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Steel rule die fabrication table

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Serious buyer.looking for a steel rule bending table. Would appreciate any leads. 

Die table.jpg

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china die maker bending machine for bending rule die steel making cutting dies in shoes industry (machineto.com) 

I just found this on the internet myself and made an inquiry. They are located in china, and they appear to be the manufacturer. I requested information on possibly purchasing their product from a dealer in the United States, but the one place I had found that had an old advertisement for this product showed it as discontinued. There is no telling how many they want me to buy, or if they already had another distributor in the United States. I hope this helps.

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Thank you for taking the time to you answer the inquiry. I would appreciate any other information you run across including the correct descriptive name of the table.There's one out there available somewhere. If I don't find one in a timely manner or I'll just build my own. I reached out to BAD&G leather, they have YouTube videos of him showcasing his die making skills with this table.They would not return my inquiry or phone calls........                                             In the meantime I have purchased a large Selection of Helmold steel rule bending equipment and dies like the ones I show in my other post on this website. I'll make dies with this equipment for now.

Edited by Ozarksleathersmith
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I did not hear back from the "China source" for the table, yet, but I did hear back from Mike Kientzle at AmeriKen and he offered to sell, "Clicker Rule (Rule Die Steel)", and stated that , "...most leather workers use hydraulic benders...", and that , "The benders we sell are made for Steel Rule and are not strong enough (for Clicker Rule)". Like you, I have watched the videos from BAD&G leather and it did not appear that he was using a hydraulic bender to me. From what Mike at AmeriKen said it would appear that the steel that you and I are both looking at using to make dies out of is too light a gauge , but that doesn't seem to have slowed down that fella on Youtube any, lol. I think the gauge of the steel rule would affect the service life of the die for sure, but I don't have any idea if a die made of "Steel Rule" would simply not work at all. I can't imagine it, though. I do know that finding information about all of this is like pulling teeth. It is hard to pin people down to get the information. Good Luck, and share what you find out. I will share as well. 

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I have dealt with AmeriKen, very nice people. I bought my "Manual" bender off eBay, it will help build muscles in your arms.

I own several dies for the bender, they are expensive and you do not need a complete set of them to do what most of us intend for leather craft.

I use the lightest weight steel rule since it is very difficult to bend the heavy material manually. You need one more very important piece of equipment, a small wire feed welder.

Another expensive piece that will save you time and stress? A cutter made for cutting the rule.

I have a modified hydraulic press with a composite plastic about one inch in thickness when new, for under the leather you are cutting.

You will have no problem cutting leather that isn't above 5 or 6 oz. Obviously leather that is thinnner is easiest. When cutting thicker pieces temper the leather as you would for carving. Chrome tanned is tough and doesn't absorb water quickly. Wet the backside first then the front. Allow the leather to dry until it looks almost as it did without wetting.

Baltic Birch plywood 3/4" (it is actually about 16mm or 17 mm). You will need a router setup to cut the grooves for the steel rule. Very important to have the correct size groove or the die will fall out of the cheater board. I buy special bits that are made for using with steel rule. I have a very large commercial CNC router for making  my grooves.

I am going to stop at this point of explanations since most folks begin looking at how much this set up will end up costing and say forget it.

Any pieces I hope to die cut many of, I buy a shop made die. They are heavy steel, will cut thousands of pieces before sharpening, and are economical.

Ferg

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On 5/1/2021 at 1:35 PM, Ozarksleathersmith said:

Serious buyer.looking for a steel rule bending table. Would appreciate any leads. 

I know you're looking volume But I thought I'd throw this in here In case someone can make use of it. I'm a hobbyist rhat likes to challenge myself with different projects thinking one day I might be able to get some of this money back. And I use a modified Arbor press though I'm thinking about making a manual clicker press.

This first link is for a roller that will bend steel rule circles in no time and it won't break the bank. I made this circle bag using a die I made with it. I should add that I don't weld them, I cut the shape I want out of ply and fix the rule steel around the outside. This is happy with 3 point R/S.

