Buy the Bonny Doon and finance it.
Here's my set up:
I bought a welded steel frame made from I - beam looking stuff. A
graduate school where I spent a semester had had them welded up, and
I bought the last one of the lot.
I bought a Bonny Doon jack with the gauge. I researched extensively
buying a jack and gauge separately -- and putting in the gauge
myself and decided I couldn't save enough money to make it worth the
trouble and the risk that I might ruin it all in the process.
I happen to have a family member with a welding shop, so he made me
1" steel platens just like the Bonny Doon ones, with holes drilled,
so I can use Boony Doon accessories, if I ever have the top steel
platen welded on. (my family member is in another state...)
It works just fine, and I'm pleased to have it, but a real Bonny
Doon would be even better.
You're looking at buying a BD jack, and possibly having a steel
frame welded up. Unless you know someone or find a welding school
somewhere, this could all be pricey.
And there's safety to consider.
So that's my 2 cents, either finance it or be willing to spend a lot
of time and money or the do it yourself option.
Metalsmith, Certified PMC Instructor
Hard to Find Tools for Metal Clay