Need help figuring out how to die cut brass.

immortalverse

Active Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
I’m not sure where to really post this, but basically I need help die pressing in to 31 gauge brass sheets (.22mm). Never done it before and don’t want to spend $10k getting equipment to do this lol.

I found a good option for brass on Amazon (link here), but not sure where I go from here.

Any help with a) the right kind of consumer press, b) best option or a link to an appropriate custom die maker that could help me out (maybe that’s you! Maybe you got the skills and tools to collab and assist me). Need a die that would punch its way through the brass.

I’m trying to punch my way through the brass to make watch hands, so I don’t want any bend, or roll over with the pieces. Just clean cuts. And not really complicated shapes, just simple pilot hands for a watch.


Also! If it’s probably better to laser cut at this size and if it makes the most sense, let me know!

Will be using something like an Inverto 18 Staker to make my broaching.

I’m really open to any suggestions or help! Trying to learn something new and I love this community.
 
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I don't have information on die cutting, sorry, but another option to consider, given that the brass sheet is fairly thin, is photo etching. Amazing detail can be achieved, and with two-sided etching a pattern can be "engraved" into either side along with full cut-through (if such a feature is interesting).
 
As TDahl said acid etching.
It is (was) known as acid machining.
How it works is; You create 2 black & clear film negatives (one for the front and one for the back), and a light sensitive emulsion/ resist is applied to both sides of the material to be etched, then artwork is laid over both sides of the material.
When exposed to UV light, the emulsion "cures" (where the artwork is clear) and is affixed to the materials surface. The uncured material (where your artwork was black) is washed off.
Hot acid is then sprayed onto both sides of the sheet. Any percentage of thickness (depth) can be etched from 5% to 90%. When the clear areas of the artwork overlap on either side, the material is etched completely through. You want to leave little "tabs" on your parts, otherwise once they are cut out, they will just fall in the acid tank.

Here is an acid machined part from "Warlock" (much finer work can be done, this is pretty "clunky" compared to what acid machining is normally used for.)
Warlock-Warlock-witch-finding-compass-2.jpg


Here is an example of the artwork (done by hand 30 years ago)
Compass art-2.jpg
 
How many are you making? A fiber laser should be able to cut that. I don't know anything about watch hands but 0.2mm seems very thin. Do you have artwork already?
 

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