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    Anyone have info or one in there home shop. A small portable type iron worker. I need to punch one inch long .500 wide slots into one quarter inch hot rolled steel. I have many to make. Also i wanted to do this in my garage without waking up the neighbours. Ideas Gentlemen would be much appreciated. Thanx Mike

  • #2
    I would think that your going to make noise punching slots like that with just about any tool. Are you shure you dont want to mill them?

    My guess would be that 1/4" plate and a 1" x 1/2" slot will take more than a hand operated device. Better look at hydraulic as a minimum.

    As for the tool to do the job, a small metal worker would be nice. Or, you could probably fab something up fairly quick.

    Civil engineers build targets, Mechanical engineers build weapons.


    • #3
      Fab up ?

      Rock rat thanx for reply i am interested in what you would fab up to do this job. Thanx Mike


      • #4
        Something like this?

        I know they also sell punches that are operated by a press brake instaed of air.Might be the way to go if you already have a hydraulic press.


        • #5

          Requires a little over 16 tons,so you could probably knock something up.


          • #6
            Well, Rustybolt has a good start. A hydraulic press from Harbor-fright would be a start. Then, a punch and die that was oblonged. Gages to keep everything in line. You may want to use a urethane stripper so that the part will be pushed off of the punch. That will raise the tonage needed by a few percent. And, since the presses are a bit sloppy, you will need a guide for the ram, or a way to guide the current ram better.

            So, with all of that in mind, how about a little reality check. (not to be rude you understand) You buy a press which can be used for other things as well as the current job. Cool, new toy.

            Punch and die set. You make a punch and die set, which you will need a mill to do. Not a huge job, but a job none the less. Heat treat will be needed for the dies. Or, find one that can be purchased and fitted to your setup.

            Mounting for the punch and die in the new press. Minor at this point. A few plates and screws.

            Add a stripper - (not that kind you lucky dog!) either urethane or springs. Again, minor after the die making.

            Add some guides to the press. Could be as easy as a pair of plates on the ends with quick screw gibbs.

            How many did you say you needed to do? Pumping the handle on the press will get old after a while. An air over oil cylinder might make things go quicker.

            Ok, so, if you plan to make the punch and die you will need a mill. And a place to heat treat the material.

            With that in mind, and I dont know how many you have to make, would it be easier to mill the slots at this point?

            Its a big project and will not only teach you many good things, but leave you with some nice equipment afterward. But, there will be some time involved before you punch your first slot.

            Here is a recent press project from this board. Gundog did a nice job.


            So what do you think? I think I see a CNC mill in your future. Ha! Just kidding.

            Last edited by rockrat; 04-23-2006, 11:47 AM.
            Civil engineers build targets, Mechanical engineers build weapons.


            • #7
              Milling slots that can be punched is a crappy job , Farm that part out to a shop with and iron worker , punching that slot takes 2 seconds.

              Old flywheel type iron workers can be found fairly cheap like an old buffalo. I have seen them go for less than $1,000 at auctions.


              • #8
                Shop Iron Worker


                What you need is a Scotchmam Iron Worker. They used to make a small one that was about waist high but had all the good features. THe Vo Tech that I took welding at had one in the shop and we cut our cupons for practice welds on it. It had the angle iron die, would cut flat sheet to 3/8" thick and 6" wide. That type of machine does not make a racket when you punch a hole or cut off a slab. It has 2 cylinders that oppose one another and cut slow and steady. It is like cutting through room temp. butter with a table knife. The parent company of Scotchman it Dvorak, I think. You might find one at a county auction as many maintenance departments have them. Some day I would like to find one for myself.

                Jim (KB4IVH)
                Jim (KB4IVH)

                Only fools abuse their tools.