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Thunder

My Mini Hydraulic Press

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First I would like thank thunder for starting this thread. Also a Thanks goes to Ken Kelly for share his with Iforgeiron's forum page. When I first saw it, I said to myself, self you gotta have one of them. So I built this version of it. Here few pictures of the build and finished press. The blade on the top anvil is used for press brake, when you flip the top over. I haven't done any hot with yet but look forward tring out. There's a link at bottom to photobucket album. Lots pictures there. So take a look and see what you think. BTW it works great so far. I've done some bending with brake. Pictures of lower die for bending are in the album.

 

Cut pieces uprights, base,upper& lower anvils

mini_press_build_001.jpg

 

Angle ready to weld for uprights

mini_press_build_002.jpg

 

Base ready to weld feet on the ends channel

mini_press_build_003.jpg

 

Underside of the base

mini_press_build_004.jpg

 

Finished press

mini_press_build_022.jpg

 

 

Mini Press Album

 

Comments welcome good or bad!!

 

Larry

 

Excellent walkthrough ... i have just one question... whats that silvery module sitting on the jack ? where the tube goes in ?

 

-vids-

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Excellent walkthrough ... i have just one question... whats that silvery module sitting on the jack ? where the tube goes in ?

 

-vids-

 

Vihalvor

It is a H.F. Air over Hydraulic jack. It is not a conversion; the silver module is the air motor that runs the jack. HF number - 95553.

here is a link to see the jack: 20 Ton Air/Over Hydraulic Jack

Looks like you have a good start on your press.

Hope this helps answer the question.

 

T. A. toler

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Vihalvor

It is a H.F. Air over Hydraulic jack. It is not a conversion; the silver module is the air motor that runs the jack. HF number - 95553.

here is a link to see the jack: 20 Ton Air/Over Hydraulic Jack

Looks like you have a good start on your press.

Hope this helps answer the question.

 

T. A. toler

 

hmm... thats a challenge, i think .. havent seeen ANYTHING like that in Norway... but .. my mecchanic brother tells me he will be able to make a mechanic solution to a manual 20T jack :)

 

-vids-

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Vihalvor

It is a H.F. Air over Hydraulic jack. It is not a conversion; the silver module is the air motor that runs the jack. HF number - 95553.

here is a link to see the jack: 20 Ton Air/Over Hydraulic Jack

Looks like you have a good start on your press.

Hope this helps answer the question.

 

T. A. toler

 

yeah uhm .. looked for an air/over hydraulic jack in Norway.. cheapest i found was a 20 ton ... at about 1000USD ...

hmmm.. the serach continues ( unless my brothers solution to it works out :P )

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At a knife gathering in Ohio I saw someone selling these. Anyone happen to know anyonje who might sell one?

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I finished my press but the jack does not seem to be as powerful as it should be. It is having trouble with 3/8" W1 at 2100 degrees. I read the part about bleeding the system but really did not understand. I pulled the rubber plug and pumped the jack, no fluid came out. Came someone tell me what I am actually supposed to do and where do I add the fluid?

 

Many thanks!

 

 

Seth

Edited by sethhoward

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Just wanted to add I do feel air pulsing from around the area of the silver air motor area of the jack. I do not know if this is normal or not.

 

 

Seth

Edited by sethhoward

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Seth - The pressing area of the dies determines the pressure exerted. My dies are 2” wide that gives a good amount of force, however if your dies are 4” across then you get about ½ the amount of pressure.

The air motor has a discharge port where one would feel air escaping. Air shouldn’t be leaking from other areas. Remember this is a hobby press, it’s not going to have the force of one of the $4,000 monsters.

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Thunder thanks for answering.

 

My dies are only 2" wide.

 

Air comes out of an area that looks like a filter and out of a small hole at the bottom.

 

Do I add fluid in the same hole the stopper comes out of?

 

 

 

Seth

 

 

 

Seth - The pressing area of the dies determines the pressure exerted. My dies are 2” wide that gives a good amount of force, however if your dies are 4” across then you get about ½ the amount of pressure.

The air motor has a discharge port where one would feel air escaping. Air shouldn’t be leaking from other areas. Remember this is a hobby press, it’s not going to have the force of one of the $4,000 monsters.

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Seth - here is a link to a PDF manual for the jack, look under purging air, page 7 - PDF Manual - this should have instructions. I have never purged my jack so I am not sure. Hope this helps.

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Thanks again.

 

 

Seth

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I have a few questions/concerns on this setup.

 

I have been told that it is not practical or possible to forge with a press of this size and it's dangerous. So is anyone using this press to make damascus (laminate or wootz)? If so would you be so kind as to post some good detailed photo's?

 

As for safety factors goes has anyone experienced any failures, blowouts or anything like that?

 

I also wanted to ask here to see what I can find out about grain displacement patterns using a mini press vs using say a larger commercial press.

 

Ed

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look over these videos they may help answer your questions;

 

youtube mini press

 

Failures will depend on how good your welds are, your design, and materials.

I do not recommend pressing on room temperature steel, only press on steel that is at forging temp

Hot steel is softer than cold steel and mashes easier.

