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Thread: Material Thickness

  1. #1
    Boolit Man
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    Material Thickness

    I’m looking into making copper checks and was wondering if there is a standard thickness used for checks? What kind of copper and where to buy sheets. Thanks

  2. #2
    Boolit Master

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    I use the .015” copper flashing in a roll. Bought off of Amazon. It’s dead soft material. Good luck to you.
    I firmly believe that you should only get treated by how you act, not by who or what you are!!

  3. #3
    Boolit Grand Master


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    As to how thick a lot will depend on the GC maker itself and the material used for the GCs. I've 3 different types of GC makers [the puch type, a couple of Pat's and a couple other types].

    I've used materials from soda cans which are aluminum and .004" +/- thick, Beer aluminum bottles .006" thick, aluminum flashing .010 and .014" thick, copper rolls .015" thick and brass rolls .010, .012 and .014" thick.

    It is very difficult to cut some discs of larger caliber using thicker material, especially the .014" brass, with Pat's GC Maker as the timing of the cut is not at the highest leverage point of the press. Also using the disc punch on other than the thin .004 aluminum material can be difficult. Then the forming part of cup forming mandrel must be of the correct diameter to allow thicker material.
    Larry Gibson

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  4. #4
    Boolit Grand Master

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    I'd have to think that the place to start is to mic the gas check shank on the boolits then use the difference between that and groove diameter as a gauge for material thickness.

    For instance, if a .30 cal. bullet has a gas check shank of 0.284" and typical groove diameter is 0.308" that is 0.024" difference to 0.012" material thickness. If thinner the gas check may not seal well or may not be tight on the gas check shank due to springback in the gas check maker die. If a thou or two thicker the gas check should swage down during sizing.

    From what I have read it seems that 0.014" thick material is commonly used. A thou or two each way shouldn't be an issue.

    As Larry says, the gas check maker will have a punch to form the gas check and that should be the right size for "standard" gas check shanks so the check is snug on the shank but the odside diameter has to reach the groove diameter when the gas check is seated onto the boolit then sized. If too thin it will not reach groove diameter except maybe on the vey edge of the check where it is slightly flared.

    I made my own gas check makers per the Ed Smith plans and I use old aluminum gutter material at about 0.019" thick which is thicker than the clearance between forming punch and die so the aluminum extrudes to make a deeper cup than more standard 0.014" thick material would make.

    Here is some info on gas check shank sizes:

    http://www.lasc.us/CheckShankSize.htm
    http://www.castpics.net/subsite2/Cla...0Diameters.pdf
    https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/fil...eck20maker.pdf
    http://sebagosales.com/gaschex/Check-Maker1&2.pdf

    Longbow

  5. #5
    Boolit Man
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    Thanks all!
    I have a credit at a metal supply vendor and was going to buy some sheets now and worry about the check maker later. I should probably just make them on the lathe, but am backed up.
    My idea is to make heavy 8mm bullets to cycle self loading rifles. Need reliability instead of bullet speed.

  6. #6
    Boolit Grand Master


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    I use a home made GC maker to make 8mm GCs. I use either .014 Brass or .014 Aluminum flashing. the GCs come out with a bottle cap edge and crimp on the bullet GC shank as well as Hornady GCs do. While I haven't used the 8mm's in gas guns I have y similarly made .30 cals. I've not experienced any problems with the GCs coming off.

    My 30/31 and 8MM GC makers were made by someone on this forum 12+ year back. I've for gotten who it was. If you made them for me and are reading this please PM me as I really want to thank you again. They were initially made to use a mallet in forming the GCs from soda/beer can material. With the thicker material I've found the use of an arbor press makes it much easier. I'll post some pictures later today.
    Last edited by Larry Gibson; 11-21-2022 at 09:25 AM.
    Larry Gibson

    “Deficient observation is merely a form of ignorance and responsible for the many morbid notions and foolish ideas prevailing.”
    ― Nikola Tesla

  7. #7
    Boolit Master 405grain's Avatar
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    Larry: I'd be very interested in seeing that gas check maker. I've got a good supply of .014 brass sheet. Even after annealing the brass strips it is obvious that this material is way too much for a Pat Marlins check maker. If I try making 30 cal. checks from this material it will beat that check maker to death. I'll use the Pat Marlins with .014" Amerimax aluminum flashing instead. Because I've got a lot of the brass stock I'd like to make a heavier-duty check maker. (probably in 8mm or .458) Also, a couple of years ago I made one of the swage presses from the plans in the swaging section. My 40 year old Rockchucker will do fine with the aluminum checks, but I'm thinking that the swage press might work better for making brass checks. Right now I'm just looking around for ideas for a sturdy check maker design.

  8. #8
    Boolit Grand Master

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    405grain... take a look at the last two links in my post above, one is for the IDZ check maker and the other is for the Ed Smith check maker. The IDZ check maker is for reloading press use and the Ed Smith check maker can be used like the Freechek with a mallet or arbor press or it can by used with an adaptor on a loading press. Both are single stroke check makers. Everythinbg you need to make them is in those links to PDF's.

