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My Mini Hydraulic Press


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Ken,

That is looking very good. You guys are temptng me into thinking about another project.:>(

Regards,

Fred

 

 

Fred,

 

Jump in! This one is less expensive than the KMG project and there's way less drilling and fussing. I'm really enjoying myself. T.A. Toler had one heck of a good idea when he thought this one up. I know it will be a very useful addition to my tool inventory.

 

K

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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.

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K,

I will start looking for material. I have needed a press many times at the house and did not have one.

 

Thanks again,

Fred

 

 

Fred,

 

Jump in! This one is less expensive than the KMG project and there's way less drilling and fussing. I'm really enjoying myself. T.A. Toler had one heck of a good idea when he thought this one up. I know it will be a very useful addition to my tool inventory.

 

K

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Finished all the welding on my machine today. I'll start testing it tomorrow. Here's a link to the pictures I took during the construction of Thunder's Little Jewel. http://s162.photobucket.com/albums/t248/alphairon/Press/ Dang good idea, T.A.! Thanks again for the inspiration.

 

Here's a couple of pictures of my take on the brackets for securing the dies on the anvils plus shots of the drawing and flattening dies I made over the past couple of days. The brackets are tapped 10-32. I need to make a trip to town to pick up some 1/2" socket head screws to hold the dies in place.

 

K

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wow, very well fabricated. The drawing dies look very severe, should make quick work when drawing out stuff.

 

Two months later, I'm still gathering the parts for mine :P i'm going with a belt-driven cam and an electric motor to pump the jack rather than air-compressor driven. Any thoughts on going with a combo flattening /drawing die rather than dedicated dies? I'm curious why no one went this route since you cant work overly large billets with this machine anyway?

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Any thoughts on going with a combo flattening /drawing die rather than dedicated dies? I'm curious why no one went this route since you cant work overly large billets with this machine anyway?

I did :ph34r:

And now I need to tighten the anvil guides as she rocks 'n' rolls and doesn't forge square any more so I need to forge carefully and put a pair of spacers (I use 5-10-15-20mm flat mild steel) on each side of the anvil so the ram stops parrallel to the anvil :( But my design allows for twice the misalignement ability as my anvil is also jack-mounted :P

The best place to put the metal to be squished is dead center under the jack's rod axis... Any offset and everything will tend to twist and put a lot of stress on the linear guides and bushings :angry: And they'll wear before the first billet's last weld :(

But you could super-size the uprights and guides... And need to take in consideration the poor straightness and quality of the scrap steel I used and the quite large tolerance of my assembly :blink:

You can see mine at the bottom of the first page ;)

Edited by Madmike
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YOICKS! IT WOICKS! I stress tested my press this afternoon. Lined up the jack real careful like, slid in the flattening dies, stood back as far as the hose would let me, and pulled the trigger. Nothing bent, nothing broke, nothing flew off and hit me, and all the welds held up. Didn't have time to fire up the forge and test it on hot metal though. However, I did manage to squeeze a couple of two inch sections of a 3/4" black iron pipe as flat as pancakes. Should be able to put the squeeze on hot steel too. He bottom anvil ran smooth with no hints of binding and stayed nice and level throughout the pipe squeezing episode so I'm happy. I've got some wife-inspired projects to take care of over the next few days so maybe I can heat up the forge Saturday.

 

K

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Ken, it looks exceptional. I have been wondering why the jack is on the bottom. If it were on top pushing down, wouldn't it keep any junk and scales from falling into something it shouldn't fall on? Wouldn't the return springs pull the shaft and die up and out of the way?

Regards,

Fred

PS I am keeping an eye on HF for the 20 ton to go on sale!

 

 

 

 

YOICKS! IT WOICKS! I stress tested my press this afternoon. Lined up the jack real careful like, slid in the flattening dies, stood back as far as the hose would let me, and pulled the trigger. Nothing bent, nothing broke, nothing flew off and hit me, and all the welds held up. Didn't have time to fire up the forge and test it on hot metal though. However, I did manage to squeeze a couple of two inch sections of a 3/4" black iron pipe as flat as pancakes. Should be able to put the squeeze on hot steel too. He bottom anvil ran smooth with no hints of binding and stayed nice and level throughout the pipe squeezing episode so I'm happy. I've got some wife-inspired projects to take care of over the next few days so maybe I can heat up the forge Saturday.

 

K

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Mine is pushing from above, I had to add more springs to ensure the return and I found out that they double the speed of the return stroke and finaly that's a cheap way to speed up the whole forging cycle without loosing much forging power ;)

Edited by Madmike
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MM,

Is there a photo of your press in the thread? I would like to see it.

I will look for it. I found it on the first page. Very nicely done. You use the bottom press to hold the bar only, or do you use it for anything else?

Thanks,

Fred

Mine is pushing from above, I had to add more springs to ensure the return and I found out that they double the speed of the return stroke and finaly that's a cheap way to speed up the whole forging cycle without loosing much forging power ;)
Edited by Pelallito1
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Ken, it looks exceptional. I have been wondering why the jack is on the bottom. If it were on top pushing down, wouldn't it keep any junk and scales from falling into something it shouldn't fall on? Wouldn't the return springs pull the shaft and die up and out of the way?

