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Armature laminations


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#1 Steve Boggs

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Posted 29 January 2012 - 10:22 PM

What are the differences between the manufacturers laminations? They have different designations, but not much in the way of info on what makes them different or better than others.

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#2 Ron Hershman

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Posted 29 January 2012 - 11:33 PM

Lam thickness, grade of metal used for the lams, and different blank designs... narrow leg, wide leg, long leg, short leg, crown width, tip thickness.

Then there are different diameters to take into consideration.

Is there a specific "answer" you are looking for?

#3 NSwanberg

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Posted 30 January 2012 - 02:39 AM

Thinner laminations supposedly reduce hysteresis and eddy current losses. Good luck quantifying that.

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#4 havlicek

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Posted 30 January 2012 - 07:00 AM

Aside from the lam thickness and the blank designs, there's also the matter of what alloy steel a particular lam has been stamped from. Motor lamination steel or "electrical steel" is a low-carbon alloy with silicon in it that is used because it has the properties most suited to forming a core from. Also, the way the material is heat treated has a large effect on its final performance as an armature core. There is also something called amorphous steel that is cooled so fast that crystals don't get a chance to form and supposedly has the best properties for this application... but it costs a lot more than regular steel. I'm not sure if anyone in slots actually uses amorphous steel for punching their laminations because of the cost.

The final consideration is the lamination coating. The lams are most often coated to increase resistance between lams, stop or slow rust, and to help with the stamping. Obviously, all coatings are not the same and it could even be that some lams are not coated at all.

None of the above is readily visible just by looking at an armature... it all pretty much just looks like steel. I have done some quick and dirty tests with lams that are the same thickness (most often .014") and have a very similar profile or design and have gotten some repeatable results that would seem to indicate that some arms are stamped from a poor alloy.

It seems to be generally true that the thinner .007" lams also work better than the thicker .014" lams, but I've never had the same lam profile stamped out of both materials to be able to do an "apples to apples" test, so I just take this for granted. Having said that, with the trend towards thinner/lighter lam profiles with more winding space, the .007" lams can become so weak that the arms tend to swell from the force of the arm spinning so fast on open motors, from what I've been told. They can even distort to the point where they contact the magnets and that's not good. Many are apparently back to using .014" thick lams because of this.

Finally (and even though it's not specifically part of your original question), how the arm is coated after assembly is a biggie. The type of coating, how it's cured/post-cured, and how thick it's applied are major. Again, you really can't get an idea about this from just looking at an arm because it's all hidden. You really only need as much coating as it takes to insulate the core and to remain stable at high temps. Any more than that is a waste and can have a negative impact of performance. I kinda doubt that any manufacturer is going to share the nitty gritty details of the lams they use so, as a consumer, you're left with using whatever seems to work the best.

... Then there's the whole question of shaft material. :)

-john
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#5 NSwanberg

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Posted 30 January 2012 - 08:09 AM

:dash2: :wacko2: I could not find a can of worms smiley.

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#6 havlicek

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Posted 30 January 2012 - 08:21 AM

I could not find a can of worms smiley.


What "can of worms"? When someone asks a question, I take it for granted they actually want to know... and deserve to know, everything I've learned from others about it.

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#7 Steve Boggs

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Posted 30 January 2012 - 07:19 PM

Lam thickness, Lam Grade of metal used, and different blank designs...narrow leg, wide leg, long leg, short leg, crown width, tip thickness.

Then there is different diameters to take into consideration.

Is there a specific "answer" you are looking for?


Well, I would like to know what the difference is between the Pro Slot Intruder and M2 blanks, and the various Koford blanks.

In this case, a little information is a dangerous thing! :laugh2:

I recently found out just how much difference the laminations make to the ability of the armature to generate a magnetic field. Lams are one of the elements of motors that you really can't do much about unless you order a custom arm. I was always wound up in chasing air gap and timing and all the little things that you can toy with, but the lams are in control of a lot of how the motor runs and it opens up a whole new avenue for building motors.

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#8 Steve Boggs

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Posted 30 January 2012 - 07:25 PM

What "can of worms"? When someone asks a question, I take it for granted they actually want to know ... and deserve to know, everything I've learned from others about it.


