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Steel for press construction


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So, my dream of one day making damascus blades seems to be more possible with the addition of a press.  I'm thinking to make one like some of you guys have.  Looks like it involves the purchase of a 20 ton air over hydraulic press from Harbor Freight, and the construction of a frame.  I believe that I'll be able to obtain most if not all of the steel for the press from scraps from our machine shop here at work.  We make print apply systems, and they have the applicators on these super strong bases.  Sometimes parts from the bases gets scrapped, so I can get a couple of them pretty easily.  The nice part is I would probably keep the T's in them to use for the sides of the press, saving me from having to get those pieces welded.  It's pretty thick square steel.....not sure what kind (but I could find out from our machine shop) and they also have solid scraps, too, that could probably be used for make the ram.   Here's a picture of one of the stands....you can see the various steel components.  The steel on the base looks like 3 1/2" x 2 1/2".  Thoughts on using this?   To me it seems ideal....AND the price is right, too!

                                                                Warner

 

Applicator Stand.jpg

Applicator Stand 2.jpg

Edited by Warner Smith
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Looks like thin-wall tubing from here, in which case no, it won't survive.  You need heavy-wall, schedule 80 at a minimum.  Presses generate forces that tend to result in catastrophic failure with little warning, even the little ones, because in a shop environment you usually can't hear the telltale creaking of iminent failure.  

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I really don't know much about the mini-presses folks have built, but on fully hydraulic ones 1/4" wall tubing is common.  It is also always gussetted with 1/2" to 1" plate everywhere there is a weld.  And that's on a 20 ton cylinder.  Have you read the pinned thread on these mini-presses?

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