Derek Melton

Hydraulic forge press group build endeavor

17 posts in this topic

As the title states, our forge council, the Mississippi Forge council has enough members interested in building a press that we are seriously beginning to gather ideas for a group press build. Similar to a group build for tire or treadle hammers, the idea is that we would obtain or design detailed plans, collect some up-front-money for materials, gather them and then establish a time and place to build 6-10 hydraulic forging presses over a few days.  My primary question here is, does anyone have experience doing a group build of a hydraulic forge press and what design, if any, would lend itself to this type of build? We are thinking of a materials cost of around 1500-1800$ per member to hopefully allow each participant to leave with a fully functioning hydraulic forge press. Any advice, plans, design ideas are welcome. For what it's worth, I already own the Batson book on press building.

 

Thanks!

 

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What part of the state do you guys meet in? I would definitely be interested in joining your build if the costs are in your ballpark estimate range. I wouldn't have an idea how to do it besides following Jim Batons book though. 

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Jackson, MS. Middle of the state. The build might take place in a shop in Mendenhall, MS. I and another member are getting prices together. I think the 1500-1800 is realistic and attainable though. 

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Not sure of the logistics, but I'd be interested too.  Any idea what tonnage you are shooting for?

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Big and fast is the best description I have right now. ;)   I think if we can get a firm commit from about 10 people, this will happen.

 

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A concern I have is the quality of the welding that will go into it.  Before I built a power hammer, I read and searched for every hammer group build out there and a some of them left me a little wide eyed from the atrocious welds. I'm far from a professional welder myself but from everything I've read on building Forging presses weld quality is a pretty big safety issue. 

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Just to give you a data point on your costs, I am nearing completion on a 40-ton dual cylinder press.  This will be powered with a two stage pump that is 22/7GPM using a 14hp Brigs engine.

I purchased everything new

I had the large structural steel members machined at a local shop to the tune of about $500 (They supplied the steel)

My total cost at this point is close to $2k.  I think with some economies of scale and clever buying, your price point is pretty close.

This is where I am today...

 

IMG_20170311_160316124.jpg

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2 hours ago, setlab said:

A concern I have is the quality of the welding that will go into it.  Before I built a power hammer, I read and searched for every hammer group build out there and a some of them left me a little wide eyed from the atrocious welds. I'm far from a professional welder myself but from everything I've read on building Forging presses weld quality is a pretty big safety issue. 

We have at least a couple of professional welders in the group I believe. I won't participate in a build project that doesn't have adequate welding.

13 minutes ago, rhitee93 said:

Just to give you a data point on your costs, I am nearing completion on a 40-ton dual cylinder press.  This will be powered with a two stage pump that is 22/7GPM using a 14hp Brigs engine.

I purchased everything new

I had the large structural steel members machined at a local shop to the tune of about $500 (They supplied the steel)

My total cost at this point is close to $2k.  I think with some economies of scale and clever buying, your price point is pretty close.

This is where I am today...

 

IMG_20170311_160316124.jpg

Thanks! That is an amazing looking press. What made you decide to go with dual cylinders?

 

 

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I have been thinking of putting one together. What tonnage are you shooting for? And what frame design? There are many ways to build one of these.  Jackson MS is not too far from SE Missouri.

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Those questions are still being tossed around right now. Personally I don't want to make anything less than 30 tons and favor the H frame for strength. 

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8 hours ago, rhitee93 said:

Just to give you a data point on your costs, I am nearing completion on a 40-ton dual cylinder press.  This will be powered with a two stage pump that is 22/7GPM using a 14hp Brigs engine.

I purchased everything new

I had the large structural steel members machined at a local shop to the tune of about $500 (They supplied the steel)

My total cost at this point is close to $2k.  I think with some economies of scale and clever buying, your price point is pretty close.

This is where I am today...

 

IMG_20170311_160316124.jpg

Are you using 4" or 5" cylinders? And what thickness of angle are you using?

7 minutes ago, Derek Melton said:

Those questions are still being tossed around right now. Personally I don't want to make anything less than 30 tons and favor the H frame for strength. 

I have been thinking of building one like the one pictured above. Except Batson's plans call for 1/4" angle but I was thinking about going 1/2 " angle .With 2 5" cylinders. That will get you in the 50 Ton range. 10hp motor 28 gym 2 stage pump. I am in the process of getting a rotary phase converter set up in my shop so I can use a 3 phase motor. And I am also getting some more 3 phase equipment.

