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I Forge Iron

Cold punching


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I have a 25 ton h frame press built using the plans found in Jim batson’s book build your own forging press. I’ve been thinking recently, if I were to buy a set of dies commonly made for an Ironworker or punch press, any reason I couldn’t also make them work in my forging press? 

Things are so much easier to do when the work isn’t hot. If I can punch plate cold (within the tonnage limitation of my press) it would save a ton of time either drilling or heating the piece. 

thoughts comments concerns appreciated!



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  • 3 months later...

i would say that as long as you know the tonnage of the die set for the thickness and alloy of the material, you would be fine.
Well at least as long as your top and bottom dies are absolutely perfectly aligned or you may end up with damaged dies or a bit of shrapnel!

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25 tons wont be able to punch a very big hole but that may not be a problem if a small hole is what you want but a purpose made punching machine is a very rigid piece of gear and if you are using a garden variety h frame press it will make a very big bang as the pressure is suddenly released. sorry I cant give you tonnage requirement figures but good old google probably will. with mild steel you cant go higher than the punch dia in plate thickness or the punch strength will be exceded and will shatter.

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