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Fly Press Sizes?


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Aha.  This explains my confusion perfectly. I should have expected the trade standard of "there is no standard"!

Thanks guys. Now, if anyone has one they want to trade for a case of beer, just name the place and I'll start drivin'. I hear they're awful dust collectors and I'd be happy to unburden you! 

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Here is an extract from “ link removed”

How to estimate the fly press capacity
Some fly presses have no number cast on the body.

You can make an estimate of its capacity by measuring the diameter of the screw.

See below.

Size 2 to 4     screw diameter 44 mm  / 1-3/4"

Size 5 to 8 screw diameter 54 mm  / 2-1/8 "

Size 10 to 12 screw diameter. 64mm / 2.5"

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If you are looking for one, the Old English pattern of bar and ball fly weights makes for a more versatile tool than the flywheel type. I discovered this while trying to demonstrate my bowl tools on the flywheel type press in the shop at the National Ornamental Metal Museum in Memphis a couple of years ago.

The big advantage being that you can remove the ball weights and have a much more responsive dynamic for multiple light blows even with a larger heavy tonnage press. With the flywheel type you have to put in almost the same amount of energy lifting the ram as dropping it. Removing the weights on the ball weight type and the bounce back does a fair amount of the lift for you. 

The disadvantage is that sooner or later you get clonked on the side of your head by the bar…only the once but it makes your eyes water!



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This is my purchase from about a month ago. It’s been living outside for 20 years. It’s currently frozen in the ground. Spring is very near. I am curious about how it is rated as far as tonage.   I have a 6 ton in the shop already and am familiar with its capabilities.  The ram screw is pretty steep, this Bliss #3 is a massive machine.

I have contacted several industrial machinery people and not much info as of yet. Any info is helpful…



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here is my press, it looks like 2 lead ins. It is,  as in my above description, frozen in the ground a few hours north. Very soon it will be at my shop. I am trying to figure out my rigging needs. I would need it’s weight figured so this is why I am asking for info.

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I moved mine 16 miles to my shop when I bought it in s 4banger small pickup with a sheet of 3/4" plywood on it's bed to help.

Paid the US$35 for a rigger to load it, I won it on a US$50 bid so after buyers reaming the rigger was about 1/3  of my payout!  Drove slowly and very carefully in the left hand lane of a 4 lane city street all the way from the beltway to the center of the city. NOBODY cut in front of me or honked, it was the most room I've ever had on that street!  By the state capitol I turned left and went down to my house---sort of inner city---and used the largest tree in the neighborhood and a come-a-long to take it out of the bed and set it on 2 4x4 skids.  Then chained it to the back bumper of the pickup and drug it over in front of the shop doors and used rollers and a lever to put it inside.   When I moved to NM I just hired a rigger to take care of everything and get it on the semi on pallets  and had a family friend use his 4wd mega forklift to unload.


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Randy, using the bucket for scale and mentally putting the metal into an anvil shape I would give a SWAG of about 250-300 pounds.  Once you free it from the frozen ground you can try lifting one corner or end and that will give you a better estimate.

Overestimate on weight when planning lifts and moves.  You don't want any equipment failures and it landing on someone or snapping off a leg.

BTW, please put your general location in your profile.  The only hint we have of where you are is that it is somewhere a few hours south of somewhere where the ground freezes in the winter.  Northern US? Canada? Lapland? Alaska? Siberia?

"By hammer and hand all arts do stand."

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10 hours ago, Randy slaysman said:

I am trying to figure out my rigging needs.

The only scale reference accidentally given are the empty beverage cans in the trash can :unsure:.  Given the horrible lack of information on line, you may find your self in a unique position to curate the information that you gain from the recovery and refurb of this machine.

Because Bliss went on to build many mechanized presses, data on your new aquisition are nearly non-existent.  Here is what I can offer:  on the blog page for ronreil dot abana dot org, (find in text: Hopkins, or, way toward the bottom of his blog), you will find an image of a Hopkins # 2 disassembled and loaded into the back of a pickup truck.  Use this for scaling against YOUR press.  He cites the weight at 1,400#.

similar footprints for H-frames cite weights of around 2,000# and up. Again, you have a bonified adventure on your hands.

I would not be surprised if your Bliss #3 exceeds ten working tons on the ram (20,000#).  

Soon, you will become our top authority! 

Robert Taylor

Addendum:  Thanks to Scott Nodebt, we have something from the horses mouth -Screenshot_20220302-163601_Firefox.thumb.jpg.1b3b73522c2c8853b155fc6ec0cfc27f.jpg

Found by searching "google books presses dies and special machinery".

Please note that machine weight for a #3 is shown as 3,200#...



Edited by Anachronist58
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