JHCC

Converting an inverted hydraulic press into a light-duty forging press

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Now I’m thinking that that 1” x 2-3/4” flat bar would be good for the cores of the upper and lower die holders. 

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The welds connecting the C-channel to their top and bottom plates look pretty good, and I could always run another bead around the inside. 

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The height including the plates is 39”, so if I cut those in half, that would give me a bit under 19” in height. With 6-1/2” of travel in the rod (7-3/4 less the 1-1/4” thickness of the top), that’s a fat 12” for die holders and dies, which should be plenty. 

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Stood on edge 1" x 2 3/4" should be plenty more than rigid enough for die cores. Kind of thick for the guides but doable.

Are you thinking of dismantling your tool stands? I think you'll be farther ahead being patient and watching the drops bin.

I love that grinder stand, I'd have little shelves and racks between the legs in a heart beat. What a great place for a water can, stone dresser, wrenches, cooling shelf. etc.

I'm thinking of copying them.

Frosty The Lucky.

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Well, it’s all academic until I get a bit more cash into the smithing budget. Still, good to know that I can use what I have on hand, if necessary. 

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13 minutes ago, JHCC said:

Still, good to know that I can use what I have in hand, if necessary. 

Yes it is but only if you have too. Try and curb your enthusiasm for putting the thing right in action. I'll be you could chain a frame over the shaft if you really REALLY wanted to smoosh something soonest. :rolleyes: 

Honestly, I feel your enthusiasm.

Frosty The Lucky.

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Well, I could always weld something up from my large supply of 1” schedule 40 pipe….

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(Formerly a cell door in the set for the College’s production of Dialogues of the Carmelites.)

On 6/8/2019 at 1:58 PM, Frosty said:

Now if you were to disconnect an output hose and let it pump till it gurgles.

Silly question, perhaps, but which side of the pump is the output? The one that connects to the valve, or the one that connects to the reservoir?

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Just to do some welding or . . . ? Ooh ooh! It'd make an excellent articulated spot light over the forge so you could see exactly where you're smooshing!

YES, good plan!

Frosty The Lucky.

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1 hour ago, bubba682 said:

i would sweat the weld zone on the table to 250 deg stick weld 3 passes all the way around

The welder I have access to is a Lincoln PowerMIG 140, which can weld up to 3/16” on a single pass. With deep beveling and multiple passes from both sides, I’ve successfully welded thicker material as well.  

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I got a 170 lincoln amp mig that runs on a 210 plug and i wouldn't trust it for those forces it would be differant for me if i had a big shop mig but those little ones i've got ,give me doughts , stick ya know your getting good fusion and penetration .If you weld to the table top your definatly going to have to preheat where your welding or i'd say your going to get some cold lap,lack of fusion into the plate.And thats where that weld can fail 18 ton will go thru your roof and if you start playin with the detent then i think that'll drive the tonnage up and stress those welds more.Talk to some certified welders down there see what they think and what process you should use don't always be leave whats shown on the inside of a mig welders cover  better to be safe than dead or worse...

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 Under cutting and cold lapping are NOT the machine they're operator error, typical mig man issues. If a welder cold laps joins then grinding a deep scarf to fill is a BAD thing , it only increases the weight of weld he can cold lap. 

However mig welders aren't the machine to use if structural integrity is an issue. 90-110 amp 3/16" 7018 stick is industry standard for a reason. 100% penetration of an unscarfed 1/2" joint is or was a common test to see if a guy could actually weld.

I used to butt weld 2.5" OD. dom mechanical tubing to hex pins and boxes for extensions to pull casing. Scarfed and a single pass 7018 weld and stall a 50 ton casing jack so we'd bang it up with a 340 lb. safety hammer to break it loose. 

If all I had in the drill shop was a mig I would've had to send common jobs to a welding shop instead of doing it in house.

Frosty The Lucky.

 

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System drained and cylinder removed:

26B33AD8-BA19-456A-9376-FD20C1B25DEF.jpeg

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50 minutes ago, Frosty said:

However mig welders aren't the machine to use if structural integrity is an issue.

So, you’re recommending that I not borrow the mig from the College to do this job?

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If you have a stick welder it's what I'd use. However if you're competent with a mig and can make a puddle before the wire feed covers it up it should be okay. Just not my choice for structural. Hydraulics aren't compressible so if a weld fails it'll scare heck out of you but shouldn't put debris in the air. It's nothing like having an air line or cylinder fail, compressed air keeps on giving till it reaches ambient. 

