Hydraulic Press Jig for Grousers

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Thread: Hydraulic Press Jig for Grousers

  1. #1
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    Hydraulic Press Jig for Grousers

    For those of you who have made your own metal channel tracks before, using a jig on a hydraulic press to replicate each grouser perfectly sounds more appealing than attempting to bend each one individually on a bender. So my question to those of you who have made tracks before me is:

    When making a jig, do I need to slightly overcompensate my bends to account for "rebound" of the c-channel, or is rebound not really an issue? I would be loath to spend a few hundred dollars making up a jig for the press, only to discover that the c-channel didn't quite keep the shape of the jig once removed.

    I'm new to making jigs for presses, so if anyone has any words of wisdom to that end that they would like to pass along, I'm all ears. If anyone has any photos of their jigs, I'd love to see those too (or purchase them, if their for 22" tires). I'm still open to the idea of manually bending the grousers on a bender, it's just that I've found my bends and angles haven't been consistent enough for me to be happy with, plus using a press opens up the possibility of being able to replicate the tracks for friends and local Argo'ers for just the cost of materials.

  2. #2
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    hey bennett ... the first set of tracks i made i fabricated a simple jig that went in the trailer receiver on my truck , then manually bent the cut pieces for the grouser . but mine were'nt real fancy . if it's a few hundred dollars for a jig it must be pretty quality . plus your bending c channel , mine were flatbar with welded angle on top . i guess it's just how much you want to spend . check out the homebuilt tracked russian machines on u tube . they make some nice homebuilt tracks that look not too hard to fabricate . looking forward to seeing your finished tracks . johnboy va.

  3. #3
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    also ..are you going to bend the grousers to the exact contour of the tire ? jb

  4. #4
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    Hi johnboy, I'm making an elevated belt track, so the grousers will be bent to match the sidewall of my tire. The bottom of the grousers will more or less remain flat, then they will raise up and around the sidewall. I plan on using my front tire to get my dimensions from, as it takes the most weight and is also the "flattest" tire. The further back you go on the machine, the more "round" the tires get. The tires probably weren't a great choice for channel tracks, but I've seen a few other rigs running them (the cheapo duro hf243's) so I don't suspect it will be an issue. I think I'll go with a 3' rise.

    The reason for the high cost of the jig just comes down to the crazy cost of steel right now. For 1/2 steel, the cost is currently $150 CAD a square foot + a $70 cost to cut it if you're purchasing less than a 4x8 sheet. I figure I'll need a few feet of it to make my jig (1.5 inch channel, so 3 identical 1/2 sheets welded together for the top, 2 for the bottom between the webbing). That will be a few hundred dollars worth of steel, plus another 100-200 for the cap to fit onto the 20T press. I don't mind paying that if I end up with a jig I can use to replicate the grousers as there are a few machines I would like to make tracks for. My concern is that if I cut out my stamp mold to be the exact final shape that I want my grouser to be, the c channel may take that shape when pressure is applied, but then "bounce back" a bit when I take the pressure off, like it does when I bend it with the manual bender.

  5. #5
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    yes buddy...if you plan on making more grousers , it's worth having a good jig . but they will only work on tires like yours and that size , right ? i know what your saying about the metal not staying the exact shape after pressed . you may want to talk to someone who works with stamping metal to get some good input about how that is dealt with . i know that usually happens bending cold metal ..maybe it has to be heated first , then bent and then held in place till it cools . i don't know much about the process . be ashamed to make a jig and the grousers come out too small . let us know , jboy

  6. #6
    Hi Benneth, which press model do you have? What is the thickness of metal you are planning. Material metal or Aluminum, perhaps Titan or stainless steel?
    Cold stamp is better idea than preheat. The press mold will be quite expensive thing, worth if you plan to do those a lot.
    Or you planning to go with CNC press brakes?

  7. #7
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    Sorry Spacerockshunter, I was away for a few weeks there and couldn't get online to check the forms. The press is an electric 20T.. I can't remember the exact model, but I can find it pretty quickly if you'd like to know. The material of the tracks is c-channel, the material of the jigs would be 1/2 steel. I've more or less decided at this point that because I have no idea how much the mold will "spring back" that for now at least, I'll just bend each grouser manually. It will be a pain to do ~90 or so of them the exact same on the Hossfled #2, but at this point I think I've entered into "Analysis Paralysis" mode, and its time to just move ahead so that I have my tracks finished in time for the thaw. I may revisit this in the future though, once time is less of an issue.

  8. #8
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    If you know a machinist with a vertical mill handy, it would be pretty easy to make out of a length of flat stock lets say 3" by 3/8 thick. Flat stock thickness would mostly be dictated by "C" channel dimension. You machine the flat stock to the shape you want & sandwich them together like plywood for the male & female sections. Once they're done weld each assembly to another section of flat stock as a base, but longer than the assembly sections so you can have heavy duty guide pins on each side.

  9. #9
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    that sounds like a pretty good approach ruffus .. i believe with a little creativity , you could also make a jig that could be mounted on a log splitter to bend your shapes . i made a jig for pushing stuck bearings on axles with the log splitter , worked great . j.b.

  10. #10
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    Never thought of using a log splitter. That's a great idea.

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