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  #1  
Old 12-07-20, 08:36 PM
cefguy cefguy is offline
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Default Die Struck or Cast?

I obtained this die a while back and assumed it was part of the die striking process to make a shoulder title much like the one in picture #1. As I sat and thought about it I realized that it was not as straight forward as I thought. If this was the male die to strike a shoulder title then the back of the title would look "die struck". That is to say it would be hollow on the back. Also there would be a female die out there somewhere that would be the other half of this process.

All of the similar format shoulder titles (XXX / Canada) that I have seen are solid back or flat back. So the only way I can see that this device would be useful in the process would be as a master to make an indentation into a molding medium, such as sand, as a prelude to pouring a cast title.

So my question is this. Are all of the similar format shoulder titles and C / overs cast and not die struck? If I have chased this down the wrong hole here can somebody set me straight?

I guess the follow on question would be is it technically possible to die strike a flat backed badge like a collar or cap? I think it could be possible, but may be more challenging to get right. Or are all flat backed badges cast?
Thank you
Don
Attached Images
File Type: jpg #1 First Canadian "die".jpg (42.6 KB, 56 views)
File Type: jpg #2 "Die" angle.jpg (55.2 KB, 43 views)
File Type: jpg #3 "Die" side.jpg (52.3 KB, 24 views)
File Type: jpg #4 "Die" relief.jpg (54.0 KB, 26 views)
File Type: jpg #5 "Die" face.jpg (53.6 KB, 33 views)
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  #2  
Old 13-07-20, 03:04 AM
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dumdum dumdum is offline
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Hi

Just a quick comment, but I think you have the part of the die that was pressed into another piece to create the die used to strike the badge. Whew!

The give away is that the background to the raised lettering shows signs of chiseling and scraping that would be the result of making the piece. A good deal of thought was required and care taken not to "undercut" the angles of the lettering, etc. as this would create a good deal of difficulty in removing the master.

These hobs (or "hubs" as I've been told they are sometimes called) were carefully prepared and used with care as, should the die break, the hub was used to create another die.

The hollow-backed effect that you see on most badges was the result of a "counter" (also referred to as a "force") created by placing a piece of red hot steel onto the die itself and bringing the hammer head down onto the work.

The red hot counter had to be removed promptly otherwise it could soften the die.

Found the above in a very old (1930s) technical manual for students!
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Old 13-07-20, 06:17 AM
cefguy cefguy is offline
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dumdum:
That is really interesting information. So if this "hub" created the die to be actually used, then the hammer or force coming down would have had a flat surface and just forced the brass into the receiving die. It is certainly a plausible explanation of how the process worked. I guess with experience in the process they would have known just how thick the piece of brass would have to be to achieve the effect.

The difference as I see it to have made a hollow backed badge of any description I think would have required a male die piece to be brought down by the hammer. This would have allowed a thinner badge to have been made and also would have saved a lot of material.

What you have offered really makes sense to me.
Thank you
Don
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  #4  
Old 06-08-20, 03:05 AM
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dumdum dumdum is offline
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Hi Don

I'm glad I didn't "biff" some of those old books.... Well, I never would have because I keep EVERYTHING.

You are right. The "male" force was produced from a "female" die and this gave the "hollow backed" effect you see on caps and collars. This gives the badge its strength and means that they haven't got to use a whacking great bit of brass or whatever!

Your item is an "original" male version that would be pressed into the die thereby creating a female die that could create the die itself. As I said, they were usually very careful with your piece as they were often hand made and were often the only way of easily recreating a new die.

Most shoulder titles I've seen are "solid" backed but I guess there will be ones that are made like caps and collars too.
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Old 08-08-20, 01:27 PM
cefguy cefguy is offline
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dumdum:
Thank you again for some thought provoking information. I can at least now, to a degree, picture the process. To have used my piece in the course of making the female die must have required considerable heat of that receiving metal so to have achieved the aim without destroying the "hub". This exactly as you mentioned. It must surely have taken a lot of trial and error in the beginning days. People experienced in the process would have built up the experience with the metals and the presses.

I did read an article on this site some years ago about the pressing of badges that had a reference about one very old press that was kept running in the UK. It was deemed necessary because it was the only one that could keep producing consistent results in stamping out badges. Yet another example of a skill that has slowly been lost to time.
Don
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