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Daniel Cauble

Starting Hydraulic Press Build.

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Alright the time has come to step it up. I want to work bloom material faster and more efficiently, along with streamlining pattern weld, and hammer creation (Punching the eye).

 

I am going to model my build after Uncle Al's design.

 

Currently sourcing my material, and will be taking measurements of that exact press to get a good idea of materials.

 

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/103733/Press1.jpg

 

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/103733/Press2.jpg

 

Its going to be a few weeks before I can get some detailed pics and measurements, but from what I can tell I am gathering materials.

 

*Called local scrap yard and they have .75"x6" mild-steel plate on hand and will sell to me at $15 a foot (They have 20' pieces). I want to use that for the horizontal plates you see. They will also cut to size which saves a lot of time and having to clean up torch cuts and/or gasoline chopsaw cuts. Again, I am only speculating that this part of the press is .75" thick for now through a few pics. Will know for sure after the end of the month. Too impatient to wait so am sourcing materials either way.

 

*Sourcing the square tubing on www.speedymetals.com and www.onlinemetals.com if I cannot find it in the scrapyard (Forgot to ask them, will do that this next week). All pretty affordable for what it is. Not currently sure if either square tubing is 1/4" or thicker.

 

*Already have a 4'x4' sheet of 1/4" steel (For base and other odd stuff), and about 20' of 18" wide 1/8" for shielding.

 

*Have seen several square bars of steel at the scrapyard in the past. Will look for them in my honey holes at a different scrapper. I tend to hide certain things at the scrapyard that I potentially find value in later. The carbon steel section of that particular scrapyard is left mostly untouched for years.

 

*I have info on the 5hp 20amp Leeson motor. Found it to be an off-brand for around $350. Found a cheaper version of the same motor on ebay for $240. http://www.ebay.com/itm/5-HP-Compressor-Motor-Electric-56-3450-5-8-Shaft-replacement-for-116511-/271428832632?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item3f326b4d78

 

*The rest of the hydraulic parts I have been directed to are at http://www.surpluscenter.com/Air-Pneumatics/

 

I am not a welder (But getting better!), but I have several friends who are. 2 have agreed to lend a hand in the welding. One used to weld with the huge welders at a power plant. I have a 220v Lincoln Power MIG 255 at my disposal, that can crank up to 200amps, and 30# of mild steel wire. I have both 75/25 and Tri-Mix (Mostly for stainless) gasses to use.

 

A couple well known smiths here use this same press. Granted they have one made by the original builder. From what I have seen it is more than enough for now.

 

Wish me luck.

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Good luck, I think you are going to need it. Al's design is rather complex. That's why I went with Tommy McNabb's design. I'm sure you have seen my recent posts. I'm almost finished, and I think in total it was about $1,200.00. You are probably looking at twice that at least with Al's design. I'm not knocking it, I think its a really good design. I'm just saying you could do it for less, and a lot easier and simpler. If you can, try to by all your steel in surplus. Most steel yards have an area for new steel, and area for surplus steel (usually outside). You can usually get steel for .50c a pound.

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I do not doubt the complexity, but please excuse my ignorance when I ask why do you think its going to cost twice that? My cost estimates are around $600-$700 for the steel, and 600-800 for the pneumatics and motor. I would certainly like to know what I am missing before I really invest in this if you don't mind.

 

I'm going to shop around for the other steel parts at that same scrapyard or a few others still. Would rather do that than buy new. The .75" flat bar they are selling is about $1.00 per pound. It's in their section that was ordered for a customer, and that customer cancelled. I will deff. hunt around for cheaper, say 35 cents a pound or so is my usual.

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Yeah, its cool. I thought I would give a different point of view before you invest the time energy and money before you get into this. I think Al's design is a very good one, I mean if it's good enough for Walter Sorrels than its got to be good. You may be right about your costs for steel, that is something that is bound to be subjective. But I think you are a little low on the cost of the hydraulic components. But the cost really wasn't my main point, it just seem a little more complex in design and could be more difficult to build. What I think really doesn't matter, I was just giving you my opinion based on my experience. It's your shop and your dream, and I do wish you luck. If you need any help let me know if I can.

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Thanks Matt. That gives me something to think about.

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there are so many ways to go about it the simpler the better in most cases depending on what u want to accomplish and how u want to get there

 

for my oil res i used an old portable air tank that i welded fittings on cost me $15-20 and holds 10 gal of oil

 

and as i didn't want to trust my welding for all the pressure i used a 16 inch wide i beam and cut out the web from the middle welded plate on top of what i kept to reinforce it and built it from there surplus centered the cylinder and most other parts and came in under budget by a bit

 

it did take me more than a year to complete but then it was not my only project at the time :)

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I agree with simplicity is better. If its any consilation, my father is helping me with the project and he in the past 20 years has built several Late Model race cars from the ground up. 2 being track champion. The guy who has done big welding is a fulltime fabricator, who CNC's (his own cnc) parts for Nascar and other racing divisions out of aluminum, steel and tungsten (for weight differential). This guy also builds racecars from the ground up in the Late Model divisions.

 

I understand this is a far cry from building a press, but i have confidence in their planning and oversight.

Edited by Daniel Cauble

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For reference the fabricator is Randy Mcnaulty.

 

Edit: and i am not saying this to back people away from suggestions. As a matter of fact if you see something blaringly wrong, i implore ou to say something. I only mention their background so no one assumes that i am just winging this without any considerations.

