Grace: The BonnyDoon press available from Rio Grande or Bonny Doon is
probably about as light weight as you can get for the tonnage and
still have a properly engineered press. A six ton press would
probably be ok for light blanking , straightening or flattening stuff
and maybe changing a tire on your car. 20 tons would be the minimum I
would look at for forming. My press is 50 tons and yes I use all
100,000 lbs. of pressure it provides. It is amazing how much pressure
it takes to do some pretty simple stuff.
There is also a good selection of tooling available for the BD
press. Unless you are equipped and capable of modifying or producing
your own tooling this is an invaluable resource.
There is a reason you see 20 ton presses in jewelry catalogs,
because that is how much pressure you need to do much of the work you
see jewelers doing with presses.
A good press is an investment and a good one at that. I built my own
press, it was not cheap or easy to do and weighs about 800 lbs. It
has paid for itself many times.
I have no business interest with Bonnydoon other than being a