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davesisk
07-24-2004, 11:37 PM
Hey guys:

Well, after finding unitized tooling to do vee notching on angle iron and discovering the price is typically $600-800 for a simple notcher, I started thinking about how I could make one. Here's what I have so far:

Front view:

www.ipass.net/davesisk/Notcher_FrontView.JPG

The square "die" that will slide up and down is 2" x2" x 1" mild steel. The back sides are the same 1" material cut to the right lengths and standing up. The front sections are 2" x 3" x 3/8" and 2" x 5" x 3/8". There are two small 1.5" x 1.25" x 1/4" pieces on the sides to keep the square "die" aligned properly (they should see little or no force). All this is sitting on top of a 6" x 6" x 1/2" piece of mild steel plate.

Front view with "die" removed:

www.ipass.net/davesisk/Notcher_TopRemoved.JPG

There's a stiff spring sitting under the die to push it back up after something has been notched. I'll actually attach the spring to the base some way...haven't figured out exactly how yet.

Here's a top view to help clarify:

www.ipass.net/davesisk/Notcher_TopView.JPG

All these parts are mild steel, and I intend to notch mild steel. So, I decided I needed some tool steel for the cutting surfaces. I grabbed an 8" file and marked off where to cut:

Cutting surfaces (ie. file):

www.ipass.net/davesisk/Notcher_FileCuttingSurfaces.JPG

I quickly ran into small oversight. The file is of course tool steel. After burning up a bandsaw blade, I went "duh" and realized I don't have a way to cut tool steel. :rolleyes:

Final picture...this is the intended way to use this contraption. You'd put the whole thing under a hand-pumped hydraulic press, place the angle iron to be vee-notched in the right spot, and pump the press to push the die down and notch the angle iron.

www.ipass.net/davesisk/Notcher_Use.JPG

Now, here's the thoughts/issues/questions at this point:

1) I intend to weld all the pieces that make up the base together than to the plate it sitting on. For material this thick (sounds like a good task for the new MM210, eh?), how can I best minimize distortion. I plan to do the usual clamping, tacking, welding different sides, etc. Any other suggestions? Most stuff like this is machined from a solid block, but I don't have any machine tools available to me. I think I can make it work (possibly losing a little bit of accuracy) by welding it all together.

2) How much gap should I leave between the upper and lower cutting surfaces? None? 1/8"? Something in between? The purpose for this contraption to notch 1" x 1" x 1/8" angle iron...nothing thicker, but maybe something thinner occasionally. If I can make it work with 1/8" thick angle, then I'll be quite happy.

3) I'm sure if I attempt to use the mild steel as the cutting surfaces, it'll bend, chip, deform, etc. That's why I snagged the file and intended to cut it up and use pieces of it as the cutting surfaces. However, that means I have to cut it into 4 pieces and drill and countersink holes in it. How the heck do I cut tool steel? I've already proven to myself that the bandsaw won't do it. Will an abrasive circular saw blade do it? A diamond blade? What do you guys suggest?

4) Along the same lines, what do I use to drill and countersink holes into the file pieces? I intended to drill and tap the mild steel and attach the file pieces with flat head machine screws. Any ideas on this?

5) Any other thoughts? Is this likely to turn out pretty good, or am I losing my mind? :p

TIA!
Dave

James D. Clark
07-25-2004, 01:06 AM
You can cut the file with a cutoff disk on an offset grinder. Cut over-size and then size with a bench grinder after weld up. You don't want a big clearance between the punch and the die as you are notching with the punch, not piercing a hole completely surrounding the punch. Something on the order of .005/.010. Make a heel on the punching face of the punch that is deeper than the 1/8 inch thickness of the angle you will be notching and you will be fine. The heel will engage the die before the punch enters the angle and keep the punch and die in alinement. If you are going to notch vees in the angle using a corner of the punch, then make the heel 45 degrees along the two opposite sides from the notching corner.

