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  • Hydraulic Press Mods

    I have been thinking about making these mods to my Harbor Freight 20 hydraulic press for some time and today was the day.

    This makes getting into position to do the serious pushing much quicker and much easier. The screw is 1½" Acme thread. The housing is 3" schedule 80 pipe. The nut had a ½" base plate and I added a ½" mounting plate to the pipe. The base of the jack complete covers the footprint of the pipe.

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    Grantham, New Hampshire

  • #2
    So you've added 4" of travel? Nice! Where did you get that badass handwheel?

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    • #3
      That's pretty sweet. One mod I recommend is to put a safety cable through those chinesium quality springs. We all tend to look closely as we're pressing something and if one lets go it'll send flying bits likely in your eyes.

      The other handy thing I did was to machine the tabs off the release screw and whittle a large knurled disk and braze it to the screw. It makes releasing easy as opposed to fumbling with the handle on it.

      I also turned a larger diameter slug to fit on the arbor.
      Attached Files

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      • #4
        Question? Will the acme threads and the nut that is on the end of the threaded rod be able to handle the pressure of the press at 20 ton ? The thread is the only part of the assembly that is seeing the pressure I'm thinking, but then I'm not an engineer either. Just thinking that you might want to verify this before you put it to the test. I'm also a safety nut about some things that can really be a bomb.

        Not trying to shoot the messenger or kill your project, just asking the safety question.

        TX
        mr fixit for the family
        Chris

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        • #5
          Originally posted by I make chips View Post
          That's pretty sweet. One mod I recommend is to put a safety cable through those chinesium quality springs. We all tend to look closely as we're pressing something and if one lets go it'll send flying bits likely in your eyes.

          The other handy thing I did was to machine the tabs off the release screw and whittle a large knurled disk and braze it to the screw. It makes releasing easy as opposed to fumbling with the handle on it.

          I also turned a larger diameter slug to fit on the arbor.
          Interesting on the springs, I have had my HF 20T for 40 years now and never had one fail and from my experience it would be the hook and the 90 degree bend that failed which is not captured. Maybe many tape wraps or some kind of cover for those? Good idea tho given any spring at that eye level. I am going to do it!

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          • #6
            Yeah vector, having been around several garage door springs of about the same diameter and wire size that went BANG it'll scare the beejeezus out of you with all that pent up energy being released. These springs stretch out pretty dang far when the press is stroked out all the way so i's cheap insurance. A trip to the hardware for a cable and a few of those smash em tight couplers.

            *Be sure to stroke the press out and measure the cable lengths before you cut them.

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            • #7
              I like that idea. I was planning on making a press until I found a KR Wilson that I couldn't pass up. I'm surprised someone hasn't mentioned the press plates.
              Mike
              Central Ohio, USA

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              • #8
                I agree, the press plates are the real weak link. The threads on the screw are twice the size of the ones on the jack so they should be fine. Taping the end inch of so of the springs should help. That is where the real danger of breaking is. If you can control the ends when they break, you should be relatively safe.
                Grantham, New Hampshire

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by vectorwarbirds View Post

                  Interesting on the springs, I have had my HF 20T for 40 years now and never had one fail and from my experience it would be the hook and the 90 degree bend that failed which is not captured. Maybe many tape wraps or some kind of cover for those? Good idea tho given any spring at that eye level. I am going to do it!
                  Safety glasses are in order when operating any press.
                  OPEN EYES, OPEN EARS, OPEN MIND

                  THINK HARDER

                  BETTER TO HAVE TOOLS YOU DON'T NEED THAN TO NEED TOOLS YOU DON'T HAVE

                  MY NAME IS BRIAN AND I AM A TOOLOHOLIC

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                  • #10
                    Don't forget the bullet proof vest. They can be scary. I remember using a 100 ton pressing 6" shafts when they popped and pushed through, you never got use to it.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Mr Fixit View Post
                      Question? Will the acme threads and the nut that is on the end of the threaded rod be able to handle the pressure of the press at 20 ton ? The thread is the only part of the assembly that is seeing the pressure I'm thinking, but then I'm not an engineer either. Just thinking that you might want to verify this before you put it to the test. I'm also a safety nut about some things that can really be a bomb.

                      Not trying to shoot the messenger or kill your project, just asking the safety question.

                      TX
                      mr fixit for the family
                      Chris
                      I think it'll be plenty OK -- I have a 20-ton jack from Sears with a thread smaller than that.
                      25 miles north of Buffalo NY, USA

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                      • #12
                        Here what I made; missing is the 2". They all have a magnet to hold on the shaft.
                        Click image for larger version

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                        • #13
                          I wasn't happy with the rods which held the table up on the museums cheapo 8 ton bench top press and bought some chrome moly replacements.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Tungsten dipper View Post
                            Here what I made; missing is the 2". They all have a magnet to hold on the shaft.
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                            It was suggested to me to put an "O-ring" on the ram to hold the caps on.
                            Peter

                            Grantham, New Hampshire

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                            • #15
                              The knurled knob looked like a really great idea, so I made one today. It is a huge improvement, thank you. I attached mine with a ¼x20 set screw.

                              Peter

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                              Last edited by CPeter; 04-08-2020, 09:26 PM.
                              Grantham, New Hampshire

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