Hydraulic Press Build

t’s a 12 gallon tank. I think I have about 11 gallons in there. As for the tank and the fluid heating up. I ran the machine over an hour without stopping and when I was done I felt the side of the tank. It was warm to the touch but not concerning. Just guessing but maybe 150 degrees.

I am just getting into the craft. Becoming medically disabled has gi ven me the time to invest in learning. I FULLY understand your coments on not wanting to disturb the wife (I actually schedule my “work time” around her needs for my help, so I mostly work at night.
I AM OVERLY ENVIOUS OF YOU]R WORK SPACE!!! I am barely squeezing into a 9’x12’ shed (tremendous heat levels, and no capability of a structurally capable floor to support a power hammer). Thus…I am extremely interested in your build, although (and please forgive any misinterpreted “downing”) I believe I would opt for slightly more tonnage…like 30"s. This “tonnage increase opt” would also apply to the person who asked in regards to a 15-17 ton being capable to set damascus/laminated welds. Your answer is 1M% correct…“high heat and presure”.
I did follow the aditional “how to” links you put in, but I would still love something of a “blueprint”/plans on your design. If you are willing, and can add them here, or through P.M. I would be forever in your debt.
Three questions though:

  1. what is the footprint of your press?
  2. what is the total height?
  3. any versitility of running longer lines and connecting to a gas powdered pump? (As I said earlier…working in a tiny shed (but for me it is good as I spend MOST of my time in a chair, except moving said chair to another “station” and hammerin’ on the anvil…hence…running off a 115v extension cord and only using lights and 1 power tool at a time). Although a "back-up gen. would also solve some of that issue too, i guess! Lol
    This press would have shaved hours off of me welding (4) 1/4x1 3/4x6 bars of 5160 by hand (all thanks and credit to J. Neilson for the how to on that…many “masters” told me to acoid it for a few years. J. gave me his process and enthusiastic encouragement…did it and a jellyroll of 5160/m4 bansaw blade body cuts, and mild shim stock by hand on my first try because of him).

Apologies for the ramble (no sleep due to medical issues and a bit more than “a little excited” from finding your W.I.P. post here.
At the bare minimum, THANK YOU for sharing! I wish more would follow suit.

Oh man, sorry I missed this post!

  1. what is the footprint of your press? > the table is 2’ x 3’
  2. what is the total height? > the height is just about 7’tall. I can kick myself but I had google sketch up plans for this and I lost them when my last external drive went belly up.
  3. any versitility of running longer lines and connecting to a gas powdered pump? I don’t see why this wouldn’t work. Log splitters work on this system and this is basically a vertical log splitter. That said… I’ve never tried that before, you may want to check with the professionals on that one.
    Hope the build goes well!

Hi Jeff,
I’m nearing completion of my H-frame press and thankfully you offered this post. I refer to it often. I bought the Batson and McDaniels books but they leave a lot of questions. (My Batson book seems to have missing pages)
How did you torque your fittings, both (npt and npsm)? Torque values? Did you have any problems with leaks?
Thank you and kind regards,

Hej Javos !
I’m a French tool-blacksmith and I wanted to make my own vertical press, I draw my design and almost start to make it but when I started to make researches for the hydraulic parts in France they ask me for 4000€ (!!!) so it’s really too expensive for me, and then I found your press (nice design and work of yours) and the cost is more interesting for me, so I think I will order the parts from America (if possible). But in order to don’t make any returns if i’m wrong in the type/amount/size etc… of the parts, do you think you can tell me if you had to make any returns for your parts, any more advices maybe, so I can make the order (with the links you gave) and start the building, inspirated by your design (if you allow me of course). My work in France has just started this year (I was travelling through Europe to improve my skills for 3 years), and as I don’t have a striker, it would be easier with a press, i’m making axes and sharp tools for woodworking and fighting, hammers for work and common blacksmith order. Thank you for the work/share you did, sorry if I made mistakes in the writing, and have a nice day.
Best Regards,

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Hey, I know this post is from a while back but I’d like to ask a couple questions if you’re around.
-whats the total length of the beams that make up the sides?
-the distance inside the two beams?
-how far are the dies apart at full open position?
-what size/thickness of plate did you use for the baseplates used when making dies?
I have the same size beam you’ve used and a lot of the other steels kicking around but I’d like some baseline measurements to get me started. Hope to hear from ya soon!

Great build by the way!!

Hydraulic machine is one of the best way to shaping the metal If anyone interested to buy any type of machinery the you can so with shaping machine.

that machine is incredible

Hello Javos,
I’m new here, but was thrilled to find your project. I wonder if you could post the specs for the cylinder? I’m not seeing anything other than a 5"? Rod diameter, stroke, etc would be great. I’m familiar with surplus center, the link you posted takes me to hydralulic cylinder spec- out page. I have been pondering this press build for a year or so, but was unsure how to proceed.
Thanks for your time and doing this for us!

