View Full Version : DiAcra turret punch info...?

Doc Nickel
02-16-2005, 09:19 PM
I may have a line on a Diacra (Di-Acra? Di-Acro?) 18-station turret punch, Model 18. Broken, needs cleaning badly, missing a few die sets, but cheap and probably salvageable.

What's this thing worth, in decent/usable condition? Are new/used dies available for it? How about parts? What's its capacity? (I'm assuming around 16 to 18 ga.) Can it take square or other shaped dies?

Thanks for any info. I'll be going to look at it shortly, and need to be properly armed for the haggling. http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif


02-17-2005, 12:18 AM
Take a look on ebay there are a couple of rotary punches there now. A good Di-Acro with 18 stations manual unit with dies will go for around $1,500 up. Punches and dies are available both new and used. They will take square an other shape dies. The gauge capacity depends on the size of punch and the gauge of the metal. I think that the unit is rated at 8 tons but don't hold me to that figure. The thing that is a little harder to find are the holders. You said that the punch is broken, what's broken? Make sure that the turrets will rotate freely and that they line up and lock in place. If the frame is broken or bent I wouldn't mess with it.


02-17-2005, 12:31 AM
Here's some spec info:

http://www.kempler.com/product_detail.cfm/datakey/2 /category/Punches,%20Turret/category1/Punches,%20Turret/seqnum1/1376.htm (http://www.kempler.com/product_detail.cfm/datakey/2/category/Punches,%20Turret/category1/Punches,%20Turret/seqnum1/1376.htm)


Tonnage: 7.5 ton
# Turret Stations: 18 STATION
2" hole in 16 ga. mild steel Used 1968 South Carolina Tri-State Machinery Co., ... $2950 http://www.machinetools.com/MT/machines/listview.tmpl?lvt=Manuf&machineid=&Manuf=DIACRO

[This message has been edited by precisionworks (edited 02-17-2005).]

J Tiers
02-17-2005, 12:38 AM
Years ago some of our chassis were made on machines like that. They take any size up to 2" and allowable punch size depends on material.

references for you



That is a little type apparently with no table, at least per the one pic. The ones I am familiar were a sheet metal tracer punch with had a large table, and a moving workholder.

Edit: Like precisionworks first link, the powered punch. (The other one is a hand-operated unit).

The work went in one side, and a 1/4" stylus on the carrier went over a fixed sample template piece. Hit each hole for a given size with the stylus, and press the button to punch. Different button to index to next sise, when all of that size was punched.

As a matter of fact, we are probably looking for one like that, as we want to pull in some of our prototyping of simpler chassis. An old manual type would suit us fine, if it were the tracer type, and had readouts for manual creation of the template.

Seems like the machine our vendor used to create the templates was a Behrens with an X-Y readout.

[This message has been edited by J Tiers (edited 02-17-2005).]

Doc Nickel
02-17-2005, 12:56 AM
Went and had a look at it. This one (http://www.machinetools.com/MT/machines/detail.tmpl?ListingID=1105453838115924663), from the links provided, is almost an exact match. No tables or anything that looks like mounts for 'em, but that's fine.

Looks like it's rated at 4 tons, 16 ga at 2" punch, 3/16" at 1/4" punch. Probably more for aluminum, and that's handy.

Unit is filthy, but no rust apparent. Looks like storage dust combined with grease/oil, probably some wood shavings, etc. It'll need a full cleaning. No damage apparent, but the turrets won't turn. I only had a few minutes to chat with the owner, so I didn't get a chance to do more checking and fiddling.

Definitely a couple of missing dies and at least one missing punch, don't know what sizes. All the holders seem to be there, though. For the price, it's worth it. Thanks for the info, everybody.


02-17-2005, 01:50 AM
If any of the castings/forgings are cracked the punch press is basically scrap. Only an exceptional toolmaker can repair these when they are buggered (Call Forrest in to fix it!)

Punches and dies are not cheap and you are unlikely to find them on eBay. If you buy one a T&C grinder is a must to keep the punches sharp - the dies can be reground on a surface grinder. Dull punches are easier to break and leave nasty burs. worn punches and dies need to be shimmed to the same height as the other tools in the turret - this is important to keep tonnage under control and ensure a cleanly punched hole.

