View Full Version : Dies for manual punch press-Di-Acro#2

01-01-2016, 03:30 PM
I visited with a friend, just to see what projects he was working on. While looking (read snooping) around his shop I saw what looked like a manual punch press. To my surprise, I saw that it was a 350 pound (in perfect condition) Di-Acro #2 punch press. I've always had a need (don't we all) for such an animal and asked how he had been using it. He stated that he had never moved it (and with the weight I believed him) since he brought it home from a business that had closed years earlier. He said "if you want it, it's yours". He didn't have any money in it and knew that I would put it to use. A true friend! My dilemma is that I don't know where to acquire the dies for it! It has one die, about a one inch square but none else. Do any of you know where I can find some? Used is always better than new. Anyone?

George Bulliss
01-01-2016, 07:47 PM

Got stuck in moderation filter for some reason.

01-01-2016, 08:35 PM
Cleveland Punch and Die

01-01-2016, 09:51 PM
I've had some luck on Ebay.

01-02-2016, 02:14 AM
Nice little turning job for you there, round punches are fairly easy to make, tricky bit is the clearance, mind all the round small punch die sets I've measured would qualify for a sloppy fit to say the least! I don't think they were even worked out!
I made a square one for a friend last year, the vertical slotter I have sorted the corners and tidy up and clearance finally gave a little die filer a job for which it was made, it wasn't the prettiest die in the world but worked just fine, good fun actually.
You have one to work with too

old as dirt
01-02-2016, 08:49 AM
I can't say they will fit your machine, but Little Scotchman iron worker has every kind on punch and die combo you might want. Prices and list are online. If you want OEM Google is your friend.


01-02-2016, 09:56 AM
Roper Whitney. I have a #218 and a B20 model. Don't use them much, but for the right job they beat drilling or milling for speed. Shop for punches and dies both new and used.

As a side note, I needed a 3/32 hole in some .005 feeler gauge material. Location fairly accurate, both centered on the material width wise and distance between holes. A block of steel with a 1/2 inch wide by .020 deep groove and a 3/32 hole centered. The punch was a 3/32 pin punch hit with a hammer. If doing a bunch of them I would have used the #218 punch and a set of hardened punch/dies. For the two holes I needed the block was used in the "as found" condition.

01-02-2016, 12:57 PM
I used to deal with Porter Precision Products. In my
case, they provided punches to order for production
tooling. However, I believe you might discover that
they can and will produce punches for that Di-Acro.


01-02-2016, 01:03 PM
Of course, it never hurts to go to the source

Di-Acro Hand Operated Punching System (http://www.diacro.com/metal-forming/hand-operated-punching-systems.php)

To look if not buy, at least ...


01-02-2016, 01:32 PM
... tricky bit is the clearance, ...Clearance is like many other metal-working parameters.
There is a very mature body of knowledge which, these
days, is widely available to anyone with the inclination to
seek and learn.

Getting clearance right means the difference between good
edge finish, part shape, tool life, press load vs the alternatives.

Not hard, just requires some time and effort.


01-02-2016, 04:34 PM
di acro made no. 2's with at least 2 different sizes of punches.
First, you need to measure yours, and find out what size punches the top ram is drilled for.
then, you should measure your die shoe, if you have one- and see what size dies it fits.
The die shoes were removable, and several different sized ones were available.
the die shoe bolts to the bottom of the punch, the actual die goes in the shoe.
Most common was the 1 1/4" diameter round die.
But sometimes you get one that just has the 4" round, or some other oddball size.

many pexto, roper whitney, and WA Whitney punches take the same sizes as di-acro, but not all of em.
you gotta know what you need first.
for instance, these wa whitney punches and dies might fit, might not.

of course, you can buy direct from Di-acro.

there are actually three different punch manufacturers in cleveland- and any of the three may have tooling for your punch.

Cleveland Punch http://www.clevelandpunch.com/
Cleveland Tool https://www.clevelandsteeltool.com/
American Punch http://www.americanpunchco.com/

ebay is great- IF you buy punches that actually fit your machine.

01-02-2016, 08:15 PM
I have a #2 Di Acro also.

The ram is bored for "standard" 1" straight shank punches. With a reducer you can use common 1/2" shank punches. My punches are from various manufacturers, Thor, Roper-Whitney and DiAcro among others. A number of companies made punches with the same overall dimensions that interchange between brands.

The handiest die shoes are ones with 2-3/4" bore, use adapters to reduce down to 2-1/8. 1-7/8 and 1-1/4" and other die outside diameters.

Wiedemann is another company that made punches that can easily be adapted to the DiAcro. Their punches and dies differed in shank and die diameters from those mentioned above. Punches had 5/8" and 13/16" shanks and other odd ball die diameters. With some lathe work you can adapt them.

With a lathe you can adapt most anything to a punching machine.

Small power punch presses use similar sized punches and dies. Ironworkers generally don't use the same straight shank punches.

At retail punches and dies can be expensive. The good news is lasers, waterjet and plasma have eliminated punching to a large extent so yo can find surplus punch tooling dirt cheap if you're lucky.

The amount of clearance between the punch and die is based on thickness of material being punched. Thin material needs a close fit, thick material needs a good deal of clearance. If you're doing quite bit of punching in 18 ga steel you wouldn't use the same amount of clearance in 1/4" material. That's not to say it wouldn't work, only that the hole may not be as clean and the tooling won't last as long.

Punching action starts as a fracture from the punch and another from the die. If the clearance is correct the two fractures meet somewhere in the middle giving a nice hole.