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If you could have anything in a hydraulic press....


deker

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...what would it be? I'm working with John Larson who makes the Iron Kiss Hammers on a hydraulic press design and we want to do a little market research. So, we've got some questions.

 

 

- What have you seen in other presses you like?

- What have you not seen that you'd like to?

- What features are important to you in a press?

- How much tonnage would you like?

- How tall/wide of a workpiece would you like to be able to work?

- What would a good price point be to make it worthwhile to buy rather than build?

- Anything else I missed? Give us suggestions!

 

I have confidence that John and I can come up with a good, useful, and safe design, and I have absolute faith in his ability to build a rock-solid machine. What we're interested in is what people think is most important in this admittedly expensive and important tool.

 

So, what do you guys think?

 

-d

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I like... foot treadles, press-down (as opposed to a moving bottom die), self-contained, and 110v power. Quiet is nice too.

 

New features? Some kind of integral adjustment tool for managing minimum thickness... as in, I want a 1/4 inch thick billet; set a stop for 1/4 inch, press pedal, and the dies move to 1/4 inch apart and no less. Variable across an inch, maybe, with 1/8 increments.

 

Tonnage? Enough... somewhere between 20-40.

 

Tall/Wide? For me and a handfull of others, a lump of bloomery iron is the maximum factor... so up to 10 inches max. Most often, in the 3 inch range while open to minimize travel time.

 

$2-3k price.

 

But that's just my opinion. I can think of a dozen unique uses of a press. Some might want a clamp feature (though setting stops, and staying on the treadle could accomplish that), some might want faster action for more little bites, some need more tonnage, some prefer 220v/3-phase... the list is endless. It will be interesting to see if you get a consistent response from this group.

 

Good luck!

The Tidewater Forge

Christopher Price, Bladesmith

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deker,

 

this is an ambitious project - it will be difficult to achieve a press everyone would favour at a good price point ... difficult, but for sure not unrealistic.

 

here's my contribution:

 

Take a look at my press: http://www.ferrumdg.com/ferrum/index.php/T...rgingpress.html

also if you want to see more pictures: http://www.dgentile.com/gallery/4244630_yY...248426392_6A68f

 

Here are a few points:

 

- Hydraulic components completely off-shelf ... standard parts and easy to unmount / disassemble...

if you do heavy duty work, and something breaks or needs replacment I don't want to fumble hours and have difficulties with sourcing the parts.

 

- Double Cylinder option - for later upgrade ... Ram & top-holder already configured to accept either two or one cylinder

 

- Quick Change dies with a Dovetail-cut.... see this: 288443878_aQw52-S.jpg

This really is rock solid... and it's quite unlikely that any wear will show

 

- in accordance with the dovetail die holder mentioned above, provide cheap base platens... at a good price... have that CNC mass produced and sell for minimal margin... not everyone has a milling machine and the tools and time to make these... but if they're cheap, then there's no need to

 

- Range & strength: able to work billets as large as 10cm x 10cm x 20cm ( 4" x 4" x 8") ... but of course not in one go... that would be a lot... but fast enough. ... my press has the following specs and I'm perfectly happy with this:

Press built by Daniel Gentile of FERRUM D. Gentile (www.ferrumdg.com),

The press weighs in at approx. 350kg (770lbs) and is powered by a separate hydraulic powerstation.

The Motor has 5,5kW (7,5 HP) running on 3phases 400/690V

operating high pressure 2900PSI

Pump: 1st stage - 18gpm / 2nd stage - 5.8gpm

Cylinder: 5,5 Inch

 

As mentioned above, have an upgrade option available... that would help. so if the buyer ever needs more power, he can get it at a better price than a complete new press...

 

 

- Hydraulic Power-station / aggrgate as a separate unit mounted on rollers... this makes transportation and maintenance A LOT easier

 

- Sturdy control-layout.... adapted for left & right hand use. as well as a foot-treadle

(I have added a foot-treadle to mine as well... as sometimes if you need both hands it's really a plus)

 

- Precise adjustable electronic limit switch... so that the depth can be precisily adjusted (electromagnetic hydraulic valve).

 

- NICE STURDY Paintjob... in standard machine colours (battle ship gray would be nice)... base coating and a 2component epoxy paint over that... sturdy and clean.

 

- integrated automatic lubrification (doesn't cost much these days... but helps).

