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#5 Fly Press, Via Camp Verde, Arizona, USA


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My Bride and I will be stopping at a well-known blacksmith supply house in Camp Verde Monday, on our way home from Williams. I will look into purchasing a #5 made in India Fly Press, Trans-shipped from Wisconsin to San Diego, Ca. I started to post this topic in "Everything Else" but decided that it would fit better here.

Does anyone have any suggestions for where I might visit while in the vicinity? Blacksmiths being of major interest, of course.

Back to Fly Presses,  I used the IFI Search Engine (Forum: presses, Pieh)  to research Prior to asking, does anyone have anything to add about this #5 Press? Please note that all identifying information is included in this post (Points to a single model from a single manufacturer), so if you have been there and done that, any additional Quality/Performance information would be appreciated.

Thus far, the above mentioned search has only yielded Positive feedback:rolleyes:.

Robert Taylor


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There are several native sites in that area.  There is Jerome which is up on a mountain. kind of a artist/hippy enclave the last time I was there, but Jerome's history is copper mining.  several museums in that area.  And the biggest single cylinder engine I've seen.  gasoline, had a fly wheel about 12 foot in diameter.  used to pump water from the mines in the old days.  They started it for us.  quite interesting.  I made the mistake of visiting in July.  The year it was 128 in Lake Havasu City.    The old saw "it's a dry heat"  did not impress me.  AC broke on the Taurus too.  Wife even less impressed than me.  they put blocks of ice in the pool where we were staying too keep it cool enough to swim.  Have fun. 

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Thanks for the tips, MotoMike. It's forecast to be 90° next Monday - a nice, dry, heat B). I am quite interested in all things "mining". I never pass up an opportunity to look at a 12 foot ø flywheel!

I do not much care 128° F myself.

Robert Taylor


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Hope it turns out great for you.  Yeah, it was a huge engine.  turned probably about 40 rpm.  there was more than a second for each of the 4 strokes.  the exhaust was a big straight pipe sticking straight up about 10 inches around.  each exhaust beat was a loud boom accompanied by a huge smoke ring it blew out the top.  very cool.  full disclosure, this was more than 20 years ago. 

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Master Smith Ray Rybar lives up there, not 2 miles from pieh tool, teaches blade-smithing classes at the shop every now and then. He has done some UNBELIEVABLE things with damascus. Try to lok him up if you can, I have no contact info, and he stays out of all internet forums. If he is home, he might give you a tour of his shop, he might not... he is an awful good crumudgeon. He has an impressive collection (10-15?) of different sized power hammers too.

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Thank you Mr jclonts82 - Perhaps my in-person normally terse and pragmatic demeanor will warrant a few minutes of his time - and perhaps not.

I will watch for cocked bear traps and other subtleties to establish his amenabilty to Interlopers, although having my lovely wife at my side has gotten me a pass through some quite formidable portals. Thanks again.

Robert Taylor

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  • 1 month later...

Well now, I only meant to tease a little.  But then, wanting to be a conscientious poster, I attempted to reduce the size of my photos to attach herein, and lost a good portion of my golden years, wrasstling with The Lovely Windows 10. Which at several instances required going into Task Manager to END a cut and paste process.  Baahhh.

So, I did not get to see the Giant Fly Wheel, Nor did I get to meet Mr. Ray Rybar (was probably on the road). I did, however, pick up a new (1947, calibrated 1983, IIRC) Geiger counter in Williams. Did some prospecting in Jerome, Some in the Ultimate (Wo)Man Cave. A little turquoise, a little microgold.

So here is the 460# beast.  T-Slots look a bit primitive, but I will withhold judgement, for the time being.

Robert Taylor


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  • 11 months later...

Well now. Out of a job for three months, going broke, and the happiest maybe, that I have ever been.

I will have to give up the good life pretty soon, as there is a mortgage to pay, and mouths to feed. The smithy still straddles a creek ditch, and heavy machines do not take kindly to this 4° x 4° compound slope.

Nonetheless, I intend to make the best of what I have at hand. I modified some u-shackles in the forge, and next, needed to narrow the spacing on the nut plates.

Could have ground and filed them, but I did not want to. Thus, I tooled up the fly press to punch out the feature.  As the Stock Collector's Serendipity would have it, all of the requisite materials were at hand:




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Looks great to me.  what size is your fly press? is the Number representative of tons?    Sorry to hear about the job"s". 

fickle markets today.  the days of loyalty and lifetime employment are over..   

Do you have a regular punch or was the die something you had hanging around too?

 We have 9 more years to pay here then taxes only.. yeah.. 

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Hey Jennifer, I could have my LOUSY job back tomorrow. I would rather eat bugs. I have not acquired a taste for bugs. I reckon that I will be employed somewhere, soon.

