View Full Version : Punch die setup for 50 ton press?

03-06-2008, 09:41 AM
Hey all!
Gawd I need a punch press. They cost way too much even used.
I'm building a 50 ton hydraulic press soon and I saw a punch set with stripper offered in the Princess Auto catalog. I'm sure someone else down south offers this as well.
Have any of you guys tried this setup?

03-06-2008, 10:46 AM

Someone has thought of it, at least... Check this out. http://www.metalmaster.ca/punch.html They claim 42 Ton as a forming press.

I've seen this at some of the trade shows. I think it was at Agritrade and the Farmshow in Edmonton. Think Ironworker capability (in tooling) from a big hydraulic press. Talking to their salesman and a local fab shop owner it has most of the capability of a 50 T ironworker, but has only one work window , so can only set up one die/shear set at a time where the iron worker has multiple function dies.
I've got a couple hyd power packs that could be run with a 1 HP electric motor that would work great for this... I wonder how that P.A. punch would work with an $80 P.A. 20T air over Hyd jack in your core sample breaker? Now you've got me thinking...


03-06-2008, 10:54 AM
Build a few unipunch sets that takes a stock punch. its nothing more than a C-frame punch holder.


You may have seen fab shops with gangs of them set up for punching a bunch of holes at once.

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That Metal master looks just like the ones for the piranha iron workers, you could make that set up yourself too.

03-06-2008, 11:27 AM
Ok that is cool. There really are some cool machines out there

03-06-2008, 11:37 AM
Cam..I've seen that machine before. It's made in Manitoba or Sask??
Mike..I've seen C frame Uni punches a lot on ebay for cheap. I'd like to have more throat room than they offer.
I'm more looking for something I can just pop into my press.
Actually...according to the Roper Whitney info sheet I have..a 20 ton press would punch any holes I need but 50 would be fasterbetter (new word I just made up)

03-06-2008, 11:54 AM

Their website lists an Aldergrove address and a 604 area code ph #. I'd say, they're from B.C. A mere 7 hour car ride toward the big water from your door.:D

Sounds like you've done some research on this already. Do you think drill rod is tough enough for home made dies or should I search for commercial punch/die sets.

Looking at the A 1 model of the unitized press punches, it looks like a flame cut body with a base milled flat, some boring and drilling would make up any throat depth you'd need. I have some 1" x 3" flat that would work. I doubt there is much force on the body trying to spread it apart?? A little lathe work on the punches/dies and some springs salvaged out of a motor (valve springs for stripper springs?) if the drill rod can be home heat treated to the extent there would be some life and it wouldn't shatter in use. Hmmmm.

03-06-2008, 03:12 PM
The problem is alignment.
Which is why the uni-punches were invented- the c frame keeps the punch and die in alignment, as 50 tons can make stuff fly real good if it aint.

Long term, what you need is an ironworker, not a punch press.
Right now, George Washington, down in Quincy Washington, a mere few hours drive from you, has a few older mechanical ironworkers for sale at very low prices- the peddinghaus and mubea's in particular are excellent machines that will punch holes and shear. Not huge throat depths, but compromise is needed on a machine that will punch a 1" hole in 1/2" plate.

They are asking $2200 and $2900 for those two- and they claim they are going out of business, so maybe they will even deal- but those are good prices.
Once you tried a real ironworker, you would quickly be dissuaded of any of those diesets in a hydraulic press ideas. The difference is night and day in terms of ease of use, function, and flexibility. Plus, you could shear flat bar, round and square, angle, and notch as well.
The buffalo 1 1/2 they have is a relatively late model buffalo, with a 20" throat depth on the punch- that oughta git er done.

03-06-2008, 03:35 PM
Ries...I've used ironworkers for years.
The only thing I ever liked working with out of them is punched holes.
The mashed, ugly ends you normally get out of an older ironworker don't fit in with what I do here. It worked at the last place I worked but I do a lot different type of work here.... A lot more finickity stuff.
When I need to punch 1" holes through 1/2 plate...I'll buy an Ironworker.
Right now I do runs of 100 to 200 weld on stake pockets for trailers. Three 5/16" holes in each then they go into the forming die. All this is sawn....it has to be more accurate than an old ironworker could do.
Another job we do is build post pockets for the railroad. Lots of hole drilling that could be punched...all 3/8" holes through 1/4" plate. Again...these brackets couldn't be made in an ironworker.
Believe me..I've punched thousands of holes with ironworkers.
another thing..my shop space is very limited anyway. I have no room to put an ironworker.
I have enough room to put a bigger press...it'll take place of the smaller one.
Someone out there must be using these punching sets w/stripper.
Or they wouldn't be selling them.

