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What type gear is right for punching square holes in aluminum angle?

What type gear is right for punching square holes in aluminum angle?

What type gear is right for punching square holes in aluminum angle?

I have a simple need - to punch a 5/16" square hole in 6061-T6 aluminum up to 3/16" thick although 1/8" will be the most common. There are so many options for this I'm sure I'll get the wrong gear if I just go out and buy what the sales guy wants to move. Here are some parameters:

* The holes will be used for the shoulders of 5/16-18 SS carriage screws to keep them from spinning when my customers  tighten or remove the nut on the other end.

* 50 to 200 holes per batch typical.

* The part is Al structural angle - one leg is 1.06" and the other is 1.50". Length will vary from 6 to 15 inches long.

* Placement accuracy +/- .03"

* Hole size accuracy is not too important (+ .03 /- 0.0) I assume any well made punch/die will make reasonably repeatable and accurately sized holes this size in aluminum.

* I have shop air but not an abundance of space in the shop.

* I'd prefer to start with a manual press or device if possible - iron out the design with some prototypes of the part - and then keep that for backup when I purchase a powered unit of some type for production - understanding that the punch/die sets would probably be different for both.

I was hoping someone here might point me in the right direction or have some suggestions as to what kind of gear would be adequate for both the manual and powered device for this application.

Thanks for any help.




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