 

20 tons is 20 tons, it doesn’t matter if it’s a 6 foot tall press or a 2 foot tall press,

However keep your die sizes small, as that 20 tons is spread over large dies

Large dies will reduce its pressure by the surface area of the dies.

Always inspect your press for deformation of the uprights, and horizontal bars,

I expect deformation and I am always watching for it to occur. When I see evidence of it, I beef up that area.

I hope this helps these presses as everything we do in forging is very dangerous – keep this in mind.

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The real issue is speed. These kind of presses will work to make damascus, but you don't get much work per heat. A press always has the problem that the dies suck the heat out of the work really fast, which is why you mostly can't get the press to work on thin cross sections (mine won't squish down to 1/4" on the flat dies, by the time the ram gets there, the steel is too cold to work, and my press is fast. 3 inches a second).

 

OTOH, a jack press like this is cheap. The jack is less than $100, so if you already have a compressor, you are ready to go.

 

You do want to be careful about alignment of the jack and the dies and the frame. Everything needs to be square, really, really square. You don't want the work piece or the die or the jack to come shooting out of the frame under a couple of tons of pressure. Over build EVERYTHING!

 

Geoff

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The real issue is speed. These kind of presses will work to make damascus, but you don't get much work per heat. A press always has the problem that the dies suck the heat out of the work really fast, which is why you mostly can't get the press to work on thin cross sections (mine won't squish down to 1/4" on the flat dies, by the time the ram gets there, the steel is too cold to work, and my press is fast. 3 inches a second).

 

OTOH, a jack press like this is cheap. The jack is less than $100, so if you already have a compressor, you are ready to go.

 

You do want to be careful about alignment of the jack and the dies and the frame. Everything needs to be square, really, really square. You don't want the work piece or the die or the jack to come shooting out of the frame under a couple of tons of pressure. Over build EVERYTHING!

 

Geoff

 

Actually that is probably the best response I have received to date. The speed is faster than hammering by hand yes? I am not sure if anyone mentioned it but it occurred to me that stamps into the blade would be better/easier to use in a press like this than the electrochemical method. Also I have some round stock to flatten out into usable billets that would take forever by hand. So I think im going to work on making me one of these.

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It's not a direct one-to-one. On thinish stock (like 1/4") I find that either a hand hammer or my power hammer works better than the press for making dimensional changes. Much past an inch and moving it with a hand hammer is out of the question, unless you have a striker. A bottle jack press will be good for breaking down big stock, particularly if you build a drawing die (a narrow face designed to pinch the steel in small bites). It will work for damascus, just not as well as a big press. It will be too slow to get more than a couple of squishes per heat. I think that thing about these presses is that people get tired of the limitations and move to a faster, motor driven press.

 

It is a good tool, and I built a jack press for marking my work. It will work, but you have to bcarefulll not to kink the piece you are marking. I now use an old pantograph engraver to mark my stuff, but even that takes a bit of skill to use

 

Geoff

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Picked up bottle jack at HF, they are on sale thru Friday 12/14.

$70 minus 20% coupon for only $56 out the door. This will be my first project of the new year.

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I've been looking at this thread for over almost 2years. I finally have the jack and a lot of steel but I dunno about my welding. Only because I'm only using a little mig. I have the Hobart Handler 140. I havent had any of my welds fail(YET), I've welded things that are way thicker than it's rated for, but i chamfer the pieces and go slow and make multiple passes. What do you guys think that are using full power welders? Should I attempt this or should i find another welder? I worry about hiring out the job since I really want it perfectly square and plumb. I personally trust my welds with this little welder but I've never had the torture test of a 20 ton ram on them.

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I've been looking at this thread for over almost 2years. I finally have the jack and a lot of steel but I dunno about my welding. Only because I'm only using a little mig. I have the Hobart Handler 140. I havent had any of my welds fail(YET), I've welded things that are way thicker than it's rated for, but i chamfer the pieces and go slow and make multiple passes. What do you guys think that are using full power welders? Should I attempt this or should i find another welder? I worry about hiring out the job since I really want it perfectly square and plumb. I personally trust my welds with this little welder but I've never had the torture test of a 20 ton ram on them.

I am not sure if a Mig will hold it or not. I have always stick welded. You could tack it all up square and then have it stick welded, or mig it - and be very very careful until you are sure they will hold.

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Here are a couple of videos of the press in action, these are quite old and the die sets are primitive.

But it will give you a general idea about what it can do.

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I welded mine with a welder similar to that, it was a miller 115v machine (don't remember the model). I used my press for a year or so with no problems until I got a log splitter and converted that.

 

Matt

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I welded mine with a welder similar to that, it was a miller 115v machine (don't remember the model). I used my press for a year or so with no problems until I got a log splitter and converted that.

 

Matt

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Hello all, this is my first post, I have been keeping an eye on this thread for awhile. Also I have been a welder for awhile. You can weld up to .25 of an inch with those 115 welders, joint prep is the primary consideration, grind all mill scale off, stringer beads with temper bead, as opposed to fat beads, your bead width should not exceed .375"(for strongest weld), flux core will allow more penetration than inert gmaw. Straight Co2 will offer better penetration than the 75/25 mix, preheating will help as well. Even gusset if you must.

Thanks for the awesome work you all have done on these presses. I have yet to start mine, but I will when circumstances allow .

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