Thanks for all the information, John!

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#9 Ron Hershman

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Posted 30 January 2012 - 07:39 PM

Well, I would like to know what the difference is between the ProSlot Intruder and M2 blanks, and the various Koford blanks.

I recently found out just how much difference the laminations make to the ability of the armature to generate a magnetic field. Lams are one of the elements of motors that you really can't do much about unless you order a custom arm. I was always wound up in chasing air gap and timing and all the little things that you can toy with, but the lams are in control of a lot of how the motor runs and it opens up a whole new avenue for building motors.


The Intruder blank versus the Koford .513" blank are very similar in leg width and length. Both have a tad different "crown" profile and Koford and P-S both use .014" lams for these arms and both use a different grade of material.

The M2 blank has a narrower leg width and a bit different in the crown profile when compared to a P-S Intruder blank.

The Intruder makes more torque than the M2.

If we are talking .513"-.518" dia X12 arms here... 50 turns of 29... and if both are timed to 42 degrees... the Intruder will run cooler and make more torque. The M2 will run hotter have less torque and make more RPM.

It has been my experience that if road racing Box Stock 12s in glue... Intruders are the way to go... less heat and more torque. If racing in spray glue M2s will run fine if you reduce the timing. Reducing the timing will make them run cooler and make a bit more torque. In scale racing there has been lots of success with both the Intruder and M2 blanks. In wing glue racing Intruders are the way to go.

Which is better Koford or P-S??? One will be better than the other depending on the application they are being used.

The same would go for any wind (Contender, 20, Super Wasp, S16D/C) when talking about the P-S blanks.

Yes, .007" arms run better than .014" arms on the same blank, same winds, etc. When I worked at RJR we offered both and the .007" lam arms outran the .014" arms and we sold four .007" to every .014" arm.

.007" lam arms in the lower classes are not available as the material is three to four times more expensive than .014" lams, takes twice as many .007" lams as it does .014" to meet minimum stack length dimension and is a production nightmare when stacking the lams before pressing the shaft. This is why you don't see .007" lam arms available in anything lower than Opens any more.

When it comes to .500" and smaller arms it's a whole different story as both Koford and P-S have various blanks... Group blanksopen blanks in several styles and lam thickness.

#10 Phil Hackett

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Posted 30 January 2012 - 09:18 PM

.007" lam arms in the lower classes are not available as the material is three to four times more expensive than .014" lams, takes twice as many .007" lams as it does .014" to meet minimum stack length dimension and is a production nightmare when stacking the lams before pressing the shaft. This is why you don't see .007" lam arms available in anything lower than Opens any more.


Why did Mura make everything with .007" laminations if there are so many problems doing so? Bob and Woody must have known something that no one else has figured out.
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#11 Rick

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Posted 30 January 2012 - 11:17 PM

One issue today is manufacturers of lamination material only roll down to .014" today. One place reworks the material down to .007" (Arnold Enginering). We stopped making .007" years ago at ATI and Armco did, too. The steel is rated as PG, SG, etc.

Coating makes a difference on the lams also. There are "other" things to do that makes it better.

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#12 Ron Hershman

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Posted 30 January 2012 - 11:51 PM

Why did Mura make everything with .007" laminations if there are so many problems doing so? Bob and Woody must have known something that no one else has figured out.


Two reasons that Bob told me... one was performance... two was back in the day... .007" material was more widely available and not much more money than .014"

When .007" tripled in cost... Woody switched to .014".

Two slot arm manufacturers purchased the last bit of .007" lam stock that Woody had.

In 1995... .014" was a little over 2 bucks a pound... .007" at that same time was close to 9 bucks a pound.

Last I remember in 2000-02... .007" material was close to 14 bucks a pound.

The sad part of making laminations is that almost half the strip material goes in to the trash... material comes in a strip... lams get punched out of the strip and what's left becomes scrap.

#13 Mopar Rob

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Posted 30 January 2012 - 11:56 PM

Ron:

If my memory is correct, didn't Mura have a "pro line" or some other name in the mid-late '90s? If I'm remembering correctly they were .007" lamination arms wound by Pro Slot on the CNC winder?
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#14 Rick

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Posted 31 January 2012 - 12:02 AM

The sad part of making laminations is that almost half the strip material goes in to the trash... material comes in a strip... lams get punched out of the strip and what's left becomes scrap.


