OTS Silhouette Die Instructions
Oregon Trail Silver Silhouette Die Instructions
These silhouette dies are made from cast acrylic and are designed to use with annealed non-ferrous metals only such as copper and silver. The object is to bubble the center out of your piece and accentuate the edges of your design, giving it a 3D effect. Best used with a 20t Potter USA hydraulic press.
For these instructions, we used 22G Copper.
DO NOT PRESS OVER 300PSI! These dies can shatter at high PSI and cause serious injury! By purchasing and using these dies you agree that Oregon Trail Silver and its employees/associates are NOT responsible for any personal injury that may occur.
ALWAYS wear safety glasses when operating a hydraulic press!!!! It is best to always use a guard (offered by Potter USA at www.potterusa.com ) when operating – again, use at your own risk without. Follow all safety protocols that came with your press.
Also… Don’t eat the lead.
Many of our silhouette dies require a two-press process to get the outer edges pressed in detail.
The first thing that should be done is to make a lead “force.” The force is designed to press in any corners or hard to detail edges around the outside of the die. This is an OPTIONAL step, but you will get the best results from following it.
To make your force, press a 1.5oz lead fishing egg sinker to about 1/8” thick.
Set the lead patty center on the silhouette die, with the engraved lettering facing the bottom. Press to 200 PSI. You should be able to see the lead sinking in from the side of the silhouette die. Some presses tend to have a slight tilt to them, so turn your die 180 degrees and press again to make sure your force is even.
Next, if you are using a pancake die make sure to have it cut out and annealed and clean the edges with a file to make sure there are no sharp burs. If you intend to texture your metal with a texture plate, have the metal textured prior to cutting out your pancake die.
(Left annealed not cleaned copper, Right Annealed and cleaned copper.)
Using ¾” blue painter’s tape, tape a cross pattern on the BACK side of your pancake die cutout. Line up and tape to the bottom of the silhouette die with the “Oregon Trail Silver” logo readable. Because of the thickness and clarity of your silhouette die the view can be slightly distorted and make it difficult to line up. I recommend using an Ott Lite with a magnifier lens but you can always make adjustments before you press.
To press make sure the OTS logo is on the bottom and the metal is on the top. You can use urethane sheets from Potter USA for this step, but Pamela Warrender showed me this neat trick: Using Blue Tack (the same stuff we used to hang posters up in grade school, available most places office supplies are sold) Roll into a ball set in the middle. A half a package is a good amount and it is reuseable. Press to 200 PSI and release. Separate the pusher, the pancake die cutout and remove the tape from the silhouette die.
The final step is optional and you can do this to help get the edge detail a little more defined. Since these bubble out it isn’t ever guaranteed to be completely perfect as the silhouette die is intended to ACCENTUATE the outside of the cutout.
Place your initially cut out or sheet back into the silhouette die and set on the pressing platform, OTS Logo face down. Line your lead force up as best as you can on top and press to 200PSI. For best results, rotate 180 degrees and press once more, again to 200 PSI. That’s it! You’re done and now you can solder and add a bail, drill holes, whatever your imagination dictates!