View Full Version : 30 Ton Press Project, a monster or how to over build it.

12-25-2013, 09:36 PM
The first part of this thread will be an overview of this project up to now 12-25-2013.
I started this project in March of 2013, roughly nine months ago. The winter is the slow time here for me, so I started the project to press some bushing out of a few hydraulic cylinders.
To make a long story short I used a friends press to replace the bushings and settled down to design and build the press I really wanted.
The build is documented in this thread over on SFT, Pressing project (http://www.shopfloortalk.com/forums/showthread.php?t=37352).
I had a bunch of fits and starts on this project, plus delays on OPP (Other Peoples Projects). So for the last few days the build has started up again.
A few pictures of the materials used.
12" X 20.1# channel Was going to use 7" channel but I did not have enough of it in inventory.
4 "X 3-1/2" X 3/8" angle for the feet.
Clips for mounting the feet.
W6 X 15# beam for the legs.
More in next post.

12-25-2013, 09:48 PM
More photos.
Ready to cut pin holes there are twenty holes in each leg. I am using a Champion CT7 Carbide tipped hole saw in 1-1/4"
Pin holes done.
Foot mounting clips welded in.
Spreader bar mounting plates.
More photos in next post.

12-25-2013, 09:57 PM
More photos.
Feet mounted.
2" 150# flanges for the spreader bar.
Frame almost welded up.
Spreader bar plates welded on.
More photos in the next post.

12-25-2013, 10:07 PM
More photos.
Welding the flanges to 2" pipe for to make the spreader bar. Left side.
Welding the right side flange for the spreader bar.
This is just a sampling of the photos from the complete thread here (http://www.shopfloortalk.com/forums/showthread.php?t=37352)
I will post up the progress as it happens.
The frame is almost done, I have to flip it over to finish the welds on the other side of the legs. Once those welds are done I will finish the feet and install them on the frame then i can roll it into the shop. And start on the trolley for the jack that will be the power unit.
With the header, table, legs and feet the materials weigh over 650# so far, that weight does not include the plate for the spreader bar, flanges, pipe or the foot mounting clips.

12-26-2013, 12:39 PM
Ready to cut pin holes there are twenty holes in each leg.
I am using a Champion CT7 Carbide tipped hole saw in 1-1/4" While I have Lenox bi-metal hole saws and Hougen annular
cutters for smaller diameters in thinner material, I have shied
away from projects involving accurate holes in heavier sections.

The Champion saw appears to do a nice job in those beams for you.
From the setting, I assume the holes were done freehand, rather
than in a machine. How large/powerful a drill is required to drive
carbide-tipped saws of that diameter?

Edit: Looking again, I now see the photo of the beam on the mill
table and the Champion saw in the quill.

John Stevenson
12-26-2013, 12:43 PM
Looked to me as he had the saw mounted in a Bridgeport so yes i suppose it was as good as free hand. :p

12-26-2013, 12:58 PM
That looks to be a nice press, should handle anything you could throw at it.
Would hate to have to move that thing around!

12-26-2013, 01:44 PM
I got a set of casters good for 1000lb each, and sure makes moving the monster I made around a lot easier (although mine only weights about 1000lbs)

12-26-2013, 02:24 PM
Looks like you made pretty good use of that white coolant- :)

12-26-2013, 06:21 PM
Eddy, I have run them with a Milwaukee Hole Shooter Drill, they run real well in lower powered equipment.
Yes the saw is mounted in my M-Head Bridgeport.
John, the mill worked perfectly for this job.
Kendall, I am going to install a set of casters on the press once it is finished, I figure it will weigh in at about 1500lbs once I am all done.
Stern, the press should handle an upgrade to 50ton in the future.
Darryl, yep the white stuff makes pretty good coolant.

Today, I got the frame flipped over so I can do the welding on the other side. I had other things to do today so all I got done was to flip the frame and cover it back up.
Frame flipped over.

12-26-2013, 08:20 PM
The drill must have caught fire, looks like airport foam everywhere lol, cant be that, whats it called snoow or somthing
Your building an extruder not a press!

12-26-2013, 08:28 PM
The drill must have caught fire, looks like airport foam everywhere lol, cant be that, whats it called snoow or somthing
Your building an extruder not a press!
Mark, yep snow, only a little, about 2"-3" on the ground. Low temperature last night was 12F, today's high was 34F. Snow will most likely melt over the next two days.
As to the extruder, :cool: :D it might work.

