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The feasibility of a two part die


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I am contemplating reproducing Auburn eight hubcaps. The hubcap can be spun, but a two part die would be needed for the center medallion. Since there is 3D printing, I am wondering if a good crisp pattern was provided can it be scanned in and milled out with a CNC mill or an alternative?

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You could CnC a die set but it would take a very large press to mount them in so they fit exactly and then have pressure enough to clamp down on the cap.

You would need a clamping ring the size of the center to clamp down on the cap so it didn't wrinkle when the pressure was put to the center die set.

How larege of a market is there for them??

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You could CnC a die set but it would take a very large press to mount them in so they fit exactly and then have pressure enough to clamp down on the cap.

You would need a clamping ring the size of the center to clamp down on the cap so it didn't wrinkle when the pressure was put to the center die set.

How large of a market is there for them??

Well the market is limited to 1934 -36 Auburn eight cylinder cars. There will never be a huge market, but the hubcaps will sell over the long haul. Send me a PM with your number I'll give you a call.

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You may not need a 2-part die. You can make the female side and hydroform the part. A thin metal sheet, e.g. brass, is placed over the die and 60-90 durometer urethane pad is placed on the back side. The die, sheet, and pad are placed in a heavy-wall pipe and big steel pusher plug is loaded on the back side. A hydraulic press pushes down on the plug and forces the brass sheet into the die. I made a 4" diameter rosette for my Indy car project using a 6061-T6 aluminum die. My little 12 ton press isn't quite enough to get all the details sharply pressed, so I gave it another shot with a 30-ton press. You might get away with a 50-ton press on 6" diameter. Anything larger will take a big press. There are many commercial companies who can do this.

A commercial 3D scanning service can scan your existing hub cap and give you a 3D CAD file. Then you just need a good tool and die shop to translate that into the die. The hydroform companies can probably do this for you. Be sure to bring a bag of cash.

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The material that I plan to use is either brass or copper .035 thick. I don't know what gauge that is. The center medallion is roughly 2.75" diameter. There is a slight radius in it , as it is the top of the cap. I have a 20 tonne press and have access to a 100 tone press. Your description sounds like a good ideaD do you think the die would stand up to 100 hits? Notice the detail of the horizontal lines are washed out near the edges.

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Very interesting!........................The question is whether it a female die could be CNC milled. There are some new 3-D printing processes that involve metal; yet, will it produce a die that will be accurate enough and strong enough?.......Keep us posted.

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Hello,

You might consider using an epoxy product such as steel- filled Devcon to replicate a female die from your original hubcap (if your original is in pristene condition).

The top of the epoxy would be machined flat & dowel pinned to fit into a die frame.

I used this method to reproduce the raised script lettering on some brass Corcoran head lamp chimney tops I made a while back. I used .025" thick brass for these.

I also made a male epoxy die using the inside of the original brass chimney as the pattern.

Make sure to use a good silicone release agent...

Just my thoughts,

Joe

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Very interesting!........................The question is whether it a female die could be CNC milled. There are some new 3-D printing processes that involve metal; yet, will it produce a die that will be accurate enough and strong enough?.......Keep us posted.

The metallic 3D printing processes available today produce a part with a granular, "cast-looking" finish. It won't be nearly good enough to replicate the detail you are looking for in a stamping die. The non-metallic casting compounds are too soft and also will not produce the detail you are looking for. A machined die (and frankly, probably a matched male/female set of dies) is what you will need to produce the quality you desire.

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I sent the hubcap to an engraving company I have been doing business with for years . They engrave letters on top of headlights, so I was wondering if maybe he could engrave the detail lines on that hubcap. He said I would be a lot better off if he made me a two part die. He indicated that he does that sort of thing all the time. News to me! Further, he knows a fellow that make the tooling to hold it in place for stamping. All of this is good news. Hopefully the cost estimate will be good news as well.

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I had the same issue with needing a set of "De" DeSoto hubcaps. 6" for 18" wire wheels. The raised logo on a curved surface creates challenges for a "one of" or low run production. A freind actually created a 3D image of a 6 1/2" hubcap, shrunk it to size and machined the hubcaps out of billet aluminum. After a polishing and a chroming process, the black detail was painted with lettering enamel. Beautiful results. Spring loaded 3/8 ball bearings were machined into the back flange to retain the hubcaps on the wheel. The work was done on a CNC milling machine, but it took a laptop computer connected to the machine computer to control the 40,000 passes to complete the job. 3 1/2 hours per hubcap!

Rick VanOene

Surrey, BC

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Of course the cost is not the same as what should have been charged. Realistically the cost should have been around $500.00 each plus another $85.00 for triple plate chroming aluminum. It was the challenge that set us up for it, and other than the time and costs involved the results were what made it all worthwhile. We all know that this is not a low cost hobby when you have a car that "off the shelf parts" are not available for.

Rick VanOene

Surrey, BC

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