"Metal is a plastic Medium"

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Heart of steel on wood!

Heart of steel on Wood!
After I posted this on my Facebook site, someone else who responded to the post wrote that it represented the strength of the heart with the impermanence of life!

This small sculpture is 5” x 8” x 1”.
It is made steel on wood.
The steel portion is 4.5’ x 4.5”
and was formed using the hydraulic die forming process.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Strart all over again

A few days ago I created a few pieces using the hydraulic die forming press I put together about six months ago. I’m afraid it might be the last time I’ll be able to use it though. When I bought the h frame shop press the top support was bent. I thought I would be able to put up with it, but the bend got worse
Each time I use it.
I guess I’ll just have to put together one of these :
for my Enerpack 10 ton jack.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Approximate temperature of steel by color


Friday, August 6, 2010

Making a Small Hydraulic Press

And another way to make a Hydraulic press at home!

Making a Small Hydraulic Press

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Friday, June 11, 2010

The Function of the Sculpture!

The function of the Sculpture!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Homemade hydraulic die press

A new toy!

I purchased an Enerpac hydraulic pump along with a 20 ton hydraulic cylinder at a garage sale. I will also keep you updated on the whole process of using this hydraulic press.
Here is a pic of the press i just put together using the above hydraulic jack, on a 30 ton H frame shop press that I found for sale on Craigslist for 60 dollars.
hydraulic press

And here is a sample of of a few things I created using the above press.

This press is working out great. A few weeks after I started using the hydraulic jack, I had to replace the gasket in it. Other than regular maintenance it's working great.

hydraulic die forming

The plastic I made the die from, was originally the board portion of a clip board bought at a second hand store.


Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Masonite Die forming

A type of metal forming technique that is used in the jewelry industry and is also used to make small sculptural pieces, is Masonite die forming. It is a die made of hard plywood faced with fully hardened -Masonite.
The Masonite-used is the hardest Masonite-on the market There are two types of Masonite, the softer type that is used for the back of clipboards and the fully hardened type. A die faced with the fully hardened Masonite produces a sharper edge than just plain plywood or a die faced with soft Masonite.If a die of plain plywood was used the inside edge of the plywood would become dull and rounded after use, which would create a larger radius on the inside edge of the metal being hammered into the die.
masonite die Masonite Die
The outline of the finished piece is drawn on the Masonite and cut out. The metal is annealed first and then bolted onto the die.

After it is bolted onto the die the metal is hammered into the die. The deeper the metal is pressed into the die the more it should be taken off of the die and annealed, or softened. copper formed using the Masonite die process

There is a split in the copper piece in the above photo. That was caused because I was in too much of a hurry. I didn’t anneal the copper before or during the hammering process. The metal was moved too far and too fast, hence the split in the metal. I also made the mistake of using a metal hammer. When metal meets metal, the metal sheet that your hammering against work hardens quicker. It is ideal to use a hammer that is made from a hard plastic or hard wood

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Silhouette Dies!

A silhouette die is just one of the ways to form metal using the hydraulic die forming technique. Like this:die
A Silhouette of the desired design is cut out of hard material like,plastic, metal or hard wood to create a" female" die,and metal is formed into the die with hydraulic pressure. A perfect material for a silhouette die would be a plastic cutting board. The same material would be perfect for
a punch also. Something that could be used to punch a design into the metal sitting on a pad of Flexane, using a hydraulic press.

Make sure to anneal the metal before pressing it into the silhouette die.
The metal that is going to be pressed into the die,is sandwiched in between a pad of Flexane on the bottom, and the silhouette die on the top.

When all of that is put into a hydraulic press and put under pressure,the Flexane forces the metal into the silhouette die.

If two halves are going to be put together to make a hollow form, just flip the die over once the first impression is made,and form the second half.

Hydraulic Die Forming

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Network of Die Making

I just found this informative diagram, which lists the different types of dies that can be used in hydraulic die forming: here it is

Hydraulic Die formed metal

Hydraulic die forming is a metalforming technique that is used to press metal into a die using hydraulic pressure

One Die forming technique is to use a conforming die, or a die that has a male portion and female portion to it. The metal is sandwiched in-between the two halves and the male half is pressed into the female half of the conforming die.The two halves are pressed together using a hydraulic press.

Which metal are you? Find out if you have a gold or silver personality!

Charles Lewton-Brain created the copper piece pictured here, which was made using the dieforming technique from Brainpress.com
Also, the metal can be pressed into a female half of a die by a pad of Flexane. Flexane has some of the same characteristics of rubber. The metal is sandwiched in-between the flexane and the die. The Flexane is pressed into the die with hydraulic pressure.
This is a technique similar to what is used to mass-produce metal articles used in just about every industry from the auto industry to the aircraft industry.
This technique is also used to produce jewelry and other art made of metal at a much lower cost than what it would cost to mass-produce something for the aircraft or auto industry.
If you are handy around the shop than a hydraulic press used for this technique can be made for about a hundred dollars or less. If you would rather purchase a hydraulic press you could pick up a very good one for around a thousand dollars. I've seen them for sale online on E-bay and at the Bonny Doon Engineering web site.
A great site that includes two plans to build a hydraulic press,one that is similar to the picture below, and the other is a bolt together option that can be put together without any welding.
Check this out for hydraulic press construction plans

and this page on the same site,has tips on low cost die forming

Here is the link to the Bonny Doon Engineering web site! Where you can purchase aHydraulic press