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RT blanking

looking to gather information on RT-blanking in any form or other. see theres a lot of info on this topic from the past .my question is suggestions for the guage of steel used to blank out small pieces and the methods of heat treating the tool steel sheet in the most effective way. I purchased decades ago the Roger Taylor’s tool…probably frist iteration of it but now I see there are more complex tooling for this technique i.e. KnewConcepts. I found my technical paper by
Roger Taylor on “The RT Blanking system” ISSN: 014-0541

Buy Susan Kingsley’s book “Hydraulic Die Forming for Jewelers and Metalsmiths”. If it isn’t in there, you probably don’t need to know it. There is also a lot in the archives. You can also go to Kevin

his pancake dies are laser cut and you have to press in hardened state. if the metal is annealed it rolls into the space like a gasket. when I was teaching a metalworks class even when I told people about using hardened metal several times it was ignored and had to spend literally hours to reshape/form and actually suffered a bad injury. I have his pancake dies and they work okay. I want to learn the technique using the r.t. blanking tool.

Then go talk to Dar, I have a Potter die that works just fine.

I have both Susan Kingsley’s book and pamplet “Hydraulic Die Forming for Metalsmiths. also purchased years ago “the R.T.Blanking System” ISSN: 0140 0541” from the Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths. so still gathering information. on this site will read all that I can. have RT’s earliest model of the blanking tool


most of potters dies work fine. no problem for me. so who is Dar. I know on youtube there is a feed on pancake/blanking by a Goodboydar and it was him that sparked my renewed interest on pancake dies. so right now I am gathering my resources. I had one of the early blanking tool by Roger Taylor.

sorry- but the youtube feed on blank dies is Dogboydar

Look at the archives regarding pancake dies. You will find references to at least two different schools of thought regarding the cutting of these dies. For my purposes I find Kevin’s to be fine…Rob

Dar Shelton is Sheltech and DogBoyDar

He has posted a lot of information on Orchid about how he makes his custom dies.
On our search engine, search for @sheltech1

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Thanks for the info

Hi I used to use rt blanking a lot. I had a special little press (A modified Whitney Jensen shear) 1inch travel but enormous force. I blanked titanium earrings from 1mm tit sheet. It’s a very effective process. Making each cutting tool was not difficult . We had none of the specific rt tooling. The steel gauge plate (from which the tools were made) just cut it with a piercing saw. I used the swivel table on my pillar drill to help me get the angle right. So if you can use your piecing saw well this is quick and effective. For silver blanks I think we did not bother with hardening and tempering the tool. I lent the press to someone a few years ago. I’d have to use the fly press Now. Good luck with it. I hardly ever make jewellery ( only silversmithing) now so it’s no longer part of the repertoire.


I have decided after all the discussions with friends on Facebook along with Dar Shelton’s youtube video feeds that I will use both the Jayne Redman’s Swivel Bench Peg system and my relic from the past : the R.T. system piercing saw. I am ready and rearing to go in the near future. (borders with US customs are closed which lengthens terms of expectation). I will make the dies but will not heat treat them for the moment. So ready, set and…wait

Dogboydar is Dar Shelton. If you are on Facebook, he has a Facebook page that he is quite active on. He uses it for people to communicate with him regarding ordering dies, but I have also seen posts where he discusses info regarding the process. The Facebook group is: Dar Shelton’s Pancake Die Paradise
Good luck!! I have never attempted to make a die, but have purchased and used Dar Shelton’s dies, and they work so nicely.

thank you for the information…buying the Jayne Redman swival bench peg system to cut the pancake dies. made one pancake die decades ago using the R.T. Blanking tool by Roger Taylor…found it slightly cumbersome. the die was successful though. using Dar Shelton dies should be quite the experience. If you have a template needed I am sure he would cut your design to suit you…thanks again

Hi there
As a small one person jewellery business, I investigated the RT blanking system but was too late to get the kit before it became unavailable. With the lack of anything else to use, I resorted to swivelling my benchpin to the correct angle, measured with an old school protractor and a spirit level, and then sawing the die carefully with my blade vertical, in order to obtain the correct angle on the die. This has worked very well for me over the years. I use mild steel - which is very easy to saw and it is fine on sterling silver (which I agree must be hard and not annealed) and I only use it for small jewellery components to a maximum of 0.8mm thickness of silver but more usually a little thinner. I think the steel I use is either 1mm or 1.2mm thick. The dies do blunt in time but it’s easy enough to cut another. I know there are more technical solutions out there now but I am happy with my little set up.

Jayne Redman opened a thought in regards to pancake dies. she also uses mild steel as to Dar Shelton who hardens with heat treatment. Jayne uses pancake dies as a means to an end,when the die has reached its end then she cuts another. thanks for the technicals re: thickness of steel plate & of precious metal. I like the fact that you have found a solution to pancakes using basic tooling. when I receive one of Dar Shelton dies I will have it in hand to see how it works. I will be ordering Jayne Redman’s tooling station to start cutting pancake dies in the farther future than I thought because of the USA/Canada border shutdown thanks again for your thoughts.

You’re very welcome. I will be very interested in hearing how you get on. Shame about the border issues - lets hope sooner rather than later.

Might be a while Waiting for tooling and supplies but will post On this site in the near future

Love the Kingsley book.

Be sure to check page 82 in the Appendix for a chart showing recommended angles for specific gauges of mild steel and size of saw blades.

It’s an amazing resource.


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Susan Kingsley’s book “Hydraulic Die forming for jewelers and metalsmiths” also gives you the scoop and the specs for blade size, angle and metal thickness. While it’s an old book, I still find it useful. Knew concepts also sells an adjustable GRS compatible bench pin holder that you can change angles with. But while I’ve cut dies, Dar is so very good that I don’t do it anymore.

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