19th feb 2020 102.jpg

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B018JH0S4I/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o06_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

This next link is for a bending jig set.  it's ok with 2point R/S but struggles with 3point. It comes with a basic set of formers (or moulds)

IMG_20210503_210658.jpg

https://www.cooksongold.com/Jewellery-Tools/Durston-Metal-Bending-Set-prcode-999-7162

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Thank you Mr.ihavenoidea, and Mr. Ferg for joining the conversation. It's very exciting to share ideas with other leatherworkers and I think that is what brought this website together. OK so on the steal rule Conversation , I just bought out a steel rule die fabrication shop. Steel rule benders that will handle any Point gauge thick up to 1 inch tall. I also bought A commercial still rule cutting shear, and a notcher and nicker for making alignment marks in the die it's self that was show when the leather is cut. I also purchased a large assortment of dies  to go in the bender. And of course boxes of steel rule. I have spent thousands and thousands of dollars buying dies from other sources, and so this is why I made this purchase so that I can make exactly what I need exactly when I want it. Thin or thick dies that will work on 12 ounce leather if I so desire. The want of a manual table what is for smaller and thinner dies but with this purchase of the supplies I can do it all especially with the TIG welder I have any other equipment

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3 minutes ago, toxo said:

I know you're looking volume But I thought I'd throw this in here In case someone can make use of it. I'm a hobbyist rhat likes to challenge myself with different projects thinking one day I might be able to get some of this money back. And I use a modified Arbor press though I'm thinking about making a manual clicker press.

This first link is for a roller that will bend steel rule circles in no time and it won't break the bank. I made this circle bag using a die I made with it. I should add that I don't weld them, I cut the shape I want out of ply and fix the rule steel around the outside. This is happy with 3 point R/S.

19th feb 2020 102.jpg

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B018JH0S4I/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o06_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

This next link is for a bending jig set.  it's ok with 2point R/S but struggles with 3point. It comes with a basic set of formers (or moulds)

IMG_20210503_210658.jpg

https://www.cooksongold.com/Jewellery-Tools/Durston-Metal-Bending-Set-prcode-999-7162

Very nice. Variety is the spice of life. I think we are all enjoying the conversation of steel rule, as some of us want to make our own and some of us do not. Either way I think we all enjoy most anything that has to do with leather! Your circle bag shows your talent, and your work is very nice.

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On 5/3/2021 at 1:03 PM, Ferg said:

I have dealt with AmeriKen, very nice people. I bought my "Manual" bender off eBay, it will help build muscles in your arms.

I own several dies for the bender, they are expensive and you do not need a complete set of them to do what most of us intend for leather craft.

I use the lightest weight steel rule since it is very difficult to bend the heavy material manually. You need one more very important piece of equipment, a small wire feed welder.

Another expensive piece that will save you time and stress? A cutter made for cutting the rule.

I have a modified hydraulic press with a composite plastic about one inch in thickness when new, for under the leather you are cutting.

You will have no problem cutting leather that isn't above 5 or 6 oz. Obviously leather that is thinnner is easiest. When cutting thicker pieces temper the leather as you would for carving. Chrome tanned is tough and doesn't absorb water quickly. Wet the backside first then the front. Allow the leather to dry until it looks almost as it did without wetting.

Baltic Birch plywood 3/4" (it is actually about 16mm or 17 mm). You will need a router setup to cut the grooves for the steel rule. Very important to have the correct size groove or the die will fall out of the cheater board. I buy special bits that are made for using with steel rule. I have a very large commercial CNC router for making  my grooves.

I am going to stop at this point of explanations since most folks begin looking at how much this set up will end up costing and say forget it.

Any pieces I hope to die cut many of, I buy a shop made die. They are heavy steel, will cut thousands of pieces before sharpening, and are economical.

Ferg

I got some stuff from Ameriken before, they are nice

 What rule size do you use and what bit for the cnc? 

I've been using 2pt rule with 2pt scroll saw blades. 

The other think to consider in choosing a bender is that if you use 6pt rule, you will need the bender that is foot operated. The hand bender is for 2pt rule that is used in printing and you will need be supported by the plywood like in the photo above. It will be really difficult to bend rule thicker than 3 pt with it. The 2 pt rule is sharper, cuts better and it is easier to work with. 

It took me a while to find a my bendender. They are not cheap and not many around. It will be cheaper to get the dies made. 

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I had this idea to make a 3D printed die and then leave a slot in the bottom of it where a thin gauge rule could be hand bent and inserted.  The 3D printed part of the rule would take most of the stress and the rule would be there only to cut.  The problem I ran into was that the rule I purchased was too heavy of a gauge to hand bend to fit the die I had printed; the curves were just too tight.  Nevertheless, if you had some thin gauge rule and a light weight bender it would probably work.  The advantage is that you can make a CAD drawing of the shape you want and when you print it it is going to be exact.  I have purchased a number of dies that were made by various manufacturers from CAD drawings I sent and I have yet to get one back that was completely accurate.  I totally understand why that would be the case.

