From:D Forsyth
Subject:RE: RE: RE: RE: Henderson Tank dyes Date:Thu Mar 17 17:13:36 2016
Response to:6150
Matt Blake described these as the "male" of the press.

The older gentleman I got these from said the "part they went into", was turned to scrap as they were extremely heavy metal and not easy to move when all was shut down.

My guess is the "Female" is what he was describing and was a stationary large fixture. This would make sense as it would have to be the part that took the most pressure in the process and would have to be more perfect as it was the "outer" side of the tank.
It is good to know there are more than one set, I don't think it changes the value, if there is any at all, it only helps establish them.

I know it is too much to ask for someone to cut open a tank to take measurements from the inside but as I was told these were last used for the Indian ACE and Henderson by that gentleman I don't know what to think.

I never questioned him as I had no need to and he has passed on long ago. But if someone has a tank that is off and can be measured from the inside please let us know.

I will try to do some more accurate measurements however it is not easy when I don't think anyone is measuring from the same points exactly.

If someone is in Kansas of nearby I would happily give access to them.

So if these were not the ones at davenport, they are exactly the same as those so this must mean there were at least four ever made and maybe many more. The shape did appear to perfectly fit the inside of the Henderson deluxe Short tank sides. Maybe they were the working part of the punch press die that was more easily made than a whole new die.

I have had these for almost 15 years. And were part of a trade with a gentleman in his late 70's. He had been using them to restore Henderson tanks but had said they were original not that he had produced them.

Matter of fact he had said the only reason he had them were the company threw them away and it was not an issue for him to take them.

Again what they were specifically for is what I am hoping to find out and to find a good home for them. I am not trying to make a lot of money, at the same time I am hoping for a fair offer. And that they can be used to help the current enthusiast not just become paper weights, they have done enough of that.

I'm sure I saw those at Davenport a number of years ago along with some cylinders and other engine parts. There didn't seem to be anyone with them as I recall and then they were gone. Those looked like the shape of the short tank deluxe. There was only the two parts (appeared to be top dies) with those flat bars welded on obviously to clamp on to something or be supported some way. The material of the tank shape appeared to be about 1/4" thick.

I remember not being convinced they were original top dies used at the factory for actually pressing the side panels of the tanks unless there was some sort of support part that these were mounted to. I'm somewhat familiar with punch press dies, their solid, strong characteristics, how they function and the pounding tonnages that are required to do a particular job without tooling flexing or deflecting while the work is being performed. Usually press dies are much more solid at least these days. I could be wrong as the tank material was very thin, perhaps 22 gauge or thinner yet and of the drawing type.

I wondered about those over the years actually and considered if these were for another purpose such as trimming guide for trimming the ragged edges of the pressing or maybe some repair/rework operation.

I don't mean to de-value these pieces and as I mentioned, I could be wrong as to their intended purpose. They are very interesting and appeared to be very accurate with a fair bit of time and expense involved when they were originally produced therefor not likely something cobbled together in more recent years by someone in order to throw a tank together for a project but that too is possible. Its amazing what you can do with snips, a hammer and a tig welder these days as we all have seen or do.

Maybe they were a change-able wearing part that was easier and cheaper to make that would be discarded when warn and a new one installed to the press die.

Like I said, I wondered about those a lot over the years.


Hello all, I was referred to this site to hopefully do two things. Identify these and find a new home for them.

I purchased these tank dyes over 15 years ago with hopes of using them to make new tanks for retro "new" bikes. However due to poor health that never took off.

I was told they are original dyes to the Ace, Henderson and Indian / Ace of 1926-27.

The height in the middle is: aprox. 5.5 inches

The length of dye is: aprox. 23 inches

If you can help verify what bikes they would have been used in that would be fantastic.
If you know of someone that would actually use them for restoration tanks please let me know.