DIY Hydraulic Press Mini Project
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Author:  Fred [ Sat Nov 05, 2016 8:14 am ]
Post subject:  DIY Hydraulic Press Mini Project

I have wanted one of these things for a LONG LONG time but it's never been important. The other day a certain awesome forum member asked if I had a press...

So I had a look around on the usual sites for NZ and found China presses with hydraulic jacks in the top and typical frame shapes in the 200 to 400 NZD range. OK.

Decided the 12t presses looked a bit flimsy jack wise. Went looking and found 20t jacks on special at half price: 50 bucks NZ. Bought one.

Went to pick it up today and found this 12t 270nzd China press: ... 2113260544


Complete crap. Small weak jack. Flimsy frame. Poor alignment. Small work area. Short overall frame height. Low position for placing items. All the things that would make it shit to use in general. Quite shit.

Then I found my 20t jack on a shelf marked 100, so it was a genuine sale. It's China quality, passable, but not fantastic. Not too bad. Plenty beefy, though, and plenty cheap: ... 7399586820


Next step, find some used/scrap steel suitable for building uprights, movable cross beam, top plate, and sliding press beam.

I want the uprights to be stout enough to not flex pretty much at all when under asymmetric stress from pressing something.

I want the top plate to be stiff enough to not flex pretty much at all at full 20t pressure. Ditto the lower movable cross beam.

I want the sliding press beam to have long close tolerance greased sliders on the uprights so that it's maximally stable in use.

I'd like the jack to be upside down, but I'll live without that luxury in exchange for not having to modify it. :-p

Weak reference (video about upside down jacks):

Boring video with good construction:

Old man talking about his press, some good ideas:

1) winch setup to raise/lower the cross beam
2) external tank for the old jap jack he used (I like this better than the mods in the weak video above)
3) height enough for things like entire diffs, ensure my setup can fit a diff and fit in the garage
4) possibility of sliding the jack across from side to side at the top
5) everything is on wheels. I had already thought about this, see below.

But in his design it'd be important to centre it otherwise things could skew.

I see no drawback to 5 aside from excess height with reduced range and possibly movement when using it, if not using locking wheels.

My criteria:

100-150 thick uprights, probably taper channel steel
600-1000 gap between uprights for max utility value
1800 max overall height for this garage space
1600 usable work height if using 100x50 channel
50x5 galv angle for base pieces, so no rust on carpet, angle cut ends to avoid injuries

So, for example:

100x50 taper channel steel:

6m length piece
1.5m height uprights
750mm x 4 wide minus 100 =
650 usable width

Reducing the width by 50 gives us 100 extra height. so it could be 600 usable and 1.6m high. But really it requires more than 6m of steel to build to a good size.

My new jack as pictured above is: ... 8250887168 and ... 9558515712


So from total height we'll lose at least:

100 + 100 + 242 in working height, plus thickness of cross bars/plates, plus possibly the feet height, depending on how it's attached/built. Let's call that 80mm or 100mm

So if it's 1500 high, we'll likely lose 550 from that and end up with just 950 max working space for things.

Ducking downstairs I find that my two diffs are 1550 (Volvo) and 1600 (van/ute) long. But perhaps that doesn't matter?

If I build it 1800 high to fit this garage space, then I'll lose 550 and get 1250 of working space. However I could build it taller and fit it between the beams, up to 2100, 2080 in the store room.

So if I give it a little clearance, say 50mm, and build it to 2050 or 2000 with lots of clearance, and I want to work on the diff, I'm still out of luck because I'd only have 1450 or 1500 irrespectively.

Thus I should build it to fit something around 100 to 200 and have it at optimum eye level bench height, or lower, which from the workbench thread is 1100 to 1200.

From bottom to top this gives us 1150 + 50 + 200 + 250 + 100 = 1750 + 50 or - 100

Going back to our steel quota we get 700 overall, 600 working, 1600 total height, minus 350 = 1250 max object height, minus 200 = 1050 base height, minus 50 for plates = 1000 top of cross beams, minus 100 = 900 bottom of cross beams in a typical working position? Seems OK. Could be better a bit wider or a bit taller, though.

Let's say 1200 is too wide, 700 is minimum width, 900 with 800 usable might be nice? And 1800 high. Total steel needed to do that is: 900x4 + 1800x2 = 7200 plus 8 cuts of 5mm = 40mm.

Checking the steel site: "Standard stock lengths available are 6, 9, 12, and 15 metres"

All of the above works similarly well for 50x50x6 box, too, except that it's cheaper, less stiff, and less gap on the work surface for pushing bigger things through.

And, of course, the return springs will be volvo bonnet springs! :-)

Any and all thoughts welcome! Especially from the likes of Sim!


