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How to stamp/press a flat spot in stainless steel wire


Cast Iron
Nov 19, 2017
Greenville, SC
I guess that if your jaws/dies are narrow, as in contacting a short length of wire, the easiest path for the material to follow maybe along the wire, therefore making the wire longer rather than wider.
Maybe wider jaws would grip the wire along its length, preventing it getting longer, then the easiest path for the material to flow would be to make the wire wider....


Jun 14, 2008
Bellingham, WA
Finally got around to trying the bolt cutter modification, and some progress has definitely been made! The force the cutters generate is indeed more than enough to deform the metal, so that's awesome. They leave a nice, symmetrical flat spot. The only thing I would like is the material to "bulge out" more to the sides, so it can stop a washer or a spring from slipping off the rod. At the moment the sides remain pretty flat. For this test I just filed a 1mm flat spot on either side of the bolt cutter jaws. Maybe it would work better with a rounded notch? Already very pleased with where this is going, so a big thanks to everyone for thinking along with me!

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Your die and bolt cutter combo has enough power but the die has the wrong shape. If you want the metal to move radially you have to give it room to do so. Your die only allows for axial displacement. Grind a more rectangular opening in the jaws and the metal will move radially to fill it. Looking at you closed jaws from the side in a view similar to the lower right image (you'd do better to learn how to upload images right into the post rather than using DropBox) the opening should be a rectangle of about the same cross sectional area as the area of the bar. But rather than describe a circle, the opening should be rectangular. Or, if you want to mimic the retention crimp shown further up in the thread, make the opening mimic the displaced metal in that crimp. It is harder to describe, but I think you know what I mean. Just think of the metal as Play Doh and make the die accordingly.


Added: Wow, two posts while I was typing on the keyboard...


Oct 7, 2021
You're all probably right! I tried some other types of notches but all still had the same result. While trying these things though, I noticed that because of the way the bolt cutters operate, the very ends of the jaw seem to make a pulling motion. So I set up a simple spacing jig in my vise and made two "pinches" on either side of the rod and... it works! I only have to clean up the jaws a bit, so the whole thing looks as clean as possible.

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Dropbox - Screenshot 2021-10-16 at 14.43.53.png - Simplify your life