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Die Holder Repair
by Howie Grunert

I was having a problem with an old Craftsman die holder I had bought 44 years ago when I started my apprenticeship. I now have other holders, but wanted to keep this one so a repair was in order.

The holder uses three setscrews through the walls of the aluminum body, set at 0°, 90°, and 180° to match pockets in the 1″ diameter dies. Over the years, the threads in the soft body simply wore out. A previous attempt at gluing in steel inserts didn’t work, as the axial forces easily overcame the glue.

PhotoFor this repair, I decided to include shoulders on the inside end of the inserts to deal with the axial forces. To fit the new inserts, I mounted the die holder to the rotary table and machined pockets on the inside of the holder to receive the sleeve’s shoulders.

The tight fitting steel sleeves were then pulled into their respective holes from the inside to the outside with 10-32 machine screws. Epoxy was also used to make sure things stayed in place.

I had calculated the depth of the pockets so the outside of the shoulder would be recessed just enough for the die to fit, but they were a little proud once installed. So, I went in with the boring head and took off just enough for a die to fit.

This is the best fix ever; the holder should be good for at least another 44 years!


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