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Old 03-03-2004, 09:13 AM
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Plastic Steel or the equivalent...

Back when I was younger there was a product called 'Plastic Steel'- when mixed with it's catalyst it made a steel-like substance similar to JB Weld, only in large quantities. Is there such a product today? Reason I ask is I am in to hammerforming. I want to make compound negative shapes that I can use to hammer into. I usually just sandwich the metal in a form made of MDF with the shape/hole cut for the metal to stretch out in, but I want more control over the curvature in the finished peice. I don't use much heat so that is not a big issue. Bondo breaks too easily and wood is too time consuming for me to form. An English wheel is out of the budget right now. Any suggestions? Thanks for any brainstorming, guys and gals.

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Old 03-03-2004, 10:17 AM
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HEY DRAGON: I remember Plastic Steel, I used some on my first car in the 60's. I bought a Steering Wheel rebuild kit from Eastwood and the expoxy filler that came with it was very easy to form. It was called P7 and instruction said it was available at most hardware stores and I have seen it locally. It was a two part system but with a latex glove on your hand it was possible to use lacquer thinner to form it into any shape that you needed. If you are interested in more info on P7 and cannot find it let me know and I will try to get more info off the can....GOOD LUCK....DAVE
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Old 03-03-2004, 11:34 AM
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Thanks Dave! I'll check into that P7 and if you can find more info I appreciate it. I don't intend to reuse them over and over so if it does begin to crumble it won't be a big problem- just need something I can form and dries rocky hard to take some abuse with the forming hammer!! thanks again
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Old 03-03-2004, 11:48 AM
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Try Master DynaCast from Kindt Collins. I have used it and it makes a VERY strong mass that should easily stand up to your metal beating. Get their catalog - they have a bunch of fun casting products.

Kindt Collins web site.

Data Sheet for Master plastic products.
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Old 03-03-2004, 12:31 PM
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Thanks willys- the Dyna Cast looks like it would do the trick! I'll try anything if it gets the results I want (and for the price I can afford!) I'll try to use both these suggested ideas and let you know results...
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Old 03-04-2004, 08:49 AM
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HEY DRAGON: Product is actually called PC.7 and is manufactured by PC-Products which is Protective Coating Company 221S. Third Street, Allentown, Pa. 18102. The can is pint size, red with black lable. I would say it works, looks and feels like JB Weld. Good luck and don't hammer your thumb.... ...DAVE
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Old 03-04-2004, 09:03 AM
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Hey Dave- Thanks! Helps a lot- I think I've seen that stuff before. If I can get enough cheap enough I'll try it! And, BTW, I HAVE hit my thumb enough times, so I am wiser...!!! (PAIN=KNOWLEDGE) Willys I tried to order catalog but error occurred- I'll probably just call them- wanted to know pricing as I couldn't find it in their on-line catalog I downloaded- I'll try again. Thanks again guys!!
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Old 03-04-2004, 01:29 PM
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My catalog is several years old but I don't think cost has gone up that much (I am usually wrong there!). 5# size (about two quarts) was $20 and 20# size (about 2gal) was $57. The stuff is a light green colored epoxy that is filled with what feels like sand or glass grit and hardens like concrete but is a bunch tougher. Actually pretty difficult to shape once hardened!
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Old 03-04-2004, 02:37 PM
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Thanks again willys- that seems pretty reasonable for a good molding compound. I'll give them a ring and also check the hardware store for some PC.7 Any other ideas are also appreciated but I think I have a couple great leads here!
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Old 03-04-2004, 02:39 PM
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you may already have a solution to your problem. but can you better explain what your problem is?

I'm trying to visualize it and I can't. I understand you are hammer-forming something, and you need to quickly create something that is somewhat durable to play a roll in how you shape...can you be more specific...so I can throw my two cents in?
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Old 03-04-2004, 03:19 PM
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No problem unstable- if you know about conventional hammerforming it entails sandwiching and clamping a sheet of metal between two pieces of MDF (medium density fiberboard) that have a hole cut and radiused in your pattern style- circular, oval, rectangular etc. You then hammer with nylon mallets, or heat and hammer in succession, to form that metal into a bulge or lip or whatever in that pattern. I have made several 'power blisters' (not only on my hands!) used for clearancing headers, air cleaners or style. What I am now wanting to do is create a form that I can hammer into to have more control over that bulge. I also would want to make more distinctive shapes- a freind wants a skull shaped bulge and a client wants a diamond shaped one. The diamond I can do with hardwood and the router, other compound shapes pose a problem. I need a mold material that is super hard, durable and can handle a little heat. Any ideas?
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Old 03-04-2004, 03:32 PM
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I think I understand what you're doing now. Nice. I never thought of doing that.

I don't know how much of this hammerforming you plan on doing, or how often. But if it's a serious type thing, where you're knocking out certain shapes over and over again, why not design something that can handle different shapes and will not be destroyed over time? It may be more of an initial investment than using plastic or MDF or whatever, but in the long run it will save time.

maybe not feasible, but here's my thought.

Why not replace the MDF with some 1/4 steel plate, and get a section of the center cut out in a box shape. so now you have this huge void. drill and tap some holes around the void.

Then find a shop with a water-jet/omax machine. have them cut somewhat intricate designs into a piece of plate that lines up with your "SANDWICH"

this way you can swap out designs...it's durable and will take a fair amount of heat. Then If someone wants a really intricate design, have them pay to get the plates made up on the omax...then you make the hammerform for them.



or if you're only doing it once or twice...go with that plastic stuff you were talking about. lol
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Old 03-04-2004, 03:45 PM
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Good idea unstable- but the reason for the MDF is that it absorbs the blows and therefore less strain on the hand and wrist- also metal forms can cause a secondary 'bump' after the hit, so the metal doesn't quite fit the form. Other reasons are the metal 'squashes' more leaving more hammer marks -and of course the cost in making the forms!! I wish I could afford having forms made and then use some kind of press- (but then that would take all the fun out of it wouldn't it!!) Thanks for the brainstorming- I'll keep it in mind- that's what I need, is more ideas!
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Old 03-04-2004, 03:50 PM
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I think the Dyna Cast will stand up to a few units before needing replacing. Also, you are thinking his shapes are two plane. the bubbles and skull will be 3-dimensional so a steel buck would be nice but would cost several $10s thousand to make! With a good male prototype of plaster, bondo or some such, he could cast up a new female mold whenever the old one goes south.
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Old 03-04-2004, 05:24 PM
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maybe the picture in my head of what Dragon is doing here is skewed.

I pictured two pieces of wood with a diamond cut through both pieces. Then you throw a piece of sheetmetal in between, so all that is exposed is the diamond shape. You hammer on the diamond shape and you end up with a diamond on the metal...

depending on which side of the piece of sheetmetal you call "UP" the diamond shape is either raised or embedded in the metal.

??


So my thought was not to really have a 3D steel buck, but more of a "cut-out". You could get some cool shapes cut out of steel on a water jet for pretty cheap. If you hammer through the void, you should end up with that shape right?


so what am I missing? I'm interested in what's happening here. Is he building more of a three dimensional wooden buck to work off of? From all of the reading I've done, the buck is not really intended to be hammered on, but more for mocking up the piece you are working on.


a little off-topic, but the machine shop at my work just got a 3D printer...if you've never seen one of these before, they are absolutely fantastic. You send a 3 dimensional computer drawing to this machine...that's about as big as a vending machine, and it will make it out of this plastic material. From Pistons to Rods...to a sphere inside a sphere inside a sphere inside a sphere.
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