Author:  Fred [ Sat Nov 05, 2016 8:28 am ]
Post subject:  Re: DIY Hydraulic Press Mini Project

This would be OK for the uprights: ... 349583.htm

Cheap enough @ 100nzd for a 6m length, but it's not really suitable for the cross beams due to lack of friction surface for clamping. It'd also be a pain to bolt through due to the I nature of it.

Author:  Fred [ Sat Feb 25, 2017 8:58 am ]
Post subject:  Re: DIY Hydraulic Press Mini Project

Scored all of the steel for this thing today! Cost me 22 dollars for a dozen beers for the engineer who had JUST sent a literal truck load of "offcuts" to the scrap dealer. 1 hour missed. Could have loaded the garage up :-D Never mind, got what I need for this thing, so that's all good. ... 4376935424 ... 9302450176



The large channel section needs some clean up as it's been welded before. But it's straight enough for my purposes. Good opportunity to crack out the big grinder :-D

The shorter upright has a weld on one edge of one end, too. And the longer one needs trimming to the same length.

Purchases yet to make:

1) Castors with brakes
2) Bolts/nuts/washers

Costs so far:

1) 50nzd Jack + time/fuel picking it up from near the airport
2) 22nzd Steel + time/fuel picking it up from Glenfield

Not too bad! Castors could be as much as 30 per piece, or 120 total. Bolts, not sure. It'd be nice to keep it bolted together top and bottom, though. Then it's possible to break it down if necessary. Whether I ever would I'm not sure. But if I weld it, then there's no option. I'll weld the sliding part, and any fixtures necessary.

Author:  Fred [ Sat Feb 25, 2017 11:57 am ]
Post subject:  Re: DIY Hydraulic Press Mini Project

Volvo bonnet springs shall be used for the retraction, and I just realised that I don't have material for the sliding-cross-bar. Not sure I will need one, either, though.

No idea where they are now, but the springs are barely visible in the corner of this old pic:


Author:  Fred [ Sun Feb 26, 2017 9:47 am ]
Post subject:  Re: DIY Hydraulic Press Mini Project

Cleaned up the old welds from the shorter upright and the main piece of channel, and moved the pieces to safer locations until I can get near a drop saw and cut them to length: ... 5108296704 ... 5543023616 ... 9864321024 ... 3599755264





Spoke to a few people today about a drop saw. Worst case I can dice them with the 4" angle grinder and super fine cutting bits, side at a time. No big deal. Just a lot easier with a drop saw.

Author:  Fred [ Wed Mar 01, 2017 10:32 am ]
Post subject:  Re: DIY Hydraulic Press Mini Project

Essential ingredient obtained and in waiting: ... 5460290560


No reply from the saw seller, yet. Fingers crossed it's in-hand, blade installed, and in use by this weekend.

Author:  Fred [ Sat Mar 04, 2017 12:45 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: DIY Hydraulic Press Mini Project

Picked up the saw, fitted the blade, diced up the steel a bit, bought bolts, collected/paid for castors, thought about legs and structure, tweet tweet, pic pic: ... 0067453952 ... 3291469824 ... 0101450752 ... 9354539008 ... 5502565376 ... 9071649793 ... 3955003392








Took this as a few ideas for the press part of the press project: ... 7091296256


Author:  Fred [ Mon Mar 06, 2017 8:53 am ]
Post subject:  Re: DIY Hydraulic Press Mini Project

Lame progress tonight: Cleaned up and beveled the four pins. ... 1306444800


Author:  Fred [ Sat Mar 11, 2017 10:20 am ]
Post subject:  Re: DIY Hydraulic Press Mini Project

Priced up 25mm holesaw blades today, 11 bucks a piece for comparable quality to
what I already have. And 9 for a pair of pilot drills. I'll get a pair of those tomorrow,
and some paint stripper for another project, and maybe a spare holesaw bit, too.
Today I bought a 16mm drill for the through-bolting holes, 36 dollars, ouch.

Bolts are 15.95mm shank and pins are 24.00mm OD so 16 & 25 mm holes will be OK.

Details from the booklet for the jack. Note there were two versions, not sure if I
got the right one, but it's close enough for my purposes - same basic construction. ... 5060728832



Author:  Fred [ Sun Mar 12, 2017 11:34 am ]
Post subject:  Re: DIY Hydraulic Press Mini Project

Bought a quality 16mm NZ-made evacut drill bit for the through-bolt holes.
Bought a spare 25mm cheap holesaw for the height adjustment pins.
Bought a pair of replacement holesaw flat-spotted pilot drill bits.
Installed one of those drill bits in my large holesaw arbor that has nothing to do with this project.

No further work done, though. Just preparing for battle.

Garage got slightly flooded in intense rain today, but has mostly dried itself out. Will get down there
tomorrow night and have a clear out of everything with an eye to starting assembly of this thing.
Currently it's just in the way of everything, so it'd be better in an upright position capable of paying
its way in the world with some work on the R33 uprights/hubs and Volvo suspension bushes.

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