Museum in Solingen, Germany?  IIRC some of them are also in Manfred Sachse's "Damascus Steel" book.

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2 minutes ago, ThomasPowers said:

single WHOM

The Anyang is not really a single hit hammer, if you time a heavier pedal stomp just right it can have a single hard hit, but if you hit it too soon I have seen the ram top out and actually kiss the key on the dies Not a good thing I imagine. However, practicing with the leaf spring should tell me what is gonna be the best way to go about it... I hope..

 

I will try to look for that book, right now on amazon its running about $100, I'm sure I can find used for less somewhere.

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abebooks.com had one for US$22.25 for the German Version. (I have that one as it was the only one around when I bought it.)

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When I went to Europe I learned to always check the "Foreign Language" sections of used book stores as they often had great books in English at a substantial discount.   Funny I took Spanish and German in school and have traveled to both places and have worked on projects with countries speaking those languages.  Luck---or a cunning plan?  Always nice to know how to ask where the bathroom is or be able to order a beer and dinner. (Or to understand what the people are saying around you at work...)

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A number of years ago Forgemaster posted his kiss block set up which I modified and copied.  The nice things about his setup is that the kiss block is on one side of the dies and any swages mount on the other.  I can Forge down on the stopper hit the lever to remove the stopper (kiss block) and drop a swage on to swage on the same heat.

You can search for pictures of his set up under his postings

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Well, it worked... kind of. I think there was too much surface area to try and get a good even impression with 4" of steel at a time. I'm going to try cutting down to 4 bottom bars and 3 top meaning just under 2" of steel worked at a time.

The steel just bounced too much, and with the fairly high cycle rate on the Anyang, it was not very controllable to get a perfect even pattern. Of course... could have been the old IT joke: PEBKAC... problem exists between keyboard and chair...

 

The goal with this pattern project was to have the ladder pattern match the curly wood for a handle. My uncle visited Hawaii a few months back and brought back a block of curly Koa wood figuring I could use it for a knife. Beautiful 3D pattern on it, I decided to make HIM a kitchen knife and give the wood back with a blade stuck into it. 

With the goal of having the steel match the wood, and the dies being a little less than controllable, I decided to still use it, with the goal of ending up with a slightly irregular, more organic, pattern in the steel. I still have a fair bit of grind work to do, but I had to check the pattern so I did a quick etch.

Blade:     https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=di8aytGj7YI

Wood: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CbiXcsRHRHY

 

 

Once I remove some of the bars, and have another billet to test, I will update this thread with results. 

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