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Forging Die Practices of the Last Century

Leg17

Cast Iron
Joined
Feb 21, 2011
Location
Kentucky
I have seen forged wrenches made during the 1920’s time period that seem to have a date code stamped into the die, (raised on the wrench). None of them seem to indicate any welding and re-stamping as if the dies were intended to date the wrench. I suspect that the dies were date stamped to indicate the date of manufacture of the die itself.
Is anyone familiar with the practices that would have been in place a century ago used to forge wrenches?

Would the dies have been date coded?

How long did the dies last?

What might be a typical material used in making the dies?

Thanks in advance for any help.
 

Jim Christie

Titanium
Joined
Mar 14, 2007
Location
L'Orignal, Ontario Canada
There are some old wrench forging dies shown here.
They don't show any lettering or numbering but I imagine if the numbers or letters were raised on the wrench they would have been engraved into the dies or if the lettering was inset in the wrench there would have been stamps let into the die
Gauges and gauge making ; Jigs and fixtures ; Dies ... v.140. - Full View | HathiTrust Digital Library.
I have a printed version of this book so I had seen the page or similar before.
There are some other old books listed here that may show more
Full-text Search Results | HathiTrust Digital Library
Jim
 

Jim Christie

Titanium
Joined
Mar 14, 2007
Location
L'Orignal, Ontario Canada
I have a book by the American Society For Metals from the 1950s called Forging and Casting or something like that.
They have a new name now but I don't remember it off hand.
I has lots of detail but may be too modern.
I tried to search for but it may be to new to be on line.
I'll take a look later and see if I can find anything in it.
Jim
P.S.
I looked through the 140 + pages of the A.S.M. Forging and Casting book fairly quickly but I didn't see anything related to date or other die features to have letters stamped in or raised on the surface.
 

surplusjohn

Diamond
Joined
Apr 11, 2002
Location
Syracuse, NY USA
Forging dies dont last long so A date stamp might be good for only a short while. They would make a hardened master and hob it into a soft tool steel block. Ie press it. I have seen this at a few shops 25 to 30 years ago.
 

Jim Christie

Titanium
Joined
Mar 14, 2007
Location
L'Orignal, Ontario Canada
Some info on die sinking for lettering here.

https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=uc1.$b27048&view=1up&seq=70&skin=2021&q1=lettering

https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=uc1.$b27048&view=1up&seq=7&skin=2021
Jim
P.S.
I don't know why the links won't post properly for me but maybe if you copy and paste them in your browse it will work .
It did for me.
P.S. this link works and scroll down to the actural page 62 of the book .
Catalog Record: Drop forging, die sinking and machine forming... | HathiTrust Digital Library
 
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wrenchguy

Plastic
Joined
Dec 5, 2011
Location
NW Indiana
Do you have a photo example of the above wrench with raised date code? I suspect you may be correct about the die being date coded.
 

Leg17

Cast Iron
Joined
Feb 21, 2011
Location
Kentucky
P1020292.jpg
Here a couple of examples.
Knowledgeable folks have ‘decoded’ the two-letter system to indicate month and year. This seems to be provable.
However, many have taken that date code to indicate the date of the manufacture of the wrench. In all the number of wrenches marked like this, I have not seen any indication of welding and re-stamping. I understand that the dies were periodically replaced due to wear.
This code could be a way to identify which version of a die was being used. There may be more of a need to identify which die made a particular wrench rather than which particular day it was made. Either would be a legitimate strategy. I have much experience in plastic molding and mold ID, with additional iterations such as dots or added text, are seen often.

Can anyone with commercial forging or forge die making experience shed any light?

Again, thanks to all for your consideration.P1020294.jpg
 
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adammil1

Titanium
Joined
Mar 12, 2001
Location
New Haven, CT
On a more modern note I have noticed lots of plastic injection molds have a little round date code built in. I always suspected it was part of a plants preventative maintenance program. I have always been curious about this as date seems like a weird way to go in today's day and age you would think tracking fills would matter much more and would likely be rather simple in a modern shop.

Maybe the date code had something to do with die maintenance?

Sent from my SM-J737V using Tapatalk
 

sfriedberg

Diamond
Joined
Oct 14, 2010
Location
Oregon, USA
I've got limited experience with the plastic mold date codes. When I worked for a computer company that "made its own hardware", plastic pieces like card guides and cosmetic coverings for 19" equipment racks were obviously out-sourced. Most of these molded pieces had manufacturing date codes, which we used for QC parts tracking. I don't know if we ever got any defective shipments, but the codes would
have been used to track down and purge any stock from the bad run of parts.

If the molding vendor also used them for maintenance, we neither knew nor cared.
 

JST

Diamond
Joined
Jun 16, 2001
Location
St Louis
Some of those codes are "cavity codes", allowing defective parts to be tracked to which cavity in the die has a problem. Then that cavity can be either fixed, or the runner welded up.

In some cases, the cavity may be a replaceable insert, in which case you know what cavity needs swapped out.
 

Jim Christie

Titanium
Joined
Mar 14, 2007
Location
L'Orignal, Ontario Canada








 
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