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Old 01-19-2017, 09:53 PM
Essexmetal Essexmetal is offline
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Novi, MI
Posts: 155

Die changes are not instantaneous and there is a reason for having a double headed hammer. Leave the shrink set up on the one side and the stretch dies on the other.

The key is once you have run in each set of dies is to store it with all the shims and wedges. This speeds the change over. A fresh from scratch set up might max out at 1/2 an hour, run them in, do an adjust etc. The trick to checking the hit is to oil up a piece of linen and hammer on it to check the hit is square and centered. If you have any threads still connected you move the die until you get a clean cut that reflects the shape of the die contact area.

Just two cents worth here.... every method of die retention has been tried. Bore and pin, set screws into a lug, set screws into the dove tail, set screws against a gib that presses against the dovetail. Nothing works as well as the shims and tapered wedge. There is a huge amount of force and vibration and a tapered wedge is the best at sucking up these forces and keeping the die tight. You don't need to change dies that often. In general a stretch set with around a 1" hit , blow, contact, what ever you want to call it, will do a large variety of work for you. You may need to switch to linear stretch dies, etc and that's when start getting better and setting up a machine. The only exception of an original hammer that I know of that did not use the shim and wedge method was the Beatty Quickwork. It did have set screws and a gib. Instead of raising the die block with plywood or leather shims like Pettingell or Yoder's the Quickwork used a monster acme screw. There may be other methods with hammers but those were the most common.
Rick Mammel
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