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Making your own drawplates [Was: Tubing dies. ]


#1

Making your own drawplates: That comes right before making your
own pliers and after making saw blades. Steel drawplates would
require a bit of machinery and a knowledge of steel metallurgy.
My suggestion is to stick to making jewelry and leave these
difficult tools to others. On the other hand, wood drawplates for
tubing and chain compression, can be home made. But a big
advantage of steel dies for making tubing is the compression that
wood wood not be able to offer.

Kind of on the same subject, at school in Germany we learned to
make drill bits. And I once met a goldsmith from the Philipines
who showed me how he made sawblades when he could not afford to
buy them. He took a fine steel guitar string, placed it on a
steel block and then used a cold chisel to make many small angled
nicks lined up along the wire. This he strung into his saw frame
and voila, it worked, kind of. Thanks, but I’d rather buy mine,
and drawplates too. Alan Revere in sunny Marin across the Golden
Gate from foggy SF


#2

Making your own drawplates: That comes right before making your
own pliers and after making saw blades. Steel drawplates would
require a bit of machinery and a knowledge of steel metallurgy.

True enough. And besides, for a starter drawplate, if you
cannot afford the good ones, you can get fairly cheap ones made
in india and pakistan. some of em go for around ten bucks or
less. Now, to those of us using better plates, that ten buck
price is gonna seem overpriced, considering the quality of those
cheap plates. But realistically, they’re OK for beginners,
especially if you take the time to run a toothpick in your flex
shaft or dremel, with some appropriate polishing compound in the
holes to clean em up a bit.

TSI in Seattle used to carry a small selection of these cheap
plates. So do several other firms, usually the smaller discount
tool houses who won’t find their reputation in jepardy due to the
iffy quality of these drawplates.

Peter Rowe


#3
    ... But a big advantage of steel dies for making tubing is
the compression that wood wood not be able to offer. 

A thought occurs to me here. Has anyone used any of the exotic
tropical hardwoods for this purpose? It seems to me that lignum
vitae might be ideal for this purpose. It is harder than
corian, is very oily, and has very high abrasion resistance due
to its high silicon content. It is still used as bearings in
some marine propulion applications, and is found in the
occasional older machine tool as bearing or bushing material,
being considered at one time superior to bronze for some types
of bushings or thrust bearings.

    Kind of on the same subject, at school in Germany we
learned to make drill bits. And I once met a goldsmith from the
Philipines who showed me how he made sawblades when he could
not afford to buy them. He took a fine steel guitar string,
placed it on a steel block and then used a cold chisel to make
many small angled nicks lined up along the wire. This he strung
into his saw frame and voila, it worked, kind of. Thanks, but
I'd rather buy mine, and drawplates too. 

“Needs must when the devil drives”! Is this how such blades
were made before the advent of factory-produced ones?


#4

about two years ago i bought a tungsten carbide drawpate at
metaliferous for about 110 dollars. goes from 2mm to .026 mm. i
never ever regretted that purchase. it,s always a pleaure to work
with good tools. just my $.02

scott in hotlnta


#5

I can’t really afford a $100 drawplate, ouch, but really wonder
what is the real difference in USING one versus the $15 one I
have. It seems to me the frustration of drawing wire is always
getting the wire when its getting small to get a grip on the
thing so the point doesn’t break off before the pull even gets
started. Is it just that an expensive drawplate is finished
inside the holes better so you get a cleaner piece of wire?
Dave

Kickass Websites for the Corporate World http://www.kickassdesign.com
Crystalguy Jewelry http://www.opendoor.com/stephensdesign/crystalguy.html
Recumbent Cyclist’s Advocacy Group
http://www.opendoor.com/stephensdesign/bent/rcag.html


#6
     It seems to me the frustration of drawing wire is always
getting the wire when its getting small to get a grip on the
thing so the point doesn't break off before the pull even gets
started. Is it just that an expensive drawplate is finished
inside the holes better so you get a cleaner piece of wire?

G’day Dave: The time-honoured method for tapering wire to
poke through the drawplate is to lay it in a tapered groove in
your bench peg (made with a triangular file) and file the wire to
a taper. BUT! this work-hardens the metal, especially low carat
gold and sterling. A method I have found useful is to use
cyanide solution to reverse plate or erode the end of the wire,
controlling the length and type of taper by moving it up and
down in the cyanide. The wire is connected to the positive
terminal of a 6 to 12 volt DC supply and the negative terminal
goes to a piece of stainless steel in the bath. However, I have
used a much higher voltage DC supply for faster results. But more
care is needed, obviously. This method of removing metal to
taper wire leaves the wire in it’s annealed state. For drawing
I use a pair of Ell Cheepo long-nosed vice grips on a home-made
drawbench to provide the necessary steady pull. I have used a
similar technique with nitric acid without the electricity, but
this is far more dodgy in that not only is the acid itself
nasty, but the brown fumes of nitric oxide and nitrogen peroxide
which ensue are choking and very poisonous indeed. Cheers,

       / \
     /  /
   /  /                                
 /  /__| \      @John_Burgess2
(______)       

At sunny Nelson NZ