I thought I would wait to see what everyone else had to say before I
chipped in, I have been cutting blanking dies for years, must have
cut a few hundred, and stamped out tens of thousands of pieces from
1/8"-2". I used to have an assistant who would break them on the
first go!!, she was very tentative with the flypress. By the way to
do a good job you need a kiln with temperature control to harden and
temper them if you want them to last. Also a flypress with two level
blocks is I think a necessity.
For there are two good sources:
This is the report by the guy who first popularised it, it was used
in WW2 to cut out plywood for Mosquito planes and ally sheet for
B52’S( something like that, not a plane expert). I had an evening
class student who had done it, 8X4 sheet of steel and a small road
Susan Kingsley. Hydraulic Die forming for Jewellers. This also has a
good section on it at the end. Especially how to adjust a die tool if
it warps slightly when you harden it.
I don’t see why you can’t learn to do it yourself, I did, Ithe first
few weren’t very good but I soon got better. I reckon you go through
two 4/0 blades per tool, you will wear them out as well as break
them. I was too mean to buy his tool so I made an angled jig and put
a rod in the handle of my saw to run in a groove to keep it upright.
It is a little difficult to explain I will send you some photos if
you give me an e-mail addess. You just hold your elbow against the
side of your body and turn the steel plate not the saw.
I have just made an adjusable one, I had to cut a thicker tool,1mm
rather than1/32"which is a good thickness to use, If you use it flat
you can saw out a stack of sheets the same size (if you only want a
few) or you can cut out two bits of different sheet for REALLY
accurate inlay. It is only a few bits of scrap wood but it has earned
me a lot of money.