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  #1  
Old 01-23-2021, 09:56 AM
Aluminum Aluminum is offline
 
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Default How are dimpling dies made?

Would appreciate a mini-treatise by the engineers on here.
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  #2  
Old 01-23-2021, 10:11 AM
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With a lathe.
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WARNING! Incorrect design and/or fabrication of aircraft and/or components may result in injury or death. Information presented in this post is based on my own experience - Reader has sole responsibility for determining accuracy or suitability for use.

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  #3  
Old 01-23-2021, 12:43 PM
terrye terrye is offline
 
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Default How are dimpling dies made?

This would be a question for Mike Lauritson at Cleaveland Aircraft Tool.
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  #4  
Old 01-23-2021, 02:11 PM
Aluminum Aluminum is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Toobuilder View Post
With a lathe.
Almost certainly for roughing, but after heat treatment I imagine the fit would be off? What kind of grinding/polishing procedure produces the little shiny beauties at that sort of precision for a few bucks a pop? Am I overthinking it?
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  #5  
Old 01-23-2021, 04:41 PM
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I can't say for certainty, but typically dies are machined from a hardenable steel while in their soft state on a lathe to slightly oversize. Then hardened and tempered to whatever spec is called for. Then finally, precision ground to final size and desired surface finish.
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  #6  
Old 01-24-2021, 11:55 AM
lr172 lr172 is offline
 
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I wouldn't necessarily assume they are hardened. Their primary job is bending light gauge, aluminum and a non-hardened alloy steel would work well for that purpose without hardening. Pretty easy to confirm. Just run a file over the stem. If it skates, it's hardened. If it bites in, it is annealed. I damaged the point / end on one and was able to use a file to dress it up, if I recall correctly.

hardened tool steel is not required for bending light gauge aluminum. At least not in non-production situations.
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Last edited by lr172 : 01-24-2021 at 11:58 AM.
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  #7  
Old 01-24-2021, 12:39 PM
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They could probably be made in mass quantities by forging them. Wouldn't take much to form them by upsetting a hot piece of rod in a series of forming dies. The upsetting/forging process would make them quite tough. Post heat treat if necessary, then electropolish. The ones I have don't seem to have lathe-like tool marks on the non-polished side.
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  #8  
Old 01-24-2021, 05:21 PM
scsmith scsmith is offline
 
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I'm pretty sure mine are made from 17-4 PH age-hardening stainless steel.
It is hardened to H900 by simply aging in an oven at 900F for 3 hrs, then air cooled. It is Rockwell C43 at that point, and machines better in that state than in the solution-treated condition. So it would just be machined and ground in that hardened state. You can buy bar stock already treated to H900 to machine what ever you want out of it.
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  #9  
Old 01-24-2021, 10:57 PM
Aluminum Aluminum is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scsmith View Post
I'm pretty sure mine are made from 17-4 PH age-hardening stainless steel.
Huh, interesting! Which brand are they? I know for sure that at least two out of the brands I own are nowhere near stainless. 17-4 wouldn't rust like these did. OK, now we need someone with access to an XRF gun and a bunch of dimple dies.
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  #10  
Old 01-25-2021, 07:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lr172 View Post
I wouldn't necessarily assume they are hardened. Their primary job is bending light gauge, aluminum and a non-hardened alloy steel would work well for that purpose without hardening. Pretty easy to confirm. Just run a file over the stem. If it skates, it's hardened. If it bites in, it is annealed. I damaged the point / end on one and was able to use a file to dress it up, if I recall correctly.

hardened tool steel is not required for bending light gauge aluminum. At least not in non-production situations.
I have one that I modified with a file to fit into a tight spot. It's most definitely not hardened steel, the file has no trouble with it at all.
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