03-06-2008, 04:55 PM
I believe you- you know your jobs and I do not.

Although an ironworker with decent gaging, like my GEKA, is plenty accurate.
It has a big flat table, and stops with stainless steel rules gradated in 1/16" increments in both x and y. I set the stops, clamp down the material, and the holes come out exactly where I want them.

People definitely use punch sets with strippers, especially in thin material. But they are usually dedicated setups, with all three punches machined in place, and used only for that job. By its very nature, a punch press is best used for long runs of the same parts, while an ironworker is short run flexible.

You can buy bare punch press tooling, and add your own punches- like from Vogel-
or Danly-

03-06-2008, 05:17 PM
Ries..I appreciate your knowledge. I would like to have one of every machine out there. I'm already way overextended in the money spending this year for the new business.
I'm trying to use my head instead of my wallet all the time.
If I can make simple tools to multiple jobs...so be it for now.
I'm trying to avoid becoming another statistic like so many who rush out and spent too much money so they have every bell and whistle...then have no money for hard times.

03-06-2008, 06:08 PM
Unipunchs are out of consideration, right? There're my favorites for use in the hydraulic press though.

There is something you can make fairly easily. Imagine a couple pieces of metal bolted together at one end, like a bobby pin. 1/2" x 4" would be a good size. Put a spacer between them at the bolted end. Length of pieces (legs) would be your throat depth.

Fashion a die holder on the bottom piece and a punch holder on the upper. Design around standard Roper-Whitney size dies and punch shanks.

As long as the legs are long enough they'll bend easily to allow the punch to enter the die. Make sure the material is heavy enough to keep alignment of the punch and die during punching.

Then you've got the issue of the stripper. Urethane is good, spring type are good or a rigid stripper fastened to the bottom leg.

Add some adjustable gaging stops to the lower leg and you're good to go.

03-06-2008, 08:07 PM
I've been planning to make some attachments for my press since reading the other thread on press brake attachments. A punch would be nice too, and maybe even a shear.

Towards that end, I came across a deal on eBay for some Danley-style punch press attachments:


I got two of them for $30 apiece. They weigh 70lbs, so that's less than I could get the high quality material for. Anyway, I figure the beefy linear bearings will be idea. I can modify one almost as it is to be a punch. The other I'll bust up to make the press brake attachment. There'll definitely be material left over, as well as some new material needed.



03-06-2008, 11:36 PM
Hi Russ,

George Washington Machinery Is about 45 miles from me. If you find anything there I would be more than happy to run down and look and take pictures for you if needed. Just thought I would offer the help.


03-06-2008, 11:48 PM
Dr, I like your idea! One of the reasons I asked about this punch set was ...are they the same as Roper or other punches or are they some weird thing that you can't replace.
Ya...I could make punches and dies but I'd rather buy them...I don't have time to make punches/dies. Would be a neat project...but..
Bob...looks like a cool idea for a punchpress.
OK...I actually was part of a build on a pretty skookum punch press at a factory I worked at. I was in the R+D department and we had a pretty big budget.
We built a nice size punch press. Was about 8 feet high and near 4 feet deep.
It was a fabricated "C" frame type punch.
We had the side plates cnc cut at a specialty place in Regina. The plates where 1" thick and the works was 8'Xnearly 4'...minus the cutout for the "C".
I did most of the welding on the thing but had little to do with the rest of it.
I wish I would have paid more attention.
Robin..Where's Wenachee?

03-07-2008, 12:17 AM
Russ the Franklin(namebrand) C-frame type punches are easy as dirt to fabricate.Only reason I haven't done one myself is I already have two ironworkers and a Franklin punch.

