Steel rule dies?

Maybe $100 or $150, assuming it's a small, simple and suitable shape (no small pentagon holes or stuff like that). You'll probably want stripper rubber installed.
In the old days it was done with bandsaws and such like, but I think the industry is mostly laser cutters these days.
You could also look at chemical machining (etching from both sides) which can produce extremely precise and intricate shapes.
The two methods are almost complimentary rather than competitive. Best regards, Spehro Pefhany
Reply to
Spehro Pefhany
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Is there a die maker that caters to small, one-off, hobbyist type die
fabrication? I have a simple part shape I want to cut from 1 mil metal foil
tape and need 60 of them. I could cut them with scissors, but was wondering
what a rule die would cost.
Thanks,
Randal
Reply to
Randal O'Brian
Your question piqued my curiosity so I just talked to a big steel-rule die supplier; they can't answer without a drawing but they can give you a quote in 5 minutes. Look up "steel rule dies" on Google and you'll find a number of them who offer a similar service.
The guy I talked to also does laser cutting, but he says that 60 parts is too small a run -- the costs for setup with eat you up.
That's regular commercial services. You may, as you suggest, find someone who does it part-time or as a hobby, or who caters to hobbyists.
I've made my own dies for cutting felt parts for a local crafts event, held for kids. My method was crude but it worked. I bandsawed the shapes (a pumpkin and a bat) out of a piece of 1/4" hardwood plywood, saving the scrap. Then I bent some scrapped steel carton-strapping stock to shape using pliers and a vise, fitting it around the inner plywood shape. I then epoxied the strapping and both the inner and outer pieces of 1/4" ply to a piece of 3/4" birch ply.
I filed across the top of the strap to flatten it and to make it bright; marked it with red Magic Marker; and then ground the edge sharp with a small wheel in a Dremel. This was a royal PITA, by the way, but it was not hard. It was just slow and tedious. There's probably a better way to do this.
I laid the die edge-up. laid two layers of felt on top; covered it with an old plastic kitchen cutting board; and whacked gently around it with a plastic mallet. It cut the felt pretty cleanly. I cut several hundred of each shape.
Anyway, it worked for felt, but it may not be flat enough to metal foil. 'Just thought I'd pass that on, in case you're adventurous. d8-)
-- Ed Huntress
Reply to
Ed Huntress
There is commercially available cutter material like you used steel strap for. I remember a small leather working mfg. in my bldg who made their dies with it. You might google leather working tolls or gasket making tools.
Chuck P.
Reply to
Pilgrim
I figured there probably was something around that would have saved me a lot of time. Being a really cheap s.o.b., I didn't even check. But I will if I ever have to do it again. Thanks.
-- Ed Huntress
Reply to
Ed Huntress
"Randal O'Brian" wrote in message news:483ed46d$0$3390$ snipped-for-privacy@roadrunner.com...
I haven't used them to make dies, but I've seen a bunch of their dies in use for small quantity, short run items.
The Steel Rule Die Company Molalla Oregon. 503-879-6070
Bill
Reply to
BillM
Good idea, Ed. Very ingenious and I may try it.
Randal
Reply to
Randal O'Brian
It probably is. I've re-ruled a die or two when needed. We formed package trays (that thing in the rear window) out of wood molding media. Our die maker had to develop the 2d outline that our 3d forming dies turned into the finished product. A bit of art in that.
Wes
Reply to
Wes
We get custom steel rule dies made at work for special gaskets and such. A small one, say one that cuts a shape of around 2" x 4" runs about $150 but that's the price our die cutter charges us and he subcontracts the streel rule die itself to Lorain Steel Rule in Ohio. The steel rules themselves can be ground with different types of edges so it may pay to find a good die maker that is willing to discuss your needs.
I'm told that they have a tolerance of around 0.015" on the position of features, but they generally seem to come closer for the dies we've had made.
Mike
Reply to
Mike Henry

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