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20 hours ago, sbrownn said:

I had this idea to make a 3D printed die and then leave a slot in the bottom of it where a thin gauge rule could be hand bent and inserted.  The 3D printed part of the rule would take most of the stress and the rule would be there only to cut.  The problem I ran into was that the rule I purchased was too heavy of a gauge to hand bend to fit the die I had printed; the curves were just too tight.  Nevertheless, if you had some thin gauge rule and a light weight bender it would probably work.  The advantage is that you can make a CAD drawing of the shape you want and when you print it it is going to be exact.  I have purchased a number of dies that were made by various manufacturers from CAD drawings I sent and I have yet to get one back that was completely accurate.  I totally understand why that would be the case.

That is the idea behind dies used in printing. Cut the pattern in plywood, bend the rule close enough and then hammer the rule in the cut. No screws, the rule is free to move up and down but  not sideways. 

The cut has to be accurate. Most dies are laser cut, but for leather work scroll saw is definitely good enough

The other thing is that the die can be made out many smaller pieces of rule not just one continuous piece. 

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I have made a number of dies with steel rule.

I have a CNC router and router bits sized to fit different gauge/thickness of rule. I make my dies from 3/4" Apple Ply or Baltic Birch Plywood.

I also do my own G-Coding. If anyone wishes to make an accurate die with steel rule there are a number of things you have to do correctly.

Depth of the groove you router is very important. You can make the dies of small pieces. Ends that meet another have to be perfectly square.

The joints have to be welded, a wire welder will work. I try to make my dies with as few joints as possible. Now you don't just "Pound" the steel rule into the routed slot.

You have to use a mallet that is not so hard that it will damage  the sharp edge. Go at it easy and wear leather gloves, this stuff is really sharp.

All of the rule has to be the same height above the board it is mounted in. When the rule is installed drill a half inch hole in each of the spots the material may "stick".

Use a wooden dowel to lightly force the material off the rule through those holes.

A mallet to pound the die over the material will work if the die isn't very large, in a hydraulic press of some kind is much easer and better.

So many folks advise careless ways of making dies. I want mine perfect and a hack job will not accomplish anything but junk.

BTW: I have a Laser and I cannot imagine making a good steel rule die with it. 

Ferg

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I don't get all this talk about spending loadsa money.  If setting up to sell lots of dies that's fine but for most leatherworkers just using a die for a limited run  a plywood plug as I describe above is a no brainer. It can br done in a fraction of the time, it negates the necessity of most of the conversation above. No worries about the depth of the groove (the press hits the back of the steel rule so a perfectly even cut every time)  If the  groove is too deep or the blank is made from too soft material and the steel rule cuts through the back end the center plug is gonnaq fall out.

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1 hour ago, toxo said:

I don't get all this talk about spending loadsa money.  If setting up to sell lots of dies that's fine but for most leatherworkers just using a die for a limited run  a plywood plug as I describe above is a no brainer. It can br done in a fraction of the time, it negates the necessity of most of the conversation above. No worries about the depth of the groove (the press hits the back of the steel rule so a perfectly even cut every time)  If the  groove is too deep or the blank is made from too soft material and the steel rule cuts through the back end the center plug is gonnaq fall out.

I haven't been able to cut a plywood plug as accurate as the 3D printer will make one but just fastening it to the outside of a plug is a good idea.

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35 minutes ago, sbrownn said:

I haven't been able to cut a plywood plug as accurate as the 3D printer will make one but just fastening it to the outside of a plug is a good idea.

Never been aginst the idea of a printed plug but fixing it to the outside leaves you with the same thing as a welded die. it's never gonna last as long and putting in the secondary cuts like hole cutters etc are outside my scope but probably doable with 3d/cnc.

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Didn't spend loads of money, already had the machinery.

I repeat, "If you want quality out, put quality in".

The band sawn block works if it isn't complicated.

Ferg

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A welded die isn't formidable?

Come on, I have some welded dies, heavy, that I didn't make and they will last a lifetime if taken care of and not misused with a steel hammer.

Ferg

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8 minutes ago, Ferg said:

A welded die isn't formidable?

Come on, I have some welded dies, heavy, that I didn't make and they will last a lifetime if taken care of and not misused with a steel hammer.

Ferg

Who said that?

