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  • Arbor Press Platen Ideas?

    I'm finally getting round to cleaning up my Famco #2 arbor press that I picked up in a garage sale a couple years ago. Among other things, it needs a platen or bolster. That round disk with four or five different size slots milled in it. Till now I've been using a variety of plates, bars, and sockets to do what I need but would like to have a platen for the quick jobs. Any suggestions on number of slots and sizes? Anyone come up with something clever? I googled but everything I saw was the standard plate or something dedicated for a specific job. I've got a hunks of 3/4 or 1" steel that will work. More slots of different sizes make it more flexible, but would also make it more flexible, if you get my drift. Disk will be 7" dia and the main pass through in the press is 1 3/4" wide.

  • #2
    Make a few different types... and at least one with NO damn slots or hole to get in the way for those jobs that will suffer. Also... make one that extends out past the front edge (can't rotate it now) like a table and is supported to the floor. I always seem to have something that needs off-center support
    Last edited by lakeside53; 12-23-2017, 02:07 PM.

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    • #3
      A no. 2 Famco arbor press comes from the factory with a 3/4" thick platen (which Famco calls a "bolster plate"). They do not call out the diameter of the platen, but you can measure from the front edge of the base to the center of your hole and use that dimension for your radius.

      I'd make 4 slots, the smallest being 3/4 or 7/8" and the largest being 1.5 or 1-5/8", the others being in between, you choose. Pay attention to the size of tooling you have - if, for example, you have a 1.5" rotabroach tool, you might consider making a 1.5" slot.

      If you have a company in your area that has CNC oxyacetylene gear, do as lakeside53 says and design a few and get them all cut at the same time. If you want to put all that money into an arbor press that small, that is.

      If it were my platen to make, I'd start by cutting out a circle of 3/4" plate steel using an oxy/propane torch with a circle cutting attachment. Once the circle was cut, I would make a decision. Either use the piece as is, or drill a center hole in the middle and put the faceplate on your lathe and use a live center to catch the part and push it stoutly against the faceplate with a plywood or MDF piece between the faceplate and your part. Then turn the outside smooth using carbide tooling which despite what some people say whips right through torch-cut steel. Anyway, at this point you have your basic round shape.

      If there's no pin in your arbor press base, I'd measure its hole and go buy a roll pin that presses into that size hole, and drill/ream a hole in the center of the platen so the platen can turn around the roll pin easily.

      Then I'd lay out my slots and drill the slot end features as round holes using a mag drill and rotabroaches. Then lay out the slot sides
      and use a track burner to cut the straight sides. You will get a visible discontinuity as the straight sides blend into the hole for each slot, but hey, it ain't a Swiss watch, right?

      Anyway, that's how I'd make an arbor press platen aka bolster plate.

      metalmagpie

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      • #4
        Dang, I miss my 5 ton offshore arbor press.. got it for 75 bux at a woodworking plant auction.

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        • #5
          Hey gzig5,

          I have a import press that came without a bolster also. All I had was 3/4"x 6" flat stock and I just cut it to size as a square, cut the slots as metalmagpie said and it works perfectly. I do have one without any holes and I do have one with a 2" hole just in the center, I've not put pins for any of these to keep them in alignment which works fine, but that's just me.


          TX
          Mr fixit for the family
          Chris

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          • #6
            Just a thought, press the pin into the plate, not the press, as some jobs may require the base surface to be clear of obstructions...

            Pete
            1973 SB 10K .
            BenchMaster mill.

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            • #7
              The notches in the plates are never the exact size you need. Make two with a wide range of sizes

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Ohio Mike View Post
                The notches in the plates are never the exact size you need. Make two with a wide range of sizes
                Make one plate and top hat reducing bushings to fit the slots as you need them.

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                • #9
                  if YOU don't know what you need, make it solid and put holes in it as the need arises. The last time I used mine was to press a die into leather.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by gzig5 View Post
                    I'm finally getting round to cleaning up my Famco #2 arbor press that I picked up in a garage sale a couple years ago. Among other things, it needs a platen or bolster. That round disk with four or five different size slots milled in it.
                    Yeah, I remember there being "standard size" for the slots. And it was based off common fasteners or something. It wasnt metric but fractional sizing I think. Getting old.

                    Love to see pics. JR
                    My old yahoo group. Bridgeport Mill Group

                    https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/...port_mill/info

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                    • #11
                      FWIW, the plate on my Greenerd #2 is 9/16" thick with slots of 1/2, 5/8, 3/4, 15/16, and 1-1/16 inch. And I have a FAMCO #2 with a non-factory plate of a different arrangement. No matter what, it seems that for most jobs something other than what I have would be better, so don't over-think it.
                      Last edited by Moxiedad2001; 12-24-2017, 11:26 AM.

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                      • #12
                        For the raw material I found a neighbor who has a pattern cutter and does a lot of pipe work. He had a whole pile of rounds that were cut from the center of flanges. Might work for you if you have such a fab shop in your area. I got a few rounds and turned them to size with a center pin. When something special was needed I modified the blank as needed.

                        lg
                        no neat sig line
                        Last edited by larry_g; 12-29-2017, 09:51 PM.

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                        • #13
                          This has me wondering if you could make one with two centers. Some of the slots would further from the edge so they would be holes: those would be smaller ones. And the ones on the edges would be larger. I think you would be able to get 6 to 8 different sizes in one stretched disk that way.
                          Paul A.

                          Make it fit.
                          You can't win and there is a penalty for trying!

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                          • #14
                            How about a matched pair with a bunch of matched holes for punching.
                            *** I always wanted a welding stinger that looked like the north end of a south bound chicken. Often my welds look like somebody pointed the wrong end of a chicken at the joint and squeezed until something came out. Might as well look the part.

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                            • #15
                              I have a Famco #2 with what I believe is the factory platten.

                              If you need dimensions let me know.

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