Thursday, May 24, 2018

Shear Blades Guildeline

When it comes to extending the life of your shear blades, use the CLEveland approach.


Proper clearance between the upper and lower blades is crucial. A helpful tool to measure shear blade clearance is a "feeler gauge." Refer to your machine's manual for a correct clearance.


Lubricate the blade with Punch-Easy along the cutting edge as you would a punch. For blades that touch, such as a section bar (or round/square bar) set, make sure to grease the blades where they touch together. 


Occasionally check the cutting edges of your shear blades. If they show wear or chipping, they should be flipped or rotated. (if applicable)

What tips do you find to be helpful in your shop? Comment if you know any!

Monday, May 7, 2018

Louver Tooling

Pictured above is a 4” louver assembly designed and machined on our 28XX line of punches and dies. This type of tooling can be utilized on a variety of different ironworkers and punch presses including Boschert™, Piranha™, and Whitney™ to name a few. The customer will use this particular punch and die on his Boschert punching machine.

Louver tooling like this is used on a variety of products that need ventilation and temperature control. To the right is an example of a common application of louver tooling, air vents. The louver provides ventilation while also protecting the generator pictured. Other examples in which louvers are utilized are classic hot rod hoods, lockers and fireplace shields. 

Louvers can be on mild steel and aluminum up to 10 gauge maximum thickness. We do not recommend using this tooling for stainless steel due to material deformation issues. On machines utilizing a CNC positioning table, louver tooling has to be manufactured so that it forms up in order to clear the rollers embedded in the table. Springs push the louver off the die so that the CNC machine can advance the material for a new louver location. 

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

How to Install Corner Radius Tooling

The first step in setting up corner radius tooling on a Piranha™ ironworker is to remove the dust caps from the dovetail slide. Doing so will allow you to get to the bolts that hold the dovetail and stripper foot together. Remove the bolts, stripper foot and urethane strippers off of the stripper assembly. A stripper foot is not necessary for this application because there is no material stripping required. The corner radius punch acts similar to a shear when rounding the corners of the material.

Once the stripper foot is
removed, the next step is to align your tooling the same way as if you're installing a normal punch and die. On a Piranhaironworker, a V-groove on the head of the punch and a whistle notch on the die is essential for alignment. With other ironworkers, CPD recommends the machine-appropriate locators to assist in alignment. By locking the tooling into position, there is no need to realign the punch and die after each hit. Make sure to set your limit switches on your machine to reduce cycle time and ensure the guide of the corner radius punch remains in the die at all times.

Click the video below to watch how Josh from Cleveland Punch and Die installs corner radius
tooling on a Piranha™ ironworker. 

Friday, April 27, 2018

Interview with Comeq about Geka at NASCC 2018

Ryan Brodie of Cleveland Punch & Die asks Don Letourneau of Comeq (who specializes in Geka Ironworkers), a series of questions about Geka ironworkers, his relationship with Cleveland Punch and Die, and why Comeq comes to NASCC: The Steel Show. Comeq is the ONLY importer of the Geka ironworker in the United States!

If you're in the market for an ironworker or already have a Geka Ironworker (and in the market for ironworker tooling), this video will give you good insight about Geka ironworkers and what tooling to use with it.
Let us know what you think in the comments below!

Ryan Brodie of CPD and Don Letourneau of Comeq

Monday, April 2, 2018

Customer Spotlight: Paul and Kathy Short

Meet Paul and Kathy Short. They are the owners of Specialty Repairs in Newfoundland, Canada. Specialty Repairs started in 1995 and specializes in custom modification. With over 10 million views on their YouTube channel, the online presence that Paul and Kathy have established over the years is quite impressive. The videos they post usually showcase repairs and restoration of the items that come through their shop. Paul is known for his quirky sense of humor and online as the “Modfather,” while Kathy is known to film the videos and is nicknamed “Upper Management.” Over the years, they’ve created a working dynamic of taking care of business, taking care of their customers, and adding a twist of fun into the mix for everyone to be a part of.

