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adiel
08-04-2011, 04:58 PM
Hi all. I am looking for a 20 ton shop press. I was looking for something for the home shop use. The first choice that I see is the 20 Ton shop press from Harbor Freight:

http://www.harborfreight.com/20-ton-shop-press-32879.html

What would be the next "better" choice of brand for a 20 ton shop press for home use? :D

Thanks,
Adiel

platypus2020
08-04-2011, 05:08 PM
I have one of the presses, is it terrible?, NO, is it great?, NO. Its an adequate piece of equipment. Its a press, not a piece of precision equipment. Mine had done everything I've asked it to do, I would love a Dake, but then reality sets in I use it once or twice a month, its good enough.

The only thing I did to mine was make a better base with casters, so I can push it into a corner when its not being used.

jack

Highpower
08-04-2011, 05:44 PM
The HF unit is just fine for a home shop, with one exception...

You'll need to throw away the cast iron press plates that come with it, and get yourself some solid steel plates instead.

adatesman
08-04-2011, 06:07 PM
Grinding out the holes for the pins such that the platform is level and touching on all points is an option for the OCD crowd as well....

PaulT
08-04-2011, 06:11 PM
This is unfortunately one of those situations where you have to pay 10 times as much to get something twice as good.

I got the 20 top HF one and on first serious usage the press shaft end "mushroomed", incredibly it was just tubing with a solid end inserted. I think since then they've made that a solid shaft, but who knows.

After replacing that and some other tuneups its worked well for me. Nothing to be proud of so I keep it in the darkest farthest away corner of my shop, but it works. It does seem to glow in the dark a little so I think its got some radioactive steel in it, probably left over from some covered up chinese reactor accident.

Paul T.
www.power-t.com

justanengineer
08-04-2011, 06:12 PM
Do yourself a favor and buy a decent press. IMHO bottle jack powered presses are just plain dangerous if you load them up beyond a few hundred pounds pressure. Ive personally had quite a few things come flying out of the big 70 ton Enerpac, and am thankful every single time that it has a remotely operated pump. If you think it wont happen to you on a little press, think again. Shrapnel doesnt require gunpowder to kill you, and even if you are pushing perfectly square and level, things do go wrong.

Go look at an auction or two. I suspect you will find something 10x better for half the price.

flylo
08-04-2011, 06:26 PM
I have one & for the price $169.95 on sale-20% you can't beat it. They make better ones but not for $135. Just my opinion.:D

radkins
08-04-2011, 07:26 PM
I have one also, three years now and it's used quite often without any hint of failure so far. I have maxed the thing out several times and the jack has held up just fine as has the frame with no signs of bending. I was told the cast plates that come with it are dangerous and they may be at full pressure but I some 1" steel plate on hand so I will not have to test them! :)

ed_h
08-04-2011, 07:27 PM
An alternative that should be attractive to metal hobyists, is to build a press. They are dirt simple devices that can easly be made from scrap and surplus materials. An example, which cost less than $100 in materials:

http://bullfire.net/Press/WP_HydPress.html

adiel
08-04-2011, 08:08 PM
Wow, great feedback! I just got back from Harbor Freight, even though I didn't buy it yet since I wanted to see what you guys wrote first. The 20 ton model is a big step up from the 12 ton model that they have! The 12 ton model shakes like there is no tomorrow. :eek: It is bolted together. The 20 ton model has a welded frame and is well worth the extra $$. It looks like I will be going with the Harbor Freight 20 ton model. I will keep you posted.

Thanks Again,
Adiel

Dr Stan
08-04-2011, 10:16 PM
Go look at an auction or two. I suspect you will find something 10x better for half the price.

Ditto. I bought an old mechanical 20 ton press at auction for $100 and I could not have bought the steel for that price.

The other option is to build one, especially if you can locate used structural steel.

snowman
08-04-2011, 10:44 PM
Works fine for my uses.

Now I'm looking for a 50 ton bottle jack, want to do some coining. I figure 50 tons should be able to do some basic stuff.

If I can find a 50 ton jack I can always make a lever arm to get to 200 tons. That'd be sweet!

lakeside53
08-04-2011, 11:10 PM
Wow, great feedback! I just got back from Harbor Freight, even though I didn't buy it yet since I wanted to see what you guys wrote first. The 20 ton model is a big step up from the 12 ton model that they have! The 12 ton model shakes like there is no tomorrow. :eek: It is bolted together. The 20 ton model has a welded frame and is well worth the extra $$. It looks like I will be going with the Harbor Freight 20 ton model. I will keep you posted.

