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I Forge Iron

Fly Presses


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Wanted to purchase a flypress at Quadstate this year but the one that I would have bought was pre bought by someone else and they were just delivering it to him.
My question is how many of you have a fly press and if you actually use it
#1 how often do you use it
#2 what size do you have and is it adequate or would you go larger or smaller
#3 show and explain some of its features and capabilities.
#4 please show any standard tooling that you may have made for it and some finished product produced by you and it.


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Either all the time or rarely---depends on what I'm doing.

I have found that I'm using it a lot more over time as I figure out neat ways to do things---like using it to make tenons on the end of stock using a kissplate to keep it at the correct height. so far I have been using it with the flats most of the time I have done some hot dishing using it and a ring and ball. Recently i was able to get a tool holder made for it so I can use fewer hand held tools.

Mine is over 50 years old; I met a retired fellow at the auction when they closed the factory, who remembered the toolroom buying it when he was just starting work there.

It's a Hopkins and it's big, the handwheel is over 42" in diameter and it stands on the factory stand taller than I am---I have to reach up for the handle. I would have liked an extra lead on the screw to speed it up a bit but for US$50 I can't complain, (cost me nearly $50 more for buyer's premium, sales tax and $35 for the rigger to load it on my truck...)

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I love mine....I am using it for fullers, drifting, making round holes square.hot punching, bending, top/bottom die work...hack cutting...it's a nice piece of equipment and the control is uncanny. You can actually feel the iron move under it...

Its uses are limited only by your ingenuity....tooling is easy to make (well at least so far it has been) and it's just fun to use...


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I have one and use it all the time. One thing I use it for all the time that doesn't get mentioned too often is exact circle bending. I can bend an exact circle and have it welded up in a matter of minutes. Just don't get your finger caught between the handle and the circle if you are bending a big one! I found this out the hard way of course. Fingernails take a long time to regrow. They are a really safe tool overall, though. Oh yeah, I have a Karachi #5 and it's the perfect size for me. I have heard a #6 will wear you out a lot faster.

There is great info on this forum:

Metal Artist Forum - Fly Presses and Tooling

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