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Sheetmetal stamping die construction

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  • Sheetmetal stamping die construction

    Is it possible to make homemade lowcost sheetmtal dies for automotive sheetmetal stampings?Possibly by foundry castings i.e. brass castings,aluminum castings?

  • #2
    What sort of stamping are you wanting to do? Virtually all Sheetmetal dies that are made have the forming sections made of hardened steel, typically the material is D2, O1, etc. However, if you go back to the early part of the 20th century, the auto industry used to employ materials such as brass, aluminum, and even wood in some of the large dies used to make fenders, doors, etc.
    J.D. Leach
    http://thermionic.uuuq.com

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    • #3
      Sheet metal stamping dies:
      There is a material called KIRKSITE or Ostalloy that is a castable, no-deforming, sheet metal die material. It melts at 900 degrees F, works like brass and was a top secret material during WWII because it allowed the quick and inexpensive fabrication of sheet metal parts like the M2 grease gun and the "Liberator" pistol dropped to French resistance fighters.

      I purchased it through a company in Colunbus, OH called Research Alloys. It was about $1.50/lb. and weighs about as musch as lead. (or so it seems!)

      I cast the female in a green sand mold with charcoal dust (shaken thru and old sock) as parting compound to cast the male. It is NEAT stuff. An old tool maker from Ford Motor Co. told me about it and gave me a sample. It took three years to locate enough to do anything with it, but Research Alloys had it. They are a recycler (scrap yard) so availablity will vary. I borrowed a 20 ton hydralic press to form 20-18 guage galvanized and tin plate parts for a buddy. Lubricate with a heavy dish soap solution. Hope that helps.

      Mike
      Mike Lea

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      • #4
        Sheet metal stamping dies:
        There is a material called KIRKSITE or Ostalloy that is a castable, no-deforming, sheet metal die material. It melts at 900 degrees F, works like brass and was a top secret material during WWII because it allowed the quick and inexpensive fabrication of sheet metal parts like the M2 grease gun and the "Liberator" pistol dropped to French resistance fighters.

        I purchased it through a company in Columbus, OH called Research Alloys. It was about $1.50/lb. and weighs about as much as lead. (or so it seems!)

        I cast the female in a green sand mold with charcoal dust (shaken thru and old sock) as parting compound to cast the male. It is NEAT stuff. An old tool maker from Ford Motor Co. told me about it and gave me a sample. It took three years to locate enough to do anything with it, but Research Alloys had it. They are a recycler (scrap yard) so availablity will vary. I borrowed a 20 ton hydralic press to form 20-18 guage galvanized and tin plate parts for a buddy. Lubricate with a heavy dish soap solution. Hope that helps.

        Mike
        Mike Lea

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        • #5
          Mike,
          Can you give me some idea of the size of part you could make in a 20-ton press?
          Thanks,
          Ron LaDow

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          • #6
            The piece(s) were approximately 8"X12"X 3/4" deep. They were repros of antique document box lids. The 20 ton hydraulic press was overkill, but it was all we could come up with. We used the cast iron platten of an old bookbinders press to distribute the pressure. (It has ribs radiating out from the center.) Hint: Trace you flat blank on the die and use 1/8" dowel pins to hold the sheet in place and keep it from shifting. The pins are spaced around the circumference of the blank, not thru it BTW. Remember, soap & water for a lubricant.

            When done the Kirksite can be remelted for another project. We used a flea market, cast iron Dutch oven w/ lid and a plumbers' stove to heat the metal.
            Mike
            Mike Lea

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            • #7
              Mike,
              Thanks. Have printed your answers for posterity. Or at least until I do a project needing stamped tin.
              Ron LaDow

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