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Old 01-31-2013, 01:32 PM
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Joe Hartson Joe Hartson is offline
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Default Machine Types used in Shaping Sheet Metal

Having a standard general definition for the different types of sheet metal forming/shaping machines and how they work is important because it defines how the different machines are designed and what they will do efficiently. Recently we have had members ask question and make comment about different types of machines that do not fit the general definition for the machines.

Power Hammers, Pullmax and similar type machines, Planishing Machines, Homemade Reciprocation Machines, and Eckold machines are different types of machines and were originally designed for a specific purpose.

Power Hammers are very large machines that do not have a fixed stroke length and throws the upper die to hit the metal being worked. Some common machines of this type machine are Yoder, Pettingell, Quickworks and similar type machines. These machines have an adjustable eccentric and a spring mechanism that is attached to the upper die. These machines have a clutch that allow the motor to be disconnected from the eccentric drive. These machines were considered high volume shaping machines that would move and shape metal fast. These machines are heavy, expensive and not readily available. Some have been reproduced in recent years. There is a longer learning curve on these machines than other machines.

Pullmax and similar type machines had a fixed stroke length for a specific setting. These machines usually have an adjustment for stroke length and speed, strokes per minute. They also have a way to raise the upper quill. Most of these machines use a toggle mechanism in conjunction with an eccentric to develop there force and movement. These machines were designed for shearing metal, specifically cutting circles. Over time they were fitted with tooling to perform other function. Basically the machines became obsolete with the advent of plasma, water jet, and laser cutter. The metal shaping community has found uses for these machines so the demand for them has increased. Tooled these machines have become expensive. The limiting factor on these machines is the height of the throat opening. A trimmer series was made the to some degree eliminated this problem but they are very hard to find and also more expensive.

Homemade Reciprocating Machines normally have a fixed stroke length and speed, stokes per minute. Most are made for a specific function like shrinking with thumbnail dies, They can be used for other functions with difficulty because they don't have adjustments and power like the Pullmax type machines.

Planishing Machines are usually air powered and were designed to smooth metal surfaces. By controlling the air pressure and volume of air to the air motor you can control the force. The upper die is not fixed, permanently attached, to the air motors moving ram. It is a hammer of sorts but not in the same category as any of the other machines.

The above machines were designed for a specific purpose and over time with use of specific/special techniques and tooling they have been able to perform a different function but not at the same efficiency levels or ease of operation as the machines designed for that purpose. Unless you understand what the metal is going to do when force is applied, knowing the techniques will not produce the desired result.

Eckold Machines are a different type of machine that can perform many of the functions of the other machines mentioned. The machines and tooling are very expensive and harder to find than the other types of machines.

There is no machine that will make you a metal shaper over night, it just doesn't exist. You start learning metal shaping using hand tools and techniques.

I like what Tim Doty said once. Power Hammers HIT, the dies are flung together by the overstroke (spring). Reciprocating machines PUSH. Dies are pressed toward each other and are not designed for die to die contact because there is no elasticy (spring) in the mechanism. That is no give. When reciprocating machines get into die to die contact, loud, expensive noises happen rapidly.

This link is to a wonderful set of animations that RodDoc did over on the old Metalshapers Association site years ago. Nothing like it exists elsewhere and it is a perfect example of how various metalshaping machines and approaches work.
Joe Hartson

There is more than one way to go to town and they are all correct.
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Old 04-12-2016, 05:55 PM
Frank bowman Frank bowman is offline
Join Date: Apr 2016
Location: St. Petersburg FL
Posts: 13

Do you have any info or period photos of carrozeria Italian machanical maglio it's always in the back of old photos but never close up and I can't find info on original manufacturers name
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