Jump to content

My Mini Hydraulic Press


Recommended Posts

Mine is finished and working. I had it running all weekend drawing out big square pieces of W2 into flat bars on flat dies. It works great unless the air compressor is acting up or too cold. I have an old oil lubed 1HP compressor that stops at 145 PSI and a compact 20 ton bottle jack.

I have a couple of problems:

1- I built the bottom anvil out of two 1/2"x4x8 plates, so its only 1" surface for the die to sit on. It needs a wider surface to sit on.

2- I need a safer and more convenient control system. I'd like a single lever w/Up-Down control as you would have on an electro-hydraulic one.

3- I didn't make the anvils adjustable. The jack has 8" or so of adjustment on the screw, which is fine for now.

4- The top die hold downs broke the first time I put uneven pressure on them. They need to be much stronger.

5- I have to make more dies now, and they will probably be mild steel. I have flatting dies and material for drawing dies, but I don't have a good way of attaching the dies safely. Mild steel doesn't hold up to all day smashing after it starts getting really hot.

 

I'd like to have some standard size die holders and a set of dies that I could use on a hammer or the press.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 350
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Top Posters In This Topic

Popular Posts

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

Art,

 

I've got a materials list with the dimensioned parts on it but I have to remember where I put it and go fetch it back. In the meantime, the Photoshop links to my build are posted earlier in this thread somewhere. I'll try to get the parts list posted tonight or first thing tomorrow. I'll also measure the hole locations for the top and bottom anvils tomorrow morning when I let the pooches out of their nest in the shop.

 

K

Link to post
Share on other sites

Here's the materials and dimension list I promised. Also included the Photobucket links again. I think I posted them earlier in the thread but what the heck???

 

Lifted this from, ahem, "another place", but it's all my work so I'm not plagiarizing:

 

Here's a materials list for my version:

 

1 - 20 ton air over hydraulic jack from Harbor Freight or Northern Tools, about $70 on sale

2 - 24" lengths of 2'x'2"x1/4" wall steel tubing (3/16" wall will also work)

4 - 10" lengths of the 2" tubing for the base

1 - 8"x10" piece of 1/4" plate to reinforce the top of the base

2 - 8" lengths of the 2" tubing for the anvil cores

2 - 12" lengths of 3/8" x 2" hot rolled flat bar for top anvil sides

2 - 12" lengths of 1/4" x 2" hot rolled steel bar for the bottom anvil guides

3 - 8" lengths of 3/8" x 3" hot rolled steel bar for the bottom of the top anvil and the bottom and top of the bottom anvil

2 - 4&1/2" x 1/2" grade 8 bolts plus washers and nuts to hold the upper anvil in place (if you want to make an adjustable top anvil)

- A couple of pounds of 1/8" 7018 welding rod

 

You'll also need a small amount of 3/4" or 1" stock to make drawing and flattening dies, a foot or two of 1/4" x 2" flat bar for die plates, and something to make the brackets to hold your dies on the anvils.

 

I forgot to measure the holes in the uprights for my adjustable anvil but I squinted at it on the fly this afternoon. I used three sets of holes. The first is about 2" down from the top of the uprights, the second pair is a couple inches below that and the third pair which I've never used are a couple inches below those. My usual set up allows about 4" between the surfaces of the dies at the widest opening. In use, I keep the dies adjusted as close to the thickness of the work as I can without interfering when I stick the hot piece in.

 

 

Rather than lengthy explanations I'll post some pictures I took during construction. They should be sufficient to show you how to make one for yourself.

 

alphairon/Press - Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

alphairon/Press drawing dies II - Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

alphairon/Press first run - Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

 

(Whoops! The links didn't make it. I'll check the earlier posts to see if I included them there. If not, I'll stick them in somewhere.)

 

Hope this helps a bit. If you need more accurate measurement of the hole locations I'll do it.

 

K

Edited by Ken Kelley
Link to post
Share on other sites

Original press base dimensions 8" X 10"

New press base dimensions 10" X 12"

I made the base wider so the jack can be centered better, also width gives more room for the ram bar and anvil beam. I have dual uprights and twice as much room for larger/longer die sets.

I am not using a movable top beam,

I think the adjustable top on the jack will be fine for most of what I do.

With a non adjustable beam, I do not have to worry about aligning, drilling, etc - the bolt holes. Also I do not have to worry about the holes stretching bolts failing and the frame is much stiffer. Personal choice, adjustable beam is fine, your choice. Here is a graphic of my new mini press:

 

newpress.jpg

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thunder,

 

I like the new model especially because I over-bought on the 2X2.

 

Two questions: How long are the upright posts? What is keeping the ram bar in line when it travels?

 

Thanks, Art

 

edit: Is the ram bar a double 2X2?

 

Original press base dimensions 8" X 10"

New press base dimensions 10" X 12"

I made the base wider so the jack can be centered better, also width gives more room for the ram bar and anvil beam. I have dual uprights and twice as much room for larger/longer die sets.

I am not using a movable top beam,

I think the adjustable top on the jack will be fine for most of what I do.

