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Dwarf forging press

the iron dwarf

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my aim is to make a small forging press with a separate power pack that can be used where it is needed and put away when not.

I have 2 cylinders, the first is pictured here and I expect delivery of the second one this week.

first one is 200mm stroke 80mm bore and 40mm rod, when I got it it had a cross tube on the rod end and this had to be removed to take the tool holder.

I also added a spacer inside to prevent the cylinder from fully closing so I had enough rod to put the tool holder on.

The housing for the cylinder is 100mm square tube with a slot milled in it for the fittings and a 30mm hole for the mounting pin at the top.

also pictured is what will be the table for this, the work area on this is 150mm wide, there is a 30mm hole through the table and the 4 smaller holes will be threaded for clamping tooling, I will also have tools that just slide into place and lock, more about that later.


the second cylinder is much shorter and did not have the cross tube and hole for mounting, I will still need to add a smaller spacer inside so the rod extends enough to fit the tool holder, am going to see how much stroke I actually need for various jobs



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What are you thinking about for the frame? Strong and portable will be the trick. Will it knock down for transport?

A portable hydraulic pump is no mystery so no quiz on that. Well, maybe a quicky, what PSI pump are you looking at? Here you can get a "Porta Power" pump up to the 10,000psi range and that'd tip your ram in the 79,000 lb range for a heck of a squeezer.

I'm going to be tagging along and see what you come up with.

Frosty The Lucky.

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I have a 250 bar power pack ( 3750 PSI ), the second cylinder works at 250 bar and is about 15 tons at that pressure, the larger cylinder here works at 200 bar ( just over 10 ton but has a maximum pressure of 250 bar ).

power pack has a 3hp motor, it is the rest of it I want movable so it can stand on an anvil and be moved out of the way easily, also means interchangeable press heads with quick release couplings on the hoses.

will take time as im waiting for others to do machining for the tool holder.


only going to use it with small tooling to see how small is useful

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as to the frame frosty....

the cylinder you see above with the rod pointing downwards, a pair of sides stepping out from 100mm to 150mm going down to the table with a little more support underneath, see sketch, with the second cylinder it should be less than 600 mm  tall  ( under 24" ) with luck and under 30kg  ( about 70 lb ).

then I will try to make it smaller and lighter!


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  • 2 weeks later...

ok cylinder number 2 arrived thursday and have started making up the frame, this is a lot shorter and weighs less

40mm rod just over 1 1/2"

80mm bore about 3 1/4"

100mm stroke about 4"

still waiting for toolholders to be made and then can build the bottom half of it, also have to add a spacer inside the cylinder to make sure it does not close too far



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what are you building the press to do? that will flex like nobody s business. and with a 3 Hp motor you are going to be pushed for speed at that pressure if the pump is single estage.is the pump 2 stage or one. no reason not to build a tiny press though its a good idea.

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well tested it today without toolholder as im still waiting for them and as the toolholder operates the limit switches then it was just the full stroke till it stopped.

16mm round on a flat block with a 40mm diameter rod end pressing on it made it 8.3mm thick and spread it out quite a bit.

this is the longer number 1 cylinder that is heavy, total weight as is 26kg.

no flexing measured, the steel is under tension, when more of it is done will check with a dial gauge.

the block in the bottom is just a section of fork lift tine.

hopefully the other one will be done later this week and the tool holders, the number 2 cylinder is a lot lighter






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the steel is under tension, however when anything is forges off centre there can be a lot of wracking that is quite capable of very large forces in other directions. if you want to punch with stripper dies then its under compression. it is a neat idea size wise but I would not be comfortable with that little metal...if it were mine.

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this is one of the prototypes to see what breaks or bends and will be seriously abused, as will the other one, the welding is below my normal standard for this as well, anything that fails gets replaced with better on the next one.

people said lots about my power hammer but the present owner is delighted with it, he is a bladesmith from the south coast

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