This is really great news about the new 12 ton “Lite” Bonny Doon
press, and amusingly timed considering I wished for it the day before
it was announced, and I had no idea it was even more than my fantasy.
There really did need to be something similar to fill the hole left
by the original 20 ton BD, and though 12 tons isn’t all that much in
the realm of hydraulic presses, it is enough to get your feet wet
with many of the processes done on bigger presses. It’s definitely
enough for blanking anything jewelry related, such as a bracelet 2"
by 6" in say, 12 ga. silver.
As someone else posted, the press design in S. Kingsley’s book is
also perfect for this work, and I’ve seen it scaled up for use with a
30 ton jack, using 1.5" threaded rod and 2" thick platens.
People considering building (or having built) presses similar to the
BD design do need to observe minimum structural requirements and
design attributes, such as welding the uprights inside the
crossbeams, and definitely not welding the crossbeams onto the ends
My own history with presses goes from funky homemade things with hand
jacks, before there was a Bonny Doon, to a 50 ton H-Frame shop press
that lived a long life blanking parts. It used Enerpac’s largest hand
pump for a long time, then an air/oil motorized pump, and finally a
1/2 hp Power Team pump. Now I use a small arbor press for breaking in
dies that I make for people, 2 custom 20 ton BD frames that use Power
Team 25 ton rams, and are powered by the old 1/2 hp pump, and a 1 hp
Power Team pump, respectively . My big beastie is a BD 50 tonner that
uses a 1.5hp Enerpac pump, $1000 courtesy of Ebay, that would go for
$4,000 new now. I’m a little spoiled , though that’s a small-potatos
collection by industrial standards.