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My Mini Hydraulic Press


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reefera4m

The original press was made from scrap that I had lying around my shop, that scrap happened to be 2” square tubing. You cannot tell from the graphics, but all of the tubing wasn’t even all the same wall thickness. The beauty of this press is what I presented and offered to the group was a concept; ever one that has made this press has added or subtracted their own ideas. Every press is just a little different, everyone trying their ideas and then presenting the ideas to the group and making the concept not mine but ours.

 

Try your ideas and then let us all know what you found out. Just remember - its little, but it still exerts 20 tons of pressure on the frame and components. Twenty tons is enough power to hurt you - really quick. I always make test runs on a new press before I get my face and body in harm’s way. Test the press then check your welds and determine if your bracing is deforming or moving off center. A bad weld or a frame that is not square will fail. I suggest stick welding; I don’t trust mig or wire welders they just do not seem to penetrate deep enough. Your experience may be different.

 

Good luck and tell us what you find.

 

T. A. Toler

 

Thanks for the feedback - hard to tell your press was made from scrap!

 

I've been making/fabricating this and that for a while and I've learned (sometimes the 'hard' way :P) , to test and validate. I'd planned to use the same 2" square tubing (1/4" wall) since I already have enough for the uprights. Since I don't have a stick welder, only a 220V Millermatic 175, I've learned to make some accomodations. While it will weld 1/4" plate single pass, I find it produces the best welds if I bevel the ends of the work pieces. Cranked up to near max for .030 wire, you still have to be diligent in your welding technique. But I've successfully welded a 12,000 lb dead lift receiver hitch with this machine. To be sure, I had the prototype tested to 15,000 lbs and then cut it up to further evaluate the welds. That taught me more about making proper welds that anything up to that point.

 

I've also been concerned about getting the pieces square and plumb so that the bottom ram bar moves up and down smoothly. To that end I'm first fabricating a squaring jig to hold the pieces in place. I've tried corner magnets, metal squares, etc but I seem to inevitibly pull the pieces of kilter when welding - even though I tack weld first. I have a friend that build the type of jig I'm making and it has a number of heavy 'C' clamps to hold the pieces to be welded. Once clamped in place it's almost like its already welded - you can't move the pieces with a hammer!

 

I've also got a few ideas for some options. When I get it completed I'll post them.

 

I'm almost tempted to wait a few more months to build my press - there are so many grat ideas that constantly show up that I'm afraid I'll miss something too good to leave out:D .

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I though a few of you might enjoy this little project. here is a graphic of my mini press, (the beer is unopend and for scale):   I can get about 5-6 crunchs from one billet heat. Cost about 70.0

I used 1/4" wall 2" x 2" for the uprights. I would think that you would want to go with 1/4" wall. 20 ton is a lot of pressure. 2" x 2" will also give you a little more surface area (hammer & anvi

laughing, thanks wish I got a commission.

Posted Images

Well, I finally finished my mini-press (well except for some more enhancements that come to mind).

 

Mostly just a copy, thanks for the original idea Thunder!

 

My Mini-Press

 

Some of my modifications:

 

Quick Change Die Holder - Slip in one side and the center

Die Holder

 

Long 'T'- Handle

'T' - Handle

 

'T' - Handle - Tension Pin and Set Screw to hold tight

Tension Pin and Set screw

 

Extendible Tool Rest

Tool Rest

 

Tool Rest/Die at Top

Top

 

Rear Hold Down

Hold Down

 

Tool Tray

Tool Tray

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Well, I finally finished my mini-press (well except for some more enhancements that come to mind).

 

Mostly just a copy, thanks for the original idea Thunder!

 

My Mini Press

Uprights - 2"x2"x1/4"

Base plate 16z" wide x 10" deep x 3/8"

Base internal (4) 2"x2"x14" - 10" long

Top Plate - 8"x10"x1/4"

 

Bottom Die Holder - 2"x2"x1/4" - 8" long

Sides - 2-1/2" x 12" x 1/4"

 

Top Die Holder - 2"x2"x1/4" - 8" long

Sides - 2-1/2" x 12" x 3/8"

(2) Grade #8 1/2" bolts

 

Dies - #1 = Plate 2"x3"x3/8 plate, 1"x1"2" mild steel

Dies - #2 = 3/4"x2" Steel bar (lawn tractor axle stee)

 

 

Press-Front.jpg

 

Some of my modifications:

 

Quick Change Die Holder - Slip in one side and the center

Press-DieHolder.jpg

 

Long 'T'- Handle

Press-LongT-handle.jpg

 

Hold Down Pin and 'T' - Handle - Tension Pin and Set Screw to hold tight

Press-Handle.jpg

 

Extendible Tool Rest

Press-ToolRest.jpg

 

Tool Rest/Die at Top

Press-Up.jpg

 

Rear Hold Down

Press-RearHold-Down.jpg

 

Tool Tray

Press-ToolTray.jpg

Edited by reefera4m
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  • 4 weeks later...

