ironworker tooling issue

I'm in the middle of a job which involves punching 13/16" holes in 3/8" A36 steel. As I didn't have a 13/16" punch and a 27/32" die, I bought one from my local stocking Cleveland distributor. However, he didn't have a die of the correct height for my machine. The one he sold me *almost* works but really needs to be about 1/8" lower.

I'm wondering if I set this up in my 9" South Bend lathe's chuck, can I face a Cleveland Steel Tool ironworker die's back side (not the side the punch enters, rather the side the slug falls out of) using carbide tooling? I can surface grind it later to get it dead flat again. But I don't have any idea how hard these dies really are.

I can order a new one online, of course, but I want to get this job out.

Grant Erwin Kirkland, Washington

Reply to
Grant Erwin
Loading thread data ...

I don't know if you can do it in your lathe, but couldn't you use an angle grinder to take off most of what you want removed and then use the surface grinder? Maybe use the surface grinder to show the high spots and then hit it a bit more with a flap disc before going back to the surface grinder.

In any case I would use an angle grinder to remove the surface before trying the lathe.


Reply to

Yep, or a belt sander with a sharp belt. Either one will move metal quite rapidly.


Reply to
Harold and Susan Vordos

It turns out that on my Scotchman, the die sits in a shoe which sits on a bedding plate on top of the main tooling mount. The bedding plate was just cast iron so I machined that off and now everything works again.

GWE wrote:

Reply to
Grant Erwin

You can machine any part of those dies with a good carbide bit. Your die clearance is not large enough. It should be one sixteenth larger for 3/8 material. With a new sharp punch and 1/16 difference in diameter you should not have to worry about a burr. Your hydraulics may be grunting with the 32nd clearance. If you were punching 1/8 or under then I would go to a 27/32 die. The other precaution with such a small clearance is that if your puch shifts or your bottom die holder shifts the punch will take out the edge of the bottom die. Randy

Reply to
Randy Zimmerman

Probably too late to be of use, but here's my $0.02 worth. Not sure if your machine will take such a load, but carbide should be capable of machining that material. About the only common tool steel carbide isn't great for, in my limited experience, is HSS. Hardened O1 machines fairly easily with carbide tooling, but tool life is normally pretty short.

Taking 1/8" off using a surface grinder wouldn't be too hard of a job though. I would definately plunge grind, forget about the cross-feed. Using a 46 grit 6" wheel on a 6x18 grinder, one could probably have the process completed in less than 15min. Coolant is certainly necessary as you run a significant risk of burning your die (leading to very short edge life).




Reply to
Robin S.

PolyTech Forum website is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.