Forrest Addy
12-27-2013, 01:16 AM
Not to rain on your accomplishment but I wonder if you considered paint and finish before you started welding?

It's FAR easier to go over the rusty structural steel with a stiff 4" wire cup wheel then a 50 grit disk to remove the rust and loose scale, dust off the dings and bruises, detail edges and radii etc before you begin assembly. This saves tedious methods for getting into corners to clean up the ugly after weld. The paint goed on smoother and adheres better too. Plus, your wellding will be made that much easier; weld quality affcted by material surface cleanliness.

Don't get me wrong, you're doing a fine job in a sensible sequence but cleaning and pre-detailing the material before assembly halves the post-welding paint prep time.

12-27-2013, 08:14 AM
Good point, though I'd clean it and coat it with a self-etching weldable primer. Finish coats should wait for the welding to be done.

12-27-2013, 08:29 AM
Forrest & j, I hit the insides if the header channel with a 7" flap disc to remove the loose paint and rust before I welded them to the legs. Once the press is finished I will be sending the frame out to sandblasting.

12-27-2013, 09:07 PM
I found myself wondering about the welds as well. 30 tons is a lot of force in tension for some of those joints... Nice design.

12-27-2013, 09:31 PM
Silly question time, what the heck is up with the double trailer hitch in the background on the second picture in your second post?

12-27-2013, 10:17 PM
What"s the spreader bar for ?

12-28-2013, 12:08 AM
I was told that one inch of 1/4 fillet weld will hold a ton, i tried it out by lifting a one ton sand bag with my excavator and it held, couldn't try more as the old girl wouldn't lift more

12-28-2013, 07:57 PM
Silly question time, what the heck is up with the double trailer hitch in the background on the second picture in your second post?
The Double Trailer Hitch (http://www.shopfloortalk.com/forums/showpost.php?p=136882&postcount=54) is for my log splitter. The top hitch coupler is for pulling it with a pickup truck and the lower one is for moving it with my four wheeler of the tractors I have access to. The lower one (http://www.shopfloortalk.com/forums/showpost.php?p=136876&postcount=52) (last photo) comes off to tow it with a pickup truck.

12-28-2013, 08:02 PM
What"s the spreader bar for ?
The spreader bar keeps the legs stable, they cannot spread out or compress when the press is moved. The bar also increases the safety factor, if something were to pop than the bar would not let it fall to pieces.

12-28-2013, 08:07 PM
I found myself wondering about the welds as well. 30 tons is a lot of force in tension for some of those joints... Nice design.

Hap, I am welding it together with 7018, 70,000psi tensile strength, that should give me a margin of safety once all the welds are done. I will have a buddy bring his gauges over and we will load it up to capacity.
I am going to add gussets from the legs to the header channels also.

12-28-2013, 08:11 PM
I spent the day today cutting firewood, so I did not get anything done on the press frame.
The weather was warm and sunny. the temperature in the mid to upper 40'sF.

12-28-2013, 08:17 PM
Good build so far , one question will the ram be fixed or will you make it moveable from side to side .
I have done that with mine and have found that it makes it easier to press bushes and bearings in and out of machine parts that are not just straight bars or small round bosses.

Your weld should hold ,as I have a welded fitting on the front of a twenty ton mobile crane which I borrow from time to time which I have lifted 12 tonnes with , the welds are three beads of 4 inches top and bottom , sides three beads about 6 inches , 7018 or similar rods .

The attachment stays in my yard but the cranes owners have copied my short attachment for lifting gear in daily use , their rating is 20 tonnes, so I wouldnt worry about the welds.

Sand blasting after completion is the best way , particularly if its a long term build , I had a set of machine supports which took three years of "spare time " to complete they were made and modified several times before final clean and painting .
Quite a bit of the paint is gone now as these get used daily when I'm busy.

12-28-2013, 08:18 PM
I was told that one inch of 1/4 fillet weld will hold a ton, i tried it out by lifting a one ton sand bag with my excavator and it held, couldn't try more as the old girl wouldn't lift more
Mark, years ago I submitted a weld for destructive testing, I can't remember all the spec's on it but it was a tensile test. They pulled it and I passed the test but did not get the job. It was welded with 6010 rod.