Usually, these get sold when they are scrap - rarely while they still work properly (unless it is a bankruptcy sale).
Punching 2" holes with that in 16Ga requires notched punches (Sawtooth - not flat) these reduce tonnage required. With a flat faced punch you will NEVER punch a 2" hole in 16Ga with only 4 tons - 32 Ga if you are a 400lb gorilla - maybe.

[This message has been edited by Thrud (edited 02-17-2005).]

Doc Nickel
02-17-2005, 02:52 AM
Didn't get a chance to look at the punches/dies themselves, other than to note gaps in the rows. Don't know what size they are or what shapes. But it looked like it's missing only a few, I can be patient on looking for them on Ebay. Or maybe I'll try making some, I don't know. Like I said, it's cheap. http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif

And even if all it had was 1/4", 3/8" and 1/2", those alone would be worth the price to me. Be better still if I could get small angle iron under the punch, but it doesn't look like it.

I didn't see any cracked castings or obviously broken parts. But again, it's cheap enough that if it is junk, I'll Ebay off the punch/die sets for way more than I'll pay for it.


J Tiers
02-17-2005, 12:38 PM
What do you want to do with it?

If you want a glorified hand ironworker, which is what it sounds like, OK. You can keep a bunch of punches in it and have them available.

If you are going to run any kind of sheetmetal production with "located" holes, this type is much nicer, and is almost the minimum needed, IMO:


It is the template tracer variety. Once you have the template, it repeats same layout.

[This message has been edited by J Tiers (edited 02-17-2005).]

02-17-2005, 05:51 PM
If it has the stand below the punch and is painted Di-Acro green, clean it up and put it on Ebay. It will sell for at least $1,300 there! Missing a few punches is OK - can be purchased from several places by the new purchaser - not worth buying them to have a "complete" machine - buyers do not pay that much more for a complete machine - ie. your cost for a couple of punches will not result in a corresponding increase in the sale price. A.T.

Doc Nickel
03-08-2005, 07:37 PM
Good news, bad news.

Got the punch home and unloaded, started checking. Only "broken" part is the upper turret lock- the handle's gone. Unit's filthy, but no rust.

Bad news- Not a single punch or die. What I thought were the parts, were just the holders and rams.

So, anyone know where I can get the punches, and how much any given pair will run? I see there's some on Ebay at the moment- how high can I expect them to go?

Can they be had new, and if so, who carries 'em?


03-08-2005, 08:17 PM
I may be able to connect you with someone who may have some. I'll ask him this weekend.


This Old Shed (http://http:thisoldshed.tripod.com)

03-08-2005, 08:25 PM
Here are two lots that sold recently:



03-09-2005, 05:36 AM

Neither of these lots of punches dies listed on ebay will fit directly.

Diacro uses shorter punch shanks and different die diameters than the common style used by Pexto, Roper-Whitney.

The correct syle for Diacro machines do come up occasionally though.

03-09-2005, 09:02 AM

Whoops, can't believe half of what you read <LOL>. I've had some success using eBay's Want It Now section.

03-09-2005, 10:52 AM
These type punches and dies will fit some of the DiAcro machines, so in that sense you can believe what you read.

I'm fairly sure they won't "directly" fit the DiAcro turret machines though. Those machines used a punch with a shorter shank, cutting the shank off would take care of that issue.

The other issue is DiAcro used different die diameters than Roper Whitney. Machining out the die holdes would be an option, but then the "real" DiAcro dies wouldn't fit.

If Doc is patient enough he'll find the correct dies on ebay. Of course, many of us with non-DiAcro punching equipment also compete for those dies since we can use them our equipment too. It's easier to use DiAcro dies in other brands than the reverse.

03-09-2005, 07:16 PM
First thing, call up Cleveland Punch and die- they make punches and dies for every ironworker available, and many smaller punches. If they dont make the tooling for your di-acro, they will know who does.
www.clevelandpunch.com (http://www.clevelandpunch.com)
my guess is for round holes, somewhere around 20 to 30 bucks per station, more for very large or odd shaped holes.
And Di-acro is still in business- but they have never been cheap.
www.diacro.com (http://www.diacro.com)

[This message has been edited by Ries (edited 03-09-2005).]