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38 minutes ago, Ferg said:

Didn't spend loads of money, already had the machinery.

I repeat, "If you want quality out, put quality in".

The band sawn block works if it isn't complicated.

Ferg

"The band sawn block works if it isn't complicated."

Indeed.  And that is the crux of the issue.

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51 minutes ago, toxo said:

Never been aginst the idea of a printed plug but fixing it to the outside leaves you with the same thing as a welded die. it's never gonna last as long and putting in the secondary cuts like hole cutters etc are outside my scope but probably doable with 3d/cnc.

The main advantage of fixing it to the outside is that it gives you something to form it around.

You could learn enough CAD in one day to create the files needed to 3D print any plug you wanted on a $200 3D printer.

Here's an idea:  print a plug to form the rule around and then print another fixture to hold the shaped die.  While you are at it might as well print a die you can use to bend the rule around the printed plug using a bench vise.

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1 hour ago, sbrownn said:

The main advantage of fixing it to the outside is that it gives you something to form it around.

You could learn enough CAD in one day to create the files needed to 3D print any plug you wanted on a $200 3D printer.

Here's an idea:  print a plug to form the rule around and then print another fixture to hold the shaped die.  While you are at it might as well print a die you can use to bend the rule around the printed plug using a bench vise.

I keep threatening to get a 3d printer but I'm a sod for losing interest in something once I've proven to myself that I can do it. I do have a laser engraver and that's not getting overworked either.

But back to the dies. Start with the right thickness ply for the size of rule steel and the thickness of leather you want to deal with. It's no good making a perfect die if there's nnot enough blade sticking out to go through thr leather.

Draw your accurate die shape on the ply but don't cut it yet. Use that drawing to constantly test your bends on as you get the steel rule into shape. Only when your steel rule is ready do you cut out your ply.

I made my first basic die with two 6inch nails with the heads cut off in a decent sized vice.

An ordinary set of Gilbows will make short work of cutting the steel. (make sure you're using 2 point steel rule and not 3 point.)

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/164869157349?hash=item2662f7b1e5:g:L8cAAOSwTMpgoRoo

and one of these will make the screw holes, (a drill will do it but fiddly)

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/224242689947?epid=3015943430&_trkparms=ispr%3D1&hash=item3435e7e79b:g:xI4AAOSwoexfuDXt&amdata=enc%3AAQAGAAACkPYe5NmHp%2B2JMhMi7yxGiTJkPrKr5t53CooMSQt2orsSvtkx670Z0mbyfWqmxLFLYW%2BaSx3niIF%2F1d%2Bl8Wg0woZHbZXocL5cf39NgZFMdIWWRSC5XElcIVKAedRwiawfnr%2FxC93e5QDsveVB8rPMOw%2Faq%2FkbYgWyMEJ4LhSQCLNx8MNLWiLd8buEKkWOQMLtM5unsG2LhZAGsYZjTLCL9M56aMWi5RCxt%2BS7jaUkFh9LWYPrwz%2Bs9TkxxQ3tNKYE74ucw2%2BN%2Fxn3LwxPZzeb%2BWjp8B%2BpgAJyRjwxRb0OYlAiQBCrca6r%2FpzVlM9%2BnWu%2FCegr23To0cc5agDY4i0WxM65nKsGVB%2BBdJgXxGf2VkMTA63219eyZpGXtffTTfmYKy2L72yosX%2BYIcOZYJ2tZxU%2B%2BcWnzbkgWOpglT0BZAE4U5AKaxec2B1VB5FSd%2F%2BH%2B6gReBtt75cy7xkwzgbBO0eS6jTSWVtrEm7QEzieYyBsdmyXzfzdlCNRE4O8uTSdWSrsn%2BB82%2FYVNRdkIHD%2BqEvVq8zGb7CxWZjUvXBUKaLPug4U22qjVTCYq1uNW0YWgK%2FBe872rxbVxijuhGxkkbGR8XsbyUQk2%2BG1LLsftx9c1K2qd9MzbDt%2F%2FV8g99CCPKpJ4DGBfv40y7opng6g%2BSmEjbCWbToY5aa%2FHfFH0To04kDlKEnVELQEHq%2BSS2lTn2W6H5NxwYpEwbHAXpPt2HvmDejw5TsrsoJhzEq9xZsVFm9g%2BhfH3EfXDesfpmEFEO%2FRKKSy6sQEHh7guwPxDADxhhdBq%2FzF25A41wWTc8yDTCyEm%2BAD3e82TVfRqZZN3hBT1N41EDwDxDso%2B5QWXf7y4BXDh8Tr3tvCNJPMqC0g|ampid%3APL_CLK|clp%3A2334524

One other thing, by using a plywood plug you do have some scope for extra bit's. If you look closely at my pic of the luggage tag you'll see a thin line going top to bottom. I did that with a jigsaw and it contains just a straight piece of R/S which cuts a slit in the underside of that orange tag which allows you to put your data card in the plastic window..

