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Thread: Newbie questions on disc cutter capabilities, annealing and metal stamp sizes

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2019
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    6

    Default Newbie questions on disc cutter capabilities, annealing and metal stamp sizes

    Hi all,

    I have purchased an Indian disc cutter from Cousins, it has arrived but I have yet to use it. It professes to be able to stamp up to 2mm and I can see that it has an angle at the cutting end of the punches so might be marginally better than the slightly cheaper disc cutter that are out there...or not!

    Anyway, with a manual cutter, what are the typical limits in terms of sheet thickness one can belt out with a hammer? I'm thinking predominantly copper and brass discs but ideally the thicker the better.

    This brings me onto the next question regarding annealing. I know why you would want to anneal (although I have seen some disc cutting YouTube videos where they don't appear to do it) and I know you can buy annealed sheet but is there a certain thickness, in terms of manual disc cutting, that one typically doesn't bother? Also, with annealing I see no reference to setting the metal back to the harder state once the cut has been made, but is it then in a permanently 'softer' state?

    Ideally I want to stamp these discs with Impressart type stamps and possibly get some of my own designs custom made into a stamp, possibly to make a circular border to stamp onto the discs in a one or two blows. What is the typical sized stamp one can hand stamp up to? I know Impressart can custom design one up to 12mm but I have seen bigger. Just wondering what is achievable and practical without being built like Arnie or requiring a machine.

    Talking of machines, if I did want to 'upgrade' from a manual disc cutter, what is the next step? I see that using a hydraulic press with the manual disc cutter is a bit easier than belting them out with a hammer but you still have the same clamp sheet/unclamp sheet process per disc cut so the press is only replacing the hammer (I think?). Is there a next step above that that isn't silly expensive machinery that is easier and quicker to cut out discs at a quicker rate?

    Thanks

    Dan

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
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    Central London
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    From the bottom up:
    All these stages, including the stamping, can be done by machine, but commissioning one from a metal machinery company would be too expensive unless you have an assured long term market for your disks.
    That said there have been many beginners with the same idea here over the years, so stamped disks are already widely available.

    As a rule of thumb, metal sheet of 0.80mm thickness and below should cut easily without first annealing. Above that it's a matter of experiment. Note that not all metals are the same. Of the common ones used, brass can be unexpectedly hard, copper can tear and drag, and silver is the easiest. However once cut and stamped, they will be hard enough without further treatment.

    Using a hammer for this is an acquired skill, and you need to find a steel hammer that is heavy enough without obscuring your vision. I would not use a soft hammer, as you want the maximum impact.

    From experience the hydraulic press will be much slower, with the additional hazard that with a moment's inattention you can permanently wedge or distort your cutter.

    Sorry I know nothing about stamping. Dennis.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Location
    South Australia
    Posts
    948

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    I cut disks up to 2 mm from Silver, I use a 20 ton press and have a custom made disk cutter if you wish to stamp designs into the disk be aware that the disk will distort if you wish to produce a coin style impression you will need a die set
    consisting of a upper and lower component the lower component supports the blank to prevent distortion, anything other than hand operated machinery will be extremely expensive.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Scotland
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    From my experience of the disc cutter alone, I think mine stated no thicker that .9 and I’ve never tried above that. I have a top of the range Swanstrom so it is clamped tight . I’ve cut silver and copper but not brass which I believe to be much harder. Can’t comment on the rest as i have no experience of stamping either just texturing.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2019
    Posts
    6

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    Thanks for the help everyone.

    Another question, can you get sheet tin or is that only for roofers these days?! I see plenty of tin based gifts/jewellery/trinkets but most people selling sheet metal are the typical copper/brass/steel/aluminium.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Central London
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    7,408

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    Quote Originally Posted by DanHSW View Post
    Thanks for the help everyone.

    Another question, can you get sheet tin or is that only for roofers these days?! I see plenty of tin based gifts/jewellery/trinkets but most people selling sheet metal are the typical copper/brass/steel/aluminium.
    https://www.google.com/search?client...31.2JnL2BfqKr0

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2019
    Posts
    6

    Default

    Thanks Dennis, I can't seem to find sheet versions of it, the nearest to the raw material seems to be ingots.

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