Yup, you pay for the whole cow but only get the steaks... LOL.

Good stuff is sold by the pound, scrap is sold by the ton.

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#15 Ron Hershman

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Posted 31 January 2012 - 01:24 AM

If my memory is correct, didn't Mura have a "pro line" or some other name in the mid-late '90s? If I'm remembering correctly they were .007" lamination arms wound by Pro Slot on the CNC winder?


I don't recall that... not saying it didn't happen but if it did I sure as heck have forgotten that... LOL.

#16 NSwanberg

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Posted 31 January 2012 - 07:39 AM

What "can of worms"? When someone asks a question, I take it for granted they actually want to know... and deserve to know, everything I've learned from others about it.


No offense intended. Just meant the discussion about motor specs and theory could go on and on...

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#17 havlicek

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Posted 31 January 2012 - 08:00 AM

No offense intended. Just meant the discussion about motor specs and theory could go on and on...


None taken. You are right though. Even just this one aspect (laminations) has a LOT going on, but it's always been my belief that knowing as much about something as you can is a good thing.

In this case, the motor manufacturers aren't going to tell you all the details first because some of it is proprietary and second because some of it might not help their bottom line. We're left with just trying to see what works best and go with that. If the people who consistently win are using a particular arm, and you're confident that you have everything else worked out... it makes sense to try what arm they're using.

Even so, knowledge is power.

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#18 Phil Hackett

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Posted 31 January 2012 - 02:57 PM

Ron,

It's great that you explained why Mura went from .007" lams to .014" lams, that is a good reason but has nothing to do with your statement that .007" laminations are hard to produce armatures from. Seems to me that Mura had no problem making armatures with .007" lams.
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#19 wbugenis

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Posted 31 January 2012 - 04:04 PM

Robert Root had a sliding fixture built on a small arbor press that would dump the "correct" number of lams into a spaced hole and then slde the stack under the ram to press the shaft. If not adjusted perfectly, the thin lams would jam between the sliding bar and the statonary part that held an 18" rod of laminations. Pain in the butt to clear.

I have an idea: lets have a design contest for a laminaton stacking fixture.
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#20 havlicek

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Posted 31 January 2012 - 05:07 PM

I have an idea: lets have a design contest for a laminaton stacking fixture.


Seems to me the reloading folks have a pretty good solution, Bill. Something like the Dillon 550 progressive reloader (great machine) would seem about right. First station dumps lams from a vertical tube feed into "dummy tube" (whose ID is maybe a few thousandths over the OD of the lams) of the intended stack length. Second station presses the shaft and the third station ejects the .510 cal er... arm blank.

Besides everything being perfectly centered and true on the turret, the dummy tubes would need to be made up. I figure these would also sorta look like an empty cartridge case with a bottom plate and a center hole just larger than a shaft and have some sorta guides built in for keeping the lams straight as they fall. What do I win??? :)

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#21 wbugenis

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Posted 31 January 2012 - 05:18 PM

Gettng the stack length quickly and accurately is the issue. Not sure that machine can address that issue.
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#22 Ron Hershman

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Posted 31 January 2012 - 05:40 PM

Ron,

It's great that you explained why Mura went from .007" lams to .014" lams, that is a good reason but has nothing to do with your statement that .007" laminations are hard to produce armatures from. Seems to me that Mura had no problem making armatures with .007" lams.


For the reasons Bill posted (he beat me to it). I never saw how Mura's deal was set up as it was done "out of house"... Mura paid for blanks that were correct and the bad ones... well, the shop making them ate the bad ones. Mura's stamping house also made the blanks for Mura. Mura then coated them in-house and finished them in-house (except for the hand winds that Bob did at home while watching TV) LOL. So technically Mura had no idea how hard it was to make .007" blanks as they didn't make them in-house. ;) Bob Green knew, but it wasn't his problem... it was the supplier's problem.

I never said "who" (did ya notice that, Phil? ;) ) had problems making .007" lams... I just know firsthand and two other manufacturers who stopped making them for lower end production stuff for the reasons Bill mentioned.

