braselforge

is it possible to build a hydraulic forging press for under 200 dollars

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Before they'd let us use the welders at school to make things they made us practice welding on a plate of thin steel so that we could see how our welds looked on both sides and if they penetrated properly and evenly.
I personally always put extra welds and supports wherever I can when I weld things up.
By the way I have seen this a few times now but why is the bottle pressing up and not down, thought this would be less acurrate then pressing down etc....

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Before they'd let us use the welders at school to make things they made us practice welding on a plate of thin steel so that we could see how our welds looked on both sides and if they penetrated properly and evenly.
I personally always put extra welds and supports wherever I can when I weld things up.
By the way I have seen this a few times now but why is the bottle pressing up and not down, thought this would be less acurrate then pressing down etc....


I having it pressing up only because thats how I had seen most and it seemed like it would be an easier return without buying some beefy springs.

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Brasel,

Seriously, the welds don't look right and you are working with big forces in immediate proximity to your body. Be responsible for yourself and others that may be near you when you work this thing and fix it. You will be at fault if someone other than yourself is injured using this thing. Bob is right about your family as well because if you get screwed up they will have take care of you.

Rule of welding...if it looks bad it probably is bad. If you cant weld, that's all right, just get someone to help you out or hire the job out.. Don't pass off bad welding jobs as good enough, people get killed this way.

Peter
i didnt make it, the pics were form another users posting.

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jmann, what he's saying is that it'll be your family picking up the slack, not his. Sure, it's your choice if you want to risk your life doing something that need not be dangerous, but if you were killed by an explosion, you wouldn't know anything about it. Your family, however, have to live with what happened, arrange your funeral and know that you were killed doing something that shouldn't have been dangerous. The reason he put it from his perspective is because when you write it directly addressed to you as I just have, it sounds absolutely horrible. But the truth is, it is.

It's harsh having something you're enthusiastic about set back by others for reasons you don't value. Don't think you have to give up. Get a professional welder to fix it up and reinforce with bolts where possible. You don't have to stop just because you don't have the skills to do what is a very, very advanced skill. You don't have to get yourself killed either.

People don't say things like this for no reason, they're trying to help. I don't know what you're trying to prove, but from here you're just throwing their concern back in their faces with a two-fingered gesture and disregarding it out of ego, stubbornness or an unwillingness to give up what you have worked on. I hope it is the latter, because that way you can get it properly fixed up and carry on work. It's hard to convince people otherwise when stubbornness or ego gets in the way. Take their advice, we don't want to see you injured any more than you or your family do.

/morbid post

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If you are unwilling to accept the advice folks are trying to tell you that your welds are inferior and could get you killed due to the lack of improper welding procedure you are beyond help ! folks on here help hundreds of young folks on here everyday and do it safely and try to prevent them from injuring themselves and others by giving the best proper knowledge to the ones that are willing to listen to the advice . here we DO NOT want folks hurt .

Sam

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Jaman, I carried 3 certifications when I was looking at being a professional fabricator. I did lots of fabrication but none requiring a cert so I relenquished them as I wasn't going to be keeping them current. Anyway as a 40 year pro here's a little critique. First you didn't prepare the joins at all. Second your welder was improperly set for the rod. Third it looks like you didn't use the right size rod.

Any of those can be handled by an experienced welder but . . So here's the rub, those are what we called chicken XXXX beads. That means globby, and yours show no wetting at all. This is an indicator there is virtually NO penetration. Then they're virtually ALL undercut which introduces a built in initiation sites for failure. By looks your welds are what we used to call "Cold stuck," and not actually "welded".

In short the guys who are saying your press scares crap out of them are only saying so because they know what they're talking about. The ONLY saving grace in your press is having a hand pump jack. Or did I miss an air over hydraulic jack? If it is air over hydraulic powered it is a mechanical BOMB, hopefully it'll only put a hole in a wall, ceiling or floor, not YOU or a friend.

Yeah, YOUR family is going to pay a heavy price if you cripple or kill yourself, I KNOW. I darned near killed myself cutting firewood three years ago and my wife is still suffering PTSD of a significant nature but we're working on it and we're both getting over it. Seriously I would do ANYTHING to avoid putting my family and friends through it.

If you think we're being harsh, we're just talking to you like you are an adult. Would you hold it against someone for SHOUTING to alert you of an oncoming bus or similar hazard? Smithing is inherently dangerous and NOTHING is more hazardous than investing yourself emotionally in anything but safety and quality. If straight talk is too much for you maybe you should choose a safer hobby, something that can't make your family and friends pay the piper.