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I do like that Batson design with the heavy angle, seems like the fabrication would go fairly quick. I think I'd probably go with a single cylinder for cost reduction though. I think 1500$ is the sweet spot and I want to get as close to that as I can and still have a press comparable to the 3500$ commercial models like the Coal Iron works and Uncle Al's

 

 

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I used 3x5x1/2" angle.  The cylinders on there now are 4", but they are spaced far enough apart that I could go to 5" some day if I am inclined.  

I used two cylinders because it gave me the best force/$ that I could get at the time I bought my components.  A lot of people raise concern over keeping the cylinders synchronized, and discuss special valves to make that happen.  However, there are a lot of twin cylinder presses out there running that don't have any special consideration for synchronization so I rolled the dice.  I've run it a couple of times using a small 1hp hydraulic unit.  Other than being very slow with that pump, it seems to work fine.  Hopefully I'll be able to put my 14hp pump unit together soon.

 

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Really Nice rhitee93!

I'm making something very similar to your build - but using 6x6 I-beams instead of angle so that the frame can be used as a guide in a slightly different manner. Synchronization isn't a concern for your build in my opinion. Your 2 cylinders are spaced symmetrically even with a centered tool die - so with your good guide setup - hydraulic pressure will find equilibrium and the rams will work in unison.

I have a tendency to way over engineer things - so maybe this isn't an issue - but I'll ask. It looks like the top and bottom frame plates are only through bolted? Personally, I'd run a pass of weld up the vertical angle iron to the frame plates to reinforce them (and probably use larger grade 8 bolts -lol). If you upgrade to 5" cylinders and a bigger pump - it would be something to consider.

Derek -- I've probably spent close to 2000$ in materials on my build also. Mine will be closer to 50T though with dual 5" cylinders. I have been patiently building up all the components over the last year as I run across them cheap - or free. Your price range estimate could be a little low if you aren't super careful about your component purchases. It doesn't take much for a surprise to boost the final cost. I had initially thought i could build mine for 1200$ ---> Wrong!

It's really nice to see others besides myself working on similar projects and goals -this site is a real asset in that manner - it's a real morale boost for me and makes me want to get back to the project!

Good Luck Everyone!

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One thing to keep in mind is that tonnage isn't everything when it comes to forging. A fast 25 ton press will outwork a slow 50 ton press all day long. If anyone is in the Hydraulic Press group on Facebook, you should look at the latest press Larry Langdon built for Jay Nickell. I helped hin with the hydraulics, its a single stage 7 gpm pump with a regenerative circuit to get the ram to the work quickly without using a 2 stage pump. The problem with the 2 stage pumps is they are way to slow (3gpm) when you need them to work. If you can keep the ram speed up around 1.5 inches/sec. you can get a lot more work out of it.

 

Brian

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12 minutes ago, brianc said:

One thing to keep in mind is that tonnage isn't everything when it comes to forging. A fast 25 ton press will outwork a slow 50 ton press all day long. If anyone is in the Hydraulic Press group on Facebook, you should look at the latest press Larry Langdon built for Jay Nickell. I helped hin with the hydraulics, its a single stage 7 gpm pump with a regenerative circuit to get the ram to the work quickly without using a 2 stage pump. The problem with the 2 stage pumps is they are way to slow (3gpm) when you need them to work. If you can keep the ram speed up around 1.5 inches/sec. you can get a lot more work out of it.

 

Brian

Just had a look at the video of that press on FB. Okay, now I'm totally jealous and ready to sell my wife's car.

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20 hours ago, tdriack said:

I have a tendency to way over engineer things - so maybe this isn't an issue - but I'll ask. It looks like the top and bottom frame plates are only through bolted? Personally, I'd run a pass of weld up the vertical angle iron to the frame plates to reinforce them (and probably use larger grade 8 bolts -lol). If you upgrade to 5" cylinders and a bigger pump - it would be something to consider.

 

It is just bolted together for now.  The plan was to bolt it together and then maker sure it was squared up before welding. The shear strength of the welds will be small compared to the bolts, but it will keep the frame from racking over time and use.  It is the bolts, however that provide the strength.  200 tons worth in this case.

You do not want to use grade 8 bolts in a structural steel application.  You want A325 or A490 bolts.  They have a different geometry than traditional hardware, with the biggest difference is that the shoulders are much longer so that the threads are not in the shear plane.

FWIW, there are two-stage pumps out there with higher speed second stages. The pump I have is 7gpm at 3000psi and 22gpm at 700psi.  However, it takes 14hp to run it!

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