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  • #16
    Originally posted by CPeter View Post
    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.
    ​​​​​​​Very neat idea. I like it a lot. JR

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    • #17
      Darn you guys! I guess I'll have to do some press updates. Mine sits outside with a piece of plywood over the top. When I need to use it, I usually have to chase the yellow jackets away. I've got a new air over hydraulic jack for it. I just need a "roundtoit" to get started.

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      • #18
        I also have been around when a garage door spring broke. It is a sobering experience. And the guys at the door shop are very familiar with the problem: no surprise to them. It happens all the time. One of the first things I did after the first time that happened was to run safety steel cables through all of them. The second time, most, not all but most of the pieces were on the safety cable.

        As for how this happens, I suspect it has more to do with the number of cycles than the country of origin of the springs. Garage doors go up and down perhaps two times a day, often more. Over five, ten, and more years that adds up. Good old metal fatigue.

        You may not use your press that often, but why take chances?



        Originally posted by I make chips View Post
        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.
        Paul A.
        SE Texas

        And if you look REAL close at an analog signal,
        You will find that it has discrete steps.

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        • #19
          Originally posted by Paul Alciatore View Post
          I also have been around when a garage door spring broke. It is a sobering experience. And the guys at the door shop are very familiar with the problem: no surprise to them. It happens all the time. One of the first things I did after the first time that happened was to run safety steel cables through all of them. The second time, most, not all but most of the pieces were on the safety cable.
          Ha, that is a lil funny.

          I built my 50T press and had safety wires in place in my home garage.

          I use my old broken garage door springs for a reason..

          So far so good. 28 years and holding.

          LOL. Want Pics? JR

          Everyone else is screaming, no more pics from John Rouche!!

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          • #20
            An Update.
            I have added an winch to raise and lower the bed on the press. Been thinking on this for a while and trying to come up with a way to deal with the cable from the winch. Last week, I looked at winches on EBAY and saw some that had a strap instead of cable and came up with a new plan. I ordered up the winch, $20 delivered! First job was to cut the strap and instead of one lead from the winch have two. I have an industrial sewing machine for leather, so joining the two together was no problem. I then made two rollers to guide the strap over the top of to columns.To attach to the bed I made up some extensions and put a ½" cross bar through them. I got everything in place except the winch was only clamped so I could adjust it to even out the straps if I needed to, and I did need to make and final adjustment. I sewed loops at the end of the straps, got the the table level, ran it up and down a few time and then bolted it in place. It works great!


            Peter
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            Grantham, New Hampshire

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            • #21
              Nice job on Acme Thread&Handwheel,Straps look good also Great Ideas!

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              • #22
                That strap design looks great! That should become the defacto-press lift.
                21" Royersford Excelsior CamelBack Drillpress Restoration
                1943 Sidney 16x54 Lathe Restoration

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                • #23
                  Yes, I too like the strap/winch setup, that is after I finally saw how the strap was routed to both sides of the press. Is the winch over kill though? would a "direct drive" winch drum do it maybe?

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by CPeter View Post
                    An Update.
                    I have added an winch to raise and lower the bed on the press. Been thinking on this for a while and trying to come up with a way to deal with the cable from the winch. Last week, I looked at winches on EBAY and saw some that had a strap instead of cable and came up with a new plan. I ordered up the winch, $20 delivered! First job was to cut the strap and instead of one lead from the winch have two. I have an industrial sewing machine for leather, so joining the two together was no problem. I then made two rollers to guide the strap over the top of to columns.To attach to the bed I made up some extensions and put a ½" cross bar through them. I got everything in place except the winch was only clamped so I could adjust it to even out the straps if I needed to, and I did need to make and final adjustment. I sewed loops at the end of the straps, got the the table level, ran it up and down a few time and then bolted it in place. It works great!


                    Peter
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                    That sir is uber slick! I trust we'll see a post in a few months where you motorized it.

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                    • #25
                      The square threaded ram extension is just as handy. Put the table where you want it, run the ram extension down and a few cranks on the hydraulic Jack and the job is done. No more one million cranks on the jack to get to the work with the ram and moving the table is safe and fast. This should be an option. Would probably ad another $25 to the cost and 20 of that would be profit!
                      Peter
                      Grantham, New Hampshire

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                      • #26
                        I have that same orange press. My plan is similar to yours but with counterweights. One hand should be able to lift or lower the table to the desired level.

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                        • #27
                          The issue with counter weights is that different loads on the table will require different counter weights. This way, I put the work on the table and bring to where ever it wants to be and insert the cross pins and release the tension on the straps and I am good to go.
                          Grantham, New Hampshire

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                          • #28
                            When I was designing my press, I decided to run the jack upside down. It was more work because I had to add a fluid tank and some piping to allow for that- but it works great. The end of the ram has a guide attached to it to keep it centered between the towers, and the threaded extension became a removable piece. I had some acme rod of the same size and thread as the jack has, so I cut a few pieces on which I can make custom shapes on the 'business' end. I took the nut out of an actuator, and I run the nut onto the threaded part, then insert the extension into the ram and run the nut up snug by hand. That keeps the extension tight to the ram- though it does now transfer the force to the threads in the nut rather than the threads in the ram. But it works and is not an obstruction in the working space. One job I had required me to press inside of a lengthy tube, so in that case the extension piece became fairly long- but at least it made the job possible.

                            With the jack upside down, the pump is now operated from the top of the press. I made some linkage to allow easy operation, get rid of the pump handle play, and give a bit more mechanical advantage. Because the linkage is in a fixed position between the columns, I can easily add a foot pedal to it so both hands are free.

                            I was well aware of the issue of ram speed, so I opted to go with less than a 20 ton jack. I have a 20 ton on my flat bar bender, and it's slow. I've opened the pressure limit valve many times on the smaller jack- haven't reached that point yet on the 20 ton.

                            Still looking at ways to motorize them without spending too dearly.
                            I seldom do anything within the scope of logical reason and calculated cost/benefit, etc- I'm following my passion-

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                            • #29
                              Originally posted by CPeter View Post
                              The issue with counter weights is that different loads on the table will require different counter weights. This way, I put the work on the table and bring to where ever it wants to be and insert the cross pins and release the tension on the straps and I am good to go.
                              I'll counterweight it to just under the weight of the table and plates, so I can easily move it vertically by hand (will have to figure out how to handle removing the plates). My workpieces aren't usually that heavy so I can probably just move them with the table, but I will typically be moving the table alone. I thought about the crank stuff, but this should be MUCH faster. Pretty much like suspending gravity while I move the table.

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                              • #30
                                Very nicely done. About a month ago I got an old OTC press at an auction that is somewhat similar in design. Have not really needed to use it yet but it adjusts easily. Except for the lower anvil - it (and the whole press) is one heavy animal. But using a floor jack the lower anvil can be moved as necessary. This was a non working greasy dirty mess when I got it, which was good. Rebuilt the pump and twin cylinder ram. Rated at 30 tons. Only posting as I have never seen one quite like this and am posting as it might offer ideas to someone.

                                You may only view thumbnails in this gallery. This gallery has 2 photos.

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