My question is regarding whether a fly press may be suitable to do a particular task. I am trying to make an item which basically consists of a piece of 1 or 2mm wire/rod/etc that is flattened at the end to make a sort of simple spoon shape, about 5-10mm long. There are a couple of processes afterwards- bending and shaping that I am ok with. Material is not that important, but it would need to retain its shape afterwards, and not be too easy to bend- commercial versions are generally stainless steel. If the spoon was just a flat piece 5-10mm long, that would be fine. If something needed tempering, it should be easy enough to do so on something so small.
I have seen small fly presses go cheap enough, and from what i have read I think that they would do the job, but would appreciate the thoughts of somebody that would know for sure. In terms of scale, I am looking to make about a hundred or so to start with.
Certainly. I would suggest that you used the press as a 'second op' machine. Heat the component, preform it, ie, belt it with a hammer, then finish in the press. It really depends on how you define 'small' though.
The material does not need to be rustproof. I thought that stainless would be very tough to flatten. The application is a beekeeping tool- precision in that it is small and used to pick/scoop up small larvae (on the flattened part), but the tolerances are not that critical- one of these tools where you get the smallest one that you can. The finish needs to look nice- shiny or coloured etc, but I can worry about this depending on material.
Alternatives are open- I had wondered about brass, but don't know whether it would hold its shape. I don't know enough about steels to make a call on those, but at least they can be heat treated. Aluminium sounds like it would struggle to keep shape.
Heres a thought, buy some TIG welding rods, cut the ends off....
They come with a portion of the wire flattened, where the grade is stamped onto them.
Available in stainless, various grades, 1.6mm, 2.4mm and 3.2 diameters.
They are a meter or so long, so would be a tad wastefull, but could save the need for a press, just a basic bending fork.....
I can send you a few samples if this sounds a viable option......