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Fluted male and female die for beads


#1

Any suggestions on how to build a set of male and female dies to
form fluted beads in sterling silver?

Terry


#2
Any suggestions on how to build a set of male and female dies to
form fluted beads in sterling silver? 

Unless you want to add blacksmithing tools, equipment and skills to
your kit I would buy them from Tucker Tool

http://www.ganoksin.com/gnkurl/ep7zc3

because I don’t know how they can offer them for such reasonable
prices.

However to make one the basic process is first you form the punch by
forging, filling and finishing from a steel that has reasonable hot
strength (S7, A2, D2, etc) Then harden, temper and polish. Then take
another piece of tool steel heated to appropriate forging temperature
and drive the punch into it to make the die. Then heat treat and
finish that as well. Simple process but not so simple to master.
There are other ways to do it but most require fancy, expensive
equipment.

James Binnion
James Binnion Metal Arts


#3

There are many ways to make beads in metal.

How, will depend on size, metal thickness, plain, fluted, what
shape, ie round or double triangular, hollow or solid. Can you please
detail the 8 items above? that specify the bead you want to make. When
ive these specifications from you, happy to point you in the right
direction. Had a customer ask for a rosary bracelet with gold beads
on a stainless steel circle. So developed the hand tooling to make
hundreds of metal beads in 2 sizes. These beads were plain, double
triangular, made from drawn seamless tube, the easiest shape to move
along the s/steel loop with the fingernail. without looking.

When saying Hail Mary, mother of god etc.The rosary mantra.
Interesting project. made about 20 of them. Over 1000 beads made. all
sold. worked well.


#4
Any suggestions on how to build a set of male and female dies to
form fluted beads in sterling silver? 

At a workshop I attended, we did this by making a mold of the
desired shape using steel-filing-filled epoxy (I forget what this is
called-- steel epoxy?) in a steel ring which was, I think, a cut-off
piece of pipe. It was a long time ago, and I never used the
technique, so it’s hard to remember. In this case, it would be half a
bead-- there can be no undercuts.

When that was set, we put some sort of mold release on it, added a
low piece of pipe and filled that with the epoxy. I do remember that
getting them apart again was a challenge, but then we had two mated
parts to use in a hydraulic press.

If you’re talking about small beads, you might be able to buy a
punch the right shape and make just the female half from it, and
hammer the halves in.

I confess, though, unless you are doing something much more unusual
than this sounds, it would fall under my personal rule of thumb–
never spend your time doing something that can be done better by a
machine.

Noel


#5
At a workshop I attended, we did this by making a mold of the
desired shape using steel-filing-filled epoxy (I forget what this
is called-- steel epoxy?) in a steel ring which was, I think, a
cut- off piece of pipe. 

I think it’s called Epoxy Steel.

There are some photos of the process on the blog of Kirsten Skiles,
and it’s covered in the hydraulic press book by Susan Kingley, for
anyone who is interested in learning more.

http://www.ganoksin.com/gnkurl/ep7zc6

Elaine
CreativeTextureTools.com


#6

I’ve never done exactly this but I’d approach it the same way I’d
approach a bead -die set for a plain bead half. That is to fabricate
the male punch in steel, then rough out a depression in a nylon block
(with a round bur), then heat the steel tool up and melt it’s shape
into the nylon (female die ).

The ones sold at places like IJS, Thunderbird, and probably Rio
Grande, also start with a male steel punch, but they use steel for
the female too, and heat it up till it’s soft, then punch the punch
into the die block to transfer the shape. That’s the old -fashioned
way, and I couldn’t say for sure that they aren’t mass produced by
more modern methods. Probably by graphite electrode EDM machine,
where the female die is burned out by electrical discharge using a
carbon rod with the desired shape on it’s end.

If you want to make your own, do what I would do: take a round dap,
or even just stick a piece of bolt in a drill and file the end round
( a soft bolt will be easier to work than a hardeneed dap). Then you
file the flutes however you want them, into the rounded bolt end, and
there you have it. When you use that to melt the shape into the nylon
(use the white stuff, not the black stuff that has molybdenum
sulphide (?) in it ), you need to do that carefully, and in stages.
You don’t want to do it all at once, or get the tool and nylon too
hot. When you dap your fluted beads, you need to dap them round
first, then anneal them. Do all that right and you should be making
some kickass beads.