If you weld a big shank to the top of the punch so that the machine will stand off above the vertical part of the angle and fasten the punch to the machine ram, you shouldn't need a spring to push the punch up. The ram will do it. The punch is only notching so there is no need for a stripper.

davesisk
07-25-2004, 08:09 AM
Originally posted by James D. Clark
Make a heel on the punching face of the punch that is deeper than the 1/8 inch thickness of the angle you will be notching and you will be fine. The heel will engage the die before the punch enters the angle and keep the punch and die in alinement. If you are going to notch vees in the angle using a corner of the punch, then make the heel 45 degrees along the two opposite sides from the notching corner.


Hey James:

Yes, I'm going to V-notch angle iron, so I would be using the corner. I'm not sure I understand what you're saying about the heel. Can you explain a little more?

So, if I can cut the file with an abrasive cut-off disk, then I'd assume I can "drill" the necessary holes with some sort of abrasive bit...I think I may have a die grinder bit that I can try.

Also, do you guys think perhaps I should run a rod through the top die mounted to the base to help keep it straight as it's pressed down?

Thanks for the suggestions.

Dave

Zrexxer
07-25-2004, 10:23 AM
The only way you're going to drill a file is to anneal it, and even then it's going to be tough going. Further, files are so hard in their supplied state that they're brittle; for punching you're going to want more toughness to keep the edge from fracturing.

If I were you I'd order a small piece of 1/4x1 O-1 tool steel or something similar that's supplied dead soft, do your cutting and machining to it, and then harden it to your needs. Should be less than $10.

James D. Clark
07-25-2004, 11:16 AM
Originally posted by davesisk
Hey James:

Yes, I'm going to V-notch angle iron, so I would be using the corner. I'm not sure I understand what you're saying about the heel. Can you explain a little more?

So, if I can cut the file with an abrasive cut-off disk, then I'd assume I can "drill" the necessary holes with some sort of abrasive bit...I think I may have a die grinder bit that I can try.

Also, do you guys think perhaps I should run a rod through the top die mounted to the base to help keep it straight as it's pressed down?

Thanks for the suggestions.

Dave

Dave, think of the punch as a shoe on your foot-one with a heel, not a tenni. The sole of the shoe is the bottom of your punch and the heel sticks down below the sole. That is what I meant-the heel sticks down and will slide into the die before the punch strikes the angle you are notching. Then when the punch shears the angle, the punch can't be deflected. If you try to cut or shear metal, the punch will try to push away from the metal when it penitrates the metal. If the punch is held in position the metal gets sheared. If it isn't, the metal bends and the punch skids or slides past the metal until the back side of the punch hits the die. That will ruin your day, and the punch and die.

I'll see if I can make a drawing and take a picture.

Zrexxer makes a good point about getting some tool steel. In fact if you could get a piece to make the punch out of complete would be lots easier to make.

James D. Clark
07-25-2004, 12:29 PM
Here is a picture showing a punch with a heel. The punch can be made several ways to attach it to a ram. The critical point is to make the height of the punch long enough to allow for the maximum height of the angle plus the depth that the punch enters the die to clear the ram.

Bob
07-25-2004, 12:55 PM
Hi Dave,

Talking thru my hat ... but I think the floating center "die" will move/twist too much and bind.

Thinking more along the lines of a large, thick wall square tube with a length of sqare bar stock snuggly sliding through center. The opening looks like you just took an angle grinder to the corner at mid-length to cut away both tube and bar. Then as the bar slides either way in the tube, it would notch the part to be cut.

Some refinements: the square tube is probably made from slabs and blocks rather than a standard tube stock. The sliding bar sticks out both ends when the notchs are lined up so you can press it from either direction using both potential cutting sets. Might want a "donut" press block to allow rod clearance below. You could "flip" and press back instead of the spring.

Should think you could (need to?) flame harden or hardface the critical cutting edges. Last, undercut the opening in the bar stock so the cut at the tip of the Vee is well underway before the final side cuts make contact.

Sorry if the words don't make a picture for you, I tried. Maybe I need to make one and photo it.

