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Homemade Iron Worker?

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  • Homemade Iron Worker?

    I punch through 1/4 inch hot rolled bars a lot. The size is one inch long by one half inch wide. The radius is only produced at one end with the other end open. Imagine a slotted piece of steel that will end up hanging on a one half inch bolt near its Head. Is there available plans for a iron worker type machine thats small enough for a home shop garage. I generally do 100 to 300 at a time. This is one of my jobs that I regularilly get and I wish to produce these slots at Home without resorting to the Bridgeport Milling Machine. Thanx Everyone Audrey

  • #2
    A small punch press can be had cheap,and you can make your own dies.
    I just need one more tool,just one!


    • #3
      You would need a good size punch press to remove that amount of material. Consider fabricating a hydraulic setup, slower then a punch press but faster then the mill.


      • #4
        Not really big at all,our small ironworker will poke a 13/16" hole trough 3/4"mild steel no sweat,its only 55 ton.

        From what you described 12-15 tons would be plenty,especially if you used a progressive die design,15 ton presses aren't that big,about the size of a b-port mill,and they also come in handy for other things,I have seen old ones go at auction for $5,they usually sell cheap because the need safty retrofits,you can do this youself also.
        I just need one more tool,just one!


        • #5

          Just how have you done this job in the past? Milling such slots seems like extremely tedious work. It also does not seem like the sort of work that one would do in the home shop, especially in such quantity. A few others have questioned your pleas for help, and it seem to me that you may be someone other than what you seem. In your profile you state you are a "female machinist, kinda".

          Kinda what? The questions you are asking are not typical of a home shop machinist. It is not typical of a professional shop, with the frequency that you ask, if you were a professional machinist. Just what are you up to? Are you collecting material for a book?

          I apologise with all sincereness if I have offended you, but I, and I believe at least a few others, would be somewhat more satisfied with a more complete explanation of your circumstances and how it is that you encounter such unusual machining challenges.

          Best regards,

          Evan Williams
          Free software for calculating bolt circles and similar: Click Here


          • #6
            Audrey, I would like to request that you to come back once in a while, and tell us how you ended up handling some of the unusual problems you post. Ya gotta tell us how the project came out.
            Just curious.


            • #7
              Just order the parts you need from a steel shop. They make money, you make money, they do the loathesome work, you get paid or it.


              • #8
                Hi Audrey,

                It is a great thing to hear from a woman who likes to work with metal. It seems to be a rare thing (because working with metal is very hard?) I know you have been around for a long time but I also would like to know more about how it is that a woman finds herself making 300 metal parts at a time and wants to do it at home.

                Great thing,



                • #9
                  I bought a very large Used Whitney punch off ebay that does what you are wanting of a ironworker. I didn't buy the only one they made.

                  It cost 67$ plus shipping. I plan on putting legs on it or a post to mount it when I use it.

                  Kinda unwieldy for sure, weighs about 30+ pounds and about 3 1/2 feet long.

                  I too am happy to see a woman ironworking and machining.. They smell better then us stinky old male farts. Women are more meticulous then men wiring electrical panels. *30+ years experience making that decision.

                  Search out "Roper Whitney company punches" on the internet, that should bring up thier product line.

                  [This message has been edited by ibewgypsie (edited 09-28-2003).]


                  • #10
                    Audrey has been around for a while. Early on, she explained her and her husband's situation. Since then, she has posted many intriguing questions. She has frequently let us know how things worked out.
                    I doubt she is writing a book or anything of the sort. If she is, it is at her own peril, as many of the replys are contradictory to each other, pipe dreams, suppositions, or completely off subject. For the most part, we are unsubstantiated opinionators, not documented experts in any particular field. That does not mean that anything is wrong with the responses, just keep a grain of salt or two handy at all times.
                    Any questions posted here concerning methods, materials, technique etc. benefit us all in that they may give us insight into other problems, or an approach to something that we have been struggling with or are thinking about doing.
                    I look forward to questions from Audrey, and hope she and her husband keep coming up with these off the wall jobs to keep us thinking.
                    Jim H.


                    • #11
                      To Evan. My Husband and I have started a small (and I mean small) Business) a while ago. I handle chores in the shop and book keeping(Tedious) and also run some jobs in our Shop. The old man does most of the (as he calls it) ****e work, Lots of neat and interesting jobs and we try to do them all in the small shop we own. We are allready turning down jobs that are just not wise to undertake as we learned allready not to take on everything that comes your way. We have no desire to expand our shop and wish to just work out of our Garage(Shop) at home. All the jobs so far we have completed succesfully and we are looking forward to many more years of fiddling in the Shop. Thanx to all the Knowledgable advice from all the HSM Members. Thankyou all so much (Audrey)


                      • #12
                        Thanks for the reply Audrey. Sounds a bit like my business. I have a storefront computer business. If it relates to computers, I can do it. I have no employees except the occasional work experience student from the high school. My wife does the books, thank goodness. I have no plans to expand and not having any employees keeps the Workers Compensation Board out of my life. That greatly simplifies the book keeping.

                        I am amazed at the varied jobs you have asked about. If you have been able to accomplish them all successfully then you are a better machinist than me. I just putter around at machining, strictly a hobby.

                        My wife and I were thinking back on the weekend, about her grandfather. He had a shop in Wildwood, Alberta. He was a master machinist, originally from the U.K. During WWII he was not allowed to join the army. He also was not allowed to tell anyone why. He never did say what he made during that time even many years later. He was looked down on by many people in the neighbourhood who did not understand what he was contributing.

                        The lathe he had was a huge thing. I never operated it and never even thought to ask. It was at least eight foot, maybe 10 or 12 foot bed and something like 20" swing. He used to make sewing machine needles and knitting needles on it for my wife when she was a child. Seems to me if I recall correctly that he used a four jaw chuck exclusively as it was a PITA to change, needing the overhead traveling hoist etc.
                        Free software for calculating bolt circles and similar: Click Here