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Hydraulic Shop Press in HSM

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  • Hydraulic Shop Press in HSM

    There is really nice article in the lastest Home Shop Machinist magazine about building a shop press. I have never used one of these but would like to have one. The ones that I have seen, usually have angle iron uprights and this one uses 5/8" x 4" strap. Wouldn't strap be hard to build straight and keep straight after use? Also, the plate that the ram pushes against is really thick(over one inch thick) and I have some 1" that I could use if it is thick enough. Is one inch thick enough or would it bend?

    The winch to raise the table has a single turn wide drum to avoid tangles. Couldn't a guy use a pipe for a drum to keep the windings apart rather than on top of each other? What do you guys think? Anyone ever build one of these?

    The winch on the table is a good idea, but I haven't figured out how you lock it into place when the height is right. Are there any features that you guys think I should add to my press? Thanks--Mike.

  • #2
    Here's a shot of my press.

    Being of an idle disposition this one if electric powered hydraulic from a 440v pump fitted at the back.
    The old one was handraulic and was a pain to use on large broaches.
    This one is made of 'U' shaped channel with the holes drilled thru the side at 1" diameter with a mag drill.
    Two pieces of 4" channel make the bed bars up and the plate is 3/4" thick which was all I could find in the scrap.

    I don't have a table winch as I can either lift each end in turn and move the pins up or take the bed plate off and the two bed bars and move the pins that way.
    There is a plasitc tray underneath to catch the braoches so they don't hit the floor.

    There is a speed valve and pressure valve to control flow but to be honest they are always set flat out.
    The hard hat is covering the ram which has a 16" stroke. The hat is there for a reason as the conrol handle is spring loaded to centre and pushing it up with your head whilsyt you are setting up for the next stroke comes keen, especially when you are folically challanged as I am

    John S

    Sir John , Earl of Bligeport & Sudspumpwater. MBE [ Motor Bike Engineer ] Nottingham England.


    • #3
      John, for a few secs I couldn't put it together, there's something missing in your pic. Then it came to me, there should be an issue of HSM laying there with the coffee cup, et al.
      I seldom do anything within the scope of logical reason and calculated cost/benefit, etc- I'm following my passion-


      • #4
        When the guys at work built the hydraulic press, they used a winch that is sold for boat trailers ie winching light boats onto the trailer. These winches are ideal, they are cheap, easy to mount and don't need any latching mechanism. Whichever way you wind them, they just latch as soon as you stop turning - really good for this sort of application. Makes altering the table height a breeze. The winch is mounted down on one upright, it has two wires going up over pulleys, one wire for each side of the table.


        • #5
          Our press at work uses a worm gear box and a couple of drums to raise the table,it will stop in any position,but you must remember to lower the table until slack BEFORE you begin pressing otherwise the cables will get streched or broke.

          One other think about the article,I liked the construction of the frame and table,but the placement of the jack is less than ideal,I would either do as John did or mount the kack so its up in or over the top rails and regain that 10 or 12" of lost work envelope,you will need it.

          Also one of our most versitle presses at work is one where both the head and bed can be moved up and down independently.This feature eliminates lots of blocking.
          I just need one more tool,just one!


          • #6
            I'd like to post a pic of my old handraulic press but it's buried under a ton of stuff and a CNC Bridgeport.
            I'll see if I can dig a bit of it out for a shoot as it's got some good [ and bad features ] for home shop use.
            This was the second one I built, first was a bench press from an old jack but it had limitations.
            Second one used a tilt ram off a big forklift truck and a home made pump.

            John S.

            [This message has been edited by John Stevenson (edited 05-10-2004).]

            Sir John , Earl of Bligeport & Sudspumpwater. MBE [ Motor Bike Engineer ] Nottingham England.


            • #7
              Dug a bit of crap out.

              This one uses a short fat ram, 5" diameter and 8" stroke. When I made this we had a job to do where we had to pull a very heavy spring apart , fit wedges into the coils and fit onto a machine then knock the wedges out.
              With this in mind I made it double acting, so it would pull as well as push, that's what the extra pump is for on the right. It worked fine on this job but made normal pressing a pain as you had to pump both ways. I was going to take this off and fit return springs but I lucked on the electro hydraulic unit and built a new press.
              The other two pumps are high and low pressure pumps for the down ram. Work the large diameter low pressure pump to rapid down to the work and then swap the bar over to the small diameter high pressure pump to get some pressure on.
              This one can handle 25 tons safely and a bit more if you don't stare at the gauge

              One thing I did on this one that I miss on my new one is the rack press I fitted afterwards to the side of he main ram.
              Just visable in the picture, this was a scrap piece of rack bolted up into an angle iron frame with a gear to match.
              Ideal for quick light work.
              I keep meaning to rob this bit off the old press and fit it to the new one as an outrigger press because the new press has a solid bottomed head plate.

              John S.

              Sir John , Earl of Bligeport & Sudspumpwater. MBE [ Motor Bike Engineer ] Nottingham England.


              • #8
                That old press could be marketed as some type of exercise machine.
                I can see that late nite info on now...
                Just 3 easy payments of 49.95...
                please visit my webpage:


                • #9

                  Thanks for the ideas and the pictures. You and your shop are full of interesting things. Your shop would be a fun place to visit--maybe you should start a vacation tour to the UK for wandering home shop machinists! If you charge enough, maybe you could get some extra cash for some more tools! Thanks again--Mike.