Cleveland Punch and Die chose to interview Paul and Kathy Short to share their story with you. We hope that you are able to learn and apply something valuable to your business or personal life. 

CPD: How did Specialty Repairs start?

Paul: “We started off as a small engine repair shop. I grew up in a small, very northern town. It was an iron-ore industry town. The winters were 9 -10 months long. So, I used to do a lot of repairs on snow-mobiles, dirt bikes, and motorcycles. When I graduated from school, I became a heavy-equipment operator.

Later on in life, I decided to get away from that and worked at a dealership. A lot of the customers that were used to me working on their vehicles followed us to our business. After that, we turned into an automotive shop."

CPD: How did you guys go from automotive repairs to fabrication work?

Paul: "Specialty Repairs has gone through a number of transitions over the last 23 years. The type of work that we’ve been doing is much different than when we first started. While we were doing the automotive repairs at the start of it all, some big local farmers said “Hey Paul, can you weld this for me?” So, we started doing some welding. From the welding came the fabrication. We needed a lathe and a milling machine, so then we started doing machining work. Then it snowballed from there. Next thing, we had an ironworker show up.

Now, 23 years later, we’re getting ready to put in our first CNC Plasma table! And it’s only me and my wife here!”

CPD: What do you guys do the most right now?

Paul: “The most we do right now is fabrication work.”

CPD: How do you plan to use your new CNC Plasma table?

Paul: “Well we’ve developed a lot of designs for farm tractors here now. I’ve customized them over the last several years. We’re going to start offering all the things I’ve designed for those tractors in the marketplace."

CPD: What has been the influence behind all of your work?

Paul: “Everything kind-of evolved. There was a need for a certain skill, so I studied the skill and I practiced the skill until I mastered it. Then, we integrated that into our business and continued on from that. For example, if somebody would want something done that I was unfamiliar with, I would keep going at it until I mastered it. We call it “from the fat to the fire.” Our slogan is “If I can’t mod it, I don’t want it!”

Somebody said to me one time, “Paul, what is it that you don’t do?” And I said, “Well, we don’t make bread here in the shop!” 

CPD: Would you tell me a little more about the Coca-Colaitems in your shop that we see in your YouTube Videos?
Paul and Kathy's Coca-Cola "Mini Museum"
Paul: “About 10 years ago, I took this obsession of restoring old gas pumps and old Coca-Cola machines. Now, we have something like a mini museum right next door to the shop. Things are done really nice. For example, we have a Coca-Cola cooler that we turned into a sofa that has 100 hours of labor done on it.”

CPD: Do you sell any of those Coca-Cola items or do you keep it?

Paul: “No, we just keep it. I’m kind of a hoarder.”

Kathy: “A clean hoarder!”

CPD: As a married couple, how do you two team up and work together for your business? What’s the dynamic like?

Kathy preparing to ship custom orders
Paul: “Kathy looks after all the administration work, and basically handles all the business decisions. I don’t try to do her job and she doesn’t try to do mine. I refer to her
online as “Upper Management.”  

Kathy: “He’s the “Modfather,” and I’m “Upper Management.”

CPD: Let’s talk about YouTube, how have you been able to become so popular online? 

Paul: “I used to restore old motorcycles, still do sometimes. While I was restoring these old motorcycles, I would post a few short videos on YouTube. Then I started posting a few short videos showing people how to weld. After that, I was designing and showing trailers and carts to put a welding machine on. People really started loving it. My videos were very serious though. I wouldn’t smile or anything. I would get in there, get the job done, and get out."

Kathy: "All business."

Paul: "But every now and then, Kathy would come into the shop. When Kathy is around me, I would be hammering around and having fun. We’ve been married 37 years, so we’re always having fun. A lot of people started to notice. Our viewers would say, “Well, how come you don’t have Kathy in more of your videos? When Kathy is not there, you’re very serious.”