Bob

davesisk
07-25-2004, 04:51 PM
Hey guys:

Well, I've got this partially finished. All the pieces are welded together. I've tried it out with a penny and a small piece of 1" x 1" x 1/8" angle stock as well. It's ugly, but it works like a charm! I made an surprisingly accurate notch in that piece of angle iron...I'm pleasantly surprised.

HOWEVER, I've still got to find a way to attach the file pieces or some other form of tool steel. Just punching a notch once rounded the corners just a bit. I definitely need a hard surface as the cutting surface. Someone suggested that I abandon the file idea, and I might very well do that in favor of the other tool steel mentioned.

I've got some pics that I loved to post, but my FTP server is unavailable right now, so I'll post them as soon as it's available.

Remaining questions:

1) OK, so I essentially can't drill the file pieces. Any thoughts on any other way to attach them? Most of the force they'll see will be downforce, but there will be some sideways force at the very beggining of the notch. I'm pretty sure this tool steel can't be welded...think JB Weld or something similar might work?

2) If I'm not very careful, the top punch will get itself sideways and jam. I'm still thinking how I can correct that. I've kind of already got the heel that was posted above...there's still just enough wiggle room for it to get a little sideways. I'm still thinking a bar that it slides up and down on make help keep it square...any thoughts?

Thx!
Dave

Bodfish
07-25-2004, 05:18 PM
Originally posted by davesisk
Hey guys::
1) OK, so I essentially can't drill the file pieces. Any thoughts on any other way to attach them? Most of the force they'll see will be downforce, but there will be some sideways force at the very beggining of the notch. I'm pretty sure this tool steel can't be welded...think JB Weld or something similar might work?

Dave

Nice trying the new stuff, Dave. A couple of thoughts....

Carbide tips are welded onto HSS for saw blades using Silver brazing. It holds very well. Also, you might try annealing the file to drill it, then heat treating it again. It just means heating to a bright cherry red and letting it cool. Then drill it or machine it. To make it hard again, reheat and dunk in oil, brine, or water. then you temper to whatever hardness you want....

You can buy annealed tool steel from the knife making outfits. O2 steel is very hard buy your file should work....

1guys
07-25-2004, 05:26 PM
This is a nice little read on file making, annealing, tempering, ect.

http://www.watchman.dsl.pipex.com/filemaking/index.html

Guy

davesisk
07-25-2004, 10:31 PM
OK, my ISP's FTP server is still down, so I've resized the photos so I can just post them here.

Here's the almost finished view. The file pieces are simply lying there, not connected. The ones on the die obviously go in that position. The ones on top of the punch would of course go on the underside surface rather than on the top, but in the same position.

davesisk
07-25-2004, 10:32 PM
Here's a pic without the file pieces in their intended positions as cutting surfaces:

davesisk
07-25-2004, 10:36 PM
It actually works remarkably well. I don't actually have a shop press yet (waiting on HF to put the 20-ton model on sale), so I used the 12-ton pipe bender to do this example. It was a pain to get the notcher assembly and a piece of angle iron positioned correctly, but it's served it's purpose as a "proof of concept", so to speak. I notched a penny first just to see if I apparently had everything lined up right and this was indeed going to work as intended, then I notched one piece of 1" x 1" x 1/8" angle stock. You can also see in the pic where I had an initial false start (got the punch a little out of square). Here's the pic:

jake3240
07-25-2004, 10:51 PM
You took off old honest Abe's head. :eek:

davesisk
07-25-2004, 11:10 PM
I just had an idea...since I know I can cut the file steel with an abrasive disk, then perhaps I can just cut slots in the ends of the file pieces rather than drilling holes. Hmmm...let me sleep on that one!

Dave

davesisk
07-25-2004, 11:16 PM
Originally posted by jake3240
You took off old honest Abe's head. :eek:

Doh! Yeah, I'm tempted to see if I can TIG weld it back! :D

Mowjunk
07-26-2004, 06:06 PM
Dave, here’s something that I remembered from my younger days. This guy took a sharpened piece of carbon and attached it to the + side of a car battery and then connected the – side to the rifle receiver. He stuck the carbon right where he wanted to drill the hole in the hardened receiver and said it was going to soften the steel right at the point of the carbon. I don't remember how long he left it there but it got hot. He drilled the hole with no problems.