    I am punching gas checks for .30 cal. and .44 cal. out of 0.019" aluminum gutter material with no problems using a mallet with my two Ed Smith check makers. I may splurge to get an arbor press though just to save on the hammering.

    Longbow

  9. #9
    Boolit Grand Master


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    This picture shows the 3 pieces to the check maker. Also, some aluminum GCs I've made [8mm of .014 flashing]. On the right is the body with the slit for the strip of material to slide through. Middle is the GC disc cutter/punch. A round wheel is welded to the top to make it easy to twist the punch back up out of the strip. Left is the GC form rod with one end turned for .012 - .015" thick GCs and the other end for .004" thick GC made from soda cans.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    This picture shows an aluminum flashing strip through the slot and the punch having cut the disc.

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    This picture shows the two size holes through the GC maker body. The top fits the punch which is of the desired disc diameter. The bottom hole is the diameter for the formed GC. That size seems to work fine for the different thickness of material. When the disc is punch it falls on the shelf inside the body.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    The forming rod is also the outside diameter of the formed GC and is a smooth slip fit through the hole in the center of the disc punch and the bottom hole in the body.

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    Here we see the complete assembly on the arbor press [Harbor Freight] as the disc has been punched, the GC form rod inserted and is read to form the GC.

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    When formed the assembly is removed from the press and the rod with formed GC falls out the bottom. Here we see the rod with the formed aluminum GC on it. I put the box alongside the press and pop off the GC into it using the edge of the steel plate on the press. Also, there are several 8mm GCs formed from .014 brass shim stock.

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    The punch is twisted as removed from the body, the material strip advanced, the punch re-inserted and the procedure is repeated. It goes a whole lot faster actually making the checks than explaining it. BTW, I use a heavy duty old paper cutter bought at a 2nd hand store to cut the strips of aluminum or brass material.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by Larry Gibson; 11-23-2022 at 11:46 AM.
    Larry Gibson

    “Deficient observation is merely a form of ignorance and responsible for the many morbid notions and foolish ideas prevailing.”
    ― Nikola Tesla

  10. #10
    Boolit Master 405grain's Avatar
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    Thanks longbow & Larry Gibson. After the holiday I'll start making a check maker for the swage press.

  11. #11
    Boolit Master
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    You didn't say where you are at ? Copper sheeting, can be bought at Granger in Minneapolis, Menards has roles on the shelf in roofing, depending on what you want for thickness?? Most big box building supply, should have in roofing area??

  12. #12
    Boolit Grand Master

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    Well, I have not seen a gas check maker like that one gefore Larry! Now I am really curious who made that and if any plans/drawings were posted.

    Longbow

  13. #13
    Boolit Grand Master


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    I wish I knew who the guy was that made them for me. In the move down here 10+ years ago I lost the contact info. He was/is(?) a member here. Was hoping he would see some of my posts on the GCs and PM me but he has not so far.

    I could make a semblance of a drawing. I sent the GC makers to Tim at MBT in Conway Arkansas. Tim was going to make a copy, not sure if he has.
    Larry Gibson

    “Deficient observation is merely a form of ignorance and responsible for the many morbid notions and foolish ideas prevailing.”
    ― Nikola Tesla

  14. #14
    Boolit Bub

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    Quote Originally Posted by Larry Gibson View Post
    I use a home made GC maker to make 8mm GCs. I use either .014 Brass or .014 Aluminum flashing. the GCs come out with a bottle cap edge and crimp on the bullet GC shank as well as Hornady GCs do. While I haven't used the 8mm's in gas guns I have y similarly made .30 cals. I've not experienced any problems with the GCs coming off.

    My 30/31 and 8MM GC makers were made by someone on this forum 12+ year back. I've for gotten who it was. If you made them for me and are reading this please PM me as I really want to thank you again. They were initially made to use a mallet in forming the GCs from soda/beer can material. With the thicker material I've found the use of an arbor press makes it much easier. I'll post some pictures later today.
    Wasn't Charlie Darnall was it ?

  15. #15
    Boolit Grand Master


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    Quote Originally Posted by notenoughguns View Post
    Wasn't Charlie Darnall was it ?
    I don't recall.......my bad.

    Is he still around?
    Larry Gibson

    “Deficient observation is merely a form of ignorance and responsible for the many morbid notions and foolish ideas prevailing.”
    ― Nikola Tesla

  16. #16
    Boolit Grand Master

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    It doesn't look like one of Charlie's... or at least doesn't look like the one's he was selling.

    It does look like the same "system" as the Ed Smith gas check maker, just with a bigger base on the die and bigger head on the punch. I guess the same applies to Charlie's Freechex units as well.

    The one you've got looks like the base/die is machined out of a really large diameter piece of steel then turned down for the die body with slot and a big cap on the punch. That would certainly make it more stable for use with a mallet or an arbor press than the smaller diameter of the Ed Smith or standard Freechex versions.

    They are quite easy to make if you have a lathe.

    Longbow

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BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
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