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1" plate isn't flat

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  • 1" plate isn't flat

    I've got some 12"x12" plate I'm using on my shop press. The two piecesaren't flat but I need them to be (top plate and bottom plate for a clicker). They have a slight bow from the manf process I believe.

    What can I do to get them flat? (or as flat as I can get them so my dies aren't abused)


    If I don't get the plates flat, is there a way around that? Maybe by laying a layer of plywood on each to absorb the distortion?
    Lincoln AC225
    Lincoln Weld-Pak HD

  • #2
    Stock plate rarely comes in flat, but you could use your shop press to flatten them if they are bowed, assuming your press has enough power. Or if you need them to be real flat, take them over to a machine shop and have them face mill them flat and parallel.
    Last edited by flamin; 09-09-2010, 09:38 AM.

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    • #3
      Flame bending? (Not sure how big and fast of a heat source you would need.)

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      • #4
        I wondered if it's just less trouble to get them milled flat than to work on them myself. How much would something like that run?

        I also am thinking of just sanding them down as best I can. Would that take forever and use up too many pads?

        My press is 12T so not very big. I also don't have a torch setup. I've seen the heat suggested to guys trying to level their table tops. But yeah, not sure how much heat is needed for 1".
        Lincoln AC225
        Lincoln Weld-Pak HD

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        • #5
          Some folks weld a bead(s) across the bow on the convex side. That upsets the metal on that side a bit and when it cools it tends to shrink in that direction. Not sure to what thickness this will work.
          --- RJL ----------------------------------------------

          Ordinarily I'm insane, but I have lucid moments when I'm merely stupid.
          -------------------------

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          • #6
            Depends, too on how much of a bow.

            Dave
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            • #7
              Originally posted by Shorts View Post
              I wondered if it's just less trouble to get them milled flat than to work on them myself. How much would something like that run?
              A machine shop shouldn't charge you more than an hours time, hopefully less. As desperate as machine shops are for work these days, they would be glad just to have something to do. Just keep in mind the plate would be thinner, depending on how much the plate is bowed now.

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              • #8
                Torchin it would be hit-and-miss, and you could end up with a potato chip. Using a press the right size could do it, but again, it is difficult...I've used that method many times in our 100t press. If you really want to be sure, machine it.
                Arcin' and sparkin', Rocky D <><
                Experience is something you don't get until just after you need it.
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                • #9
                  Call around to area machine shops and see what it'll cost to have them milled or ground flat. Your steel suppliers may be able to recommend a shop that can Blanchard or double-disk grind a pair of plates for a reasonable sum. (I missed the part about the clicker...)
                  --- RJL ----------------------------------------------

                  Ordinarily I'm insane, but I have lucid moments when I'm merely stupid.
                  -------------------------

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                  • #10
                    Thanks guys. I'll check around. I'll need the plates at 3/4" minimum but I'll see just how much they're off. I haven't taken the square and calipers to them yet but it shouldn't be 1/4".
                    Lincoln AC225
                    Lincoln Weld-Pak HD

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by flamin View Post
                      take them over to a machine shop and have them face mill them flat and parallel.
                      Milling will be more $pensive.
                      Ask for Blanchard Gringing.
                      That is the method of choice for getting plates flat.

                      Specify "flat and paralell", and if the two need be the same dimention or not.
                      They will likely grind them at the same time.
                      Phil
                      sigpicViceGrip
                      Negative people have a problem for every solution

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by vicegrip View Post
                        Milling will be more $pensive.
                        Ask for Blanchard Gringing.
                        That is the method of choice for getting plates flat.

                        Specify "flat and paralell", and if the two need be the same dimention or not.
                        They will likely grind them at the same time.
                        Phil
                        I suppose the cost would depend on where he took them.
                        Grinding would be a more precise method, however milling them could still get them flat/parallel withing .001 no problem, plenty flat for a press. Another thing might be finding a shop with blanchard grinding capabilities versus milling capabilities. Many shops don't have the grinding capabilities.

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                        • #13
                          There are several grinding shops in the DFW area. Commerce Grinding in Dallas even has a grinder with a 300 inch diameter table! Perhaps they have a few scraps

                          http://www.commercegrinding.com/photo-gallery.html

                          Do a Google maps search using "blanchard grinding dfw texas"

                          --- RJL ----------------------------------------------

                          Ordinarily I'm insane, but I have lucid moments when I'm merely stupid.
                          -------------------------

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                          • #14
                            One of the plates already has a cross piece of sq tubing on top so putting them into one of those machines is out of the question. At least one of them.

                            I looked at these plates before welding the cross piece on and they were uneven then. I very well could have pulled the one plate a little further when I welded it on.

                            I guess my only options is getting it milled if it can be placed on the table. If not I think I'll take to it myself and see if I can knock the high spots down far enough and blend it in to level. Boy, that job sounds dirty and tiring
                            Lincoln AC225
                            Lincoln Weld-Pak HD

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                            • #15
                              The bow is .070" at the edge. Looks like I heated the heck out of when I welded the cross piece on

                              The other plate is only out ~ .010". I should be able to easily prep that one since I've got to get it ready for paint.
                              Lincoln AC225
                              Lincoln Weld-Pak HD

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