Frosty The Lucky. (The LUCKY part of my handle is because of me and the tree. You can read the story as it happened here if you wish)

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I don't understand how I have an ego.People seem to make alot of assumptions. I never bragged about anything. I'll always accept advice (never said I wouldnt). The wire used for this was specified in the welding manual for this particular thickness and was set to the correct settings as specified.

I think everyone is looking at the welds on the die jigs. Yes those are horrible in the front. I just welded that up super quick with some inferior wire after I ran out of the Lincoln stuff. The welds the support the structure itself on the 2x2s are fine

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jmann, you`re new here and I`d like to suggest you take a bit of time to cruise around the site and get a feel for what it`s like here. I think you`ll find most everyone here is more than willing to help and support anyone else who posts. If you click on someone`s profile you can see all the content they have posted on and can get a better feel for who they are and how they interact with others. Right now it looks to me like you are spending more time defending your own thinking rather than being receptive to the folks who are trying to help you and keep you in this craft for a good long time to come. Those of us who have been at it for decades know more than we might want to about who has to suffer the consequences when things go wrong, we know because we`ve seen it and some of us, myself included, go to sleep every nite and wake up every morning reminded of the mistakes made. We know and understand that our lives and the lives of others can be forever changed in an instant.
I`d like to suggest you take that stroll around the site, look at some of the things available besides this thread and when you think you have an understanding of just how helpful and supportive the long term members here really are then come back and re-read those posts aimed at helping you to do thing correctly and carefully instead of cheaply. If my post riled you up too much to be receptive to this help then please accept my apologies. It`s more important to me that people remain as safe as possible and live as long as possible than it is to be seen as the one who was on the right side of the discussion.

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Holey Welding Gloves Batman! The looks of those welds scare the heck out of me. At the very least I would grind them out and start over. It don't look like there is a heck of a lot of penetration in some of them. Looks more stacked up than burned in. They may not fail the first time you use it, but I would want the controls about 100 feet from the press behind something big and heavy.

It seems that at time people come here asking questions but in reality they are seeking reassurance that what they have done is good and safe. Then when they get constructive criticism aimed at preventing them from removing themselves from the Human Gene Pool they want to become defensive and argumentative. I implore you to listen to these people, they didn't get as old as they are by being inept or stupid. They are trying to protect you from yourself. If you insist on ignoring their advice that is your perogative get lots of video from several different angles ;)

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i would suggest actually welding for about 20 hours and get a better feel for the whole process . then have a certified welder critique your work. before trusting the magical god given skill of the welding machine , you could use the practice and the friendship of someone who will shoot you straight when you need to hear the truth, for your own sake. this craft we all enjoy is involved with being a rescuer of a nearly dead skill. your family needs you and so does some young person down the road looking to find this joy that we have in working our craft. hopefully you'll be as staunch about their safety as these seasoned men are with you . i am a certified welder and i get criticism for my welds at times . That is how it goes even if i don't always deserve it , the prodding keeps me on my toes .

whats wrong with redoing the thing better anyway you will just be improving your skill set!

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I had given to me a used trailor that needs some welding work to extend the hitch area. I have some welding experiance, and own the equipment to do it myself. My money it tight so I understand your reluctance to pay another to weld for you.

I had to face if I am really good enough to weld this criticle weld myself or hire it out to a certified welder, and only do the non criticle myself. I feel paying even $100 for an hour or less of work to a welder is better than this hitch coming lose and the trailor running off. As I said money is tight now, so it sits until I get the extra cash. Why should a school bus full of kids, or some lady in her car pay for my being too cheap to get the weld right ?

Please put your ego aside and listen, if you are not a solid welder it can fail. only you can decide your skill level.

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jmann , i really think these guys have your best interest at heart. I am a newbe here also, and i dont think they were raking you over the coals, just their way to give good advise. Just my opinion , Scott

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JMANN,

Every time I read this thread I get more annoyed. Many of the responses by the 'experts' are not only condesending in tone (and in some cases arrogant as well) but inaccurate as well. A 20 Ton 'Mini-Press' made with a Harbor Freight Air-Over-Hydraulic Jack is not an 'explosive danger'. Having made several of these presses and tested one to destruction, the only danger is getting you finger pinched off if you put it between the dies while simultaneously operating it.

I'm not a 'professional' or 'certified' welder although I have taken several Tech College classes on welding. My welds aren't alway perfect but they're more than adequate. I use a Millermatic 180 (5/16" single pass) MIG Welder 25/75 mix.
Press-Front.jpg

After I built and used my first mini-press for a couple of years, I decided to build another. Once the 2nd one was complete I decided to do an extensive stress evaluation of the first one. Some of the thing I did were:
Test 1. Replaced grade 8 bolts with grade 5, then grade 2
Results - none of the bolts failed but the grade 2 did deform.