 

- Noise-cover optional available for hydraulic-power station

 

- Top mounted cylinder... or very very well proteced from debris, scale, dirt and stuff if mounted from below.

 

- Again, make it easy to disassemble... my press can be transported by two strong guys if it's being taken apart... that's a must imho... shops like ours see a lot of "redesign" and often have to move a few times over a couple of years...

 

- adjustable base-height... if you make the "legs" of the stand removable or sell it without a base stand but with a weldable "base-block" people can adjust the tool to their desired height... this is important for a healthy operation.

 

- offer lots of ready made dies... optionally made from sturdy hot-work steel and heat treated (I know some say it doesn't make a difference... but I've tried it myself and hell, yes it makes a difference... the surface of heat treated hot-work steel dies stay smooth and nice over a much longer period of time).

 

 

now about prices... this is difficult.

I would go with "packages":

- Base Package, single cylinder press, no stand, one set of flat and one set of drawing dies: $2800

- Base Package as above with Stand: $3000

- Medium Package, single cylinder press, stand, drawing dies, flat dies, straightening dies, squaring dies, ladder pattern dies and cutoff-die: $3400

- Premium Package, same as Medium but including Shouldering dies, half-round dies, combo-dies and 10 pieces of base die blocks: $3700

 

Additional stuff:

- Upgrade to double cylinder: new motor & Pump, New valve, additional cylinder: $1200

- 2 pieces base dies (just a thick platen with the dove-tail cut done): $10

 

Ok, the prices are a rough calculation... I'm sure if you set up a good deal with a large supplier for a certain number of things, you'll get away with much better prices... also CNC equipment to machine the stuff would be a req. to get prices down and profit up (if you sell, you'll want it to be profitable)

 

 

Daniel

FERRUM - Daniel Gentile

custom knives & forging classes

http://www.ferrum-d.com

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Oh and this:

 

if you could make a good deal with a european "dealer", and supply the machines rigged for 400V 3 phases by freight-ship by the container load...

if prices for import & transportation could be reasonable than you'd have a good big market here... there is not a single manufacturer of such "small" presses oh whom I know.

 

I know international transportation and customs and all that is a lot of work... but it might be worth it.

 

 

and last but absolutely not least:

 

The machine's quality should be top-notch... welding should be professional, components of high-grade quality... no loose stuff, no rattling... industrial and no less.

FERRUM - Daniel Gentile

custom knives & forging classes

http://www.ferrum-d.com

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The essential feature missing from almost every homemade press is a hydraulic accumulator.

 

Bob, I've been hoping to include an accumulator circuit on the press I'm currently getting together. The biggest problem that I've run into is the price. They can be had used for relatively little, (around $200 for a 2.5 gal. bladder type), but then the condition and type of the bladder is unknown. The prices I've heard for new ones is just plain out of reach. I haven't gotten any quotes, but I've heard around $1000 for a 1 gal.

 

Is this in line with what you've seen? I haven't seriously priced new ones. I really like the idea of an accumulator as opposed to a 2-stage pump, and I'd love to hear some thoughts from you.

 

Thanks!

 

Luke

Do you smell something burning? Waaugh!

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Hi Luke, perhaps I'm lucky in that I could buy a reconditioned accumulator for about $700. This may seem like an uneccessary expense but it means that I an run my press off a domestic single phase supply. If I ran the press straight from a pump I'd need to install a heavier cable into the shop and also spend about $2000 on a large rotary phase converter. I suspect that a system based on an accumulator will run quieter and have smoother control than a direct pump based system. And then there's the benefit of energy savings obtained by running a smaller motor.

 

I suspect that an accumulator is ideal for people running a press at home in their garage.

 

Bob

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Neatly routed plumbing that's hard to swing something hot into. A fast ram speed with a flow control valve to dial it back if needed. A cable linked foot control to be able to move the pedal around to a comfortable position. Good strength and stiffness to easily handle combo dies, stop blocks, and reasonably off center work. Lotsa other good and interesting comments.

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Neatly routed plumbing that's hard to swing something hot into. A fast ram speed with a flow control valve to dial it back if needed. A cable linked foot control to be able to move the pedal around to a comfortable position. Good strength and stiffness to easily handle combo dies, stop blocks, and reasonably off center work. Lotsa other good and interesting comments.

 

I forgot to mention that one of our design requirements is having hydraulics completely enclosed.

 

-d

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