Instead, might I suggest a cheap "arbor press", which can be
had in "weights" ranging up to a couple tons from any machine
tool supplier. harbor freight, for example, sells these thing
starting from, if I recall, about a 1/4 ton model for
something like 30 to 40 dollars or so, on up... These things
are a lever operated ram, sort of like the lever you pull down
on to work a drill press, only without the whole drill thing.
I’d second what Peter says about using an arbor press. It’s a
very handy tool to have in your shop. Think of it as the 'engine’
that can drive many cutting or pressing tools. With a little
imagination many different sizes & types of tools can be used
with an arbor press.
If you get one, get the largest you can afford, they’re
generally available up to about 5 tons. Larger ones are available
from specialized suppliers.
The advantages the larger ones have over the smaller are:
greater throat depth & height as well as larger ram size. When
buying one (especially the imports from Harbor Freight etc.)
check the amount of side to side & back & forth play in the ram.
It should be nonexistent. Also check the freedom with which the
ram moves up & down, check the full range of ram travel. Another
critical point is the squareness of the bed with the bottom of
the ram. The bottom of the ram must be at 90 deg to the bed in
Many times arbor press are sold with a round table that has a
number of cut outs for pressing shafts from pulleys & such. The
round table can be replaced by a thick piece of steel or a flat
piece of steel placed over the table.