With a non adjustable beam, I do not have to worry about aligning, drilling, etc - the bolt holes. Also I do not have to worry about the holes stretching bolts failing and the frame is much stiffer. Personal choice, adjustable beam is fine, your choice. Here is a graphic of my new mini press:

 

newpress.jpg

Edited by Art Lawrence

"My sword and my shield are at your command"

Link to post
Share on other sites

I like that wider base. If I had it to do over again I think I would go the same route. And, after having used my press for awhile, I also see the utility of the fixed top anvil. Even though I drilled three sets of holes I have yet to move the anvil from the middle where I first put it. I still might find a use for the other holes as time wears on but if I was planning to use the press just for squishing damascus billets I think I would go the fixed route. Maybe I'll make another one just for that purpose. Or maybe not. Depends on how ambitious I get when it warms up a little bit more. But, since the ice and wind storms of the past few weeks damaged so many of my trees I'll probably spend the warm months running a chain saw and clearing timber instead. I'll have plenty of firewood next winter for sure.

 

K

Link to post
Share on other sites

Ram bar isn't finished, it will have two outside guides installed as on the old style press.

In the graphic the guides are laying just behind the press, in front of the fan.

 

Matt

I though about your idea, but felt the uprights would be stiffer if they were welded tight instead of having a center gap for the travel. The center gap may be the way to go - I'm not sure. The top plate size is 1/2" thick X 10" X 4 1/2". Bottom plate is 1/2" x 10" X 4" - Uprights are 4" wide - add 1/2" to top plate - making it 4 1/2" to accommodate the 1/4" guide thickness. That keeps the press area smooth. Confusing, I'll try to make a picture to better explain.

 

Art

I will measure the uprights when I get home tonight for dimensions.

I used dual uprights because I had a 20’ joint (1/4” wall thickness)

of the square tubing, and thought I might as well use it all, makes the press stiffer.

There will be a small section of pipe welded to the center of the ram bar at the bottom

the jack head will fit into the pipe to keep it centered - I hope : ),

aligning everything where it rides smoothly sometimes takes a little trail and error.

Uprights and top brace and ram bar are two - 2 X 2 welded,

ram bar also has a 1/2" plate on top and bottom, if it bows under pressure I may go to solid steel.

 

T. A. Toler

Link to post
Share on other sites

T.A.,

I just reread the thread all the way to the end and realized that you had posted an answer to me. I apologize for taking so long to reply. Ken Kelley and the guys have inspired me to try making a forge and if I do that I will need your Mini Press. I put it on a backburner a while ago. I guess I will start scrounging material now. I will print out KK's list of material as a guide.

Thanks to you for the original idea, and all of the people that have contributed to this.

Regards,

Fred

Link to post
Share on other sites

I am buying my jack from ebay, they have alot of them for not a whole lot, shipping sucks though. Should come to just over 85.00 total with shipping for a 20 tone pneumatic press. I am going junkyard "diving" this weekend to get steel to put this together :) Any advice on places to look to find steel for it? Can the Dies be mild steel?

 

Also have you guys made damascus patterning dies yet?

Link to post
Share on other sites

my dies are an almost case hardening steel (toughens up when hardened not much but a little) they will mark up if used on cold steel but hot steel i haven't had any problems with

Brandon Sawisch bladesmith

 

eagles may soar but weasels don't get sucked in to jet engines

Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, you can use mild steel for the dies. I made all mine from scraps of 3/4" and 1/2" mild steel and they have held up fine. As Matt mentioned, you can easily clean up the occasional dent or ding with a belt grinder or a file.

 

It seems to be harder and harder to find a scrap yard that will let you roam around looking for good junk. Insurance and fear of litigation seem to have shut that door, at least in my area. I bought new steel at a local dealer. A 12 foot stick of 2" x 2" x 1/4" wall tubing ran me around $100 and I still have three feet or thereabouts left over. That will be your major purchase. The rest of the press can be made with various scraps of whatever you have on hand. That's one of the neat things about this project...it's open to a lot of interpretation and there's room for sensible modifications. Just remember that you will be harnessing 40,000 pounds of steel squishing pressure. If your materials aren't up to the strain, your design is faulty, or your welds are weak then you will face some serious hazards. If you are new to this kind of fabrication stick with one of the proven designs shown in this thread. If you have ideas you'd like to incorporate or features you would like to change, then by all means list them here first. These fellers will cheerfully offer suggestions to help you along.

 

K

Edited by Ken Kelley
Link to post
Share on other sites

I'll betcha if you can find the tubing at a dealer within a reasonable driving distance the savings in shipping would easily justify the trip. Fortunately for me, Ledford Steel is only 20 miles from me so it's an easy trip. They also operate Metals Depot http://www.metalsdepot.com/. Depending on how much it would cost you to drive to Winchester, KY it might make the trip worthwhile.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I'll betcha if you can find the tubing at a dealer within a reasonable driving distance the savings in shipping would easily justify the trip. Fortunately for me, Ledford Steel is only 20 miles from me so it's an easy trip. They also operate Metals Depot http://www.metalsdepot.com/. Depending on how much it would cost you to drive to Winchester, KY it might make the trip worthwhile.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Matt

I though about your idea, but felt the uprights would be stiffer if they were welded tight instead of having a center gap for the travel. The center gap may be the way to go - I'm not sure. The top plate size is 1/2" thick X 10" X 4 1/2". Bottom plate is 1/2" x 10" X 4" - Uprights are 4" wide - add 1/2" to top plate - making it 4 1/2" to accommodate the 1/4" guide thickness. That keeps the press area smooth. Confusing, I'll try to make a picture to better explain.

 

Actually, I think your concerns are justified. I don't think the center gap is the way to go; better to have four uprights opposing any sideways force, rather than just two. I was just trying to make sense of the pic w/o realizing that it wasn't finished yet.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...

Has anyone tried puting a hydraulic pump on a manual cylinder? I think the added speed and control would be worth it.

Si vis pacem, parabellum.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...