Press Bit Setup:
A set of drawings are available below, but you might want to wait until
after I've had a chance to build the first one (I don't know when that
will be right now...). You always find things that need to be changed
during fabrication. Updates to the drawings and details for more
attachments will be supplied as they are completed.
The frame of the Press has been changed to make it out of all one kind of material, and the ram was changed to make it more rigid to side loading.
DETAILED DRAWINGS v2.C w/ Parts List (AutoCAD / Excel Formats) 79.4K
The purchased parts add up to about 80$, then add to that steel (new is about $120) then do the machining and welding (which I haven't had estimated yet, but I'll venture a guess on) may add about $300 for the frame, and maybe $800+ for all of the bits (lots of bits...8 sets for each of two setups plus english wheels) which adds up to about $1200+ total. To reduce this, you could build the basic machine and add the bit sets slowly, cutting the initial investment in half, or you could do all the lathe and mill work and welding yourself like I intend on doing and get the steel from a scrapyard... then it should only cost you a couple hundred.
who is a professional armorer in Nampa, Idaho (near Boise) has been helping to specify bits and dimensions.
If you have questions, you can e-mail me from the bottom of this page.
There are several sets of attachments proposed, each with different functions. See sketches above.
The most obvious setup is as a Fluting Press which presses two opposing bits together. The bits pinch the metal much the same way as putting a flute into a workpiece with a chisel and groove, but with much more control to produce a more precise repeatable flute.
The following bit sets have been drawn up:
Half Round w/ Hard (Sharp Edged) Shoulders; 1/2, 3/8, 3/16
Triangular w/ Soft (Rounded) Shoulders; 1/2 x1/4 Dp, 3/8 x3/32 Dp
45 Degree Angled Step; 3/16
Hard 90 Degree Steps; 1/8, 1/16
120 Degree Medial Ridge
The second setup, a Roller Press setup, inserts a set
of roller bits into the press arrangement. In this mode, the machine is
more like a sheetmetal seamer which puts in grooves by rolling the
chisel and groove across the metal. This setup will be more suited to
putting in curved flutes like in german gothic work and for edging.
The same bit sets have been drawn up for this setup also.
The third setup replaces the rollers with a set of rollers from an English Wheel. The upper roller has a flat face and the lower roller has a curved face. By squeezing the metal between the rollers, it widens the piece slightly. By moving the rollers back and forth across the piece in a set pattern, you can dish out a piece. This type of machine is used by custom body shops to make custom metal race car bodies. The resulting parts can be dished quickly and controllably to produce a very smooth evenly formed part with compound curves; ideal for shaping breastplates, pauldrons, etc. Cops may be difficult, but should also be dishable this way. I'll have to test it and see how tight of a radius can actually be formed.
A fourth setup is envisioned, but it will have to wait a while. I have the drawings from a chain mail knitter which I intend on adapting to produce a ChainMail Stapler attachment.
I also intend on doing a set of press bits for setting rivets, since they are such a pain to do in tight places and will be easy to draw up. Also, another varient I have in mind is a set of cutting blades for the press setup. My power shears do straight lines well, but don't cut curves at all, and our local armory's beverly shear is limited as well.
See sketches above.
Dimensions: 2-1/2' high x 2' deep x 6" width x 1-1/2' wide braces
Approximate Weight: 100 lb
Throat Depth: 14"
Frame Clearance: 3" to lower frame, 9-1/2" to upper frame
Operating Force: 50 lb on a 2' lever (lever not shown above)
Capacity: 24 to 12 Gage Stainless Steel sheet metal
Thicker material will require several passes to reach full flute depth
Compressive Force: 1000 lb at beginning of stroke, 2000 lb at completion of stroke
Stroke Length: 1-1/4" vertical travel, mechanism locks at end of travel
Rotary Drive: 8" ratchet wrench (wrench not shown above)
Slips onto the end of the lower roller shaft
4:1 advantage for English Wheel
2.7:1 advantage for Rotary Bits
Adjustments: All Press Bits and Rotary Bits can be oriented to any angle
lower Bits are height adjustable (dark blue knob)
Press Bit Setup: Opposing chisel and slot bits
Can accommodate fluting a tubular part down to a 4" Diameter, Throat Depth: 4" for cylindrical parts
Interchangeable upper and lower Press Bits
Bits flute approximately 3/4" length of material
English Wheel Setup: 4" Diameter flat faced upper roller
2" Diameter 3" radius faced lower roller
Roller Bit Setup: 3" interchangeable upper and lower Roller Bits
Width of Bits is approximately 3X final flute width
Cutting Blades for the Press Setup (Like power shear blades that remove a 0.21" strip of material)
Rivet setting Bits for the Press Setup
Chain Mail Stapler (Once I figure the Patents out)
Photos of Medieval Armor. Lots of pictures!!!
Armor Related Links. Here is pretty good set of links related to Armor I ran across that is much better than any I could put together.