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Pressing again for the first time


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Well I finally stuck a crowbar in my wallet and got a riverside press (Uncle Al's).  I thought I would let people know what he told me.  The cost for one right now is 4100, but the price is likely to go up before long.  This is because the price of steel is really rising.  As for the press itself I have one thing to say.... It will squish!

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Looks awesome, and I’m certain it is worth every cent! Happy squishing!  Clint

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I think you'll really enjoy it. I've had mine for about 5 years now. Worth every penny. I went with Als after researching  different  blade sites, seeing it in action on FIF and using a couple of hammers. In part my decision was based on  my shop floor needing reinforcing to handle a hammer. A press does move metal differently than a hammer. It will take you a little longer to move metal since the press movement.  Als has two stages. You'll get an initial moving of steel then slight  pause  as the secondary  squeeze kicks in.  I like that  aspect as it allows me to make damascus and govern the compression to limit distorting the pattern.  Down side is it is noisy. But I can live with that as it saves my arm.

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  • 5 weeks later...

 

On 5/1/2021 at 7:40 AM, Jonathanbradshaw said:

I’ve been in the fence about ordering this press vs the coal iron 16 ton press. Any advice on how you picked one out?

 

Jonathan, I picked this one out for several reasons.  One is that per ton of force this was the cheapest I could find.  Also it has a reputation for lasting a long time even with heavy use.  I have never heard anyone complain theirs was badly made.  Plus it is really easy to make dies for it.  And I am not a fabricator.  Plus the coal iron is a C frame.  Others may correct me, but from what I've researched the H frame tends to run a little more true over time.  Not to mention it is very easy to take care of and maintain.  The only down side is like Vlegski said, it is noisy.  However, I don't know how loud the Coal Iron one is so cannot really give an opinion there.  Hope this helps!

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On 6/1/2021 at 12:50 AM, Tim Cook said:

 

 

Jonathan, I picked this one out for several reasons.  One is that per ton of force this was the cheapest I could find.  Also it has a reputation for lasting a long time even with heavy use.  I have never heard anyone complain theirs was badly made.  Plus it is really easy to make dies for it.  And I am not a fabricator.  Plus the coal iron is a C frame.  Others may correct me, but from what I've researched the H frame tends to run a little more true over time.  Not to mention it is very easy to take care of and maintain.  The only down side is like Vlegski said, it is noisy.  However, I don't know how loud the Coal Iron one is so cannot really give an opinion there.  Hope this helps!

Tim I actually ordered the Uncle Al's press last week. Same logic on the tonnage/$ and ease of fabrication for dies. What was really pulling me towards the Coal iron press was the casters since I work in a one car garage and have to be able to move things out of the way so my wife can park in the winter. I called Riverside Machine and they said they could add casters so I placed the order. 

He told me the price was going up after Blade show, so I got in right on time.

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  • 3 weeks later...

that is a great machine. It changes the scope of your work, immediately. I have used one of his presses for 10 years. Same one. The motor gives out about every 4 years. But, you can change it out in about 20 minutes. I built a little protective box to go over the motor since the ones on mine weren't tefc motors.

 

Seriously, make some dies. Also, make some spacers, so you can get stock to consistent sizes as steps in the process. I use mine every time I forge, just about. Even for making a small knife. 

 

 

 

I have, about 3 years ago, built a tire hammer at one of the Clay Spencer build gatherings. It was, I believe, $1,800 plus my own elbow grease.

 

The combination of the press and a 50lb power hammer is just about perfect. The press moves metal faster than any hammer up to about 200lb falling weight (especially if the metal is thick). When the metal is less than .5" thick, that's when the hammer really becomes needed.

 

They are a really good combination. A small Anyang would be better (not the tiny one but the one that is 30 kilos, although the tiny ones are still probably pretty cool).

 

I am rambling. You will love that machine. Good for you.

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