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post #1 of (permalink) Old 02-27-2003, 02:47 PM Thread Starter
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Shop press size?

I have been thinking about getting a small shop press for the last few weeks. I would use this press for standard stuff. U joints. Bearing, and a lot of other small stuff. I am waiting on deliver of a D 300 and an SM465 that may both need to be rebuilt. (I won't know till I see them) So now would be a good time to get one.
MY question is. How big a press should I get, and How big a press do I need. Is a 3 or 6 ton press to small to be useful. I can afford the $$ for a 3 or 6, maybe even 12 or 15. But I do not want to spend the money for a real big one.
And I do not want to spend the money on a press just for it to be too small to use for anything useful.
I am just looking for a little advise from some people who know. How much pressure do you need to press bearings on an axel. Or to press on bearings on a transmission mainshaft.
Thanks for any help you can offer.
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 02-27-2003, 03:04 PM
 
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Re: Shop press size?

I've been thinking about doing the same thing. Harbor Freight has them on sale pretty regularly for around $100-150. I think they range from 8-12 tons. I checked with my local machine ship and they use a 20 ton but I would think that a 10 ton is enough for anything on a Jeep. I've also heard that they can be very dangerous. Retaing rings and races can fracture and blow off violently. Something to think about...
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post #3 of (permalink) Old 02-27-2003, 03:24 PM
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Re: Shop press size?

Look for quality in the whole unit, not just maximum force. I have a cheap 50-ton press. I seldom use more than 20 tons. For U-joints and bearings it barely moves the needle on the pressure gauge - maybe two or three tons. I also use it a lot as a press brake, and for thick material frequently use 15 tons to complete a sharp bend.

What is aggravating about it is that the whole thing is loose. That is where the cheapness shows up. The ram can move a little in its mount, and the piston can wiggle a little in the bore. It doesn't leak, as you might expect, but it has a way of changing the setup as you start to press. I would gladly trade it for a well made 30-ton press, but I don't think that I would want anything smaller.

I needed a press very infrequently, but after I got it I found a lot of uses, and a lower force unit or a physically smaller one would be a lot less usefull. Besides bearings and press brake work, I use it to hold stuff for welding, straighten shafts, bend stuff, do strength tests . . . I have even made simple dies to press sheet metal shapes. It has turned out to be a real boon to the shop. I just wish it were tighter and more precise.
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 02-27-2003, 07:26 PM
 
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Re: Shop press size?

I've got a 12 ton press that I bought years ago, and I think from Harbor Freight. It looks just like this one. It cost less than that back then, but I've never wanted anything bigger. It does anything I've needed to do on a Jeep and is easy to operate. If it ever breaks and can't be repaired, I'll probably replace it with exactly the same size.

When you get one, whatever size you choose, make sure you're getting the arbor plates with it or buy them seperately. They're necessary with just about every press I do. The one I showed you includes them as part of the deal.

Clay
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post #5 of (permalink) Old 02-27-2003, 07:37 PM
 
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Re: Shop press size?

I forgot to talk about the danger.

Yes, they can be dangerous, just like most tools in your garage if you disregard safety. I don't have personal stories to tell you, but I've heard them.

When I'm pressing something that's being tough and doesn't start moving right away, I send any kids (or wife) that are around out of the garage, and I stand to the side of the press where the frame will be between me and the work. Even then I'm terrified that it's going to explode and will stop and put more shielding between it and me if it doesn't pop loose pretty soon. I don't have a compression gage or anything to tell me how much pressure I'm applying with the press, but with little experience you can tell when something's not breaking loose very easily.

I would also recommend safety glasses or a face shield any time you're pressing. There have been several times my work has slipped in the press and gone flying off across the garage. I've lost parts never to recover them before! None of those would have killed me if they'd hit me, but they could have caused serious injury to an uncovered eye.

A shop press is a great tool to have, and I highly recommend one for any mechanic. But please use your head while you're using it. Especially keep your kids away and don't make them pay for a mistake made by you.

Clay
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post #6 of (permalink) Old 02-27-2003, 08:41 PM
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Re: Shop press size?

Yes, definately dangerous.
A friend was pressing on a bearing at a machine shop - he
said it was going on easy - till it shattered. He wasn't
using lots of pressure on it - yet.

He always propped a piece of 1/2 inch plywood between him
and the work. But this time the piece went completely
through the plywood and into his chest. It broke a rib, but
didn't get to his heart - but almost!
If it hadn't been for the plywood it would have gone clear
through him, killing him.

After that he uswed a big hunk of 1/4" steel plate between
him and the work.

BE CAREFUL!!!!!
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post #7 of (permalink) Old 02-28-2003, 07:15 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Shop press size?

Thanks for the information from everyone. It sounds like for my needs a 12 ton press would be just about right. I am far from a pro. I am 100% sure that once I had it I would find about a billion different uses for it. And becaus I had one, I know a lot of friends would find uses.
And for about $130 I don't think it would take long for it to pay for itself. In fact if I was able to rebuild my own D300 that would pay for itself in the first project.
I think when my trans, and trannie get here (soon I hope) IF they need rebuilt. I am going to get a press and do it myself.
Thanks again. And thanks for the info about how dangerous they can be. I really hadn't thought of that. First thing I will do if I get one is go and get a big piece of 1/4" Metal for a sheild. And I always wear safty glasses
Thanks again.
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post #8 of (permalink) Old 03-01-2003, 09:57 PM
 
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Re: Shop press size?

The Harbor Freight 12 ton is a great size for a jeeper. I used it to rebuild my D300, shorten and rebuild my front D60 and rebuild my 14 bolt. I have loaned it out a bunch of times and is fairly easy to move around by one person. It is not the strongest or well made tool in the world, but for the occasional user well worth the $120.
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post #9 of (permalink) Old 03-02-2003, 02:31 AM
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Re: Shop press size?

</font><blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr />
I forgot to talk about the danger.

Yes, they can be dangerous, just like most tools in your garage if you disregard safety. I don't have personal stories to tell you, but I've heard them.........

I would also recommend safety glasses or a face shield any time you're pressing. There have been several times my work has slipped in the press and gone flying off across the garage. I've lost parts never to recover them before! None of those would have killed me if they'd hit me, but they could have caused serious injury to an uncovered eye.

A shop press is a great tool to have, and I highly recommend one for any mechanic. But please use your head while you're using it. Especially keep your kids away and don't make them pay for a mistake made by you.

Clay

[/ QUOTE ]


My last car, an 81 Celica needed a axle bearing and they are pressed on so I bought a new bearing and took it to a shop and they pressed the old one off and tried to press on the new one and it exploded, I was standing right beside the guy running the press and how we didn't get hit is beyond me. Pieces flew a good 50' and ricocheted off the walls. Scared the [img]images/graemlins/censor.gif[/img] out of me.
It wouldn't hurt if you bought a 1/2" piece of steel plate big enough for you to stand behind when using it. [img]images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]
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post #10 of (permalink) Old 03-02-2003, 07:42 AM
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Re: Shop press size?

It might be that plywood would be better as a shield than steel. Plywood will absorb some of the energy, whereas stuff will bounce off steel almost as fast as it hit. A heavy blanket might be a good shield too. It would catch the parts instead of sending them off somewhere else.

My press came with a heavy steel cup about 5" in diameter and three high, with a hole in the bottom big enough for the ram to pass through. It's placed upside down over bearings and such so that explosions are caught inside and directed towards the floor.
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