 

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21 hours ago, toxo said:

I keep threatening to get a 3d printer but I'm a sod for losing interest in something once I've proven to myself that I can do it. I do have a laser engraver and that's not getting overworked either.

I understand the losing interest part but I find the 3D printer products so useful and so much fun to design that I can't imagine leather working without it.  For me, it eliminates a lot of the drudgery jobs I hate like making cardboard patterns and doing layouts with pencil and paper.  It is sooo much faster and accurate to do the basic design in a CAD program and once that is done you are essentially done, as the printer just makes what you have designed with virtually no additional input.

I use the 3D printer on every leather project I do; for male and female molds, 2D patterns, stitching and cutting guides, gluing jigs, embossing patterns etc...  There is just no end to the things you can make that make your leather working faster and more accurate.  The 3D printed parts are very helpful for limited production items that benefit from some sort of "automation" but are too few in numbers to justify expensive dies and patterns.  That being said a set of molds and patterns would be good for at least 100 iterations if you were careful with them.  I rarely do more than 25 uses before I make a design change so my patterns go into the scrap heap long before they are worn out.  The cost of the materials is so low that it is virtually irrelevant and prototyping new designs costs less than a latte. 

The CAD program, 3D printer and my screw operated clicker are the three of the most used tools in my leather shop.  

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18 minutes ago, sbrownn said:

I understand the losing interest part but I find the 3D printer products so useful and so much fun to design that I can't imagine leather working without it.  For me, it eliminates a lot of the drudgery jobs I hate like making cardboard patterns and doing layouts with pencil and paper.  It is sooo much faster and accurate to do the basic design in a CAD program and once that is done you are essentially done, as the printer just makes what you have designed with virtually no additional input.

I use the 3D printer on every leather project I do; for male and female molds, 2D patterns, stitching and cutting guides, gluing jigs, embossing patterns etc...  There is just no end to the things you can make that make your leather working faster and more accurate.  The 3D printed parts are very helpful for limited production items that benefit from some sort of "automation" but are too few in numbers to justify expensive dies and patterns.  That being said a set of molds and patterns would be good for at least 100 iterations if you were careful with them.  I rarely do more than 25 uses before I make a design change so my patterns go into the scrap heap long before they are worn out.  The cost of the materials is so low that it is virtually irrelevant and prototyping new designs costs less than a latte. 

The CAD program, 3D printer and my screw operated clicker are the three of the most used tools in my leather shop.  

I love your enthusiasm for what you're doing. Everyone should feel something similar. I don't do patterns. I enjoy working things out in my head. I might jot down the gyst of what I'm thinking so I get it clearer in my mind. I'll use a ruler and common sense to get to the size I want and work out what needs skiving and what order to do things in. I don't need fast and I don't need extremely accurate for most of it and there are very few that I'll make again. I made a wooden form to wet mould a pouch to hold my Pard night vision. Worked out very well but I've never used it since. My output isn't great mainly because I'm on my own and retired. What I do make goes to family and friends or is sitting on the shelves because I'll never get back what I've put in. I need to look for a leatherwork buddy. That'll do it. Then maybe I'll look at one of those resin ones.

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48 minutes ago, toxo said:

I love your enthusiasm for what you're doing. Everyone should feel something similar. I don't do patterns. I enjoy working things out in my head. I might jot down the gyst of what I'm thinking so I get it clearer in my mind. I'll use a ruler and common sense to get to the size I want and work out what needs skiving and what order to do things in. I don't need fast and I don't need extremely accurate for most of it and there are very few that I'll make again. I made a wooden form to wet mould a pouch to hold my Pard night vision. Worked out very well but I've never used it since. My output isn't great mainly because I'm on my own and retired. What I do make goes to family and friends or is sitting on the shelves because I'll never get back what I've put in. I need to look for a leatherwork buddy. That'll do it. Then maybe I'll look at one of those resin ones.

Same here.

I love perfecting a design though and CAD/3D printing helps me with that process.

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