Regards,

Fred

PS I am keeping an eye on HF for the 20 ton to go on sale!

 

Go for it, Fred! Thunder's concept has great potential for experimentation. I'm going up to the shop this morning to add scale shields to my bottom anvil before I start playing with hot metal. I've got some ceramic magnets laying around so I'm going to see if I can whump up something that's easily removable.

 

On the subject of variations on this machine...I think I will play with a design using round stock for the uprights and sections of close fitting pipe on the ends of the sliding anvil. Seems to me that might help eliminate misalignment and binding under load if the work isn't directly over the ram. Might be a nightmare to align but a welding jig should solve that problem. It'll be fun to play with and give me an excuse to spend more money and time in the shop...HA! Like I need excuses!

 

K

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Ken

Very nice looking press, well played.

I have seen presses in the metal forming books

using all thread with four point uprights, adjustable with big locking nuts as to height.

They used 1/” plate top and bottom, I think it was 4" square.

 

Pelallito1

The reason for the press on the bottom is overall height.

I wanted to keep the overall height of the press around 24"

if you put the jack on top the overall height will be much taller.

To keep the press area at the same eye level.

 

T. A. Toler

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I made scale shields out of some scraps of .035 2024-T left over from another project. Used ceramic magnets from the local Lowe's store to attach them. A pair of the magnets costs $2.27. They hold the aluminum very firmly but it's easy to remove the shields if the need arises. Made a T-handle out of a couple of pieces of drill rod. Drilled the end of the 1/2" piece about 3/4" deep with a drill which measured .400. The pressure release on the jack is .350. Milled a slot to go over the cross piece on the release. It stays in place handily so I don't really think I need to weld on a tab to keep it in position. Didn't have a chance to play with the press today but I plan to fire up the forge first thing in the morning and give it a workout.

 

K

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Mine is pushing from above, I had to add more springs to ensure the return and I found out that they double the speed of the return stroke and finaly that's a cheap way to speed up the whole forging cycle without loosing much forging power ;)

Mike how did you mount them? Smaller springs inside the originals perhaps?

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Here is the mine (same pic as page 1)

 

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@Pelallito 1 : The grey jack is just there to adjust the table height to fit the piece to be squished and the additionnal tooling you put between the dies, I 've made a foot treadle so I can use tooling with my left hand (punches, hot cutter...) ;) I had this jack laying around in the dirt and am not patient enough to drill the round uprights to make some height adjustment system so I went the easy way and found there only advantages :rolleyes:

 

@Ken

I think I will play with a design using round stock for the uprights and sections of close fitting pipe on the ends of the sliding anvil. Seems to me that might help eliminate misalignment and binding under load if the work isn't directly over the ram.

I went that way, and now I think it was the wrong way... Hard to tightnen when it comes loose... No way to insert a 'key' or some screw-adjustable 'gap filler'... Don't know the right word, that stuff you also see on cross-tables...

 

 

@Tom : Nope, just passed the bent rod in welded 3/8 nuts. The additionnal washing machine springs are on a line passing threw the vertical axis of the jack and square with the original spring line, but with a little more distance between them... Choose carefully the springs, my press nearly goes too fast on the back-stroke so I have to be carefull while pressing the release or the dies travel too far away from each other and I loose air and heat closing them on the next bite...

Edited by Madmike
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I spent several hours playing with my new press yesterday. I am very, very pleased with the performance of this tool! Best of all, my old shoulder feels great because I didn't have to aggravate my tendonitis swinging a heavy hammer all day. Found a few things I need to change around a little bit though. For one thing, four socket head screws to secure each die is overkill. Also found out just hot those dies can get when I swapped out the drawing dies for the flattening dies. That's when I found out that it's almost impossible to manipulate an allen wrench while wearing heavy leather gloves. Need to change that, yep!

 

The drawing dies are too extreme in the present form. They would do a much better job as fullering dies, a role to which they have been reassigned. The grooves left behind by the present dies were very difficult to flatten out. That made preparing the surface of the billet for the next weld problematic. So I am making another set with a larger radius out of some 3/4" plate I found in another dusty corner of the shop. The magnetic scale shields and the T-handle I made worked like champs though.

 

Here's a couple of shots of what the drawing dies did to my billet. Flattened out pretty well though after I worked at it awhile.

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Friday I bought a 20-ton air/hydraulic jack at HF, and Saturday I cut up some 2.5" square tubing that I had lying around. Turns out I'm going to need some more tubing in addition to some other materials. On that note, are any of you folks willing to post dimensions on the stock you used for your top and bottom anvils? TA Toler's original top anvil was very heavy and solid, but it looks like some of you have moved away from that in later versions. (Ken, it looks to me like your top anvil is more or less a square tube welded up out of flat bar. Am I right about that?)

 

My natural inclination with most things is to seriously overbuild, but I'm going to have to buy some of the materials and overbuilding costs extra. So it might save me a little money to know what's actually working for others.

