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My Mini Hydraulic Press


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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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Can you make good damascus with the smaller air jack? harbor freight has a 12 ton jack for 60.00, or do I need those extra 8 tons in the 20 ton? Does the extra pressure speed up work or make welds better? Thanks, gonna try to build this over my thanksgiving break. :)

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Can you make good damascus with the smaller air jack? harbor freight has a 12 ton jack for 60.00, or do I need those extra 8 tons in the 20 ton? Does the extra pressure speed up work or make welds better? Thanks, gonna try to build this over my thanksgiving break. :)

 

 

Can't speak for the 12 ton jack from direct experience but if you're patient the 20 ton model is frequently on sale at Harbor Freight for $69.99. Only $9.99 more for 8 more tons of squeeze power!

 

You maybe could get away with using the 12 ton model but you would probably have to limit the size of your billets quite a bit.

 

Nice job on your version, Matt!

 

K

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Hey JC

I'd wait for the 20 ton, they seem to go on sale pretty often. I don't think 12 would do the job.

 

Hey Thunder

I've noticed that my press doesn't make that loud clicking noise like yours does in your videos, it makes more of a puff, puff, puff. Could my bottle jack be faulty?

 

thanks

 

Matt

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Hey JC

I'd wait for the 20 ton, they seem to go on sale pretty often. I don't think 12 would do the job.

 

Hey Thunder

I've noticed that my press doesn't make that loud clicking noise like yours does in your videos, it makes more of a puff, puff, puff. Could my bottle jack be faulty?

 

thanks

 

Matt

 

 

Matt,

 

Nothing wrong with your jack. Noticed that difference myself. Mine makes more of a rapid pup-pup-pup sound while it's squeezing the heck out of hot steel rather than click-click-click like Thunder's video.

 

K

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The noise you hear might have more to do with my weak compressor than the jack, I can barely make 100 psi or more like 90 psi at the jack. These jacks are rated for 125. A new compressor is a priority for me. I almost have my new jack built.

 

I also have been working on a fluidized bed built around a 4” X 24” pipe, if it works - and so far it has been challenging – I hope it will make an alternative to salt pots. Lots more work to do before I show it to anyone.

 

T.A. Toler

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  • 2 months later...

I just started building mine this week. Its looking good, except the first couple of welds were rushed.

 

2x 4x4 I beam, 10" (cut with bandsaw for squareness)

2x 4x4 I beam, 40"

2x 5x1/2" plate, 10" - ram plates

1x 1" round bar (for drawing dies)

2x 1x2"x 4" flat bar

various bits for die holding, etc.

($300!!)

Big steel is pricey right now, especially if you want it cut or milled.

 

1 20 ton air/hydr. bottle jack ($69)

 

So its running around $370 without including the compressor.

I have an old sears oil lubed compressor which easily does 135psi in a 20gallon tank that I got for 99 bucks. Its really quiet and works great, so I got lucky there.

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I just started building mine this week. Its looking good, except the first couple of welds were rushed.

 

2x 4x4 I beam, 10" (cut with bandsaw for squareness)

2x 4x4 I beam, 40"

2x 5x1/2" plate, 10" - ram plates

1x 1" round bar (for drawing dies)

2x 1x2"x 4" flat bar

various bits for die holding, etc.

($300!!)

Big steel is pricey right now, especially if you want it cut or milled.

 

1 20 ton air/hydr. bottle jack ($69)

 

So its running around $370 without including the compressor.

I have an old sears oil lubed compressor which easily does 135psi in a 20gallon tank that I got for 99 bucks. Its really quiet and works great, so I got lucky there.

 

If you can - Post some pic's when you get the chance.

I beam construction, Wow! sounds beefy : )

T.A. Toler

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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

Edited by LarryM

Try not to spend $10.00 worth of time on a $.10 Job!!

If you have time to kill work it to death.

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Hi There,

 

I have really enjoyed this posting subject and looked over all the different designs with the intention of building my own mini press. I was chatting with my brother who is a mechanical engineer and he listened to my ideas and looked at my design for the press. He told me to go to Harbor Freight and look up their 20 ton press's. They have a 20 ton air over hydraulic press for $259. It has the cylinder recommended in the various posts. With some adjustments this press will do everything that the home made ones will. You will need to add an anvil and ram head pieces, and build some dies for the press. For those with a little bit of extra cash. Around $150, extra you can have your press up and running in a lot less time. I have mine on order and once I get some dies and the adjustments made I will post some pictures of it in action.

 

Clay Walker

Ragnorak Forge

65330.gif

Clay Walker

Ragnarok Forge

When your a Bladesmith, Stupid Hurts

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Hi There,

 

I have really enjoyed this posting subject and looked over all the different designs with the intention of building my own mini press. I was chatting with my brother who is a mechanical engineer and he listened to my ideas and looked at my design for the press. He told me to go to Harbor Freight and look up their 20 ton press's. They have a 20 ton air over hydraulic press for $259. It has the cylinder recommended in the various posts. With some adjustments this press will do everything that the home made ones will. You will need to add an anvil and ram head pieces, and build some dies for the press. For those with a little bit of extra cash. Around $150, extra you can have your press up and running in a lot less time. I have mine on order and once I get some dies and the adjustments made I will post some pictures of it in action.

