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I Forge Iron

C-frame press in progress


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So I started building a small c-frame press. Here's the pictures of the build in progress. Hopefully I'll get everything wrapped up on it by the middle of next week but I'm only devoting the small amount of time I have between production and custom order for it. Anyway, the build consists of a 5" 3000 psi Parker hydraulic cylinder which only has a stroke of 3.25" - I wanted to keep my project costs low on this and for $150 it's a decent, albiet small cylinder capable of delivering about 59k lbs of push. I've got some die designs that will still allow me almost 9" of work area though should I need it. The front of the square tube has a hole cut to deposit tooling after it has been pushed through the passthrough on the as of yet designed baseplate. Max die size will be about 6" x 6". I know that at full power this thing would probably bend that i-beam like a twig, but I've got some structural reinforcing tricks yet to employ. Anyway, so far I've got about $280 into the entire build, still need a pump, a few misc hydraulic lines and some other small parts. I've never been interesting in moving lots of metal fast, just small draws (less than 3/4") on billets with round dies, setting welds with flats and drifting out the slot in crossgaurds with a custom die made to temporarily hold the tooling so I'm really tayloring this for my own personal needs and don't think most smiths would be happy with it. For everything else I've got my rolling mill, air hammer and elbow grease. :)

 

J

 

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a little progress in the works, I started cutting struts to reinforce the webbing on the i-beam. 1.5" square tube cut on 45's that will be welded in place, zigzagging the entire length of the column. after those are in place the sides are going to get skinned with 1/8th sheet. essentially using the same principles that works with framing a building. the frame itself isnt as strong or resistant to force until you add an outer sheet of ply. the journey continues. :)

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a little more work in progress. I'm uploading these directly from my phone so I apologize if the images are rotated or sized in correctly. :) I've gotten more done, and have just a few more items to check off the build list.

J
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  • 3 weeks later...

Progress has been slow, we're on our final week of shows for the season so it's been more knife making and less machine making for me, but I did get a chance to pick up a new hydraulic pump. It came with a 3 phase motor which I'm trading in at a local motor shop for credit towards a new single phase unit. It's only 3hp, but the output is 3000psi @ 5gpm which will move the cylinder at 1 inch per second which I think is fair. Picked up the whole unit, but there's a lot of pieces I'm not going to need on it. Essentially I'll keep the tank, but I'll put a hydraulic detent valve in place of the electric pilot that's on there now and I have no idea what I'll do with the accuators and rotator cam.

 

-J

 

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Here's a quick update. I got the pump up and running, finished hooking up the hydraulics and added a new log splitter valve to control extend and retract. It moves a little faster than I thought but in a good way. Nice and smooth at full power. Next up will be reinforcing the frame and making the dies. I should have it up and running by Saturday. I'll get pictures as i finish the build and maybe even video of the first run. Really anxious to get this thing working for me instead of me working for it but I've got 4 custom blades to finish and ship before I go any further.

-J

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Here's the build materiasl cost:

Cylinder $150
Steel $140
Hydraulic lines, valves, gauges and fittings $320
Pump, reservoir and 20 gallons hydraulic oil $160
New Leeson motor $430

Total: $1200

I think I'm done buying parts however I may buy some right angle swivels just to run the lines a little cleaner. Probably not the best cost effective press in the world but I love the challenge of the build so its been worth it from that aspect. Hopefully it'll pay for itself soon. :)

-J

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Found it at Moses Glick in Fleetwood PA - they have an ebay store, but their prices are a lot better if you shop in person and if that particular item hasn't been listed on their store yet.. :) Convenient for me as it's only a 35 minute drive. Oh, and looking over my receipt, it was only $150. I made out, but it was still a gamble.

 

-J

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