This was on a hardened rifle reciever which may have been just case hardened, but it might be worth a try.

Just my 2 cents…….

Mow

metalbone
07-26-2004, 06:56 PM
You can try this...

Anneal the steel by heating to cherry then slow cooling by covering in vermiculite for a day.

Drill your holes.

Harden the steel by heating to red then quenching in a brine solution (edge side down, not flat side down).

Temper the steel by first filing or sanding a clean patch, then heating the steel slowly and evenly with a brushy flame until the metal at the cleaned location is a pale straw yellow (about 430 degrees) to dark yellow (490 degrees). Then quench the steel and check hardness by filing.

Northweldor
07-27-2004, 08:14 AM
Dave:

Rather than using the file and all the fastening/ tempering problems, couldn't you solve this by hardsurfacing the edges of the die and base and grinding back to size? I'm sure Stoody or another mfg. would have the right rod to use in this application, and you would be able to "sharpen" by just adding/grinding any time you needed to.

davesisk
07-27-2004, 10:04 AM
Originally posted by Northweldor
Dave:

Rather than using the file and all the fastening/ tempering problems, couldn't you solve this by hardsurfacing the edges of the die and base and grinding back to size? I'm sure Stoody or another mfg. would have the right rod to use in this application, and you would be able to "sharpen" by just adding/grinding any time you needed to.

Ooooh...what an interesting idea. Why didn't I think of that. :rolleyes: Which electrode would you recommend?

The risk I'd run is warping the punch or the die enough that it wouldn't slide properly. The punch is 2" x 2" x 1", and the top cutting surface is 3" x 2" x 1/2". Grinding it back to an almost perfectly flat surface might be a little challenging. But it doesn't have to be perfect...just good enough, and it doesn't have to be pretty. So this definitely sounds like it might be a suitable option. (My cliche: "I ain't buildin' a piano!").

Thx for the idea,
Dave

Northweldor
07-28-2004, 08:29 AM
Dave:

If you go to
http://www.thermadyne.com/stdy/literature/index.asp?div=stdy
I think you can download info that would be more accurate than any recommendation I might make. During part of my apprenticeship many years ago, I had a night-job hardfacing gravel-crusher rollers, and later was involved in a SAW operation, facing cat track-links and rollers, bucket teeth etc. Very boring work, but it demonstrated the value of hard-facing to industry since it was all 1 and 1/2 or double time!
I think you can control the distortion by technique, preand post-heating, and slow cooling (burying in sand or lime). The rod should be listed with instructions for this. Let me know how it comes out!

davesisk
07-28-2004, 02:10 PM
Hey guys:

I've picked up some diamond coated bits locally. They say they are capable of drilling hardened steels...we'll see tonight!

I'm wondering if I could get this accurate enough by piercing it with the plasma cutter. Come to think of it, I haven't yet had the need to pierce anything, so if the diamond bits don't work, I may give that a try. The worst possible case is that I screw it up and have to buy another $6 file or a better equivalent.

Dave

KennyG
07-31-2004, 10:53 AM
Davesick,

Your notcher is very creative & impressive. Good job! Also the level of advice towards a creative project such as this is what keeps me coming back to this site to read the threads.

Ken

blueoval557
08-01-2004, 02:27 AM
Ill just say..."SAME WORDS AS KENNY!" I am EXTREMELY impressed! Its hard for me to follow what everyone is saying, as some of it just goes right over myhead, but I learn SOOOOOOOO much from this site! THANKS TO EVERYONE HERE! Dave, absolutely amazing job! Keep up the great work man!
Kyle

davesisk
08-01-2004, 07:46 PM
A minor update here: I've tried just about everything to drill into this file...nothing works. Remember that if you ever need bullet-proof armor or something!

I pierced holes in one piece of the file with the plasma cutter. As expected, I simply couldn't get it accurate enough to be useable.