Thanks Again,
Adiel


Look to replace the "cast iron" press plates with some 1.5 inch thick hot rolled (or whatever) steel. The cheap CI have a habit of breaking.

Hawkeye
08-04-2011, 11:17 PM
If your willing to spend $400.00, this looked like an option.
http://www.gregsmithequipment.com/20-Ton-Air-Hydraulic-Shop-Press-w-Gauge-p/ht0805.htm

Dr Stan
08-05-2011, 12:15 AM
If I can find a 50 ton jack I can always make a lever arm to get to 200 tons. That'd be sweet!

Are you planning to use a compound lever to increase the output? If so, you need to consider the capacity of the frame.

BadDog
08-05-2011, 05:26 AM
I had a "20T HF Press", worked well enough for me for nearly 10 years. But like most of this stuff from HF, it's more kit than finished. First off, anything of this nature from HF (or the like) I assume derated from 30% to 50%, so I call that "20T Press" a 10 ton press. I also straightened up the pin, added primitive "gibs" to the floppy sloppy slide, and welded/shimmed the table to set steady and relatively square to the press pin. Did lots of good work for me. Oh, and I kept the cast plates which were convenient for some lighter stuff, but backed by heavy steel plate. And I had some flame cutter drops I used when getting more serious.

Now I have a 50T unit that uses 2" flame cut AR plate. The plates are left overs from a friend who makes stuff for the local mines. 2" thick AR plate is actually pretty light stuff for him, and he has a really cool 2 axis flame cutter that slices it up like butter. A bit of cleanup with an angle grinder and I've got 4 large plates (each about 100 lbs, or so my back says) with various cut outs. Not going to damage those.

HAP
08-05-2011, 07:54 AM
If your willing to spend $400.00, this looked like an option.
http://www.gregsmithequipment.com/20-Ton-Air-Hydraulic-Shop-Press-w-Gauge-p/ht0805.htm

I have the GS 50 Ton model. You can't beat it for all of the features compared to others. I would consider checking it out. I also did a few mods that make it even better.

Dawai
08-05-2011, 09:10 AM
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v85/ibewgypsie/DSCN2479.jpg

Hurrah for Home Shop Machinist magazine.. they published the plans for this press, then I let it lay around for six or seven years unfinished.. then modded it.. Now it fits the "do anything concept of a small do-anything shop.

The C-press.. can press bearings.. press driveshafts, press harley tires off rims, press bushings into Harley cases, press anything I desire, or be modded to do so.

Yeah it needs paint.. but what the heck.. you gotta grind paint off to weld too.. It's still unfinished.. but.. so am I..

Rex
08-05-2011, 10:25 AM
I've had the HF 20T for about 10years, used it occasionally, sometimes loading it up pretty good on axle bearings. Works fine for me. I'm sure some tuning would help it by addressing the work squarely, as it seems to hit most items at a slight angle, then straighten up under load. You just have to be carely to adjust alignment as the ram touches the work.
As for shrapnel, I keep an old deep truck brake drum on hand. When I'm pressing something that I know will need some serious squeeze, I lay that old brake drum over it for a scattershield. For smaller items I have a big cast iron pipe fitting that is sort of bell-shaped. Other times I may just lean a big piece of steel plate against the front while I jack on it.
I also put casters on mine to push it back in the corner when I'm not using it.

adiel
08-05-2011, 10:38 AM
Dawai:

Good job on building that press! :D

Rex:

Thank you for sharing those tips. I will keep that in mind, especially the idea of laying a big piece of steel plate against the front. :)

Adiel

gwilson
08-05-2011, 11:03 AM
I got a 50 ton bottle jack from Northern. Made a strong cage for it. I just use it for coining things for our jewelry business. I have really pumped that jack up quite hard. So far,it hasn't blown up on me,but ant time you buy anything Chinese,it is a gamble.

I bought a 100 ton Enerpac jack off Ebay,and am looking for a suitable hydraulic pump to go with it. I'll feel safer with the Enerpac.

RWO
08-05-2011, 03:02 PM
I have had this Jet 15 ton press for about 12 years and have no complaints.
Head cranks left and right, bed cranks up and down. I put mine on casters for easy movement.

RWO

http://www.tools-plus.com/jet-331416.html?utm_medium=feed&utm_source=froogle&utm_term=JET331416

adiel
08-05-2011, 03:15 PM
What do you think would be a better choice, a New Harbor Freight 20 Ton Press for $199 or this used 20 Ton Impala Shop Press which they are asking $150 (or best offer)?:rolleyes:

http://i1217.photobucket.com/albums/dd381/adielglez/impalaShopPress1.jpg

http://i1217.photobucket.com/albums/dd381/adielglez/impalaShopPress2.jpg

Adiel

Rex
08-05-2011, 04:07 PM
I'd go for the HF still, but I'd use a 20% off coupon and buy it for $160

Mark Hockett
08-05-2011, 04:34 PM
If you are near Seattle I have a 20 ton press with an air powered jack and hand crank for adjusting the table height. You can raise and lower the table level with one hand. It is also made with real channel iron and not the stamped steel like the HF one. I will sell it for the same price as the HF one.