So then, I said to Kathy one day, “Maybe you should get more involved with the videos, because people are liking what they’re seeing.” Of course, that’s what happened! Now, she’s the camera-lady, and I’m just a guy who does the rest.”

Kathy: “And of course Paul is well-known from the “forum days.” When he started YouTube, he was already well known in the restoration and modification world. That's why he took off from YouTube quickly."

Paul: "There’s a forum called TractorByNet©. People go there to talk about their different types of tractors, problems with them, what’s done, and what you need to do to fix them. I’ve spent thousands of hours on that particular forum. There’s another forum called WeldingWeb™. They also have a magazine that comes out monthly. We’ve been featured in their magazine a couple of times as well. So, yes, we were also kind of well-known around the internet.”

CPD: Are there any secret ingredients to your videos?

Paul: “Our philosophy on the internet is “Keeping it real.” What you see on there is exactly the way it is when the cameras are turned off. We like to do videos that everybody can relate to.

For example, last year I went on a service call. So, I had the welding machine hooked up to the pickup. I hooked up a dash-cam to the pickup on the way there and posted a video from the dash-cam. The next morning, we received an email from an American solider who’s over in Iraq. He said, “I just want to thank you for including the dash-cam video because it got me out of this place for an hour. I really enjoyed the road trip.” The only thing we don’t do on the videos is use any bad language. I’m not saying I don’t swear! We just make sure not to put it on any videos.”

Paul with his tractor
CPD: Back to the business, what has been the most common challenge in regards to operating your business over the years?

Paul: “Keeping the customer happy and willing to come back is probably the biggest challenge. Our economy in Newfoundland is not doing so well, so business is a little slower than it normally is. The last, say, 10 years starting a year ago were boom years for everybody here. That’s all done, and people are really having a tough time around. The rest of Canada is doing pretty well, but here the government came out with a really hard and heavy budget on the population. When you’ve got a budget like this one, people tend to hold onto their money. Of course, that has a trickle-down effect.”

CPD: How have you been able to react to this change?

Paul: “Through our YouTube channel, we’ve launched online sales. We are marketing our new designs and have gone global! So, we don’t rely only on local business anymore.”

CPD: What would your advice be to anyone aspiring to do something like what you do?

Paul: “Be prepared for sacrifice. You have to work hard, and you have to put 150% into every job.”

CPD: What do you think has been the biggest reason for your success?

Paul: "My wife. There’s a saying, “Behind every successful man, there’s a great woman.” I’m telling you, if she didn’t come to work tomorrow morning, I’d shut the doors and never come out here again."

Kathy: “It’s not news to me, but I’m humbled and touched every time I do hear it. Our YouTube viewers comment on it, it is what it is and it’s what they see. They say you can’t fake a good relationship.”

Paul: “You know what? I had someone interview me one time. They were sitting by the Coca-Cola
 collection in our mini museum. They looked around and said, “You have a successful business. You pretty much mastered everything that you’ve done. What do you consider your greatest accomplishment? I said, “Well, I’ll tell you my greatest accomplishment. You think that’s a hard question, that’s an easy question!” He said, “Yea? What is it?” I said, “I’ve had the blessings to marry the perfect woman. With that perfect woman, we raised two great sons. Those two sons went on to be members of the Canadian Armed Forces, who have gone out to help people in the world.” I said, “That’s my greatest success.”

CPD: You talk about helping people a lot, sounds like you guys really like to do that. 

Paul: “We love people. We call our YouTubers our “Internet Family.” You wouldn’t believe it. I got sick last year. I’ve never had a sick day in 22 years in business, and I had two heart attacks in two hours. I almost died. You would not believe the cards and the well wishes. People were calling the hospital from all over the world, crying!”

Kathy: “A lot of notes were sent to us saying we're like family to them.”

Prepping before a video to their "Internet Family"
CPD: People you hardly knew?

Kathy: “People we didn’t know at all!”

Paul: “Never met any of them. Say for instance we get really busy and I don’t have time in that week to do a video, Kathy starts getting phone calls and emails asking us if we’re OK. I’ll say to Kathy sometimes, “You may not like me, but the YouTubers do!”

