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  #1  
Old April 25th, 2007, 10:08 AM
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ColHart ColHart is offline
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Default Small shop press

I'm going to fabricate a small shop press... Anyone have pictures or drawins of one that they have done?

I can buy a cheap one from Harborfreight, but I want it to hold up. I have a portapower and some old junk hydraulic car jacks. Thought it would be easy to build a table top frame with an old car jack for the ram.

It's a pain to pound out lugs, bearings etc. without destroying parts.
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Old April 25th, 2007, 10:36 AM
Fastfrankie Fastfrankie is offline
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I have a Harbor Freight floor model - I paid $119 or less for it new. I believe its a 12 ton press. I've used it for about 10 years now and it still works great. By the time you buy steel, make holes, weld, grind, paint, and spend several hours fabricating, you're still going to have a rigged up contraption that will work marginally at best, unless you are pretty skilled and have access to alot of tooling. I am pretty cheap and I would just spend $100 on one and be done with it.
Also, I see used shop presses for sale all the time at auctions, shop closings, etc. and they always sell cheap. Look on Craigslist, classifieds etc
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Old April 25th, 2007, 12:08 PM
FSJGuy FSJGuy is offline
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The HF presses work great. I have the 20 ton. Just make certain that you throw away the POS sintered metal press plates. They WILL fail and when they do, they shatter instantly without warning, throwing crap (and your workpiece) in all directions. Not fun. I went and got a 10"x10"x1" solid metal plate for my work. If it ever starts to fail, it'll BEND and let me know first.
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Old April 25th, 2007, 01:00 PM
tacoma tacoma is offline
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Get the HF and weld it together. It's alright except for the bolts.
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Old April 25th, 2007, 02:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FSJGuy View Post
The HF presses work great. I have the 20 ton. Just make certain that you throw away the POS sintered metal press plates. They WILL fail and when they do, they shatter instantly without warning, throwing crap (and your workpiece) in all directions. Not fun. I went and got a 10"x10"x1" solid metal plate for my work. If it ever starts to fail, it'll BEND and let me know first.
Thanks for the advise... Just happen to have some 1" from a recent project.
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Old April 25th, 2007, 07:45 PM
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I'm with Colhart. I'd build one. It doesn't take any special tooling to build a press. All you need is a torch and a welder. Could get by with just a sawsall and a drill if you just wanted to bolt it together. We have a HF press at work and it could stand some beefing up. The top and bottom rails are bent and when you really get some pressure on it the whole thing will twist out of shape. Whenever I need to do some pressing I use the one at work but I've been saying for a long time I was going to build me one. I've got a hyd. cylinder and a electric pump laying around so I'm going to make the pump do the pressing by the pull of a valve when I get around to it.
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Old April 26th, 2007, 04:14 AM
Fastfrankie Fastfrankie is offline
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"I've been saying for a long time I was going to build me one"

I find that sometimes its just easier and money saved to go buy a press for well under $150 and be done with it. Apparently its been some time you've been wanting to build one and you still haven't...either its not a priority or you just don't use one enough to warrant you building one anytime soon, since you have one at work. Or, it may be you are short on time or you just don't have the willpower to spend several hours gathering steel and fabricating it because it is work.

Just my opinion, but my time is money too. If I am worth $30 an hour...and personally, I make more than that per hour, and it takes me 4 hours to build something that I could buy for the same price or cheaper, I'd rather go and buy it - especially if it is a tool or piece of equipment. Harbor Frieght presses aren't bad at all. I have the 12 ton and haven't bent anything. I would imagine the 20 ton is almost twice as sturdy. The thing I like about Harbor Freight is the stuff is so reasonable, you just trash it if something fails. Plus, no one is going to buy a home-made shop press - no one. if you bought a press from a shop or store, at least you could sell it later on and get some money back. Again, it seems everytime I go to a swap meet, huge tool yardsale, or a garage.shop going out of business, there always is a press there for sale, usually big ones with a price on them for under $200 - and guess what? They NEVER sell and the people wind up taking them home in their trucks....

When any of you finish building your presses, please share some photos...I really can't wait to see them.

Last edited by Fastfrankie; April 26th, 2007 at 04:18 AM.
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