You got a mill,a lathe and can weld that's pretty much it.I've had two bigger ones apart,a 65t and a 105t.I can draw you a scetch of what the innards look like if you want.

If you were only closer,I have a Buffalo UIW I would give you,it needs putting back together and I haven't got the time.

Nobody has an old punch press in the weeds up there?

03-07-2008, 12:31 AM
Towards that end, I came across a deal on eBay for some Danley-style punch press attachments:


Good steal Bob, those are pricey units.. Mind sharing your scavenger techniques?? Haaa Didnt think so. JRouche

03-07-2008, 12:32 AM

Wenatchee is dead center of Washington State. About 2 1/2 hours South of Osoyoos BC.


03-07-2008, 01:04 AM
Robin, I think I know about where you mean. Me and my ol' roping partner used to go stay with a horse trainer overnight near Orville (?)then head back on some little crossroad to the teamropings in Colville. That's a fair jaunt from here with my ol' 8mpg truck.
Darin...I gotta buy a semi and come visit. Or I could trade you some snow or something :D
This punch press idea is still in infancy... I have to see what is best.
The one you mentioned...does it use a multiplier linkage? If I remember right...the one we built had a 1 1/2 to 1 linkage. I'm thinking it was pretty stout...maybe 80 tons.

03-07-2008, 01:53 AM
OK, now I'm confused. The A 1 punches http://www.unipunch.com/catalog/catalog.asp?Unit=1&Page=22 seem to have two sliding components, the punch and a sleeve. The punch has a much heavier spring than the sleeve. It would seem to me that the sleeve and punch would move together until the sleeve contacts the work and then the punch does its' thing. When the press retracts, the punch should move up with the press actuator until its' spring is fully relaxed before the sleeve starts to move. Long story short, it looks like the sleeve acts as a stripper??!? What'd I miss???


03-07-2008, 04:34 AM
Good steal Bob, those are pricey units.. Mind sharing your scavenger techniques?? Haaa Didnt think so. JRouche

It's pretty simple really, you just look for stuff that nobody else thinks to look for. eBay is a big place. Lots gets left in the cracks while everyone is off bidding up Reliable's worn out machinery!



PS Here's one tip, I keep a list of tool brands that are good, but little known. I also keep a list of common misspellings. Sterret or mitutoya, anyone? LOL

PPS Here's another: search "danley punch" on eBay and there's one there right now with a $0.99 bid. Could be someone else gets the raw materials for some press tooling.

03-07-2008, 12:36 PM
Good steal Bob, those are pricey units.. Mind sharing your scavenger techniques?? Haaa Didnt think so. JRouche

Try some local auctions of fab shops. Dies sets like Bob showed are expensive new, especially the type with the ball bearing posts.

Since the wide usage of CNC punching machines it seems the demand for these isn't so great. I attended a recent auction where shelves and shelves of these went to the scrap guys. End users weren't interested.

03-07-2008, 07:00 PM
now i dont know if these are available over the pond but i have a feeling that they are made in the USA, try these
they work well, either way it might give you some ideas

03-07-2008, 07:30 PM
Scotchman Dvorak.. tooling still available from Cleveland tool and die.

It is a belt driven pump in the bottom, I took out the 3phase motor and put in a 2hp pressure washer 120 volt motor. It will run off a big 120 drop cord now.

I purchased this at a tool sale.. it was made there.. about 50 tons by my calcs on cylinder and pump guage pressures. Scary when you punch it down and the bottom limit is set too deep.. the whole Ibeams flex, the pump screams, the hoses flop and my rectum draws up.
It has a piranaha ironworker break die in it. I bought it to make rear fenders for bikes.. the dies I made, they keep wrinkling.. I keep learning tho.

I think the auction record book shows $370 for the ironworker (partner bought it for me as a gift) and $150 for the press??? It was in a lot of items.. the one next to it, a rousselle press was just as much but not near the press as the home made one. *shop made? The 5hp hydraulic unit on a 5 gallon bucket was another item.. neato.. but 3 phase.. it has a flow control but turned all the way down, it still smacks bottom hard on the 50 ton press.. shakes the ground and the dishes in a rental trailer about 150 feet away..