View Full Version : Shrinking Die "Test Pilots" wanted............

Joe Andrews
01-24-2006, 05:56 AM
Removed by Joe Andrews

01-25-2006, 07:48 PM
I hope the rendering is not an image of the final product. I can tell you right now it's not going to work.

01-25-2006, 10:06 PM
Looks an awful lot like my dies (well, a whole lot cleaner than mine - die grinder and file vs. CNC :) ), cuz mine were made from Richard's information on the subject. Does that mean mine don't work either?

Tim D.

anders nørgaard
01-26-2006, 07:56 AM
Looks an awful lot like my dies (well, a whole lot cleaner than mine - die grinder and file vs. CNC :) ), cuz mine were made from Richard's information on the subject. Does that mean mine don't work either?

Tim D.

Or mine????? :o

01-26-2006, 11:58 AM
Hold on, Hold on. Stop all the attacts. I'll be more specific later.... Gotta run right now.

Peter Miles
01-26-2006, 06:29 PM
Hi Joe,

What is the diameter of the die and are you whittling the die and stem out of a single piece?

Thanks, Peter Miles

01-26-2006, 07:39 PM
Ok, first let me say that I based my opinion on the dies I've made and tested on MY MACHINE. Anyone that's worked with shrink dies knows that their performance is based on a particular procedure for a given machine and not just the presents of the dies. There's many variables from stroke to speed and material handling. The die design I used for my planishing hammer didn't work well on my power hammer and vise versa.

I made the short comment because I didn't see any gathering or hammer flats in the rendering. Whether it's me or my PC, it doesn't show when I view the picture. It also doesn't look like there's enough relief around the perimeter to make a clean strike during the tuck.

The short comment had nothing to do with Joe. I think he produces the highest quality products available today. As I reflect back on the post, it was rather tart and I publicly apologize for that. I just think the picture of the die I see will have problems that, I'm sure, will be worked out in the test.

Tim - I don't know if your dies work or not. It's not enough to follow a diagram posted on the forum. I went through a lot of fine tuning and several sets of dies before getting them where I like them and I followed one diagram to a Tee. There's still room for improvement on my dies and when I get a chance, I'll work on them. Some die configurations just work, some work well.

01-26-2006, 07:58 PM
Ken, in case you didn't detect the sarcasm, it was there.

Besides my experience with my dies in my machine, having Dutch Comstock compliment my dies makes me think they were pretty good.

I followed Richard K.'s drawings and advice for the fabrication of my dies, and then fine tuned them for hours on end - I have at least 40 hours in them, and they are not great by any means. They do, however, shrink metal effectively. I'm sure the dies Richard sent for Joe to pattern off of had the fine tuning end of things taken care of :) .

I'm not sure what you mean by gathering and hammering flats. Care to elaborate?

Tim D.

Richard K
01-26-2006, 08:28 PM
Here is a link to shrink die plans in my photo gallery.


I just had a batch of shrink dies machined from these plans. We mounted a set on stems and slightly (very slightly) radiussed the edges of the tunnel on the upper die. Mounted them in A Pullmax P3 and they worked well, in fact very well with minimal marking. We transistioned and poislished the faces of them dies and ran a panel. Excellent results.

I believe that proper alignment is CRUCIAL!

Follow the plans and notes, carefully mount the shanks and verify alignment in the machine.


1. The flat area at the base of the thumb (center of lower die or "smile area") MUST be paralell with the face of the upper die.

2. The area referred to in item 1 is closest to the upper die when the top die is down .... ram fully extended. all other areas must have more clearance than the smile area. The tightest clearance should be at material thickness.
Note: if your machine has some flex be it bearing slack or frame flex, this clearance needs to be tighter.

If item 1 and 2 check out the dies will shrink.

This is the only plan ever published anywhere for shrink dies. Others have printed photos, sketches and presented ideas and theories. All these are greatly appreciated. Continued critique (such as this thread) is Good too! The more we discuss and banter about subjects the more we understand.

The design of the SHOPDOG shrink dies is based on observations of other dies and gleaning tidbits of positive and negative information from many sources. The design is 100% a result of my trial and error. No one before has pursued a round shrink die set that I am aware of, in fact some have said a round die CANNOT work.

I am proud of the design of this die set and happy to share it with anyone. This design is not a copy of any die set, it is a copy of every die set! Properly transitioned, polished and aligned, the SHOPDOG shrink die will out preform any shrink die set offered by anyone.

Special thanks to three people who were willing to answer the phone and talk to a complete stranger about their experience building shrink dies. Thanks to Jacin Barnes, Jim Bailie and Kerry Pinkerton. Thanks also to Clay Cook for his help at Metalmeet 03. If at this moment I have overlooked someone who should be mentioned, my apologies.

01-26-2006, 10:12 PM
Thanks for sharing your specifications Richard. I based my dies on your drawing. I'm not the best machinist but I had problems with the 17* angle of the 5/8" thumb intersecting the center of the die at the low point. Try as I might, I left it sitting back just a tad. In retrospect, I should have cut high and just faced it off to bring it to center. The next set will be better. :D

Note: if your machine has some flex be it bearing slack or frame flex, this clearance needs to be tighter.

Yeah, I found this out early in testing. In fact on my machine, I've got to crank up the pressure with negative clearance. And I used my old 10 ton c-press for the building block of my hammer.

Richard K
01-27-2006, 03:03 AM

I milled out a pair of blocks at 17 degrees to hold the blanks. having the angle established helps to get the setup right in the mill.