I bought a 20 and 30 ton jack, the 30 ton jack is about half as fast as the 20 ton version. I'm going to build two presses and see how I can use both in different operations.

 

20 tons is the compromise between power and speed,

the more tonnage the less speed.

 

T. A. Toler

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By Thunder that's a pretty cool and industrious rig. I would strongly suggest adding in a piece between the upper and lower bridge pieces at the top, linking them together will give twice the strength, someday you may automate it, keep up the good work.

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By Thunder that's a pretty cool and industrious rig. I would strongly suggest adding in a piece between the upper and lower bridge pieces at the top, linking them together will give twice the strength, someday you may automate it, keep up the good work.

 

 

There is an 8" length of 2"x2" 1/4" wall square tubing between the side of the top anvil (bridge?)and the same on the bottom piece. The top side of the top anvil has heavy weld beads as does the bottom of the bottom anvil. I used small tack welds on the opposite sides so as not to interfere with the dies/die plates.

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hello all I have been watching this thread and i been wanting to make a press, Has anyone had any problems useing thin wall squre tubeing? Thanks you for your time.

 

In my original press, I made it entirely out of scrap square tubing lying around my shop.

There are at least two different wall thickness, neither of which are 1/4. I would recommend that you use 1/4” , from a safety minded point of view. Much stronger frame.

T. A. Toler

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Here is my frame that my buddy Gudy van Poppel welded for me. My weld will never hold 20 to 30 tons, so he offered to do it for me. I painted it today, needs a second coat. Next I have to make a foot pedal and a fixture for the downward handle. I'm pretty impressed so far, it's looking really good.

 

When finished I will post some movies, one with the 20 tons jack and one with the 30 ton.

 

Foto-7OZMGA8C.jpg

 

Foto-7FOKJFQL.jpg

Greetings Toni

 

 

http://www.eastvillageknives.com/

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Eastvillage, reefera4m

Very nice jacks, very clean machines. One note: Watch the bolts and pins. If they start bending or deforming you may have to go with a thicker diameter, maybe not, just keep an eye on them, occasionally pull them out and inspect them for cracks etc. I had some bending on the first bolts I used and moved up to a larger diameter. Safety first, both of your machines look very well done.

T. A. Toler

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thank you,thank you all for such great ideas/machines,we really have alot of talented/creative folks posting on this board... i have a question... would be be possible,if you had plenty of air to use 2 of these hf 20ton jacks ???? could they be "tuned" to "run" at the same speed ? would it even be helpful to have a second jack?

All these things shall love do unto you that you may know the secrets of your heart,and in that knowledge become a fragment of Life's heart...

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I just built the frame for this press,but I used 3 inch tubing instead.My question is about die size.I had thought about making my flatting dies 2x3 instead of 2x2.2 inches wide and 3 inches from front to back.Would this be ok or do you think i should stick to 2x2 for maximum force per square inch.I wasnt sure if the extra length would be worth the force i would lose.Thanks

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Eastvillage - 1" bolt is good, couldn’t tell from the graphic, not sure what mine are, I broke the first set and went to a large set, mine are on the ram bar, my top member is welded.

 

 

NESM - good idea, bottom member is just there to reduce the frame depth, bottom member is two 1" X 2" solid bars welded together, plenty strong.

 

blacklionforge - go for it, I've thought about that experiment myself, if you can make it work that would be very cool indeed.

 

Casey -

The only way to know is to experiment. There are a lot of variables in these presses, maximum air pressure, frame flex, etc. I think my current flattening dies are about 3” X 4”, I have a couple of variations. One set has a depth limiter so I can get a pretty perfect 1/4" thickness, it is 2" deep. I very rarely squash anything wider than 1 1/2".

Pressure is the ratio of force to the surface area over which it is exerted. If you tried to press the full with and depth of 3 X 4 then it’s going to be a struggle.

 

Hope I got everyones questions answered and didnt miss anyone.

T. A. Toler

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I agree with Thunder as to die sizes. The more of my 2"x3" flattening die that contact the steel the less effect it has. I've made some smaller dies and 'drawing' dies from 3/4" round bar (actually tool steel shaft). This works great for initialy drawing out thicker material. I switch to a smaller 2" long x 1" wide flattening die next and finish with the 2"x3".