12-28-2013, 08:55 PM
Mike, I have done too many to count pipe welds, I have had a few repairs (leaks) but that goes with the territory, but none ever failed. I have done many repairs on weldments over the years, many are still holding just fine.
I want to up rate the press to 50ton once I gather all the parts to build the power unit.
I am going to build the ram assembly on a trolley, so it can be moved side to side in the frame. Originally the ram was going to be centered in the frame but I decided that it would be better to have it on a trolley.
The ram assembly will ride on angle iron rails, the wheels will be shop made with bearings pressed into them. I have a bunch of 203 bearings from 10SI alternators I have rebuilt. The wheels will have a groove in them to follow angle iron. I have a design for spring return on the jack, it will use coil over springs from a set of shocks.
I have to get them off the shocks, so I will have to build a set of spring compressors to do that.
It is a complicated set up, but I think it will work just fine.

12-28-2013, 09:35 PM
Ok, that makes sense, just couldn't see how it worked out!

01-13-2014, 08:33 PM
Today, I finished welding the press frame up. While I was working on it I discovered that the one leg was twisted. So after figuring out how to untwist it, I set up my 1-1/2ton chain cone along and a bar to remove the twist. I had to cut open the weld on the spreader bar to allow the leg to move. I pulled the twist out of the leg and then put the root pass back in the pipe to flange weld. Once I had all the root passes in and they were cooled down I pulled the spreader bar out and ran the cover pass on the root passes. Once it that was done, the welds cooled, I installed the bar back into the press.
I spent sometime gathering parts for the guide bar and guide tube assemblies.
I had a set of coil over shock absorbers from a pickup truck I scrapped out. I took them apart for the springs.
They have a free length of 16-1/2". The installed length is 14-1/2"
I will use the rubber seat cushions also.
I needed to check the springs maximum compressed length. set to 14.5"
The spring compressed to 7.5"
The total travel of the jack's ram is 6-11/16". So I have some leeway.
I have gathered the materials to build the guide tubes and rods. If the weather is crappy tomorrow I will start the machine work on them.

01-14-2014, 08:52 AM
If you are using a hydraulic jack in your build,
be mindful in your design. Any object you might
be pressing represents a column load, which of
course is subject to buckling. Using a jack in
the normal configuration is a column as well.
It is adventagous to avoid stacking column loads
together as it drasticly increases the chance of
something buckling sideways. It is best to secure
only the front (seal end) of a hydraulic cylinder,
therefore only the rod extending from it is a column.
The body in this case is not part of the column.
Good presses are built that way. Some press designs
use a moving bolster configuration with a common
hydraulic jack. These are also not the best design, as
any sideways bolster movment (even 1/8") leads to
quite large sideways forces on the press frame.
So I say all this to encurage you to fully think out
your design when I heard you were using a hydraulic


09-24-2014, 10:32 AM
Doozer, I share your concern over "column loading", I have designed the power head to eliminate as much as possible any chance of the column from tipping.
There will be two 1-3/8" 1018 guide bars connecting the push plate to the Head(?) plate that the jack will push against. The tubes the guides will run in will cover the guide bar fully when the jack's ram is in the close position. With the exception of approximately 1/4" so the springs can hold the jack in place. The ram will set in a machined cup to prevent it from slipping sideways. and the jack's base will be clamped or blocked to prevent slippage.
The push plate will have a coupling on it to hold the punch in place and I will make various sized punches that fit into the coupling. I figure 1/4" up to about 2" in 1/4" steps should be a good start.
I am back working on this project after a wet summer, I am almost ready to stand the frame up today. More tomorrow.

09-24-2014, 08:23 PM
Here are a couple photos I did not have time to post earlier today.
Stood up, I used the gantry with a set of chain falls and the JD tractor in the background with a set of forks to stand it up.
Another photo.
Tomorrow I will get it inside the shop and start on the table frame.
It is a monster.

09-24-2014, 08:41 PM
Thought that press looked familiar. I was reading about it over on Machine Builders

09-25-2014, 01:10 AM
Thought that press looked familiar. I was reading about it over on Machine Builders
Yep, It is on SFT also.
Most of the members here are not on the MBN and SFT, so I decided to post it up here also.

09-25-2014, 06:26 AM
That thing is amazing!

Looks exactly like the one a local forklift shop has mounted to a trailer with an Enerpac unit for pressing on forklift/scissor lift tires.