Table of angles for blanking dies?

Greetings, Orchiders:

I need to make a couple blanking dies for stamping parts out of
26g and 28g 14kt sheet. I seem to recall seeing “somewhere” a
table of angles and blade sizes for making these dies, but now I
can’t remember where, and haven’t found it yet in searching my
library. Can anybody give me a citation?

I found a post from the Orchid archives last year regarding a
graphical method of laying out the angle, but it doesn’t mention
the thickness of the material to be cut – or doesn’t that

Then, can I successfully hand-saw these dies, without buying a
saw-guide frame like the RT, Frie and Borel, or Bonneydoon
versions? I’m not sure I want to invest in the tooling, this not
being a frequent need.

And, finally, can I stamp parts by putting the die/metal
sandwich on my big anvil, covering it with a block of steel, and
giving it a good whack with a 3 pound hammer? Or, do I need a

Thanks for any and all help, I’m trying like heck to avoid
sawing out several hundred little bits of metal for this project.


Bob Edwards
Chromis Designs
Annapolis, Maryland

Robert, are you aware that Sheltech will make the dies for you?
You might consider letting him do it if you only anticipate
occasional use. If you need his number I will look it up for you
tomorrow. He will be happy to do a quote for you I am sure.


Hello Bob,

If all you need to do are a few different dies, then don’t
bother to try and do them yourself. It is possible, but very
difficult, to maintain the precision necessary to get an
effective die without a sawing frame or a scroll saw that has a
reliable tilt table.

It would be more cost effective if you had David Shelton of
Sheltech cut the dies according to your design. He will also
stamp out the parts with them for you for a fee. If you need lots
of these pieces, then it would also be a good idea to have him
harden and temper the dies for you, since they will last much
longer than they would otherwise. He does wonderful work in a
timely fashion and at really reasonable prices.

You can reach him at:

David Shelton
4207 Lead SE
Albuquerque, NM 87108

Good luck!

Anne Hollerbach

p.s. I don’t have any connection with David or Sheltech, other
than being pleased with his work for me in the past.

Bob, here’s some info and thoughts for you. I have done
extensive work using tool blanking and sheet metal since 1988.
Unfortunately I cannot give you the angle info you need… but…
I can steer you to the best tool man I have ever known. Dave
Shelton, Sheltec, 4207 Lead, SE, Albuquerque, NM (not sure of
zip), 505-256-7073. Dave can cut ANY die for ANY thing. If you
don’t really want to get into the "100 stokes per minute"
program, have Dave cut your blanks for you, then stamp them
yourself, or have him do it. This will give you a lower
equipment investment. I have always had him cut my blands,
simple and VERY detailed. Then I got a Rio Screw Press, from
Rio Grande… life is simple. I would strongly discourage you
from the “3 # hammer” plan, you can mess up your metal and waste
it. With a bit of forthought, you can design your artwork so it
will give you the most possible pieces per sheet. I have cut
everything from silver, GF, alumimum and niobium with Dave’s
blanks. Just let him know exactly what you are cutting and send
him your black and white art work. Good luck, hope this helps.

Yes you can do this, by hand, with a bench pin that you have
attached a board to, so you can set it at an angle in the vise,
and by sawing straight up and down you get the angled cut into
the 16 g sheet steel that is normal for such RT blanking dies.
For 16 g steel the angle is about 17 degrees. A hand made one in
mild steel lasts from dozens to several hundred blanks. With
practice a freehand one is about 25 minutes to make. (count on
40 minutes the first time). Depending on your accuracy you can
adjust a slightly off kilter cut by careful center punch use near
the cut (spreads it closer).

Or you could just saw the shape you want out of thin brass sheet
and send it to David Shelton of Sheltech who will make you a
hardened tempered steel RT blanking die for not too much money
(last time I checked around $35.00 or so-good for thousands of
cuts). His email is:

You need a press, or at least two very parallel surfaces moving
together - some people use a gun loader for small ones.


Charles Lewton-Brain
Box 1624, Ste M, Calgary, Alberta, T2P 2L7, Canada

Bob, I think Sheltech might also stamp the pieces for you if you
don’t have a press.

If you go to the archives, then to subject index for june 1998,
and then do a power search for keywork - blanking - the old
articles are there and should give you what you’re looking for.

Hope helps

You need a press, or at least two very parallel surfaces
moving together - some people use a gun loader for small ones. 

Charles, I’ve never fooled with this type stuff but if you could
use a bullet press which is relatively small could you not use
one of those older style vertical ring stretchers with the very
strong press on the bottom part ? just a thought in passing I’ve
never done that sort of thing.

Terry Parresol
and I apologize for the size of my photo as I’ve never done that before
either and just didn’t realize what size it was…poor skills on my part.

Yes a ring stretcher would work for an RT blanking die. Charles

Charles Lewton-Brain
Box 1624, Ste M, Calgary, Alberta, T2P 2L7, Canada