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started 20-ton shop press

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SE18

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& have some questions. 1st, this will be a slow build, as I'll be out of state and out of country several times and don't get as much time as some of you retired folk :)

so I used the Marquette stick welder to attach square tube for the vertical and horizontal aspects of the frame. I could have gone with just single tube but I'd rather overbuild it rather than wonder

the tubes were from some type of Weider sports equipment someone threw away & I rescued. I used a bedframe for a small section to fill in that missing chunk you see on the weld table

I decided to bolt the horizontal/vertical frame together (not yet done) rather than weld it together. This will allow for moving it should the need occur and it will be less rigid, should I be off the mark some

I'm numbering my questions for easier reference...

1. regarding the press bar in the sketch, I didn't know what diameter, length or type steel to make it from so that is yet to be decided

2. I think for the jack plate or stand, it will move up and down via pipe inside pipe method that I've seen a small minority of press builders do. The problem for this new welder (me) is how to secure the pipes so they don't move on me and stay perpendicular all around. Guess I'll tack weld one side then the other. That's my only concern there

3. As for the opening in the apron, there's about 5 or 6 inches of space. Not sure what the pros and cons are of the opening clearance

4. I've got a 6-ton A frame from HF that has a stability plate in it. In most press builds I've seen that is absent. It seems it is there to guide the press bar down and keep it in line. However, it sure takes up a lot of space that could better be served with more press clearance. Anyone know why they designed it that way?

I'm going to make my die from 2 railway tie plates welded together so the top and bottom of the die are the flat sides of the tie plate. Then I'm going to oxy-acy cut the various shapes I need

Since this is a slow build, this post may get buried for a few week or longer & I'll resurect it as I continue; hope that is OK with moderators

DSC05430.jpg DSC05434.jpg DSC05436.jpg DSC05437.jpg DSC05438.jpg
 

davidh

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if I may offer . . . . the upper corners, weld about 6 x 6 angle gussets. front and back. install a boat winch on one leg with top pulleys on each side and hooked to the lower cross beam for adjustments.

the aprt you have circled is most likely just a guide for the shaft that's used as a mandrel to allow some clearance above whatever your trying to press.

yesterday we pressed some wheel studs out and back in a old dodge power wagon hub. even with a 40 ton press it still took a bunch of heat to get them to snap. scarey when you look at the lower cross beam and its deflecting a 1/8" or so before it goes "BANG" and scares the bejesus outta you.
 

SE18

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Thanks; online I've seen one press that has a cage around it. I'm guessing the owner got surprised at least once :)
 

Alphawolf45

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Regarding question one .My home built shop press gets a great deal of use-- I am retired. I did not build mine with that hanging down press bar and don't miss it one bit as it would be in my way for a lot of work. .I do often set a bar in there for pressing out a bearing or whatever but length and diameter of said bar is then matched to the work.,,, many other times I need a much broader plate and that rod would be a real nuisance.
 

awander

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I agree-the circled part in that photo is a guide for the skinny rod on that commercial press. I have one similar to that, and managed to bend the long skinny rod on the first job I did.

I also agree that the rod is a bit of a pain-though on the A-frame type presses, it is probably necessary in order to get the actuation point down into the parallel part of the press, where you can put the work.

Of course, my press has a rod that is about 3/4" diameter-I may replace it with a 1-1/2" rod at some point for more strength.
 

SE18

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alphawolf, never thought of not using the bar. Guess I could go that route and add it later if I really needed it. Thanks for your thoughts (and others'). So you use the shop press for other things, like....?
 

DMS

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I will second DavidH's suggestion to add some gussets at that top weld. Since you are welding a butt joint on tubing, you don't have a lot of "meat" to weld into, and if you have a failure on the inside corner, it's going to tear all the way across. I would make the gusset's large enough to fit on the outside of the corner (not on the inside corner). Then weld out all the edges.

The only way I have found to keep things stable is to use lots of tack welds. Even the strongest clamps I have will not prevent this if you don't balance out the thermal stresses.
 

Alphawolf45

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alphawolf, never thought of not using the bar. Guess I could go that route and add it later if I really needed it. Thanks for your thoughts (and others'). So you use the shop press for other things, like....?

Other things shop press is used for- quick comes to mind is breaking tubeless lawn mower tires off the rim. I also use my press as a gun barrel vise , hold the barrel between a pair of 2 by 4s then unscrew the action from the barrel.....Another time use the press to hold something while glue is setting up- such as when making home made micarta....Cant get by without a shop press , they're uses are almost unlimited.
 

SE18

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I've rethought the whole thing and scrapped my ideas for something more sturdy (I beams). I have some welding to do and a lot of other things but here are some of the partsxDSC_3815.jpgxDSC_3814.jpgxDSC_3817.jpg

xDSC_3814.jpg xDSC_3815.jpg xDSC_3817.jpg
 

cammer

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i have built several presses use hyd cyl and power steering pump they are good for 1000. psi 2000 with 1/4 shim this with a 6in cyl will make about 26tons jon
 

cammer

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for my press i found a ideal tool for pressing large race,s in. cut off a 5 lug car axle about 8 inches long and face off the wheel side hope someone finds it useful Jon
 
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