We start production of your forged dies with a special, shock-resistant, Chrome/Molly Alloy steel which is annealed when purchased from our supplier. A clicker, or high die, “bender” forms the bar of steel to fit a template, created from the customer's pattern or blueprint. In the early years of die making, the bending operation was completed on a blacksmith's forge, hence the common referral to “forged dies”. The term “clicker” die referred to the “clicking” sound often heard in early cutting rooms of shoe factories where the old mechanical “clicker” machine's aluminum heads would strike the cutting dies.
Once the bender finishes bending the steel to the customer's desired pattern, the ends of the die steel are welded together to form a seamless die blade. The die is then fully hardened in a heat-treating furnace to make the die durable and long lasting. The die edge is then ground, precision filed, and polished to the final shape to fit your pattern or drawing. The final die is a freestanding blade with no wood, although it is common in many cases to weld steel bars or “braces” in the die for stability or to hold punches, cutouts, etc.
We produce our forged dies from various heights and thickness of die steel, and the wall construction can be adjusted in various ways. For more in-depth information please review our forged die construction page.