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Home Workshop > General Area > General > Herbert Die Heads

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Herbert Die Heads

Herbert Die Heads

Hi Following on from my advert for a half inch die head, I now have several. However I do need the retaining screws for the front cover plate they appear to be 40 tpi counter sunk raised head  having a diameter of 3.8mm (5/32 or 9/64?) 12mm long would be OK . Much searching to clarify the thread and the best tap that almost fits I have is No8 UNF. Screw diameter is too big for No6 UNC or 3BA.  I did read that Herbert used non standard threads, and of course the tapped holes are part of a hardened body. My best bet would seem to be  go for No8 UNF and try and retap the holes gently as far as possible and use the shortest screws possible. Has anybody got any good ideas or can lead me to suitable screws  only need 4 but having a few spares would seem a good idea.  One thought aren't ME threads 40 tpi? Can I make csk screws?
Slowly advancing up the Die Head learning curve, the one I have tried does cut good threads. Have I mentioned a sharpening jig for the chasers anybody tried without one.
Ashley

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Re: Herbert Die Heads

Hi Ashley,

Sorry I haven't answered earlier, been away on holiday for a long time.

I have a sharpening jig for my 1/4" head chasers, and it sharpens all sizes up to 1/2" sized chasers, both left and right hand. Unfortunately I haven't been able to try it as I got rid of my small surface grinder and I am very close to getting my new one commissioned, just got to level the mag chuck.

A quote from the Herbert die head bible - 'They cannot be ground properly by hand'

I suppose you could sharpen your chasers by making hardened holding jigs for all the angles required to do a good job of it, maybe up to four hardened jigs would do it to get all the angles perfect, but you would need to make another set if you go to left hand threads as well.

Personally, if I was you, I would get Ebay to tell you if a sharpener set comes up for sale, which is what I did, and last August I managed to pick a very complete one up for £100. I only have to sharpen a couple of sets of chasers and it would be paid for compared to buying new chasers.

I have just looked on Ebay for any, and all there are is a couple of chaser holding jigs, which are no use at all without the other bits in the sharpening set to get them to the right angles.

John

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Re: Herbert Die Heads

Hi John Thanks. Sorry for delayed reply still having real problems getting my PC to log in, the iPad does log in perfectly so I'm using that. There are 3 on eBay at the moment but for the larger 3/4 heads but 3/4 isn't that much bigger so I wonder if addition of a packing piece would it work? I would assume I only need to grind the "back" of the teeth rather than the lead in angles, think the manual says this can be one two or three times before you need to grind the lead in. I am assuming the back face opposite the teeth of the chaser is the datum so a simple jig for one chaser at a time may well work. I only have a Clarkson grinder so it will have to be that or nothing.
Ashley

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Re: Herbert Die Heads

Ashley,

My set grinds from 1/4" to 1/2" and all in between. Both left hand and right hand threads.

I don't think the 3/4" one would do it as it is maybe too large to hold your chasers correctly.

There is a lot more to these sets than you think to get everything ground correctly, I think what you are seeing on Ebay is just one part of a set, the holders, no height setting rollers for left and right hand, or the gauge block for setting the holding blocks to the correct angles.
You actually grind all four of the chasers in one go as a full set, and if they are getting towards the end of their life, it allows you to grind further back on the lead in and take part of the lead in off, so allowing you to use them even more.

John

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Re: Herbert Die Heads

John. I have the die head manual and you are correct the two on eBay are just the chaser holder not the base plate. There is a Mk2 as well that is adjustable, with no separate base from memory and I think holds all 4 chasers. The manual is very good but it's a scanned copy available on the web but the photos are not reproduced very well. I have tried to download a better copy but my PC won't open the image file, it might but I gave up is perhaps more accurate.
Someone offers me some screws to retain the cover and I have sent an email but no reply so far, I do need  a minimum of 2 screws but 4 would be better.
Ashley

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