Joseph, The bending of both clips and tie bars is easily accomplished
with a simple arbor press adapted for the purpose. We use an arbor
press for so many jobs around the shop and the school, that I would
never be without one. The presses now cost less than $40 at Harbor
Freight, a machine shop may charge you $20 to drill the end of the
ram to accept tooling and a threaded hole for a set screw. After that
is done, the sky is the limit for all the simple tooling you can make
and mount in one of these presses.
For folding money clips, I made an "L" shaped bending bar to fit the
hole in the end of the ram, and carved a plastic block to "receive"
it. Simply wrap the bottom of the "L" shaped bar and line the female
plastic "die with leather... no scratches. After the fold is up to
the "U" profile - pull the tools out of the press, insert a couple
pieces of 1"thick plastic and close the clip to the tension you need.
(Don't forget to bend a lip before you begin any of this!) You may,
depending on the design, need to insert a brass or plastic rod into
the very back of the clip to keep the space necessary.
Gabriel, who is 7 years old, and weighs about 50 lbs., can fold 14
gauge sterling this way! Amazing what a cheap 5 ton arbor press will
You can also do doming, sharp folding, punching, nibbling, embossing,
flattening, broaching, and about 200 variations and combinations of
these processes. Far faster, cheaper, and simpler than investing in
the little hydraulic presses for these purposes.
There will be a complete set of instructions, as well as
drawings/photos of all of the tooling I have developed over 28 years
- in the book I am currently writing. Meanwhile, I hope this was
clear enough to get you by... Whole thing shouldn't cost you $80
(including the set screw, bar stock, 1" plastic blocks, strip of
leather), and maybe two hours time...
Brian P. Marshall