Today I made a pin press. You use one of these to squeeze the pins in a bolster so hard the pin material blends into the bolster material. You could use one to squeeze most anything I suppose. I bought an 8 ton bottle jack from Walmart for around $17.
You can assemble everything and take it all to a welder and he can do it all in 20 minutes and he’ll be almost embarrassed to charge you it will go so quick. He’ll still charge you though…
I cut the base and top U channel.
I had a 3/8” threaded rod so I drilled the top and bottom plates and bolted them in the middle of the square ‘pillar’ tubes. Drilling the holes for 3/8” rod seemed to be the hardest part of the whole project.
That is a big hole in a thick piece of metal.
Here is a better picture so you can see what it’s going to look like.
The rod had been bolted using double nuts on both ends with large washers.
I am convinced that it would not have to be welded after testing the jack with just the bolts.
I love to weld stuff so I welded the whole thing anyway.
The bottle jack has several weld spots around the base to hold it in place.
I didn’t run a solid bead around the jack since I don’t think it needed it and I didn’t want to cook the seals.
Also, if this thing was a bust, I wanted to be able to cut the jack loose and salvage it.
Notice I’ve added a 1/4” square piece of steel on the bottom of the top beam.
I did this to spread the pressure from the points.
Here I am heat treating the 01 with an Oxy/acet torch. I heat it until it becomes non-magnetic and toss it in a bucket of water. I had a magnet near by and kept touching it to the hot metal as I heated it and when it didn’t stick, I quenched it in the water. This makes it very hard.
I then tempered it using the torch again until it turned to a light straw color.
I wanted the points to be a lot harder than the material it was squeezing.
It’s basically done here.
I knew in advance that pumping the jack would flip the press forward since the base was so narrow but I ignored that part of the design until the end.
I just planned to bolt it to my bench or to a board or something.
That part doesn’t matter.
You should use whatever you have handy.
My solution is below…
My solution to the ‘tippy’ press problem was simply to weld on some angle iron to the front so when I pumped the press the extension gave me the solid base I needed and prevented the press from tipping over no matter how hard I pumped it up.
There you have it.
A scrap iron pin press.