Die manufacturing

4 posts / 0 new
Last post
Bald Eagle
Last seen: 11 years 1 month ago
Joined: 01/21/2008 - 15:27
Die manufacturing

I'm still working on figuring out how to manufacture hardened-surface dies on a small-scale level, but for now, I've dug up some New Hampshire-based businesses that do EDM and CNC.

Check out at least the first 5 and let me know what you think.

Small Runs OK - Design Help Available - Hobbyists & Project Builders Welcome



CNC Machining
KDL Mold Solutions
David Labreque
59 S. Barnstead Road,
Center Barnstead, NH 03225

Last seen: 11 years 2 months ago
Joined: 01/29/2008 - 05:08
Re: Die manufacturing

Dick Marple knows all about having dies made and who to have do it.

He regularly makes comemorative medallions for his fraternal Lodge.

Catch up with him at Porcfest and he'll tell you all you need to know.


"No state shall...make anything but gold and silver coin a tender in payment of debts". US Constitution, Article I, Section 10, Clause 1.
Last seen: 10 years 10 months ago
Joined: 12/17/2008 - 19:59
Re: Die manufacturing

I can contact Dick.

I haven't read the whole forum yet, so please forgive me if I'm covering old ground.

It seems to me what we need are two machines: one to stamp out the squares and get the weight right, and another to inprint the die image.

The one to imprint the die image needs to be a small, hand-operated press.  I don't think a hammer is going to supply enough pressure combined with enough control for a good imprint. It needs to be small so we can get these out into many hands.

That means that the die needs to be fairly small, too.  Much smaller than the one I've seen.

webmaster's picture
Last seen: 8 hours 10 min ago
Joined: 12/06/2007 - 17:12
Re: Die manufacturing

OK, I just got back from a visit with Shookus Special Tools. The guy I talked to, Dan Updyke, was very helpful. His very rough guestimate of the cost to produce the dies was around $500-$1000, which is in the range I was expecting. However, he brought up several points that we need to consider.

One was that the bullet/flower design probably wouldn't work. Its too intricate - the lines inside the flower part wouldn't work because they're too thin. He could do it without the interior lines that define the bullets/petals but I think that might make it not worth doing that graphic.

Moving the text farther away from the edges would be a good thing.

We need to make sure that the source material is very consistent in thickness. Its variance can have a large effect on the final weight of the pieces.

We also need to decide what configuration the dies will be in. He suggested separate dies for the design and cutting. He also suggested what he called progressive. That's like with a film strip - you feed in the flat bar and the first press stamps the design and two or more guide holes. After the first pressing, you feed it in further and place the guide holes over pins that hold it in place. The second pressing stamps the design into a second token while the first token gets cut out. It proceeds from there...

The biggest issue with the methods he suggested (pressing the design before cutting it out) is that it makes it harder to pre-calculate the correct size to generate the exact weight. He did say that we could make the cutting die oversize and work it down to the correct size by testing it and readjusting the cutting die.

His email is dan (at) ShookusTools.com

Finally, he mentioned that they are fairly busy, and we should expect it to take 6-8 weeks because of their schedule. That's not bad, and he did mention that there might be a very tiny chance that this work could be done sooner if it can be fit in small holes in the production schedule. In any event, if we can get answers to his questions back to him soon, we should be able to get a good estimate in time for PorcFest; so we could take orders then at least.