Test 2. Replaced 1/2 bolts with 3/8" grade 2
Result - the grade 2 bolts failed after repeated cycles - the bolt sheared but the top anvil only moved about 1/2 -3/4 in. The jack did not have enough speed or reach to project the anvil off the press.

Test 3. Ground the welds holding the uprights flush so that only the penetration part remained
Result - couldn't get uprights to fail

Test 4. Ground the welds below flush (actually cut into penetration)
Result - eventually got the welds holding the upright in place to fail, However they failed gradually - i.e. they stretched, bent and the ripped rather than breaking violently. To get total failure I had to continuously operate the jack - continuing to stretch, bend and tear the welds apart. The welds started to fail at the thinnest point and gradualy continue on. With a much faster or larger jack the failure could have been quicker or more pronounced - but explosive????

Test 5. For my own edificaton I cut cross-sections of the welds . They were for the most part quite reasonable - good penetration, little or no porosity. Bases were reinforced with overlapping filet welds - way overkill!

I subsequently did some internet research on bolt shear strength - I could have save myself the time and destruction of the first press. Properly installed with the full shank in the shear zone, all 1/2" bolts are adequate for a 20 ton press. I still use grade 8 so I don't inspect as often.

I also researched the shear strength relative to the shear plane thickness and bolt tension - again 1/2" bolts are more than adequate.

And I went back to my welding text book 'Welding Skills 3rd Edition B. J. Joiner, R. T. Miller' and also did some additional internet research on weld strength and material strength. Using 1/4" wall 2"x 2" mild steel square tubing and a decent 1/4" filet weld all around the upright bases (I also welded the uprights to the welded center) would be more that adequate for the 20 ton press. Adding overlapping filet welds is overkill but cheap insurance against repairs.

My bottom line is this: Replies to JMANN could have been much more constructive and should have been much less condesending. Many of us who visit this forum are hobbyist looking for help not discouragment. None of this is brain surgery - although one should do some research and practice the basics.

While Jmann's press may need some additional work, I hardly think its dangerous. His welding does need some improvement but that doesn't mean he should give up and take it to an 'expert'.


PS All the 'mini-presses' I've made have cost well under $200, including the Jack.

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Wow bad first experience for posting to this site. First of all dont presume you can tell me how to live my life 


Jmann, IForgeIron is all about safety and trying to keep you safe, There are TONS of pressure involved with a hydraulic press and they are just looking for a weak point to release all that pressure. The design on the project and the welds are the only thing holding all that pressure and redirecting the pressure to the work.  

 

This is not to say you can not proceed on your own. We only wish to point out the potential problems you may encounter in order to keep you safe. Please take the advice of others. Many speak from experience, other from failed projects, and yet other from cleaning up the mess of failed projects.

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Thanks Glenn,
 
This should have been the tone for all the replies.  I'm all for CONSTRUCTIVE criticism, just not the patronizing comments of some who replied.  And I'd add one caveat - take the GOOD advice of others and ignore the rest.  They'll always be someone that just can't help giving negative comments but don't let them bother you.

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We attempted to explain the need for research, training, and warning about the fact that all presses have extreme pressures and do have explosive danger should a weld fail.  It is either vanity or just plain luck to state there is no explosive danger, warning a person of this is good advise. Warning him about his terrible welds is not condescending, its observation.

 

Many of us speak from experience, telling someone they are wrong to jump in and build one is sometimes the best answer, Some things should wait until the needed skills are learned. A small hand jack can be used as a press but it does not remove the build up of pressures when its compressing.  No way around physics, to pretend otherwise is bad advise.

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Hi All

 

I've been hanging around this site for months, I have been making knives and swords for nearly 10 years now and in no way do I feel I know it all or that I'm any good at it.

From what I've read on this thread, it is time to add my voice to the forum.

 

I'm a licenced plumber and gas fitter, I have witnessed industrial accidents and automobile accidents.

 

Please believe these chaps when they say there is an issue with the build. I have a press myself and saved up the money to buy a certified purpose built press, my wife and children are my most precious treasures, and I am responsible for their provision and support.

 

If you do not heed the wisdom of professionals you will suffer. Sorry for being blunt or crushing your fragile ego, if 1 weld fails when your are using the press your will get hurt and it wont be a war scar you can brag about at your pub.

 

Reefa4m all I can say is you have not given good advise the the chap, are you perhaps nursing some fault of your psyche that needs to be exorsised, facts and figures from a build you did is not a proving ground for someone else.

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I bought the frame for this press, including cylinder, for $50 at auction. The electric pump was free, as was the overflow tank above the pump. The pump is 5000 PSI, 1.5 HP, 115  volts.

 

Now it works pretty well. appx 100 ton capacity.

post-5484-0-64475900-1369363407_thumb.jp

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