 

Clay Walker

Ragnorak Forge

 

 

Your suggestion has merit, Clay, for those with limited tool resources, building time, etc., etc., etc. I even considered this possibility myself but rejected it in favor of the pleasure and challenge of crafting my own machine. I would have even probably saved money taking the Harbor Freight route but I would have missed a lot of fun since I enjoy building tools as much as I enjoy using them. That's just my personal preference and I certainly wouldn't expect everybody to be just like me though. Your idea is a good one and will save those so inclined a good bit of time and effort.

 

K

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If you can - Post some pic's when you get the chance.

I beam construction, Wow! sounds beefy : )

T.A. Toler

 

Will do. It is kinda beefy. I have the H frame welded up and my back tells me it weighs about 100lbs. I was going to follow McNabb's design with the angle iron and plates, but the beams were thicker and not much more expensive.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I would really like to build one of those things...

Unfortunately, it seems that hydraulic jacks of that kind are difficult to come by in Italy. Are there any people from Europe who could suggest me a place where I could get this thing?

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I would really like to build one of those things...

Unfortunately, it seems that hydraulic jacks of that kind are difficult to come by in Italy. Are there any people from Europe who could suggest me a place where I could get this thing?

 

 

British Blades Forum http://www.britishblades.com/forums/index.php? has some European sources for the jacks. Can't recall the thread right off hand but I'm sure you can find it with a search.

 

Ken

Edited by Ken Kelley
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Thanks. From what I can tell reading the forums there it would seem that the dreaded eBay.co.uk has some jacks to offer, including a 35 ton beast.

Definitely worth looking, I just hope shipping fee won't surpass the price of the item.

 

I might be able to make this little thing after all. Thanks again.

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I'd like to say a quick THANKS to all the folks who have contributed to this thread. All of the pictures, tips, and advice were great help. I too have constructed one of these little mini-presses, and I'm amazed at how well it works. I was anticipating a lot of time and sore muscles hammering out a billet of damascus. I was able to get it pressed into the pattern and shape I wanted in about 5 hours of work...and very little effort on my part. Heck, I saved enough in propane costs to justify the $150 I paid for the jack and the steel to make the press.

 

On a side note, to anyone else making one of these. be sure to use washers and nuts to hold the bolts in place on you cross piece....assuming yours is of variable position design. without the washers and nuts, I grossly deformed the 1/4" plate near the bolt holes.

 

Also, be sure to set the dies up in a manner that keeps them aligned with each other. My drawing dies were not align well and it resulted in a "bannana billet." I've now changed that a little and its working much better.

 

Thanks again,

 

Kris

Have you ever thought about the life of steel? It's interesting to think that you can control the fate of a piece of metal.

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here is how my die set holders look:

 

dieholders.jpg

little lips to hold the die sets and upper magnet to keep top die from shifting.

1/2" plate steel for top die set, 1" X 2" lower with stops to keep plate at 1/4" thickness

Crude but works pretty well. On my next press they should look much better.

I have a new press in the works, should be a month or two before I can get to the shop to complete it.

T.A. Toler

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My first die set-up was very similar to this. In the that hold the die down (or up) I drilled a hole and tapped it to accept a 1/4" bolt. This was necessary to keep the dies from shift foreward and backward while pressing and moving the billet. My current set-up has a retaining plate on the back of the press so that the dies can only move so far back. On the front side, havd a small piece of plate that pivots out of teh way to slide new dies in and out. When the new dies are in place, this piece of plate is simply rotated back into position to keep the dies held firmly in place so they done move fore and aft.

 

I do like the 1/4" stop you have on there. I'll add those to my dies next time i get out in the shop.

Have you ever thought about the life of steel? It's interesting to think that you can control the fate of a piece of metal.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hey Everyone

I hope somebody can give me an idea why my press has stopped working. The jack seams to pump quick at first, then slow WAY down and not really squeeze like it use to. I was using it today and it was working great then all of a sudden this happened. I'm thinking maybe some fluid leaked out and I may need to top it off ? Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

 

Matt

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  • 2 weeks later...

Evening,

 

I'm getting ready to build my TA Mini press. I've read all the posts many times. I've been trying to figure out the dimensions of your presses.

 

If it wouldn't be too much trouble would you mind spelling out the dimensions of your presses. For instance, how far is it from the bottom of the vertical/upright arm to the first hole of the presses with adjustable cross members? How far to the second and or top hole? How did you determine that distance?

 

I've been able to determine that the overall press height is 24 inches. Someone said they reduced that height by 3 inches.

 

The 4 2X2 tubes that make up the bottom of the press are obviously 8 inches with another 4 inches for the two vertical uprights at 2X2 inches. Are the bottom tubes, (that the jack sits on), 10 inches long?

 

Where would I find a foot control pedal for the air control?

 

Thanks, -Art

"My sword and my shield are at your command"

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