Is it a spray or short circuit mig welder? I had to learn to do "structural" with a mig to earn the pipe and structural certification but it was harder to get right and pass the break test. The instructor wasn't a fan either but he had to teach THE curriculum we had to pass. 

All "mig" structural is I believe done with spray feed filler. The wire is vaporized in the arc and carried into the puddle by electric charge, they hiss sometimes hum if lower amp. Short circuit mig welders literally poke the wire into the base metal and it melts in globs in the arc, they crackle sometimes sputter. It takes technique to shape the puddle before the wire fills or covers "cold laps" it. Not the same at all. Short circuit mig welding is NOT point and weld, you have to weave to open the puddle evenly on both sides of the joint while the wire fills the other half. It takes practice. Spray is  more point and shoot but it still benefits from manipulating the arc "weaving" to get equal penetration, edge wetting and appropriate bead shape and dimension.

In general keep the arc on the thicker section and allow the melt to climb into the lighter or you blow holes in the lighter side and don't get adequate penetration in the heavier.

I can't gauge your skill as a welder I just prefer a stick, I haven't used a spray mig in 25 years at least. The heavy duty shop had one I played with a little. I used their tig when I needed one. Love Tigging stainless, it's like watching butter melt and flow. Al not so much fun. Argon makes a pretty blue green arc.

Frosty The Lucky.

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I’ve only done stick once, and that was when I was about fifteen. I’m pretty confident with the mig machine from the college; it’s what I used to make my anvil stand, treadle hammer, vise stand, and striking anvil/portable hole.

20 minutes ago, Frosty said:

Hydraulics aren't compressible so if a weld fails it'll scare heck out of you but shouldn't put debris in the air.

That’s reassuring. 

And when all else fails, more gussets!

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8 hours ago, JHCC said:

 

9 hours ago, Frosty said:

The existing table has a hole large enough to pass the cylinder shaft now, not the pulling extension. Yes? 

 No. The cylinder shaft is 1-1/2”, and the hole for the pulling extension is just over 1”. I could enlarge it with a die grinder, though. 

There’s actually a big nut on the end of the shaft. If I can’t get that off, I’ll need to make the hole even bigger. 

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Bummer about the hole size, that's a lot of die grinder work. The nut won't unscrew? ooh, that's stinky. I don't know how much I'd want to open the hole, the less the better for GP if nothing else. I'd sure want to get rid of the extension shaft though. 

Frosty The Lucky.

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1 hour ago, Frosty said:

The nut won't unscrew? ooh, that's stinky.

Haven’t had a chance to try yet. 

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Hydraulics are not compressable  but isnt your plan goin to use the cyl to push against the h frame which is welded to the table or did that change but anyway not to dribble on if thats the plan go down to a local pro shop tell them your weld plan.Get there advice on if ya got enough amperage in that mig or at least go over to the hydalic press building site on facebook and ask that ques from guys that build these presses.

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I've posed the question over at the hydraulic press group on FB; we'll see what folks there say.

In the mean time, I looked up the specs for the PowerMIG 140, and Lincoln says that it can handle up to 5/16" (multi-pass with flux-core).

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20 hours ago, Frosty said:

I'd be sorely tempted to drill and tap the bottom of the table to accept the cylinder bolts. Lose the nuts and leaving the lock washers bolt the cylinder directly to the bottom of the table.

Here's an idea: drill all the way through the top and run the bolts down through the top. Their heads won't interfere with the moving die holder, as the nut holding the rod to the holder will fit between them.

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6 hours ago, bubba682 said:

Hydraulics are not compressable  but isnt your plan goin to use the cyl to push against the h frame which is welded to the table or did that change but anyway not to dribble on if thats the plan go down to a local pro shop tell them your weld plan.Get there advice on if ya got enough amperage in that mig or at least go over to the hydalic press building site on facebook and ask that ques from guys that build these presses.

Consulting with a professional shop gets my vote, no argument. I need to apologize, my previous post sounded like I was taking a shot at you Bubba, it wasn't my intend and I don't fault you for being cautious.

My only intent if poorly worded was to address the points you brought up and the issue comes down to how good a structural welder a person is. 

It's been my real world experience, having my hand on the machine when the hydraulics broke steel members, the only flex comes from the structure not the hydraulics. The only flex in the press structure contemplated so far is the member bridging the posts and it must be rigid to function. A break will make a loud bang but isn't going to move far, I'd be surprised at more than a fraction of an inch.

I still highly endorse talking to a shop that builds similar devices.