Hey Jeff,
Scratch the question, I found it. For those wondering , Northern Tool offers a 5" inch bore cylinder in both an 8 “or 10” stroke, 2 " rod diameter, clevis ends. Only thing slowing me down now is I’m going to contact Concentric Rockford ( formerly Haldex), makers of the pumps on Jeff’s link. This to determine if my 5Hp, 3450 rpm motor will handle a 13.6 gpm pump. If not I’ll get the 11 gpm. It sounds like that’s plenty of pump for damascus if he’s punching 1"+ plate.
I will have an updated parts list for most of the ones Jeff kindly provided. Let me know if anyone needs it. Alternatively, Northern site will direct you to “similar” items when one is discontinued. Note some are NOT the same, the Prince control lever for example is available, but you need the ESA, not EDA model. One has a return to center spring, one does not.

Sorry Jeff, not trying to highjack your thread here!

No worries! I’m derelict at keeping up out here so I appreciate the updates and input.

Hi can you show a video of it operating please

Happy New Year

Visit @javosironworks on instagram. I have loads of videos out there of it running.


Hi everyone,
I’m completely new here and I realize that this is an old thread, but I would really like to build a similar press.
Could anyone give me the type, diameter and lengths of hydraulic pipes needed including the type and size of the hose fittings.
Unfortunately I need to order these online - no place near me where they could make it for me.
Needless to say - I need the exact lengths and reusable field fit hose fittings are too expensive.


Hi there! I would LOVE an updated parts list. Parting this out is driving me bonkers!!! Thank you!! -joshua

Could you send an updated parts list to joshuaofrost@gmail.com ? Thank you so much!


Hello, new to the blacksmithing and found your article.
Fantastic write up and I am in the process of building this press.
Reading the post you stated you had lost the original plans.
I think I may have found them on another forum.
I can’t upload the actual sketchup file. It won’t let me.
But here are some shots from it in jpeg form that it will allow me to upload.
I also noticed you changed from the 8" wide flange to the 4" wide flange and this doesn’t show the change on the die holders, but other than that, I think they are identical.

I couldn’t find anything on the thickness of the steel plates or the angle iron sizes.

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Hello All,
I have lost the parts list list I had. I have looked for it multiple times. Also, I’m in graduate school and have no time. I did buy the cylinder, a Lion 5" bore, 10 " stroke from surplus center and a 5 Hp Baldor motor 184T frame before ABB screwed them up. I have now acquired a lathe, vertical mill and surface grinder, an anvil and a heat treat furnace. I got bit by the machinist bug too. This is a disease! I also got delayed by having to put a new service panel for the whole house and a sub in garage. Spent summer fixing that. That was a PIA, flaky contractor. But it is permitted, finally.
I have been trying to get the machine tools up and running, when I can. I am also almost done with my forge. I am now considering building a press that will accommodate both the ram and an ratcheting style Dake or Famco arbor press on one frame ( perhaps the arbor mounted on the side with a daisy wheel. I don’t need 26 tons to press out a shaft, or bearings, etc.
I was originally able to find most of the parts , such as the pump, ( flex couplings, spiders called Lovejoy couplings) to connect motor to pump. A guy could buy a direct mount pump to fit your motor as well as reservoir tank, filter heads etc., at Northern tool. Unfortunately, a lot of their stuff is cheap chinese, so I shied away from the running parts. Space has become an issue so haven’t bitten into it , yet.
As far as the hydraulics: I am a little imitated by that one. There is a good hydraulic outfit in town that could steer me in a safe direction. You must have a relief in the spool valve so overpressure can return to tank. These type of pumps are dumb and will work their guts out til they overheat oil and detonate or catch fire.Thus, I believe a high quality open center hi-lo pump, like for a log splitter is the way to go. As I mentioned, there are good hydraulic shops out there, JFrost- Once you get your frame built, you can get the hoses made to length. You won’t know the exact lengths until you build it and have your components. Once you do, you could make a drawing and send it to a shop if need be. BTW, They are not cheap.
Hope that helped a little. When I can get to it, I will post all the info. Zigzzg, thanks for the drawings. I will try to add some pics I have of Javos’s. I have some more, but don’t want to have them sent in a Google Drive link or whatever due to file size.

Sorry I haven’t been active here guys, life got in the way of what I want to do…

PressBuild016 PressBuild020 PressBuild022 PressBuild023 PressBuild024

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Can you email me the sketch file please? jclark845@gmail.com