Back to Ganoksin | FAQ | Contact

Anybody have a kickpress?

Hi guys,

This is mostly a survey question: How many people out there have a
kickpress? (that they use for jewelry making) Do you know anybody
else who has one?

The reason I ask: I have several, (pretend to be surprised) and some
of my other ‘serious metalsmith’ friends do as well, but we’re an odd

I figured there were probably a dozen metalsmiths in the entire US
who actively used one. But the more I move around in the world, the
more people I see who have them. This leads me to ponder making
tooling for them.

So, how many of you have a kickpress? Or know somebody who does?


This is mostly a survey question: How many people out there have a
kickpress? (that they use for jewelry making) Do you know anybody
else who has one? 

Nah, but I’m going to make myself a trip hammer, similar mechanism
(sort of), but does heavier work.

I don’t know anyone that uses one for jewellery, but I know people
that use them for leatherwork.

Regards Charles A.

This is mostly a survey question: How many people out there have a
kickpress? (that they use for jewelry making) 

Technically, no kick-presses (I don’t care for them), but I employ 9
manual presses of various sizes and styles. Several are customized
presses and some are custom made. I have two more custom presses
that will be produced later this year for dedicated manual
production. Tonnage ranges from 3 to 110. I produce specialized
tooling for manual presses, but not some much for the jewelry trade,
they won’t pay for good tooling. I am a decades old silversmith by
profession that fell into tool and die work because of my intimate
understanding of metal forming inside a die. In several industries
they still choose to use, what would be referred to as secondary
operations, for primary forming of precious metals because the scrap
cost outweighs the cost saving of progressive or 4 slide press work.
Next year I plan to go back to some silver work with both handmade
and hand wrought flatware, and maybe buckles.

I would point out an interesting phenomenon, over the years, the
more presses I build or buy, the more anvils I buy as well. I have 3,
and the 3 to 1 ratio has been steady for a long time, though I did
upgrade one anvil to a Nimba earlier this year - thank you Fred Zweig
for the input on anvils. Fred is the anvil guy if you need help.

Dan Culver

before hurricane Katrina wiped out my entire studio along with most
of my home and life, I had a great old double headed kick press, now
I’m reduced to a few arbor presses, hand presses and a single head
kickpress that hasn’t seen the first stamping or custom die! ( in
fact Your post helped me remember its out there along with a table
saw and a chop saw - being unused and in the humidity)…Guess what
I’ll be doing later today after it “cools off” ( hint for you
novices: it involves light machine oil!)…rer

I have one. It is an old solid steel one… the thing must weigh 800
pounds or so…


Hi Brian.

We purchased an used one from Phil P. in New Mexico not long ago.
All tooling had to be made. I searched for days for instructions, set
up hints, etc. Found nothing. If there are guides out there they are
hidden inside old metal shop manuals. To begin with there is just the
names of the different parts, the names of the tools, table, clamps,
etc., etc. This is a machinists’ world not taught in metal smithing
programs. Write/compile the book!

Our Famco #10 can still be purchased new and there are hundreds in
the used tool warehouses in Providence. I finally found a local
machinist with some experience which was a great help. Swanstrom has
been very helpful too and are currently working on a problem for us.


PS I didn’t take metals shop in high school, I often feel that there
is a chapter missing in my education.

I have two that I use. One for smaller forming directly under the ram
and the other with a fixture that I designed to attach to the face of
the ram which moves the work area out from under the ram creating
more room to work larger. Tooling I made by hand with some roughing
done by a machinist to create basic blanks from which to develop
specific tooling. The original goal was to be able to make tools
quickly from readily available delrin and steel stock and avoid the
expense of machining as i don’t own a mill or lathe. It’s a good
setup for my specific needs. I know of several others who use kick
presses in their studios.


Hi gang,

OK, thanks for the replies. That tells me what I wanted to know.
(Namely: are there enough folks out there for it to be worth my time
to further develop my kickpress tooling system.) So, stay tuned. As
soon as I get the Frankenhammers going, the kickpress tooling kits
are next. (6-8 months, probably.)


I didn’t even realize it until now, but after googling "kickpress"
it seems I have one myself.

It seems to be set up to punch small round holes in sheet metal.
What sort of uses can they be put to? I’ve long wondered about it.