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Old 08-18-2013, 07:06 AM
SE18 SE18 is offline
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Default started 20-ton shop press

this will be a slow build, as I'll be out of state and out of country several times and don't get as much time as some of you retired folk :-)

so I used the Marquette stick welder to attach square tube for the vertical and horizontal aspects of the frame. I could have gone with just single tube but I'd rather overbuild it rather than wonder

the tubes were from some type of Weider sports equipment someone threw away & I rescued. I used a bedframe for a small section to fill in that missing chunk you see on the weld table

I decided to bolt the horizontal/vertical frame together (not yet done) rather than weld it together. This will allow for moving it should the need occur and it will be less rigid, should I be off the mark some

I'm numbering my questions for easier reference...

1. regarding the press bar in the sketch, I didn't know what diameter, length or type steel to make it from so that is yet to be decided

2. I think for the jack plate or stand, it will move up and down via pipe inside pipe method that I've seen a small minority of press builders do. The problem for this new welder (me) is how to secure the pipes so they don't move on me and stay perpendicular all around. Guess I'll tack weld one side then the other. That's my only concern there

3. As for the opening in the apron, there's about 5 or 6 inches of space. Not sure what the pros and cons are of the opening clearance

4. I've got a 6-ton A frame from HF that has a stability plate in it. In most press builds I've seen that is absent. It seems it is there to guide the press bar down and keep it in line. However, it sure takes up a lot of space that could better be served with more press clearance. Anyone know why they designed it that way?

I'm going to make my die from 2 railway tie plates welded together so the top and bottom of the die are the flat sides of the tie plate. Then I'm going to oxy-acy cut the various shapes I need

Since this is a slow build, this post may get buried for a few week or longer & I'll resurect it as I continue
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  #2  
Old 08-18-2013, 08:50 AM
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Lu47Dan Lu47Dan is offline
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As to #1 find, make, or buy a 1" shaft coupling, cut it in half and weld it in place of the "press bar" (punch) with the set screw hole facing forward (towards you) Then you can change the punch shape length and diameter.
You can leave the coupling full length if you wish to but only use one of the setscrews to hold the punch in place.
Groove or spot face the punch to match the location of setscrew with the punch lightly pushing against the bed frame.
The punch should be made to slip fit into the holder, not wobbly loose, but just so it slips into place and slips out All the set screw is there for is to hold the punch from falling out.
Hot rolled or cold rolled is fine for punches, 1018 would work also. I would steer clear of tool steels as some of them do not weld well without special equipment or at all.
Answer #2
To weld the pipe in you will have to have a good flat end that is square to the pipes length, then make a V shaped spacer wire (1/8" tig wire) set the pipe on the wire, place a good tack on the pipe in mouth of the V, remove the wire spacer, then square up the pipe to the plate, 180° from the tack and tack it in place. Check for square, cut the tack and adjust if necessary. Repeat the process 90° from the first tacks after you have it tacked up, weld it out. Your jack plate material should be 1/2" or thicker to resist warping from the welding heat. You should also clamp on what are called strong backs to prevent the plate from warping or clamp it down to a solid welding table.
A strong back is a heavy section of tube that will resist the bending of the piece you are welding on.
The wire spacer allows you a gap to adjust the squareness of the tube.
Answer#3
Apron? I am assuming you are talking about the space between the end of the punch and the table. One thing the removable punch does is allow you to make shorter or longer custom punches. Also you can make your table adjustment holes closer together 6" centers instead of 12" centers to allow for more throat.
Answer#4
Commercial production is a trade off, between overhead costs, material cost, labor costs, skill level of the work force and assembly time.
It is cheaper to have someone running a stamping press, making those extra parts, assembling them to the press then it is to have a several people making the parts for the tube type guide assembly. Then sending them to the welder to have them assembled.
They can probably make ten of the traveling guide assemblies in the time it takes for them to make one of the tube types.
So in the end it is cheaper to do it that way.
Hope this helps.
Dan.
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  #3  
Old 08-18-2013, 09:49 AM
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SE18, my thoughts are that you have good vertical members as steel has great tensile strength.
But the top bar, where the jack mounts is not going to hold. The other thing I would say is that as you progress in this field, you will find 20 tons is a bit shy of power. I have a 30 ton and sometimes it is at the limit, but I have never yet found it unable to do the job. I would build your press top rail to withstand 30 tons+ and use the 20 ton jack til money floats by and you want to get a bigger cylinder and power unit.

A well built press is a lifetime tool, and may be passed on to children.

