Howdy Doody Folks!,
Someone just said that it’s basically impossible to press really
fine detail into metal with a 20 ton hydraulic press, or that such
work would be limited to very thin sheet (and small areas). I’m
generalizing because that’s what I generally ran up against too.
20 tons just isn’t enough to do a lot of thngs that bigger presses
do in the way of coining type operations, where metal is being
displaced instead of just being bent, as with embossing.
I would have completely agreed with this until a few weeks ago ,
when I finished the first waffle/pancake blanking/forming die. Long
story short, it cuts parts and squeezes them between matched etched
plates i one press operation. The best part is that it forms
extremely sharply at much lower pressure than I would have thought.
Having the waffle iron effect of solid shape-matched plates changes
the whole dynamic of how the sheet is formed, compared to forming
with a single form and a urethane pad. The one I made was etched to
about .010" depth and I use it wit 24ga. cold rolled steel. So the
metal is about twice as thick as the form is deep. The metal is being
bent and/or displaced (I think some of both) at a much higher degree
of resolution than the other commonly-used-by-jewelers methods some
of you are familiar with.
Hardened steel plates etched with detail can deliver much sharper
detail than a matched conforming set made of something like plastic
Of course, not everyone will run out and make waffle pancake dies.
(Don’t try this at home, it was insanely complicated this first
time) But some interesting things could be done pretty easily anyway.
I thought of simply etching a pair of plates and bolting them
together to make a die that could apply a finely detailed embossed
pattern onto sheet . It could then be domed or cut or whatever you
folks are doing these days. (^:#
I’ll get some shots up onto the proper place on orchid before too
long… the gallery , I reckon. They are already up somewhere else ,
if you know where to look.
Dar, your friendly neighborhood diemaker.