A 5/8" shank x 3/8" Jacob's chuck; an 8mm cut-off carbide drill (the punch); a tool steel cutoff from a large inserted milling cutter with an 8mm bore (the die); a Sikorsky helicopter bolt:  17-4 PH with a .625"/.750" ID/OD, and a piece of DOM (Drawn Over Mandrel), .750"/1.0" ID/OD.

Seems to work a treat.

Word of caution: IF you insert any kind of sleeve up into the ram, best to have a fool-proof plan for extracting it. Otherwise it could end up  being stuck in there FOREVER.

A #3JT × 5/8" has been ordered to accommodate a 3/4" chuck.


Robert Taylor

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Great use of materials..   stuck for sure..  LOL..  how do I know that..   It's very funny how much little interference is needed to hold two parts together when there is no great way to get wedges or such between them.. 

I own 5 or 6 punches..  hand, lever and then a rather large hand/lever one.. Also a deeper throat one. and a hydraulic one as well.   Much of the stuff needs some TLC but once the shop goes up all the stuff will find it's way into its own spot.. 

Everyday I go to a job I don't love.. I love the results and love the way the critters respond to me..  31 years this year..   It's one of those jobs that just doesn't get easier as you get older no matter what..  

If someone asked me what I would do differently.. the only job that comes to mind would be to be a teacher at a college or the like where I have the summers off.

I love teaching.. Teaching anything really.. 

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Yep, nearly zero interference and one can find oneself in a pickle. How do I know that?:rolleyes:

Punches? a largish Roper Whitney bench punch can compete with my 5 ton fly press. It is also interesting how much pressure goes into getting the metal to start moving (.1" thick mild steel, ductile). 

4 hours ago, jlpservicesinc said:

Great use of materials.. 

What I like a lot about working with steels is that in a pinch, one slightly harder steel can sheer its lesser with good results. All plastic to me.

Uh huh, Jennifer, I think teaching is in my blood, also. I am working with fellow to get me back on the job track.

Thank you for contributing.


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  • 2 weeks later...

Next piece of tooling: now a 3/4" capacity chuck. I can hardly wait to get this Fly Press on a proper stand.  As it is, I sit on a low stool (the platen is about 16" off the deck).  As one who has straightened many hydraulic slides, on a rack-and-pinion press with a test indicator, That big Hand Wheel is a dream to control.





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hey,  sitting down low like that can be a problem.. :)   what a smart allecky response right..     LOL..   

for shoeing, my stall jack is about 4ft and change tall..   One of the great things my boss told me was to keep things as high as possible when shoeing all day long.. It will give you a brief time to get everything straightened out.. 

As with most things on here dealing with helping others..  All you guys I'd be willing to help out are so far away..   I converse with a guy who lives in ME daily and what takes him a little while to do would take me 1/2 that with the shop equipment and welders.  

I will be needing a 1/2" X 33JT at some point..  I have a bunch of Jacobs ball bearing chucks for the lathe and the new Canedy Otto drill has the 1/2 straight shank quick chuck.. 

At 5 ton's  what do you figure you can punch  size/thickness?   

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Jennifer, there is a table for that, the thickness question is just beginning to be addressed - I did notice that the second set of punch-outs at dia .316" x .080 thick was a breeze. I will be surprised if I can do better than dia 1/2" x 3/16" thick cold, but that is just dead reckoning.

Hopefully, a passer-by can concur with or refute that estimate. I do know some special tricks - next is a dia 5/8" punch with a canted face. Got to go and  troubleshoot a chair - stay tuned.......

The 3JT was $16 on Amazon. Perfect craftmanship - did not check the run out, but can tell that the finish grind was done in one shot.

Working Height? Yeah, spinal column injuries here. Finally got one of my anvils set to the "consensus" height - turns out that it is ten inches too low for my Zen strike. We are all packaged a little differently.

Cheers, Robert

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Very well, then, here is the next test.  This is a dia 1/2" cut-off  HSS PTD spot drill, off-hand ground to a 15° entry angle,  I predicted that this would oversize the exit, which it did.

The remedy is already established - there will be a 10° opposing pair of bevels, one to 2/3, the other at 1/3, of the diameter. Cupping the face will improve plastic flow, but I do not want to get too technical, yet.

Arftist, I will have to get my press better secured before I try .187" material.......




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Do a double bevel on each side 180 apart. Also make the outside diameter just slightly smaller than finished sized desired. 

the cutting action will punch out the smaller size and then swage it to size and create smooth holes the correct size with nearly no finish work. 

The drawing has it a little deeper than needed and can even just be ground more in a shallow v formation. 

A full taper only on one side, side loads the punch though it does cut down on force needed to penetrate the metal.  The double bevel does increase the amount of force by about 30% compared to single sided, but it also creates a straight load vs side thrust of the punch. 

The relief of the punch behind the cutting edge only need long enough to get to where the slug is just starting the shearing action and then the swaging process can begin with no extra force needed (increased) so will feel seamless.   

A good pressure lube will also help greatly on punched holes over a certain size to thickness ratio. 

YOu might need an extraction device once swaging is done. 


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