Dar Shelton (or you could make a plastic steel female die, using the
male punch as a model)

http://www.sheltech.net


#7
depend on size, metal thickness, plain, fluted, what shape, ie
round or double triangular, hollow or solid. 

Beads will be round fluted, hollow, under.750", sterling silver, in
either 24 or 26 gauge.


#8

I can’t help on how to build them, but Indian Jewelry Supply sells
them. I am curious, also, as to how one would go about making one.

Vicki K, SoCal


#9

Since Jerry Tucker quit manufacturing dies over two years ago,your
best hope is to see if Indian Jewelers Supply in Gallup, NM still
has your required die,since they still have some of his. They also
manufacture some dies themselves. Their supervisor of tools is Ray
and a great guy always willing to help. Another option that I chose
some years ago was to do as Jim Binnion suggested and create my own
male die, but because I didn’t have a forge for heating a large
piece of steel for the female die, I chose an allow almost identical
to Kirksite that the Navajo’s had used back in the 1940’s. It is a
low temp melting alloy, yet when cooled is almost as hard as steel. I
had spent almost five years tracking down the current owner of the
formula for Kirksite, only to find it was owned by a British
company. After communicating by e-mail with the new owner, he was
generous enough to put me in touch with a man at Metalliferous who
has a formula almost identical,and good for what we are discussing. I
have used it for years as have some of my friends and are quite
satisfied. I will attach a photo of a sample male/female die (though
not fluted) I made. If I can be of further help, contact me off-line.
Respectfully John Barton

[Edit]

Attachment removed:

How can I share files and pictures with the list?
http://www.ganoksin.com/gnkurl/ftp

Or… send the files to the attention of service@ganoksin.com and
we will upload them for you…

[/Edit]


#10
Since Jerry Tucker quit manufacturing dies over two years ago, 

That is too bad, I went and checked his website before posting about
his tools and it is still up.

Kirksite is a good alternative. It is also known as Zamak2 here is
a wikipedia article on it http://www.ganoksin.com/gnkurl/ep7zcn

It is a zinc alloy with 4% aluminum, 3% copper and 0.025% magnesium

You can also buy Zamak2 from Rotometals
http://www.ganoksin.com/gnkurl/ep7zcm

James Binnion
James Binnion Metal Arts


#11

Things have been very hectic recently, so apologies for nor replying
earlier. How you go about making them also depends on how many you
plan to make. I should have asked you this question as well.!!

Ill start with plain bead making to give you same basics. I used
drawn seamless tube, cut on my minature circular bench to 3/16th in
length then I took 2 1/2in hex cold chisels cut them off square,
drilled 1/8in 3/4in deep into one end of each… Done in the lathe.
then countersunk this end. harden and polish. Then made a mandrel
1/8th in dia 1.4 in long tapered each end down by 20/1000 in. Hold one
chisel vertically in a leg vice, drop the mandrel into the hole with
the tube over it, put the other chisel over the mandrel and hit with
a hammer. Bead forms by itself. Then you need to strip the bead off
the mandrel. Support the bead in a countersunk hole in a piece of
1/4in plate, knock out the mandrel. you may need to weld a collar
onto the bottom die so it doesnt creep down between the vice jaws.

Now fluted beads can be made the same way, from fluted tube, except
that you need change the countersinking from standard 120 degree to
a half round. then scale up the die size to suit the bead diameter. How
to make your fluted tube? Id take strip then use a 90 deg v block and
matching punch in a toggle press to make your corrugated strip. Turn
over and form each corrugation and repeat. If you can make a second V
alongside the 1st so it acts as a register for the next corrugation.
form round and solder up. Then form into round between dies using the
mandrel to locate as before…

Or, electroform them over a wax pattern thats electically conducting.
This can be made in the usual rubber moulds by the wax injection
process.

Have fun
Ted.