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Instructions for Building a Small Benchtop 20-Ton Hydraulic Press for The Jeweler and Metalsmith

Hello Everyone,

Over the past several months, I fabricated a small benchtop 20-ton hydraulic press from steel (actually 3). I am not a jeweler, but my partner is. She was looking to buy one and I thought I would take it on as a project to build one instead.

I did a lot of research looking at what is out there and for written plans. I realized that there really were not any substantial plans out there for someone looking to do it themselves, which was surprising to me. This press is not a new design, but improves on a few plans that I have seen.

I decided that others may benefit from having a decent document with a materials list and instructions to work from, so I spent the time to do that (download below). I hope this document helps others to build one too. The Ganoskin Orchid forum seemed like the right place to post it!

Regards,
-Rob

Instructions for Building a Small Benchtop 20-Ton Hydraulic Press for The Jeweler and Metalsmith - July 31 2019.pdf (1.5 MB)

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Thank you!

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I have made a few changes to the document related to adding a pressure gauge and guides for the base plate. Also, it has a much better picture of the finished press :wink: The most recent version of the guide is attached here (dated: August 4th, 2019) .

Instructions for Building a Small Benchtop 20-Ton Hydraulic Press for The Jeweler and Metalsmith - August 4 2019.pdf (1.7 MB)

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Many thanks f or going well beyond the extra mile.

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One of the most important features of a press is the ability to use tools that fit into the press. Fixtureing to support shaping tools such as bracelet dies dome formers, brakes for box forming etc are valuable.
I question your price for doing the press - not everyone has a brother welder and steel is more expensive than your budget shows. In short, I like the safety features of the commercially available presses and the surety of professional welders.

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The safety features of all the hydraulic presses I have seen are contained within the bottle jack in the form of an over-pressure safety valve. Finished steel tube, rod, bar and plate, ready for fabrication and at all sizes, are generally available for about $2/lb if you look around. It can be as low as $1/lb for short pieces and remnants, and as high as $3-4/lb at a high point if you pay for cutting, etc. The steel for this press can fall in below $200.

Re: Having a skilled brother welder, I’ll give you that, I am lucky :wink:

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Your frame design and construction is very close (and the same in the most important ways, as far as I can see) to the original Bonny Doon 20-ton frame, so I don’t see any problem with it. I’ve been using (the carp out of !) those for 30 years.
DS