The only other thought that I have is to weld the file pieces onto the punch and die. As I understand it though, the heat input from welding the file pieces will reduce the hardness of the file, thus defeating the purpose of using it as the cutting edge. Since I can limit the heat input with TIG though, it might be worth a try. What do you guys think?

If that doesn't work, then I'll likely do what the post above mention...get some hard-facing electrodes and have at it with those. I'm not sure how hard these electrodes are to run and if I'd have any difficulty with a 160 amp ESAB, but that might just be the best ticket.

Thx,
Dave

Northweldor
08-02-2004, 09:04 AM
Dave:

If you really are determined to use the file and bolt it on, you have to anneal it (heat it to a red heat, and cool slowly) as was suggested above. Then you will be able to drill, cut, and shape it easily. After, you will be able to re-harden it to the correct degree by reheating and cooling in water or oil etc. This is done all the time by knife-makers; contact one, get some Tempil crayons and go to it.

"The only other thought that I have is to weld the file pieces onto the punch and die. As I understand it though, the heat input from welding the file pieces will reduce the hardness of the file, thus defeating the purpose of using it as the cutting edge. Since I can limit the heat input with TIG though, it might be worth a try. What do you guys think?"

Don't do this, since you will likely end up with uneven hardness unless you do the heat treating and tempering recommended above, and your file, (which is very brittle now) may crack or chip during the process (Dissimilar metals = different expansion and contraction rates) Brazing, as suggested above,
with bronze or silver alloys would be better but you would have to stay below the critical limit (done all the time with lathe-tools: consult a tool-maker or machinist)

"If that doesn't work, then I'll likely do what the post above mention...get some hard-facing electrodes and have at it with those. I'm not sure how hard these electrodes are to run ..."

HF rods are made to be easy to use, as they are employed by weldors with a large variety of skill levels. They also provide a wide choice of metals (your file has almost no impact resistance, when treated to its max. hardness) so you can get abrasion or impact or corrosion or temp. resistance, or combinations of all these and other properties. Talk to your local rod dealer (or a farmer who has been hardfacing his machinery for years) and they can probably tell you what alloy to buy for your purpose.

"..and if I'd have any difficulty with a 160 amp ESAB..."

No problem, since you can use a 1/8 in. electrode at least, and possibly a 5/32, if there isn't too much metal in the flux coating.

bobad
08-02-2004, 02:23 PM
Originally posted by davesisk
HOWEVER, I've still got to find a way to attach the file pieces or some other form of tool steel. Just punching a notch once

Dave,

Just get you a little piece of OHTS flat stock (oil-hardening tool steel). Cut it, machine it, drill it, then heat it bright cherry red and quench in oil.

Be sure to wear safety goggles and/or a face shield when using your notching tool. I saw a piece of a die break off, go though a fellow's cheek, and destroy his eyeball. I do not trust full hard steel in a crunch!

Silverback
08-03-2004, 07:43 AM
My $.02: I don’t see why a couple of carefully positioned tack welds, as far from the cutting face as possible wouldn’t hold it sufficiently and not mess up the hardened face roughly 1” or so away from it.

BTW… cool contraption ;)

Bob
08-04-2004, 08:25 PM
I think the way to make holes in a file would be to grind them ... slowly and cooly to avoid annealing the base material.

Might use a moto-tool in very short intervals, dipping in water to cool between grinds. Much more exotic would be an "expendable" drill bit attempting to drill in a contained slurry of abrasive at 60rpm or less. You could build a "well" of hot melt glue around the drill site, fill it with a slury of water or oil and abrasive. You might get enough abrasive by grinding un-used bits of the file itself. You might use an inch of drill bit (more/less?) to grind 1/8 of file.