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Friday I bought a 20-ton air/hydraulic jack at HF, and Saturday I cut up some 2.5" square tubing that I had lying around. Turns out I'm going to need some more tubing in addition to some other materials. On that note, are any of you folks willing to post dimensions on the stock you used for your top and bottom anvils? TA Toler's original top anvil was very heavy and solid, but it looks like some of you have moved away from that in later versions. (Ken, it looks to me like your top anvil is more or less a square tube welded up out of flat bar. Am I right about that?)

 

My natural inclination with most things is to seriously overbuild, but I'm going to have to buy some of the materials and overbuilding costs extra. So it might save me a little money to know what's actually working for others.

 

Matt,

 

Both my anvils are built around a piece of 2' x 1/4" x 8" A36 steel tubing. On the top anvil I welded 3/8" x 2" x 12" flat bar to the sides of the tubing for the guides. I welded a piece of 3/8" x 3" x 8" flat bar to the bottom for strength and a surface to mount my die plate brackets. All the stress is taken up by the 3/8" guide bars so i didn't bother to weld a plate on top. For the bottom anvil I used 1/4" x 2" x 12" flat bar for the guides and welded plates of 3/8" x 3" x 8" flat bar to both the top and bottom since that anvil gets suqeezed pretty hard between the press ram and the work. I built the anvils around the tubing to keep them square and to make sure I only had a minimum of filing and fitting to get the bottom anvil to move smoothly on the uprights. The 1/2" grade 8 bolts I used to attach the top anvil seem to work fine. There is no hint of deformation in any of the bolt holes.

 

I'm a fan of overbuilding too. I have a retired Army engineer friend I bounce ideas off of once in awhile and he always makes some snide comment about using a hammer to kill a fly.

 

K

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I had to put mine aside for a while - had some other projects and then I bought a new Harley that seems to be taking up all my free time. Oh, darn. ;)

 

For my anvils, I went bonkers overkill.

 

I had some 2" square solid bar, so I used that. I welded 3/8"x2" plate to both sides of the bar for the guides.

 

Ken, your die holder looks like what I was going to do. I was concerned about using SHCS's to hold them - getting the heads filled with flux and scale, etc. Plus using the wrench sounded like a pain.

 

I was thinking about 1 or 2 SHCS's to hold the top die, and maybe just pins (and gravity) to hold the bottom die.

 

Another option I am thinking about (the full-meal-deal solution) is to make the pins twist-lock, so I can use them top and bottom, but that involves machining every die base... I may go that way, though, and just make a bunch of blank base plates all at once.

 

Looking very nice, Ken! Well done!

 

Dave

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  • 1 month later...

I managed to bust the weld where one of the uprights joins the base yesterday. I was squeezing a big bearing and I guess maybe I didn't let it soak long enough to heat the middle. I used my little wire welder set on max when I made the press, and I've never been accused of being a good welder anyway. I'm going to see if I can bust off the other side with a sledge and grind them clean and take it down to my brother's next time I go. He's a pro welder with a couple of big machines and I'm sure he can do a good job sticking it back together. Worked great for a couple of weeks, up until the loud bang when it let go.

The bad thing about this little press is it gives me a taste of what a press can do and makes me want a bigger, faster one and start seriously thinking about ordering a Claiborne or Uncle Al press. Wonder how I'd sneak that past the wife?

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I managed to bust the weld where one of the uprights joins the base yesterday. I was squeezing a big bearing and I guess maybe I didn't let it soak long enough to heat the middle. I used my little wire welder set on max when I made the press, and I've never been accused of being a good welder anyway. I'm going to see if I can bust off the other side with a sledge and grind them clean and take it down to my brother's next time I go. He's a pro welder with a couple of big machines and I'm sure he can do a good job sticking it back together. Worked great for a couple of weeks, up until the loud bang when it let go.

The bad thing about this little press is it gives me a taste of what a press can do and makes me want a bigger, faster one and start seriously thinking about ordering a Claiborne or Uncle Al press. Wonder how I'd sneak that past the wife?

 

HSjackson

Could you post a picture of the damaged leg, also did the weld break or did the base metal break, where did the break occur, side / top / base? A lot can be determined by seeing the failure it self.

Thanks

T.A. Toler

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The weld broke free from the upright because it didn't have very good penetration I guess. No real damage to the 2" tube other than a rough area on the surface where the weld was. I'm on the road for a few days and won't be home until Sat so I can't take or post a pic until then. Nothing went flying or anything when it broke, just a loud bang and the upright moved about an inch away from the base. I had held down the air switch until the clicks had pretty much stopped, so it was about the max force that jack can put out at about 120 psi from the compressor.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I just got to test my TA mini press! I made a couple of tweaks, one being putting a 1/4" plate under the base so I could weld the uprights to that and the 2X2's and I added some shields over the 5/8" nuts that hold the top anvil figuring if something would break violently those bolts would, and your standing right in front of them. thanks TA for the idea/plans!!!! As a test piece I took a 7/8" bar of W1 and in about a half an hour got half of it to 3/8"X1 1/8" and also started to taper the tang area. And I'm not even sweaty!

press1.jpg base.jpg

 

drwing_dies.jpg presstest.jpg

 

 

Matt

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