Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Hydraulic Forging Press (continues)

I had mentioned in an earlier posting that I was building a hydraulic forging press.
This piece of equipment is critical to my OAC Crafts Project. This is centred around forging my (huge) pile of iron blooms down into working bars - and hopefully time for some objects as well.

My problem is that I just can not manage, from both an equipment and physical standpoint, to effectively work such large masses of iron.

Although I do have a 50 lb throw air hammer in the shop, its die surface is only 4 x 1 1/2 inches. Given that even the smallest blooms in the pile are considerably larger surfaces than this, I just can't manage. This is compounded by the irregular shape of the blooms. *I* certainly can not manage to hold a bloom in place over the small die. Its even worse attempting to cut the blooms into smaller chunks (of course one possible direction to go).

And some of the blooms are in the 10 kg range - about the size of a basket ball cut in half.

So this is the piece of equipment I invested in:

Converted Log Splitter to Forging Press
A wood block holds the head in place for the photo

If you refer back to the Log Splitter to Forging Press. article, you can see more or less the direction I took. The working parts of the original log splitter have remained pretty much as intended. The main modification is lifting the engine / pump combination and moving it to the opposite side and mounting it lower. The heavy frame lifts the tank / beam combination off off the floor (to comfortable working height),

Right now I'm still waiting for a fitting to allow attachment of a working pressure gauge and a longer length of tank to pump hose to show up.

One other major modification was replacing the standard splitting wedge head.
I had originally hoped to be able to just swap different heads in and out. On closer examination, the way the machine is engineered (largely for safety) does not make that possible.

So what I came up with was adding two 1/2 inch wide flanges made of angle to the bottom side edges of the head block. These are set to a piece of 1/4 thick plate can be slid into the flanges. If all works as intended, this will allow fairly easy switching of the actual striking surface mounted below the head block.

The photo above shows the angle flange on one side. In use the replaceable die would actually slide all the way back to flush with the front edge. (Right now the supporting wood block is preventing this)

The die here is a flat 'accessory tool' plate - to be used with handle mounted tools. This plate (made of 1/2 inch thick) is roughly 3 inches wide by 8 inches long. A generous surface for tool placement.

This is a slightly wider view, showing the second die I've made up. This is a 'striking' die, made of a single block of 1 3/4 wide x 7 inch tall mild steel. This block was originally ordered to make a second head block. I've left the slightly crowned surface of the hot rolled material for the bottom surface.

There is a third die I have made up - which is a cutting wedge. This is a piece of 1/2 wide bar stock welded between to pieces of 3 inch flange by 1/4 thick web angle. This both adds extra support, and will allow the cutting die to slot into the flanges. I still have to grind the welds smooth and grind in the edge itself on this die.

You can also see that I need to be able to extend the hydraulic ram slightly to bolt the new head block into place. This can't be done until the final fittings arrive and have been installed (of course!)
The last piece to be added is a flexible metal hose to vent off the exhaust from the gas engine to outside the shop.

For now I'm going to leave the hydraulic operation leaver where it is (about head height). The ideal would be a foot operated control. Mounting that will take some fooling around with levers and springs, and the completed press will function correctly as it is right now.

Cross your fingers - expect the parts by the end of the week and then its a function test!

1 comment:

David Robertson said...

Looks good and seems to fit the space not too bad. Die plates with slots for quick change of dies should work ok. You may want to put a little drop toggle on the top to keep the die in position. More to keep it from accidentaly falling out.

I am excited to see how it works.


February 15 - May 15, 2012 : Supported by a Crafts Projects - Creation and Development Grant

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