CPD: Speaking of, what are your YouTube plans for the future?

Paul: “The plan is to a lot of videos about the plasma tables. We've put up two stainless steel cabinets above them. On the cabinets, we put the company’s name of who makes the tables. I said to Kathy, “I don’t care what they say, Cleveland Punch and Die’s emblem is going up on the cabinets." I want everybody on the video to see their emblem, it is already there. We did a YouTube video the other day and I was showing our viewers the new cabinets and the new lighting in the shop where this table is going. We consider the two stainless steel cabinets our new “Wall of Fame.” I told Kathy, “Any company that we hold in high regard gets their sticker on the cabinet." TrackerCNC
© is there and Cleveland Punch and Die is there as well. Those are the two companies in the last 23 years that we highly admire. Of course, we tell our viewers that there’s really nothing in it for us, we just try to pass the word.”  

CPD: How did you find out about Cleveland Punch and Die?

Paul: "They contacted us! We found the company to be... well... excellent. If somebody told me they’d give me $1000 to say something bad about Cleveland Punch and Die, I’d have to tell them to keep their money. They’re a really, really good company. They make an outstanding product. We’ve probably done 6 or 7 videos about them just because we wanted to promote them. They’re probably the best company we have dealt with online in the last 23 years."

CPD: What do you enjoy most about working with Cleveland Punch and Die?

Paul: "Working with Cleveland Punch and Die has been fascinating for us. They sent us a quick-change system for our Edwards™ Ironworker. I’ve gone from taking about 5 minutes to change a punch, to literally maybe 20 seconds! I mean, the tooling that you guys put out is so much of high quality that I said to Kathy the other day, “Every time I look at Cleveland Punch and Die’s work, I appreciate them so much more.” It’s unbelievable! Their workmanship is second to none. They must have the best machine facility in the world. The tooling they’ve sent here is just fantastic. We just want to say thank you for all that you do! We appreciate everyone’s workmanship. It hasn’t gone unnoticed.”

CPD: What are your future plans?

Paul: “Because of the near-death experience, I’m going to appreciate life a whole lot more than I have. There’s really not a lot to change. Kathy and I will work here all day and we’ll go and get on the motorcycle and go for a drive. We’ll just talk or turn on the music. We just enjoy life that way. We like simple things in life."

Paul and Kathy are in the process of getting their website up in order to go global with their business. They are always posting videos of what they have in the works. If you would like to enjoy more of them, subscribe to their YouTube channel

Paul and Kathy excited about their new tooling

Friday, March 16, 2018

Customer Spotlight: Michael Brandt

Meet Michael Brandt. He is the owner of Garage Bound LLC, a full-service company that specializes in custom fabrication and mobile welding. He started his creative hobby in 2008 by making paper crafts from his two-car garage in Chattanooga, TN. He quickly realized that his calling was to switch his media to metals. Now, his love and hobby has turned into a full-time profession!

Cleveland Punch and Die chose to do a Q&A session with Michael to share his story with you because we find it inspirational. We hope that you do too.

CPD: What does Garage Bound LLC do, specifically?
Michael: "We work with any type of metal and all types of industries. There isn't any one specific field that we work with or in."

CPD: What influenced you to do what you do today?
Michael: "I started researching mediums and purchased a couple of welders to build a bike for my son. It kept going as a hobby. I ended up running the electricity bill from $120/month to $350/month! I thought if I'm going to have this expensive hobby with expensive equipment, I might as well learn how to offset the cost. Word got out that I could fix and make things. So, I started my business and worked every night after getting home from my day-job for 11 months straight. Now, I own a 6600 sq./ft shop for Garage Bound LLC, employ four people, and the rest is history."

CPD: What was the toughest part about that process?
Michael: "Making the decision to quit my secure day-job and work full-time in my own business. It was the fear of losing something secure that supported my family and having to take a leap of faith. I stayed at my day-job long enough to save money for a mobile welding trailer and a couple of welders. Once I had that, I pursued my vision for Garage Bound LLC that same night. I never stopped from that moment on."

