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Thread: Need to Make a Shop Press Faster

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2013

    Question Need to Make a Shop Press Faster

    Hey there,

    I am looking for a way to make the ram on my shop press move much faster than it does.

    The press is never used to press anything that would require more than 4-500 lbs of force and it would be doing this on a regular basis.

    Its an air assisted hydraulic pump but it only moves at about 1" over 30 seconds I would like it to move at about 6" over 10 seconds would be ideal.

    Does anyone have any ideas of how i could achieve this and the parts i would need.

    your help and expertise is greatly appreciated. This is the press in question



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    West coast of Canada


    Good Morning Mike
    Basically what you need to do is pump a larger volume of oil. Maybe a second pump in parallel with the one you have, Then use both of them for speed and go back to one for the finer pressing.
    I have to tell you about a pump an old friend of mine put on his press years ago. He found an old diesel engine fuel injection pump for a big old V8 diesel. He mounted it on his press driven with a large electric motor.
    He set up a lever to control the injection pump rack, tied all 8 pump outlets together with a manifold and ran a line to the ram. With the pump rack in the shut off position the motor would run and the ram would stay still.
    By varying the position of the rack lever he was able to control the speed then when things got close he just throttled it back to slow it right down yet build all the pressure he needed. He also had a two way valve in the
    lines to the ram so he could pump the ram back up very quickly. A very nice set up.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Winchendon MA


    Get a log splitter pump they have the volume which will give you the speed you need, and if you need to press something they will shift into high pressure.

  4. #4


    I had a similar issue several years ago, and did change my "Hand" pump. The original was quite slow, however; the new pump was a "Quick-Engage" style which pumps quickly until a load is engaged, If I remember correctly I got it from MSC or McMaster-Carr.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2010


    Or use a smaller cylinder if it will provide enough force.


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Waukesha WI USA (20 miles W of Milwaukee)


    A 45 ton press doing a half foot long 400 (to 500) pound job... The pity is its just a little too much for a foot pedal... half a foot at 400 pounds can be levered up to the operator moving 2 feet at 100 pounds force which is just a bit too much. If you could get it down to 200 pounds force, or only move 3 inches, maybe you could foot pedal it.

    Diameter of the ram? Be very careful directly connecting the air supply to the ram instead of connecting to a pump because you might accidentally build what amounts to a cannon. Someone else can calculate the tiny air orifice required. Probably the "right" way to do it is buy genuine pneumatic cylinders and regulators and valves rather than bodging it, especially if its a production job.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    northwest wisconsin


    it looks like a bottle jack is the working part and its pretty dang big. a smaller piston,, say 5 ton portapower ram which would be about 1-3/4 diameter, would serve you pretty well. it would still give you 5 ton of pressure if your pump is a typical 10,000 psi air / hydraulic unit. if you look up the specs of a 10,000 psi pump, say OTC for example, they will tell you how many cubic inches per minute it will produce. then do the math. . . .I would but im too lazy . . .

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2008


    Quote Originally Posted by STR8SIN View Post
    Hey there,The press is never used to press anything that would require more than 4-500 lbs of force only moves at about 1" over 30 seconds I would like it to move at about 6" over 10 seconds
    As becksmachine already mentioned - the simplest means of achieving this would seem to be to replace the cylinder with a smaller one.

    You need to go 18 times faster, so reduce the ram area by a factor of 18, i.e. divide the diameter by the square root of 18, i.e. divide by 4.24.

    Since the pressure available is specified as sufficient for 45 ton with the original ram, you should still be able to achieve 2.5 ton.

    Given that is much higher than you require, you could afford to reduce the ram area more and gain even more speed.



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