Bob

ps while I was typing this, silverback probably has a better idea. Keep the tacks short in duration and cool between so you dont loose the hardness of the cotting edge.

cross6
01-20-2005, 02:54 PM
forgive my ignorance, but I don't see in any of the pics how the file is used on the device?

storts
01-27-2005, 12:16 AM
When you are welding your pc, Put a pc of 1/4 thick stock in middle(after you tack with 7018,clamp it down, and pull both ends down ,,,,,weld it and it should be on the money or close,,,might have to tap it, but do it everyday. and depends on the material, they are all different , evey one knows this! its anybodydys guess,Jack

storts
01-27-2005, 03:03 AM
Hey guys:

Well, after finding unitized tooling to do vee notching on angle iron and discovering the price is typically $600-800 for a simple notcher, I started thinking about how I could make one. Here's what I have so far:

Front view:

www.ipass.net/davesisk/Notcher_FrontView.JPG

The square "die" that will slide up and down is 2" x2" x 1" mild steel. The back sides are the same 1" material cut to the right lengths and standing up. The front sections are 2" x 3" x 3/8" and 2" x 5" x 3/8". There are two small 1.5" x 1.25" x 1/4" pieces on the sides to keep the square "die" aligned properly (they should see little or no force). All this is sitting on top of a 6" x 6" x 1/2" piece of mild steel plate.

Front view with "die" removed:

www.ipass.net/davesisk/Notcher_TopRemoved.JPG

There's a stiff spring sitting under the die to push it back up after something has been notched. I'll actually attach the spring to the base some way...haven't figured out exactly how yet.

Here's a top view to help clarify:

www.ipass.net/davesisk/Notcher_TopView.JPG

All these parts are mild steel, and I intend to notch mild steel. So, I decided I needed some tool steel for the cutting surfaces. I grabbed an 8" file and marked off where to cut:

Cutting surfaces (ie. file):

www.ipass.net/davesisk/Notcher_FileCuttingSurfaces.JPG

I quickly ran into small oversight. The file is of course tool steel. After burning up a bandsaw blade, I went "duh" and realized I don't have a way to cut tool steel. :rolleyes:

Final picture...this is the intended way to use this contraption. You'd put the whole thing under a hand-pumped hydraulic press, place the angle iron to be vee-notched in the right spot, and pump the press to push the die down and notch the angle iron.

www.ipass.net/davesisk/Notcher_Use.JPG

Now, here's the thoughts/issues/questions at this point:

1) I intend to weld all the pieces that make up the base together than to the plate it sitting on. For material this thick (sounds like a good task for the new MM210, eh?), how can I best minimize distortion. I plan to do the usual clamping, tacking, welding different sides, etc. Any other suggestions? Most stuff like this is machined from a solid block, but I don't have any machine tools available to me. I think I can make it work (possibly losing a little bit of accuracy) by welding it all together.

2) How much gap should I leave between the upper and lower cutting surfaces? None? 1/8"? Something in between? The purpose for this contraption to notch 1" x 1" x 1/8" angle iron...nothing thicker, but maybe something thinner occasionally. If I can make it work with 1/8" thick angle, then I'll be quite happy.

3) I'm sure if I attempt to use the mild steel as the cutting surfaces, it'll bend, chip, deform, etc. That's why I snagged the file and intended to cut it up and use pieces of it as the cutting surfaces. However, that means I have to cut it into 4 pieces and drill and countersink holes in it. How the heck do I cut tool steel? I've already proven to myself that the bandsaw won't do it. Will an abrasive circular saw blade do it? A diamond blade? What do you guys suggest?

4) Along the same lines, what do I use to drill and countersink holes into the file pieces? I intended to drill and tap the mild steel and attach the file pieces with flat head machine screws. Any ideas on this?

5) Any other thoughts? Is this likely to turn out pretty good, or am I losing my mind? :p

TIA!
Dave
Dave , Im not being sargastic or giving you a hard time, (BUT YOU HAVE THE NICEST LOOKIN C CLAMPS IVE SEEN IN A LONG TIME, :eek: NO SAGGING :) OR DROOPING,LOL)
But i dont get it? how it copes or notches , Sorry Just me, probably everyone else sees it, I just dont, could you put a piece of angle iron in there, Thanks in Advabce,Jack

Bob S2
01-27-2005, 01:52 PM
You were able to punch 1/8 angle using only 12 tons of force? Wow, I might be able to make use of that bit of knowledge! Good job, more pictures please!
--Bob