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I Forge Iron

Opinions sought, C or H frame, cylinder above or below.

james gonzalez

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Ladies and Gents
As the how to book by mr Batson arrived yesterday I am about to commence work on a hydraulic press.

I have not decided yet to go with C or H frame nor have I come to a decision on whether to have the cylinder above or below.

I intend to use this thing mostly for slitting drifting and stamping. I have the power hammer for drawing.

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Having just built an H frame, I put the cylinder below to keep the center of gravity low and to use less materials for the frame as it is shorter than if the cylinder was on top. Also, I used available materials already in the shop and 2 uprights of 4x4" tube is stronger than one. If I had enough heavy I-beam, I might have done different.

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I'm considering building press myself and am contemplating the same questions.

A C frame press seems much more versatile in that the edge of a wide piece can be worked and long pieces can be put into position more easily and quickly, important considerations when doing hot work.

Putting the cylinder on top ad having the ram travel down to a fixed bed would allow adjustable stock rests to support the outboard ends of a long piece. It would also make it easier to set up stops or guides for repetitive work. It seems also this would be easier to visually watch the tool in the work.

The only down side would be the overall height of the press and having the hydraulic lines above the hot metal. Any leaks of high pressure oil would be a potential flame thrower. I've heard that some forging presses use a water /glycol[?] mix for the hydraulic fluid. Does anyone know the particulars about this ?

My thought would be to make the frame as narrow as possible and configured somewhat like a drill press so curved pieces , rings or hoops could be worked unrestricted in throat of the press.

I was planning on using the 10,000 psi electric hydraulic pump and foot/hand switch from a Cleveland Steel Tool 35 ton Porta Punch as the power source to the press cylinder . Does anyone have experience in sizing the cylinder to match ?

I need to buy the Porta Punch to punch a about a 100 holes around the perimeter of a series of large [6' OD ] rolled hoops for a project. The pump come with a 10' hose with quick release fitting so it could power the punch tool as well as a press or a movable cylinder to bend work on the platen table .

My thoughts would be to get as much versatility out of the design of the tool. Any kind of machine that is used with forged work needs to be able to accommodate a wide variety of odd and irregular shapes.

I will be very interested in what you come up with.

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