Looking for a cheap solution

Having moved, I no longer have access to a hydraulic press. I came across a
basic "mechanics screw type press"on eBay:

Do you thing this could apply the force necessary to use a small pancake
die? Cumbersome at best, but it has the virtue that I can afford it.


Ted Here,

  1. its not as described. Its probably from a carpenters w/shop
  2. Its intended to be bolted to a bench
    3.its only part of a so called press
  3. There are no dimensions, ie thread dia.
  4. the body is most likely to be cast iron not steel nor wrought iron.
    Youd be wasting your money.
    What was the rated tonnage of the hyd press you had access to?

Youd be much better off spending time going to scrap metal yatrds. Lots of machinery gets into them youd pick up a 6in bench vice , a much better solution.

Call Kevin at Potterusa. He will know.
Might as well go to someone knowledgable.

Trust the seller’s description about not knowing how this works.

Visualizing how to make it work includes: where it will be installed, how it will be installed and how it will provide the pressure needed.

Think about the stability of what you will provide for the (missing) other side of the squeeze. And, do your solutions to these issues block the clearance required for the handle to revolve?

It’s cost plus shipping is $40. but I think it will cost you more in trying to make it work. And making it work does not appear to be a sure thing.

And even if you could make it work, the handle looks bent which indicates abuse.


Tangential, but maybe of some use: I have an old book press with a large wheel on top for screwing it tight. Before I got my Potter medium press (which I love), I used it with Matrix / Silhouette dies. It worked fine for those, but – speaking for myself only here – I do not think I would have enough strength to use a pancake die with it.

When I used it for matrix dies I would use a layer of acrylic sheet the size of the press (12" x 12"), rubber cut into shapes (as Richard Sweetman shows in his video on forming), the metal (copper in those days) usually 22ga, the die (3/8" thick), and then another sheet of acrylic.

Not sure if old book presses are easier or cheaper to find, but I thought I’d pass along my experience.