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Log Splitter Forge Press Build WIP

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Hi all,

I'm working on turning a 22 ton forest king log splitter into a forging press. I bought this one last fall but never got around to converting it. I've wanted a press since I started making knives. I considered purchasing one however it is a little out of my price range. I have the steel, tools and (hopefully) the enginuety to make my own. 


I bought three log splitters before I found one that I liked. The reason it took me that many tries is because the previous splitter had too much wobble in the guides. This one is adjustable (I can make my own tighter guide if I need to) because it unbolts from the I beam. I'm planning on cutting the wedge off, welding a big steel cylinder to it to add support and then adding the top die. The bottom die will be made separately and then welded to the machine. I don't have a big enough welder so I'm going to tack the prices up and bring it over to a friend's shop to use an industrial welder. 


I have drawn up dozens of prints for this build and these seem to fit the best. I have the prints and parts labled to help avoid confusing myself. My only dilemma is with die retention. I've seen guys use a peice of steel that acts as a flap to hold the die in. I've also seen the same flaps bend over the years of use. I'll have to do some more research before I pull the trigger on a certain design.


I have the bottom die holder almost completely cut out and the top die will be next. These are my goals for this press.

1. Be able to draw out billets of damascus, break down tool steel round stock and make hammers.

2. Have a small foot print.

3. Have universal dies that are easy to make.

I will leave the gas engine for the time being because I don't have enough electricity to the shop to run a 220 motor.











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  • 2 weeks later...

I tacked up the die guides. I'm going to use my neighbors welder to do most of the metal gluin' because mine doesn't have enough voltage. 




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I got the press upright. It works well. I was able to crush a peice of 1 ½ inch rounds took down to about ⅜ inch flat in one heat. I'm still working on the pedal but the handle works well for it. I need to make a top die retainer. I'm out of ideas for that as well.

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11 hours ago, Emery White said:

top die retainer.


Most people either use a pin that drops in from the top or a tab that rotates down.  Think simple.  Either drill a hole through the die holder such that it will capture the die with a pin, or drill and tap a small hole like 1/4-20 in the front of the die holder and bolt a rectangular piece of steel to it so it hangs down and hold the die in place, but can be rotated up to remove the die.

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what did you make you dies out of? looks like it works good...... it is fun to squeeze thick to thin isn't it? my experience is that will really distort the proportions of the pattern .....I have found taking 1/8" in bites at a time works best for keeping the proportions of the pattern intact when drawing out a billet of damascus.

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6 hours ago, Alan Longmire said:

Think simple.

Here's pics of my setup.  I put retainers on both top and bottom.  The bottom die has a tapered square pin welded to the handle that drops in the clip



Edited by billyO
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RIP Bear....be free!


as always

peace and love




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