Garage Bound's first custom-made fire pit
One of Michael's Boy Scouts during
welding class

CPD: What would your advice be to anyone aspiring to do what you do?
Michael: "It's really a no-brainer. Hard work. Dedication. Building relationships. Without the relationships I have built within the community, I have nothing. It's so important that every customer feels they got their money's worth. If my employees don't make something to my standard, we'll start the whole project over to get it right. Even if I make less money out of it."

CPD: What’s the plan for Garage Bound LLC?
Michael: "The goal is to continue to invest in the business. I pull just enough money to pay the bills and roll everything back into the business. I still haven't given myself a regular check. Instead, I buy the newest equipment for the business."

CPD: And what are your future plans?
Michael: "My future plan is to continue to buy commercial property, then lease it to other start-up businesses. It's such a huge upfront expense for start-up businesses to purchase commercial property. So, if I buy relatively inexpensive property, I can pass the savings on to get other businesses going. That way, I'm helping others to be successful and build residual income for when I retire one day."

CPD: What’s your relationship with Cleveland Punch and Die like?
Michael: The relationship we've built is pretty unique. I usually have to go to others and prove to them what I can offer in order to be a partner, but it’s different with CPD. After I won the ironworker from Baileigh Industrial™, CPD reached out and asked to take my wife and I to dinner while we were at the Fabtech Expo in Chicago. They gave me the opportunity to use their tooling exclusively for my machine. I was wowed because I know they have such an excellent reputation. To say thanks, I made a 
custom tooling holder in the shape of their logo for my shop. That way, I could take care of my great tooling and also show it off to others."

CPD: What do you enjoy about working with Cleveland Punch and Die? 
Michael: "Here’s a story. My employee didn’t know the rule of thumb for the punch and die clearance and broke my 5/16” punch from the set I had. When I called to reorder, the service was hands-down the best. I spoke with Shannon in CPD's Customer Service Department. She already knew what type of machine and punch and die set I had. She was able to order the replacement punch and die I needed in less than 10 minutes. Saving time like that throughout the day is so important for me because I don’t have time to be on the phone. Its awesome to be able to call and get what I need really fast."


Garage Bound's second piece for Rock City, Georgia.
The first piece won him Artist of the Year through the Chattanooga Chamber of Commerce.

Michael also mentors others by working with local high schools, Boy Scout groups, drug and alcohol rehabs, and continues to pass on his knowledge in order to give back to the Chattanooga community. He is always posting pictures of his unique work and life. If you would like to see more of what he does, take a look at his Instagram page

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Keyhole Tooling

Keyhole tooling is used to fabricate a wide variety of parts. A few examples include banjo eyes on tow trucks, storage racks, and shelving units.

Let’s start with keyhole shelving units. Storage racks and shelving units are the most popular use for keyhole punches and dies. The picture below shows a perfect example. The keyholes are used to securely lock each shelf into place. These holes also make it easy to assemble and disassemble the shelving unit if necessary. Storage racks and shelving units like this can be found everywhere from the shop here at Cleveland Punch to your nearest home improvement store.

 Pictured above are examples of keyhole mounts found on shelves at the CPD’s manufacturing plant.

Another example where keyhole tooling is used is tow trucks. Many tow trucks use safety chains to secure a car, truck, or load to the bed of the truck. How do these chains connect to the bed of the truck? The answer, banjo eyes. These banjo eyes are fabricated with keyholes. The safety chain is fed through the round portion of the keyhole. When tight, the chain slides down the oblong portion of the keyhole to lock it in place. Next time you see a tow truck take a look at the bed. There’s a good chance you’ll see one of these keyholes.

Keyhole punches and dies would make for a great addition to your punch and die supply if you’re fabricating parts like this. Cleveland Punch and Die manufactures keyhole tooling for every ironworker. If you have any questions, call us at 330-296-4342 or email us at