So it goes like this... back in the late '70s and until the early '90s Mura ruled the lower end market with .007" lams simply because no one else went after that market. When Mura was sold and over time other manufacturers came in and made new blank designs that even with .014" material outperformed the Mura .007" blanks. It wasn't much past 1992 that Mura was in trouble due to their competitors having better product. In two years we went from all Mura arms in a couple of classes to no Mura being ran at all as other manufacturers had taken over that market with less expensive material and easier assembly of blanks.

#23 Ron Hershman

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Posted 31 January 2012 - 05:46 PM

Gettng the stack length quickly and accurately is the issue. Not sure that machine can address that issue.


Easier said than done. ;)

#24 havlicek

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Posted 31 January 2012 - 05:52 PM

Gettng the stack length quickly and accurately is the issue. Not sure that machine can address that issue.


Sure it can, Bill... next time we talk on the phone, I'll describe it. Heck, I could even make it, but it would have to be made out of wood. :)

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#25 Ron Hershman

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Posted 31 January 2012 - 06:07 PM

Make sure you take into consideration... the "spring" of the material (which varies from different thickness material), the unflatness of the material, and allowances for burrs and strange edges from the stamping from time to time.

#26 wbugenis

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Posted 31 January 2012 - 06:57 PM

From what I've seen, John, you can make gold from lead. But Ron has been there and so have I. Try measuring the stack length on a bunch of group arms and see what you get.
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#27 havlicek

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Posted 31 January 2012 - 07:13 PM

Yep, Ron and Bill. I'm not saying you could do a Henry Ford and suddenly be tossing off thousands of arms no problem, just that I have an idea about one particularly troubling aspect of all this. I've worked with a bunch of loose .007" lams and understand what the material is like.

What I am saying is that, if this were my livelihood, I'm fairly confident I could have a workable system for this... not perfect... but workable. Of course (and as with most things), a lot depends on how much time, effort, and money you throw at a particular project.

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#28 Steve Boggs

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Posted 31 January 2012 - 07:48 PM

Seems to me the reloading folks have a pretty good solution, Bill. Something like the Dillon 550 progressive reloader (great machine) would seem about right. First station dumps lams from a vertical tube feed into "dummy tube" (whose ID is maybe a few thousandths over the OD of the lams) of the intended stack length. Second station presses the shaft and the third station ejects the .510 cal er... arm blank.

Besides everything being perfectly centered and true on the turret, the dummy tubes would need to be made up. I figure these would also sorta look like an empty cartridge case with a bottom plate and a center hole just larger than a shaft and have some sorta guides built in for keeping the lams straight as they fall. What do I win???


How about using a Lyman or RCBS electronic scale with the trickler modified to drop lams instead of powder? I'm sure one lamination weighs a lot more than the typical granules of powder it is set to throw. One lamination probably weighs 3 or 4 grains, and those scales are easily accurate to within .5 grain.

I don't have one of those, and I'm certain I can't modify my Harrell's to throw lams instead of powder! LOL.

You could set it to throw a certain number of lams by weight, and then stack and install them on an arm shaft, while the next set is being thrown by the measure.

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#29 Phil Hackett

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Posted 31 January 2012 - 07:50 PM

Ron, you and I know who was stamping the blanks and who was assembling them. I gather that it was in the same operation. I know Bob talked about how fussy the die builder was for making the blanks... so it wasn't someone who thought they knew how to make the blanks. They knew and they took account of all variables. These weren't $1,000 dies either.

I was going by your statement that .007" lams were/are a production nightmare...

... takes twice as many .007" lams as it does .014" to meet minimum stack length dimension and is a production nightmare when stacking the lams before pressing the shaft. This is why you don't see .007" lam arms available in anything lower than Opens any more.


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#30 Ron Hershman

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Posted 31 January 2012 - 07:57 PM

What I am saying is that, if this were my livelihood, I'm fairly confident I could have a workable system for this... not perfect... but workable. Of course (and as with most things), a lot depends on how much time, effort, and money you throw at a particular project.


Yeah, like I said not as easy as one thinks... these companies who make a "livelihood" threw lots of money to make things, buy machines, etc., to make production easier and faster.

