Steel Rule Die

Has anyone made a steel rule die using the X-Carve? I’m using a custom made die for making after doing all the development with the X-carve. But now I think I want to make some changes to the die, but don’t want to pay to buy another die. Seems like something I should be able to make, but not really sure how to do it. Anyone have experience with this?

Tyler… I have been a steel rule die maker for almost 30 years the problem is 2pt steel rule is usually 0.032 thickness so you would have to use that size of cutting tool to cut the shape into the die board. The problem is the die board is 0.625 thickness and that would mean the cutter would not have the depth or rigidity to cut through the thickness of the board. I hope this helps.

Kasba, thanks for the info. Do they use a laser to make these normally?

Yes, I understand the cutting tool challenge. I have a .032 cutter but it only has about .100 or so in depth. Any way to layer this somehow?

The company that I work for we still do by hand ( very large scroll saw and bender). Technology now is laser cuttering and a CNC bender. you could try layering them but you will need bridges (these are what holds the wood in place so nothing falls apart) put in place as well as a way to bend the rule.

Im also a die maker, not as long as Kasba, but I have descent experience. And yes, you can sandwich the boards. We cut 2- 5/16 pieces of plywood and glue them together, but we use a vacuum sealer for that. I cut the dies with a router cnc, not a laser cutter. Thats why we have to cut 2 pieces. As long as you have a 2 pt kerf cutter, you should be able to do it. I wouldn’t know how to do it in the xcarve tho. Do you have the right cutter to cut the die?

I don’t have that cutter. Just looked up what it is. So it’s a 2flute tapered mill? I was just going to use a straight end mill. I’ll track down one of these. Thanks.

yes, thats what it is, they cost around $50.00 each give it or take. At least the ones that I buy for our dies.

I don’t know much about this but for your use wouldn’t a scroll saw do the job of cutting the narrow slots?

yes you can use a scroll saw, a big one that is for die making but you still need a blade of the right thickness of the steel rule. That would be the easiest way to make changes to an existing die. Depending on how complicated the die is and how big. That, I don’t do, I really suck at cutting with scroll saws. Thats why I love cnc’s.

Hi! Can I join this question?

We normally make die boards with our laser cutter, but having a CNC as a backup would be great.

I’ve seen the bits for kerf cutting of precisebits, but due to their nature In order to cut lets say 10mm, it would require TONS of passes.

Is there no long-reach kerf that can do 2pt kerfs without requiring too many passes? This would be the difference between making economically feasible to use a CNC or not.