Edited by Daniel Cauble

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I just wanted to say that anything I say is meant to help, and I'm sure that goes for anyone else on the forum. If I came of in a negative way I apologize, it was not my intention. I have no doubt you can build a press the way you want to. Where there is a will there is a way. That's how I see it, and that's how I to where I am. I'm not saying I'm a master bladesmith or even a successful bladesmith. But, a bladesmith no less. I feel this forum should be a brotherhood or a fellowship of like minded individuals coming together to help each other, if not whats the point right?

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Not at all Matt, i know your intentions. I just felt obliged to explain my situation a little deeper. I hail from another forum with similar interests as this one amd if i didnt explain myself this way, i would have had a dozen doom and gloom posts in response. It was simply a force of habit. Not saying those other guys are bad, on the contrary, they just assume most people put their ideas before safety, which probably isnt too far from the truth.

 

I do have some questions about the hydraulic cylinder. Im assuming there is a formula to find max tonnage on a cylinder with given attributes. I found a nice 4" bore/12" stroke with a 1.5" shaft cylinder that has a max operating psi of 3000psi. Found it on surpluscenter. It does not state the max tonnage of this cylinder. Looking for the 26tons that the original press pushes.

Edited by Daniel Cauble

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man, I wish I had that chart when I began building my press. I think the big thing to keep in mind with a hydraulic system is to match and balance all components. Your reservoir has to match the gallons per minute your pump will pump and your cylinder needs to be able to handle the pressure of your pump, and your electric motor has to have enough power to push all of it. From what I have read, and gathered from other people, one really needs at least a 10 hp electric motor to really push the system to its optimal performance. I got my motor for free, so I'm not going to invest in a more powerful motor just yet.

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Yea, my family business has an account at a hydraulic company. If i cannot wrap my mind around this i may have to employ their expertise.

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I noticed Tommy McNabb welded his press. Why not bolt it using 3/4 inch grade 5 bolts? It looks like their shear strength is 30k.

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Bill, I am going to employ both welding as well as 3/4" bolts top and bottom. If you search my posts about my press you will see what I mean. I had to shim the gap for the slide so that there is just enough tolerance that the slide goes up and down without too much play. I drilled 1" holes for the 3/4" bolts so that I could adjust the pillars to make them plumb, and parallel to each other.

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Matt, It seems that if you had any play with your 3/4 bolt in a 1 inch hole you would not have contact of all three members with your bolt shaft. I think in reality you would be relying on your welds for shear strength as opposed to the bolts. If you do not have access to a milling machine to accurately align your holes you could make a jig to drill them. Another approach would be to tack weld the frame and then drill your holes. Afterward grind out your welds. Then if you wanted to ad the welds pull your top and bottom horizontal pieces apart like the hydraulics would do to make sure your bolts are fully engaged then weld it up.

 

I am by no means an engineer, but that seems to make since to me.

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yeah slop in the holes will be taken up by the pressure also grade 5 is for wimps :P

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Unfortunately Bill, I don't have access to mill or any thing like that. I just used my small drill press and drilled each hole one at a time. I had no way to match drill all the holes, I would have had to basically put the whole press in a jig to try to match drill the pillars and the center plates. And the canter plates already had 1.5" holes when I bought them. More than anything the play in the holes helped my hold everything together while I got all the parts aligned,, square and plumb. I will rely on the welds to hold everything together, and the bolts will just add a little strength to the whole unit.

I didn't used grade 8 or grade 9 bolts because they were not available at the hardware store where I live. And I'm not going to spend $10 per bolt, not including washers and nuts.

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My hat is off to you. That is a lot of work with a small drill press. Using the bolts is a great way to line things up. If anything, the bolts are a good backup should a weld fail.

 

My welding is not that good so if I ever tackled this sort of thing I would probably bolt the frame together. I am lucky to have a vertical mill.

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*Snagged a 6"x6"x120" .250 wall square tubing for $140 at a local steel supply. Thats nearly half the cost of online suppliers not including shipping.

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I would suggest dropping your intended tonnage to 24 or 25 tons so that you don't have to run at 3000 psi. By many accounts 2500 is significantly safer for a build your own machine.

I don't know what the rod size is on the cylinder you are speaking of, but with a 5" bore and 1.75" rod, 2500 psi will yield 49,087 lbs. push force...

Another important thing is you ram speed... you want at least 1+ inches per second, and two is better. You will want to select a pump accordingly.

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Thank you for that info. Something like that may be the way I go. Kind of hit a delay since buying my KMG though. May ramp back up in a few months.

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So, will those be the main pillars for the press? One on each side? Also, was the place where you got the steel a place where you could walk around and look at what they had? Like I said before, if you can buy "surplus" or used steel you will save a lot of money. The place I go for steel has a large outside area that is all surplus. About 95% of the steel in my press is surplus steel. I don't know how far away you are but maybe I could try to find some deals for you. Just an idea, I like to help my fellow smiths when I can.

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Yes as the leg pillars. Im pretty sure uncle al only uses the one larger leg as a reservoir. I want to use both legs as the same size and pipe them together at the bottom so instead of 9-10gal i can have 15-20.

 

Yes i can walk around this place. Its a new steel supply. I wanted to order this piece specifically from them so i had the right size and dimensions. I have 2 other scrap yards for the rest. We can compare oranges to oranges once i get back to building this. Im open for all ideas and suggestions.

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