$20K for winding machines
$5K for comm welders
$12K for comm slitting machine
$10K for balancing machine
Want a blank coating machine like Mura had??? $250K new
$5 to 10K for a stack grinder
$2K for a glorified "arbor press" to press the shafts into the lams... of course if there was an automated machine or easier or more accurate way of doing it... it would have been done by now and the money spent.

#31 Rick

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Posted 31 January 2012 - 08:17 PM

You forgot the stamping press, uncoiler, buckler, and progressive die for the blanks... :)

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#32 Ron Hershman

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Posted 31 January 2012 - 08:25 PM

Ron, you and I know who was stamping the blanks and who was assembling them. I gather that it was in the same operation. I know Bob talked about how fussy the die builder was for making the blanks.... so it wasn't someone who thought they knew how to make the blanks. They knew and they took account of all variables. These weren't $1000 dies either.


Yep and the second guy who did the stamping and pressing for Mura... hated the pressing part of the job and he was a master machinist, a smart guy, and could never figure it out completely. He made press after press trying to improve pressing .007" lams.

Yep, the dies weren't cheap even with a perfect stamping die that is well maintained. Stacking .007" lams is a nightmare and a pain in the arse... take it from me... I did it... I lived it. Other than Bill, Mike S, Dan, and Dan here in this discussion... no one else has done this in a production setting let alone seen how it's done and all the variables involved.

On a good day with minimal hassles 300 .007" blanks in a eight-hour shift was a good day. Most days it was like 150 or so.

Put rod of .014" in the press and no problem making 400-500 blanks in a eight-hour shift. The .014" lams ran so easy my four-year-old son at the time could sit there and make blanks until the rod ran out of lams... re-load and he was a happy camper. LOL.

When I pressed shafts I could always tell when the die needed maintaining... either the stacking/pressing would hang up on the rods, in the "well", or in the slide. The other was when the shaft got real easy to push in... it was time for a new punch pin.

Mainly the die wear comes from the coating used on the lamination steel... not the cutting of the metal itself... there are five coatings available and one needs to know which is the best one for insulation properties, reducing die wear, and holding up through the arm-making process.

#33 Ron Hershman

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Posted 31 January 2012 - 08:26 PM

You forgot the stamping press, uncoiler, buckler, and progressive die for the blanks... :)


The stamping shop provided all that. ;)

#34 Ron Hershman

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Posted 31 January 2012 - 08:27 PM

Well, except for the die and they would supply that for a "modest" fee. LOL.

#35 Rick

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Posted 31 January 2012 - 08:56 PM

We used to stamp out arm lams and got thousands a shift.

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#36 Ron Hershman

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Posted 31 January 2012 - 09:16 PM

I was referring to "blanks" with pressed in shafts, Rick. ;)

You should be able to stamp a lam in a press about every second... about 28,000 or so in an eight-hour shift if everything goes well.

#37 Rick

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Posted 31 January 2012 - 09:26 PM

I was referring to "blanks" with pressed-in shafts, Rick. ;)

You should be able to stamp a lam in a press about every second... about 28,000 or so in an eight-hour shift if everything goes well.


Ahhhhh, gotcha. Stamping is much faster than that, with the short stroke for small parts like this.

.007" lams require very precise dies and clearances. As soon as they get a little dull, you will see the burr increase and off to the die shop for resharpening. We used kerosene drippers for lube for the stamping. Probably illegal today?

Your assembly problem had its nature of the beast deal, I am sure. Some things just have to be done by hand, like counting out blanks and aligning on the rods for pressing in the shafts, etc., etc., etc. If you have ever seen production shops for these kind of procedures, almost always women did the work. They can work all day on tedious stuff like this and just jaw away and make few erros. Put a man on the same job and you have to take him out back and shoot him after three hours. LMAO.

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#38 havlicek

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Posted 31 January 2012 - 09:48 PM

Yeah, like I said not as easy as one thinks... these companies who make a "livelihood" threw lots of money to make things, buy machines, etc., to make production easier and faster.


Beats me what the "Yeah... not as easy as one thinks" is all about. Sounds like you believe I'm agreeing with you... when I'm not. It actually sounds fairly straightforward to me. Lots and lots of way more difficult problems get solved every day.

of course if there was a automated machine or easier or more accurate way of doing it... it would have been done by now and the money spent.