 

I use 1/2" grade 8 bolts on the top member - so far I haven't noticed any distortion at all. I've disassembled the press 3 or 4 times to check an all the pieces, especially the welds. Guess I must've gotten lucky with my welds :D .

 

I've also not noticed any difference in air compressor contribution. My 220v 7hp/60gal/150psi compressor doesn't work any better or any faster than my buddies' Harbor Freight 1-3/4 HP, 5 Gallon, 115 PSI Twin Tank Air Compressor that cost $89.99 You would think it would but it doesn't <_<

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  • 4 weeks later...

I know nobody's posted in here in a while, but I just found it and had a quick question. I know somebody mentioned that they were gonna try a regular non-air compressor jack, but never saw anything about it afterwards. The reason I'm askin is that I've got an air compressor, but it only gets up to about 100 psi on a good day, and buying another one plus the jack really isn't an option right now :( I know it would be a little bit slower and more work than one with an air compressor, but it sure beats the heck out of doin by hand :blink:

Thanks for postin so many great designs ya'll, definintly got me thinkin

 

Chris

I don't suffer from Insanity, I enjoy every minute of it

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I know nobody's posted in here in a while, but I just found it and had a quick question. I know somebody mentioned that they were gonna try a regular non-air compressor jack, but never saw anything about it afterwards. The reason I'm askin is that I've got an air compressor, but it only gets up to about 100 psi on a good day, and buying another one plus the jack really isn't an option right now :( I know it would be a little bit slower and more work than one with an air compressor, but it sure beats the heck out of doin by hand :blink:

Thanks for postin so many great designs ya'll, definintly got me thinkin

 

Chris

 

I haven't seen a mechanical version of the press.

But if you can make it work we would love to see one.

T. A. Toler

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...

I know nobody's posted in here in a while, but I just found it and had a quick question. I know somebody mentioned that they were gonna try a regular non-air compressor jack, but never saw anything about it afterwards. The reason I'm askin is that I've got an air compressor, but it only gets up to about 100 psi on a good day, and buying another one plus the jack really isn't an option right now :( I know it would be a little bit slower and more work than one with an air compressor, but it sure beats the heck out of doin by hand :blink:

Thanks for postin so many great designs ya'll, definintly got me thinkin

 

Chris

 

 

Like I posted in an earlier reply, the size of the compressor doesn't seem to make much difference, the air just operates the 'handle'. The only real difference is speed and ease of use. I would be very difficult to hand jack a 20 ton bottle jack fast enough and handle the steel at the same time. The compressed air system, while relatively slow, is much faster than jacking by hand. Even with the air-over-hydraulic jack you can only get 2, maybe three, presses before the steel cools.

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Like I posted in an earlier reply, the size of the compressor doesn't seem to make much difference, the air just operates the 'handle'. The only real difference is speed and ease of use. I would be very difficult to hand jack a 20 ton bottle jack fast enough and handle the steel at the same time. The compressed air system, while relatively slow, is much faster than jacking by hand. Even with the air-over-hydraulic jack you can only get 2, maybe three, presses before the steel cools.

It's there that the compressor matters, over-size the hose and valve of the jack, set the regulator to the high limit of the jack, set the comp much higher to ensure you always operate at the fastest rate, add a pair of heavy springs to speed up the back stroke...

This way I can squeeze 15 to 20 times a 2"x2"x6" 'Ws' billet and keep it hot enough to draw it without shearing the welds...

These jacks need a little tweaking to get WAY-faster ;)

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  • 2 weeks later...

excellent thread. I've enjoyed all the pictures and information.

I will build one of these and along with yalls ideas , I can save myself alot of time And pain. This is my first post on here. But have been lurking For along time. This a great site And can see my skill level improving just by reading Your post.

Thanks for all the input and pictures.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Very nice machine!

Thunder

T.A. Toler

 

 

I love this idea.. this is something i could make at the farm back home.. we have most of the steel available, i know.. BUT ... im not a mechanic, so .. could i ask someone to explain to detail to me how the motorization of this works ? .. the frame and the hydraulic press is fully understandable to me .. just not,, how you go from the pumpbar to a semi-automatic, action....

 

hope that made sense to you guys :P .. im sure i can make it once i get explained HOW to... i am no mechanic, but i fox my own car, rebuilt my moms house ( parts of it ) and understand mechanics quite well.. i think :P

 

-vids-

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