widening a billet with press?

weo

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I can't see where the 1/8" would be too much space? By the time the scale is cleaned up on a 1/8" thick billet it's going to be <.100" thick I would think?
You're probably right and this might be perfect for your needs. It's possible that because I still think about non-knifemaking blacksmithing, I try to keep my basic dies as versatile as possible, and with the step, you will always have a part of the press that gives a half-faced blow (so to speak) and you will be forced to avoid that part of the dies unless you want a step forge in. This might not be a bad thing for you, though.
 
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Here are the widening/flat dies I just finished in the press. The welds are just tacked in at this point so they're really ugly! Not had a chance to use them yet, just finished now at 5:30pm.
Combox-Die.jpg
 

weo

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Those look good, Ken. I'd make another set with the fullering dies rotated 90 degrees and have them span the entire width of the die plate and I'll wager you'll use these a lot more than the combo dies that came with the unit.
 
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No combo dies came with the unit, only drawing die and flat die.

It's too rainy today to get forge and press outside, but I couldn't stand it any longer - I took the acetylene torch and heated a 1/4"X1" wide bar and used the widening/flat die combo. Works pretty good. Bar after working was 1-1/2" wide and didn't get much longer at all. Around an 1/8" thick.

The torch isn't the best thing to heat a bar with, but that was something I could do inside the shop. The way I'm set-up I can't really use the forge inside.

The 2" wide flat die is "ok", but I'm thinking wider would be better. For the widening die I'd press one side, and move left to press again to get the right side of bar, then flip over so the left side is now on the right side. It works but would be better for a wider die. The widening die is only 1.5" wide (what I had on hand. I need another 2" wide bar to make a 2" wide widening die. I can remove the 1.5" and replace with 2" pretty easy.
 
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Update to my last post (photo in post #22):
As I mentioned a 1.5" wide piece was shaped for the widening die. The flattening die is 2" wide which is ok. I think the 1.5" is be ok for the widening die if I had moved the flatting die all the way to one side leaving more space for the widening die to move billet around on die. As it is the flatting die blocks any movement to press on the left side of billet. Turning the billet over does help, but it just seems like better to have more space to move billet.
 

Stacy E. Apelt - Bladesmith

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You should have made the fullering die such that the edge is even with the flat die, not below it. That would have allowed widening to at least 3".
 
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You should have made the fullering die such that the edge is even with the flat die, not below it. That would have allowed widening to at least 3".
Good point Stacy - I was thinking with the flat die higher than widening die it would give a solid to prevent pressing the widening die too much - I've done that with the drawing die. Thinking now I think it might be more useful to have top of widening die and flatting die the same height for the reason you mention. I think the widening die might work better if it's made from at least 1/2" material to give more curve to the die..... maybe even 3/4"?
 

weo

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Hi Ken. Here's what I ended coming up with. Used a 6" interior dia pipe with 1/4" walls. I ground a piece of 3/8" flat bar to match the interior 6" dia to fill the space under the pipe section. For reference, the flat side is ~ 3" x 5".
20210609_135040.jpg 20210609_135106.jpg
I've got more pieces of pipe if you want to make a broader fuller.
 
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why not just make a couple pairs of "Fullering dies " like "Salad Tongs" couple different sizes like 3/8 rod welded onto the "Salad tongs" for a actual fuller into a blade
a 3/4 rod onto another , maybe a 1 1/4 after that a "Salad tong" style works well by squeezing both the top/bottom wider at the same time.. and it does not care if you are using a hand hammer/power hammer or press.. you get to decide when it has become wide enough to flatten out.. Just putting my Opinion out there.. (yea i know you did not ask for it ) ..
 

weo

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why not...
to answer your question, I have a hand control for the press, and don't have an extra one for tooling. But yes, that could be an option for some folks.

Thought I'd share a picture of what the dies did yesterday (well most of the work anyway). Turned a 300 layer billet that was ~ 2 1/2" x 2" x 8" into a piece 4" x 12" x 3/16".
20210610_095110.jpg
 
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BillyO - that is exactly what I'm looking for in the widening die. I REALLY like the way you did it.

I think I've still got your email - sending now

Looking at the dies again, I can see the widening dies will touch before the flatting dies do. Did you plan that so the widening dies provide a built-in "kisser" to prevent the flatting dies from squishing too much?
 
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weo

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Did you...?
It was unplanned, just the way I had to make them based on how my die holder is set up and the stock I had on hand. If I were to re-do, I'd probably leave ~ 1/8" clearance instead of the 3/8"-1/2" it is. But I can do most all the forging/widening with just these dies, and if the piece is under 3 1/2" wide, I can do the rest with my combo dies, and if larger, all I have to do is swap out for my flattening dies.
 
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