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Forging Press

Discussion in 'Other Tools' started by FORGE, Nov 23, 2012.

  1. FORGE

    FORGE Maker of the Year Best Knife

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    This is from a post I did some time ago on another form some time ago.

    I work for a hydraulic company and have spent most of my career designing hydraulic systems for Steel mills and Potash mines. So when I decided to build a press for making damascus it was simply a matter of scrounging up the right parts.
    Well, it wasn’t to long and a scrap 6-inch cylinder appeared that had 18 inches of good usable tubing for the cylinder barrel and soon after that a 3-inch piece of chrome shafting was available for the cylinder rod. So all that was left to do was to machine all these pieces make the piston and head assembly and supply a few pieces of heavy plate. By the end of summer I had a 6-inch bore, 3-inch rod and a 10-inch stroke hydraulic cylinder that was rated for 5000 PSI.

    Designing the Press
    The criteria for the press design:
    -It had to be rigid so there would be no sideways or twisting movement
    while pressing, either in the frame or the cylinder
    -The press had to be capable of withstanding 45 tons of force
    -The dies had to be rigidly fixed and easily removable
    -The unit would have to operate on 115 volt single phase power and still be fast enough to get the job done , because I had no access to a larger power supply.
    -The complete press would be compact and transportable
    The structure of the press was made from three pieces of 2x2x3/16 HSS steel. The pieces were all welded together and the cylinder mounted to a piece of 1-inch plate. The press measures 50 inches high and is 14 inches wide. I would estimate the press to weight at about 600-800 pounds.
    The hydraulic power unit I had was from a hose-crimping machine. The pump is a two-stage unit that puts out 3 GPM @ 0 PSI and .6 GPM @ 4700 PSI, using a 1 HP 115-volt electric motor.
    There was not nearly enough flow to operate the 6-inch bore cylinder fast enough. So a hydraulic circuit was designed using a Regeneration Circuit that I had used many times before on customer applications where you want the cylinder to move very fast until it contacts the work piece and then achieves maximum pressing force.

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    This is how REGENERATION works.
    The regeneration is accomplished by taking the flow out of the rod end of the cylinder and adding it back into the cap end of the cylinder as the cylinder extends. This means effectively that the cylinder velocity is a function of the cylinder rod, in this case 3 inch diameter.
    By using some added valving and check valves the cylinder will rapid advance and then be able to achieve maximum pressing force.
    When the cylinder is advancing toward the steel billet to be pressed it is moving at the same rate as a 12 GPM pump would move it but only using a 3 GPM pump. This increase in flow is dependent upon the rod and piston ratios.
    At 1200 PSI the remote operated sequence valve is shifted through the pilot line and diverts the rod flow back to the reservoir instead of into the cap end of the cylinder giving full system pressure on the cylinder. When this happens you are already exerting 33,900 pounds of force on the steel billet. As the cylinder continues to compress the billet a maximum pressure of 3200 PSI is reached producing 90,432 pounds of force to squeeze the billet (limited by the relief valve setting on the control valve).
    To date we have pressed about 200 billets of Damascus steel with the press and it has lived up to the design specifications that I wanted. The press is compact, stable, the dies are easily interchangeable, speed it not a problem.

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    A couple of years ago I modified the press with a larger hydraulic unit because I wanted to make a rolling mill adddition to the press and need a pump with more flow.
    I have just re designed the power unit and the hydraulic circuit on my forging press.
    The press has a 6 inch bore cylinder with a 3 inch rod and is operated with a 5 GPM pump and a regeneration circuit for faster speed.
    The system pressure is set at 2500 psi which gives you 70,000 pounds of force out of the cylinder.
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    Last edited: Nov 23, 2012
  2. Rob W

    Rob W Active Member

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    great post Cal, I'm one of the lucky ones to see this up close and in person !!
    looking forward to seeing the newly attached rolling mill in action in the spring
     
  3. Brad

    Brad Active Member

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    Great looking press.
     
  4. BigUglyMan

    BigUglyMan Active Member

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    I saw it in person. The whole rig is a beauty with the rolling mill attached.

    Cal, do you set your welds with the press and then draw out with the roller or do it all with the roller?
     
  5. bubba682

    bubba682 New Member

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    Hey just creeped your profile lol i worked in Regina alot if i'm ever back we'll have to hook up for a beer and a tour of your shop.I only got a basic understanding of hydrolics but i was lookin at 30 ton all on a one base cause my shop is only 24x24 so space is small with every thing else in there.And thats a nice setup
     
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2016
  6. MorganVanderlee

    MorganVanderlee New Member

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    ive been on the hunt for a suitable forging press and theyre harder to find than a unicorn.

    How much would you charge to put one of these together?

    Got a forge I could throw in on a trade plus cash deal if your interested.
     
  7. John Noon

    John Noon Well-Known Member

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    He is in Brandon MB at a show this weekend so may be slow answering
     
  8. FORGE

    FORGE Maker of the Year Best Knife

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    I don't have the equipment or resources to build one anymore, but to recreated that with the rolling mill would be about $12-$15,000.
     
  9. bubba682

    bubba682 New Member

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    I ordered the hydralics for making a press should be in next few weeks shooting for between 16/19 ton i'll put up pics when assembly starts .Also whats the proper dimensions for a Damascus billet.
     
  10. FORGE

    FORGE Maker of the Year Best Knife

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    For most Damascus billets I make I start with material 1 inch wide but 6 inches long and about 20 layers of 1/8 material.
    That will give you a finished piece of steel 1 1/2 x 1/8 x about 20 inches long.
     
  11. MorganVanderlee

    MorganVanderlee New Member

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    Depending on your chosen press frame these might be useful, assuming I've uploaded them correctly.
    To keep the different dies aligned and the ram from spinning the dies out of square I welded a guide rod with two bushings to move freely up and down but not twist under pressure. It's not a typical die system but they are cheap and easy to put together with minimal welding skills with materials found anywhere and quick to change.

    http://imgur.com/U8k71Kv
    http://imgur.com/TXbNYM5
    http://imgur.com/9sl40e9
    http://imgur.com/lQPhfoX

    Best of luck
     
  12. bubba682

    bubba682 New Member

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    I'M goin with an h press design nice pics and a good idea Morgan thxs for the info on the billets FORGE i was thinkin they would be thicker hopefully i will have built in a month but the wife wants the kitchen done first lol....
     
  13. bubba682

    bubba682 New Member

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    Finally got all the parts for the press just got called back to work so now it's on hold till I get back lol always the way.
     
  14. Gene Binette

    Gene Binette New Member

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    Hello,
    We love the idea of the rolling mill with the forge press. If you still do not make them would you be willing to share the plans for it? Thank you!
     
  15. FORGE

    FORGE Maker of the Year Best Knife

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    Here are some pictures I don't have any plans.
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    dancom likes this.
  16. Griff

    Griff Active Member

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    When you were describing how you got the parts one by one, Johnny Cash's 'One Piece At a Time,' popped into my head lol!
     

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