I would use a 4x8x3/8" I beam for the top rail and I also suggest a set of plates welded to the top rail to bolt or pin the uprights instead of welds. A weld if done well is ok, but if they ever let go the forces released are amazing. I have smashed fingers years back on my press from holding a bar that flipped over on it's side and all I was doing was touching it when the injury occurred.
The other point is to ensure that the pin holes for adjusting the bed, are all drilled parrallel and if not the table will 3 point. Even a 1/16" out is too much and the table will have to flex and will rock when you are positioning.
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Old 08-18-2013, 10:00 AM
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I used 2 x 8" tubing from a house trailer hitch for my uprights so the answer to your question of spacing is, my table (apron) spacing is 8.5" My pins are 4140 steel of 1" diameter. I had tried HR pins and I would have saved money by using earthworms.

When I built this 33 years ago, I had 10 tons available, but I made it for more power, and the 3/16" wall 2x8" tubing I used for uprights has held up very well to the 30 tons it now supplies.
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Old 08-18-2013, 11:28 AM
SE18 SE18 is offline
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Thanks,

I was referring to the distance within the press apron atop which the die rests. (the gap between the 2 horizontal pieces that make up the apron)

So double tubing for the top may not work? This project then is going to take a lot longer than I thought! Since it's being bolted, I might give it a go and if it doesn't hold, then invest in an expensive I Beam solution. Seems a railroad rail of the right length could also be the ticket to the top portion.

Glad you mentioned the exactness of the pin holes. Hadn't even thought of that.

shaft couple is great idea!

Guess the jack stand doesn't need to be especially tough, maybe 3/8 steel, since it's just taking compression forces. Forgot to ask about that

Last edited by SE18; 08-18-2013 at 12:41 PM. Reason: another question
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Old 08-18-2013, 12:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ironman View Post
... The other point is to ensure that the pin holes for adjusting the bed, are all drilled parrallel and if not the table will 3 point. ...
That's a big complaint about the Harbor Freight units. Maybe more on the 10 ton than the 20. Our 20-T is a little rattly on the top (current) position. Haven't checked to see if it's the hole position or warping in the moveable part.
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Old 08-18-2013, 12:35 PM
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Great suggestions from all. I took the easy way out and converted a HF 20 ton to a 30 ton. Had to do some cutting and welding to get the 30 ton jack installed where the 20 ton was mounted.

I found when using press with 20 ton jack, a top bridge plate had bent, replacing it with 1/2" plate, I'm hopping I don't have to start looking for I-beams to replace the frame.

HF press mod.
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Last edited by Vern2; 08-18-2013 at 12:44 PM.
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Old 08-18-2013, 12:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SE18 View Post
Thanks,

I was referring to the distance within the press apron atop which the die rests. (the gap between the 2 horizontal pieces that make up the apron)

So double tubing for the top may not work? This project then is going to take a lot longer than I thought! Since it's being bolted, I might give it a go and if it doesn't hold, then invest in an expensive I Beam solution. Seems a railroad rail of the right length could also be the ticket to the top portion.

Glad you mentioned the exactness of the pin holes. Hadn't even thought of that.
That's one place you are likely going to be doing some heavy cussing when it comes time to drill your pin holes. It would have been a lot easier to accurately mark them out on all four tubes, and then drill them from each side of the tubing before thinking of doing any welding.
As it is, drilling with as much of the frame put together as you have it now is going to be a major PIA.You will end up drilling completely through at least one of your vertical legs and one side of the other in one pass, then having to flip the frame and try to ensure that that hole matches exactly with the other three...........I don't think it will work out so well.
When I built my press,I had enough trouble just lifting each vertical leg (4 X 4 X .250 tube) up on my drill press table to drill the holes from each side. With the major portion of the frame put together (2 legs with 2 pieces of 6" heavy C channel forming the top of it), I would have been looking at renting a mag drill to do the pin holes.
You can see some pictures of my build here: http://www.shopfloortalk.com/forums/...ad.php?t=29125
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Old 08-18-2013, 02:41 PM
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the horizontal/vertical portions of the frame are on the driveway just sitting there; as I mentioned, I'll be bolting them together. As of now, they're in 3 parts (left leg, right leg, top). Each piece, however, consists of 2 square tubings welded together for extra strength. The top of the frame has 3 pieces welded together.

So Guess I'm in luck and can do the holes with left and right leg atop each other for comparison
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Old 08-18-2013, 02:57 PM
aametalmaster aametalmaster is offline
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Quote:
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That's one place you are likely going to be doing some heavy cussing when it comes time to drill your pin holes.
Thats why i used angle and a template to mark my holes. Short work with an ironworker...Bob
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