I read the article Practical, Inexpensive, Hydraulic Pressing and
Die Forming for the Artist Metalsmith
and I was wondering why you would need that pressure gauge. I can't
seem to find any bottle jack with a pressure gauge nor do they have
an outlet for an external one.
Please help me as I am willing to build one myself.
Do keep in mind that Paisin wrote that nearly 40 years ago. Things
have progressed since then, but the basics of the process are still
About the pressure gauge: no, you won't find a stock jack that has
one. You have to either modify one yourself, or buy one from Bonny
Doon. So far as I know, Phil is the only one selling 20T jacks with
gauges installed. Given as I just got a new jack from him, to
replace the old (dying) original jack in my BD press, I'm quite
pleased with the current jacks. The jack bodies themselves are made
in Japan, and the main parts are drop forged, not cast, which makes
them much tougher.
You can modify your own, if you know for sure where to drill, and
are feeling comfortable taking the jack apart.
It's not brain surgery, but it is messy.
The reason you want a gauge is for repeatability. Matters more for
production than anything else. That way you can repeat a dieform
pretty much identically, even years later, without relying on the
'feel' of the jack, and remembering what that was. If you write down
that 'form X' in piece "Q" took x number of PSI with annealed 24Ga,
then you can do it again whenever you want. (Or, better, whenever
someone *else* wants.)
I lived for a fair time with a jack without a gauge, but now that
I've got one, I really wouldn't want to go back.
I have been looking at a press recently myself and have found a 20
ton jackwith a pressure gauge port at the jackxchange. A search will
direct you to the website. Once you get there click on the Norco
brand jacks under theheading "jacks-hand" they have a listing for
bottle jacks model 76520G is the 20 ton with a gauge port.
Scott and Alexandra: Looking for a hydraulic press? Try PotterUSA in
Arizona. He is a member of Orchid and makes all his presses and
accessories right here in the USA. Lovely guy.
520-405-8539, e-mail: sales at
potterusa.com Gave Orchid members a wonderful tour of his machine
shop last year in Tucson during the gem and mineral show. Even fed