On a cautionary note. ANY air in the hydraulic system turns the whole system into a potential bomb. I was standing a few feet back from a casing jack owned by a drill crew from a different region, I was on loan having experience with foundation drilling. Anyway, their casing jack and pump contained air. I was standing back BECAUSE the fluid was foamy, they used it anyway because that's the way they ALWAYS did it. When the skin friction on the casing broke, the slips and piston of the casing jack launched about 15' straight up and showered everybody me included in light tan colored hydraulic fluid foam. 

Air is compressible and a 10,000 psi pump connected to a casing jack, heck ANYTHING, is a bomb. Clean hydraulic fluid will break something and squirt fluid. If you're not within a couple feet you only get sprayed. A pinhole can cut you like a knife IF you're close enough.

  I worked with, repaired, designed and built hydraulic systems for more than 20 years almost on a daily basis. I'll stand by my opinion regarding the proposed press frame. but agree with and recommend getting a professional opinion.

And I REALLY dislike flux core wire feed welders. This isn't a high bead length production job and flux core might as well be stick with fewer choices in rod and poorer control of the bead. Calling GMAW (flux core) MIG is dangerously inaccurate, they are two entirely different welders. Flux core is prone to slag inclusions, more so than stick. Mig produces completely slag free welds with proper preparation. A world of difference. 

3 hours ago, JHCC said:

Here's an idea: drill all the way through the top and run the bolts down through the top. Their heads won't interfere with the moving die holder, as the nut holding the rod to the holder will fit between them.

This idea has the same effect as threading the bottom of the plate but requires buying 4 ea. bolts of equivalent or greater grade 1 1/4"(?) longer. You still have to be as accurate drilling the holes so that's a wash.

The nut SHOULD unscrew look for a roll pin before applying wrench force, it might be locked in place though I'd be surprised. 

Frosty The Lucky.

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1 hour ago, Frosty said:

On a cautionary note. ANY air in the hydraulic system turns the whole system into a potential bomb.

This is the main reason I'm trying to figure out how to bleed air out of the system when I recharge it. So much to learn!

1 hour ago, Frosty said:

This idea has the same effect as threading the bottom of the plate but requires buying 4 ea. bolts of equivalent or greater grade 1 1/4"(?) longer. You still have to be as accurate drilling the holes so that's a wash.

On the other hand, I don't have to worry about buying the necessary tap and tap wrench!

There's another detail that needs to be taken into consideration, and that is that the bolts pass through the end cap on the rod (top) end and are screwed directly into threaded holes in the end cap on the back (bottom) end. Not sure how I could bolt everything together if both ends of each bolt are male.

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Fill and let it run without moving anything for a short time 30 seconds or so. Check the fluid in the reservoir for cloudy or foamy. This will flush the control valve, over pressure bypass valve and return circuits. Then slowly raise and lower the piston several times. Check the reservoir again.

These things are self flushing air in the system will migrate to and collect in the reservoir by itself. The pump supply circuit draws fluid from the bottom of the reservoir and the return is to the top to segregate air from the fluid naturally. 

Usually the only way air can enter the system is through the pump intake hoses and fittings baring the pump needing seals. If you can't get rid of foamy fluid replace the hose between the bottom of the reservoir and the pump and make sure the fittings are undamaged. Everything else in the circuits are under positive pressure, leaks will seep fluid OUT NOT suck air. 

The fluid will probably get a little cloudy, all the hoses, fittings, etc. are still a little dirty, it's nothing to worry about. If you see foam you'll know, it'll move on it's own as air separates due to buoyancy. Sort of like the head on a beer.

Frosty The Lucky.

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Well, the fluid that came out yesterday was dirty, but not foamy. I guess that's a good thing.

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Yeah that's good. Was that the old fluid or fresh? It'll dirty up the new fluid some but don't get excited, it should be good unless you WANT to run it some and change it again. 

So long as it isn't foamy it's all good. You have a simple push pull piston system if you get it reasonably clean to start you're golden. It'll be good for years before it gets dirty from wear.

You aren't running hydraulic motors to make things interesting. Our CME 75 had just about 1/4 mile of hoses and steel lines, 11 or more, cylinders, 3 motors and 37 controls come live when we fired drill the engine. Water in the oil was our bane, the cat head motor got the fluid it hot enough to boil water so any in the oil tended to boil out of the vent caps. I changed the reservoir from a 10 gal square tank to a 15 gal. long tall flat tank to maximize radiation area but it took a fan cooled radiator on the return circuit to solve it mostly.

I'm afraid my perspectives are colored by my experiences and those can be scary. 

You're golden John, relax and enjoy.

Frosty The Lucky.

 

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