Many times in the die business we receive art files that are very intricate and have some areas that are just impossible to make happen with steel rule and wood. Most customers understand when we call and tell them that to build the die, some slight adjustments have to be made. But occasionally, we have customers question, “Don’t you have lasers and auto-benders?” This question is asked because it is a misconception that you just push a button and the auto-bender spits out a piece of intricate knife that is completely ready to drive into the wood.
While the auto-benders are wonderful and do help us out tremendously, they can’t do everything, That’s where the skills of the die maker comes into play. On intricate dies with a lot of very tight bends the auto bender can get rule bent very close.Then the die maker can use his bench tools to true up the piece so that it can be driven into the die board. With some dies that are so very intricate, a skilled die maker has to do all the of the bending by hand. These dies here separate the die makers from the the “rule drivers”.
There are very few of these “die builders” left. Young people today are not wanting to learn these type of skills if there is not a computer involved. Working with your hands is not as popular as pushing buttons on a computer. Keep in mind that I am one of these old surviving die makers and learned from some very skilled men a long time ago. You can send your work to a shop with lasers and auto-benders and get some very nice quality dies but for the very intricate dies, send them to a shop with the old guys!
Hug your die maker today!