What a load of nonsense. You really believe that it's over for engineering, machine tools, and assembly techniques? I guess all the kids graduating with engineering degrees should just go home because a few slot car guys figure they've already thought of everything. :laugh2:

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#39 Mopar Rob

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Posted 31 January 2012 - 10:02 PM

I don't think it's a matter of technology to do it, probably more of the cost of the technology for a cottage industry manufacturer? Can't be that hard to index them by weight or count electronically, but...
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#40 Ron Hershman

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Posted 31 January 2012 - 10:09 PM

Beats me what the "Yeah... not as easy as one thinks" is all about. Sounds like you believe I'm agreeing with you... when I'm not. It actually sounds fairly straightforward to me. Lots and lots of way more difficult problems get solved every day.

What a load of nonsense. You really believe that it's over for engineering, machine tools, and assembly techniques? I guess all the kids graduating with engineering degrees should just go home because a few slot car guys figure they've already thought of everything. :laugh2:


They got all those guys over at the shop that made most of the stuff for RJR and other manufacturers... they made all the fixures, etc., for the Globe motors in the '60s and they still have some of that old stuff for sale today in their shop.

Most of them are college-educated engineers and when it came to pressing shafts into lams... use a arbor press and good luck... there is no other way we have tried, tried, and tried... not saying it can't be done but others who are better and smarter still haven't figured it out. Money was not the object... what is being worked with is the problem that's difficult to overcome. Not everything can be engineered even in today's world to solve archaic problems in manufacturing.

Been there, done that.

#41 Ron Hershman

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Posted 31 January 2012 - 10:13 PM

I don't think it's a matter of technology to do it, probably more of the cost of the technology for a cottage industry manufacturer? Can't be that hard to index them by weight or count electronically, but..........


LOL... if a machine could have been made to do the job and it cost less that $50K... Robert Root would have bought it. No one could make it happen.

He spent nearly $90K to mold comms in-house and that was just for a molding machine and tooling.

#42 John Miller

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Posted 31 January 2012 - 10:29 PM

Other than Bill, Mike S, Dan, and Dan here in this discussion... no one else has done this in a production setting let alone senn how it's done and all the variables involved.


You can add one more to that list. ;)

I punched, pressed, Hysol, ground, and wound them by the thousands in my day. It's not that complicated, if you know what you're doing.

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#43 Ron Hershman

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Posted 31 January 2012 - 10:55 PM

.007" or .014", John??? Not that complicated??? I wonder why Dan stopped the practice of making low end production .007" arms?

Even at higher cost for material... if he were to bring .007" back, if they were hassle free to make, he would have a huge advantage and probably force one or two others to follow suit. ;)

#44 John Miller

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Posted 31 January 2012 - 11:27 PM

.007" material.

No, not complicated at all. When I stopped working with Dan we were still doing every operation in-house.

I cannot opine as to why the .007" material is out of fashion.

I stumbled across a box of pressed blanks without Hysol the other day. These are 28 years old.

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#45 wbugenis

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Posted 01 February 2012 - 02:55 AM

Put a calipers on the length of those stacks. That will tell the story. Put a calipers on a bunch of 12 arms. All just a few thousanths over 0.350" right?
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#46 havlicek

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Posted 01 February 2012 - 06:19 AM

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... nice picture, John! Can I be your best friend. :)

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#47 Ron Hershman

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Posted 01 February 2012 - 11:29 AM

I stumbled across a box of pressed blanks without hysol the other day. These are 28 years old.



Mine isn't quite as old ;) .007" blanks in various lengths and several "rods" of pristine .007" Champion lams. :)

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#48 Coal Train

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Posted 13 March 2013 - 07:57 PM

So were can someone get laminations made to there own design ?


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#49 CafeBikeGirl

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Posted 10 December 2014 - 01:22 PM

Ummmm... Someone local with a good laser cutter or water jet? Have someone stamp out a few sets will probably cost some big money.


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#50 Dan Miller

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Posted 11 December 2014 - 12:40 PM

Wire EDM is the way to prototype laminations. Laser and water jet just will not do.


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