Back to Ganoksin | FAQ | Contact

Idea for cutting & forming 'boxes'

Hi Folks, Here’s the picture. A pancake die to cut a piece in the
shape of an unfolded box, 4 or 5 ‘sides’. Now, the real reason for
starting this is to find an easy way to bend the thing, since getting
a flat piece is nothing out of the ordinary. It would be nce to be
able to get a box shaped punch and press the part into urethane. Might
work ok for thin metal but what if I wanted to use 16ga.?. Problems of
getting crisp bends,and tearing up the urethane pads will be serious.
A solid female form perhaps?. Serious alignment issues as the part
slides down the form, and scratching ofthe part on a form made of
material tough enough to last.

The solution to all these problems could come in the form of a
pancake die that also scores the bend/edge lines. Nothing other than
the one step cut/emboss die I described here a little while back,
which is ‘just’ a pancake die with wires soldered to it which press an
indentation into the part as well as cutting it out. For thick 'box’
metal, piano wire should do, pretty small diameter and it (the part)
would need to be pressed into a hard plastic, nylon …maybe even
the steel press platen itself. That should be ok, because here we’re
interested in scoring the metal , not embossing it, and a solid
platen prevents real bending of the part that plastic or urehane
facilitates. So then , with a scored part we could expect the bends
to proceed crisply and easily, maybe even with minimal damage to the
urethane. Just theory at this point, but everything checks out. Dar

Have you considered bending the cut out box pieces on a sheet metal
box brake? It is specifically made to do just that sort of thing, and
can be set up to do various different sizes, instead of making a one
job specific tool. I think that you can find smaller versions of these
for sale, if you do some searching.

Jack Reisland

Dar does a lot of short run production so single set up tooling
works best for him. A small scale El cheapo box brake using a vise is
being sold by HF. See:
This is for an 8 " one. There are also 4" 5" and 6" ones available.
items 43855, 43883, 43931. bought one haven’t tried it.


Hi Dar. Sounds like it would work pretty well on smaller gauges. On
heavy gauge sheet, I’m not sure the piano wire would compress enough
metal to bend to a crisp right angle as the clearance required would
be a 90 degree “v”. What about using something with a “v” cross
section rather than round, at least on the heavier gauges?

I have seen beautifully executed boxes and other forms (some
perforated as well) created from flat sheet that has had the scoring
photo-etched into the surface. These were only available in lighter
weights though.

Good luck to you with this.

I was very pleased with your development of the cut/embossed dies and
the pieces you did for me earlier. It was a real savings for my

I must insert a disclaimer heRe: I saw recommendations for Sheltech
on the Orchid list about 2 years ago and have used Dar’s service a
couple of times since then but I have no other connection.

Pam Chott