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billyO

Forging press suggestions?

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Hello all.  I hope the fall is treating everyone well.

 

Well I've finally moved to Portland and have a place to set up my forge, grinder, etc... and am in the market for a hydraulic press and I'm hoping that someone has experience with various models to give us some suggestions.  The owner of the house is also a blacksmith and she's been thinking about getting a Coal Ironworks 25-ton press, but hasn't looked at others, such as the Gilmore presses or Anyang presses.  She did mention that she didn't like the press she had to use on Forged in Fire, but can't remember what model that was.  

 

Any un-biased opinions are welcome.

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disclaimer.... I sell anyang in the UK.......

 

The presses really are very good, they use a different type of hydraulic pump, 'constant load, variable displacement' - so very quick under light load, and a progressive slow down as the tonnage increases. There is a feedback loop in the circuit, that adjusts the displacement of the pump. This makes it more like an auto transmission, rather than a 2 speed with a massive gap in the gears.

 

Try and have a look at one, they act like presses with 3x the horsepower under a lot of forging conditions! 

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Alec steele has an anyang press. Liam hoffman (Hoffman  blacksmithing) has a big blu. old hickory forge just got the uncle Al's press. And clean slate forge has a coal ironworks. All can be seen on YouTube in action. Well old hickory forge just got his so there might not be a lot of action shots but he did do one video on it.

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I don't have experience with presses, But I have heard from a lot of people that the coal iron works 16 ton press is amazing. If you are on instagram, Paxton at 50.50Forge uses it to forge his damascus billets. He posts a lot of videos of him drawing out some massive billets on it. 

Edited by Conner Michaux

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I have used most of these.  The thing I don't like about the Uncle Al is that the moving die resets to full open when you let off the pedal.  This means that you can't use it as a clamp, which I find handy.  It may be that there is a way to change that, but the one on the FiF set works.

 

Mine is home built.  30 ton, 15 hp 3 ph, 12 gallons a minute.  It's a single stage pump and it's fast (for a hydraulic press) at 3 inches a second.

 

I don't have a gauge on mine, but I'm betting that I hardly ever use the full 30 tons it is spec'd for.  15 tons is probably plenty.

 

I'm North of you, (east of Seattle) but if you want to come have a look, feel free to make a play date

 

 

Geoff

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I can't really give an input on a wide variety of different presses, but I can at least give my two cents on mine. I have a Coal Ironworks 16-ton press. I got it specifically because it could run on a 110V extension cord and it wasn't too expensive. It's well made, and even though they have an upgraded hydraulics package to make it run faster, I don't think I'd want it since it already runs at a good speed for me. It does exactly what I need it to do, squeeze hot metal, and it holds up. If their 16-ton model is any indication, I'd bet their 25-ton one is just as well made.

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2 hours ago, Geoff Keyes said:

I'm North of you, (east of Seattle) but if you want to come have a look, feel free to make a play date

Thanks for the generous offer, Geoff, but unfortunately for me (well in this specific case, anyway) I moved to Portland last weekend

 

2 hours ago, Geoff Keyes said:

15 tons is probably plenty.

For what I want to do, probably.  But my landlord wants a bigger press because she makes hammers as well as knives.

Edited by billyO

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3 hours ago, Jeremy Blohm said:

All can be seen on YouTube in action.

Thanks for the suggestion, Jeremy.  We'll check them out.

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