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Contributor

shop presses

The next thing I need to add to my shop is a press.  Northern Tool literally has more than a dozen of them listed.  We do all kinds of fabricating and repairs, but I've never owned a press other than a simple one for pressing bearings out, etc.  What's enough?  20, 40 ton?  Manual, electric, pneumatic?  Attachments for bending steel?  What other sources are there for presses or can I get a good one at a reasonable price from Northern?  You guys came through for me a couple years ago when I didn't know what to buy for a plasma cutter and ended up with a Hypertherm (trememdous tool).  Looking for opinions and experience in this one, too.

TIA

Tom

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Frequent Contributor

Re: shop presses

I had a 20T press from one of those traveling tool guys, used it for along time but finnally bent it like a pretzel, went to a scrap yard & got 3/8" X 8" channel iron and built my own patterned off the old one just on steriods, had a day of time & maybe $50 worth of steel in it.

 

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Senior Contributor

Re: shop presses

We also built our own using an old electric hydralic pump and hyd. cyl. as opposed to a hyd. jack.  We used some old metal frame from an old platform scale and have lots of adjustments that allows us to work on all sizes of things.  Used various sizes of pipes, split pipes  and other metal shapes such as angle iron for using as different pressing tools.  There was already a small hole in the end of the hyd. cyl. that we use to insert a bolt through when changing and attaching different tools.  Not sure how much pressure we can exert but it seems to work for most of our jobs. 

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Reader

Re: shop presses

I have an ARCAN 40 ton manual press{from Northern} in my farm equipment repair shop. It is handy to use with 3 different diameter interchangeable pins for the end of the ram. Two stage pump works great for general repairs. I don't do much fab. though. I would go with at least a 50 ton if you are bending alot of heavy steel.  GOOD LUCK!

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Contributor

Re: shop presses

$500 got me a 60 ton KR Wilson from Ebay.  Retired from the Navy built in the 50's and like new.  Winch to lift the bed, 5 ton arbor hand wheel and two speed hand pump, pressure guage in tons.  They used to build them just down the road (Arcade NY).  I mounted mine to a pallet with a hole in the middle.  I had to press a rusted up QD center off an 8 footlong  2inch dia shaft and just lifted the pallet in the air so the extra shaft had someplace to go.  Looked funny, wished some sales guy would have stopped in to see it.

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