Dr Stan
08-05-2011, 04:36 PM
What do you think would be a better choice, a New Harbor Freight 20 Ton Press for $199 or this used 20 Ton Impala Shop Press which they are asking $150 (or best offer)?:rolleyes:

Adiel

offer them $50 take it or leave it and see what happens. :D

Dawai
08-05-2011, 04:38 PM
I'd jump on that if I could... Anything made from "real steel" is a better thing.

Had someone compare a motorcycle trailer I built to the ones they sell at Lowes.. Ha..
Ever seen a harley scattered down the interstate and "people" looking for a missing rider?? Sheet metal Channel from ??

adiel
08-05-2011, 05:00 PM
It looks like that Impala 20 ton press is from Australia:

http://www.impalamachines.com.au/page7.php?view=productPage&product=49

Anybody know if they use channel iron or stamped steel over there? It looks like it sells for $325 australian dollars which is about $340 US Dollars. I dont think its a "real" shop press. What do you guys think?

Adiel

Davo J
08-06-2011, 03:05 AM
I am in Australia and looking at that web site, he is just another Chinese importer. The press is probably the same one as you can buy over their.

Dave

Dawai
08-06-2011, 07:55 AM
Construction tips??

I learned.. a lot of holes that must match perfectly? easiest way? tack weld the "opposing sides together.. drill both sides after checking "level" of the drill press bed with the drill bit..

Mine is 3/4"x5" flat bar x 4 uprights 1 1/4" holes.. there was buckets of shavings. Some of the swarf.. I got stitches on one finger scooping it up with leather gloves on..

I ended up near $400 in it, considering the stitches too. It is the handiest press I have ever saw thou... the trolley.. can move in, out of the inner frame.. the C-channels are turned inward.. THE english wheel-adjustor-acme screw can press simple things you want to "feel" how hard you are pressing.. ie: expensive engine cases.

AS a HSM'er... anything you get will be modified to suit your present needs. Tubing bender, ring roller, sheet press break, hole punch..coining press.. etc...
A press is a handy thing to have. I'd say every small shop should have at least one.

the 5hp Hframe one, purchased for $50... the Rousselle press here? I kinda forget.. I remember $35.. both are running on the same 5hp pump, siamiesed.. series? the open valving flows to the other valve... I only use one at a time.
At one time, I was going to run schedule 80 3/4" lines through out the shop and run the wholes shops tools on the same "outside noisy supply".. saw that once with a tractor up north..

adiel
08-06-2011, 11:18 AM
Do you think the OTC 12 Ton (Model 1823 below with the stinger jack) would really be an "upgrade" as compared to the Harbor Freight 20 ton? I am afraid it will also be the same stamped steel like the HF one: :confused:

http://i1217.photobucket.com/albums/dd381/adielglez/OtcShopPress-1.png

Adiel

flylo
08-06-2011, 12:33 PM
The HF was just on sale for $169 last month or June I believe. Talk to the manager he can look at past sales use a 20% coupon for $135 net & don't forget the free multi-meter LOL I must have 20 by now. It has a heavy frame & you can mod it if you want like using an air/hyd jack, but for $135 you can't buy the steel,jack,pins,etc.:D

flylo
08-06-2011, 04:34 PM
Can't believe it. I checked craiglist & bought a 20 ton HF press for $50 used once & doesn't have a scratch. Also a 7HP 60 gal Husky compressor for $50 & 2 engine stands for $20 ea. Another one moving out of Michigan. Now I have 2 presses or can I make 1 40 ton? LOL:D

Joel
08-06-2011, 06:45 PM
Do you think the OTC 12 Ton (Model 1823 below with the stinger jack) would really be an "upgrade" as compared to the Harbor Freight 20 ton? I am afraid it will also be the same stamped steel like the HF one: :confused:
Adiel
OTC makes quality equipment, just compare the weight of the OTC to the HF. Your picture shows a more basic version than the 17 ton OTC pictured below with the 12 ton HF it replaced, but there would be no comparison to a similar sized HF. Hard to beat the HF price though.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v186/JoelinTX/PressComp2.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v186/JoelinTX/PressComp1.jpg