Converting a manual hydraulic press to hydraulic pump

We have a very good hydraulic press, it is for sale, but I am itching to sell all other presses and requisition this one for our use.

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The problem is that it is a manual press and we'd like it to be powered. It is a regular manual type control with a lever style pump and a valve.

I came across an old 3/4 HP hydraulic power unit today. It would fit the bill perfectly and did not cost too much.

How easy is that press to convert to be used with a hydraulic power unit?

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"Ignoramus17155" wrote in message news:aLKdncFfueiKm4_NnZ2dnUVZ

Shouldn't be any more difficult than building a logsplitter, as long as the power unit puts out enough pressure. Do you know the maximum and working values for the press?

Here are some Enerpac quick couplers rated for 10,000PSI:

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Jim Wilkins

If I were doing it, I would probably use the hydraulic power to apply only a very small pressure and still use the manual pump to do the actual pressing. Much better control with the manual pump.


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Enerpac units are PERFECT for this conversion. Taht's what i did on my press.

You need to be able to move the cylinder one RCH at a time. The enerpac air unit will do one stroke. Or put the peddle all the way down and its willl move quickly.

For a 50 ton cylinder, you'll need a large capacity unit to get much stroke.


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Karl Townsend

Karl, what kind of unit are you talking about? Got any web links so that I can see what are you describing?

My main concern that I am not sure how easy it is to remove the manual lever pump, and replace it with hydraulic fittings, as it looks like it is custom fit in there? i

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Then also consider a dual-action pneumatic cylinder which would activate the pump lever itself, utilizing the integral pump. Rig toggles to make it reverse upon full stroke and it would be automatic while you hold the air to it. External pneumatics would have a harder time getting the full pressure out of the pump but would be cheaper, by far.

Another pneumatic cylinder could be used to turn the release valve 1/4 turn for release and return.

-- It takes as much energy to wish as to plan. --Eleanor Roosevelt

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Larry Jaques

here's what i used

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its 10,000 psi, the 3,000 units are way cheaper

Then a hydraulic hose with 1/2 NPT to cylinder

You want to shop the bay a while for this, got a like new one for $150


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Karl Townsend

Iggy, What Karl says about the Enerpac pump is right on. I used to use a 40 ton hydraulic press with an Enerpac air over oil pump to straighten shafts. I could feather the pump control such that the ram would only move .001" at a time. All the electric motor powered presses I've used haven't had such fine control. Not even close. When straightening something once the part starts to yield only very small movements of the ram are needed. With a system that doesn't have such fine control it is very hard to straighten things accurately. And this fine movement is also quite valuable when pressing in bushings and bearings. A ram that moves too fast can easily damage and quickly damage the parts you are trying to press. The Enerpac unit had the double advantage of fast movement when desired when the ram is under light load and fine control once needed. Eric

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You might not like the motorized variant as much as you think. Usually, the manual pump is a two-stage type, with high fluid displacement per stroke when you want the piston to move, and low fluid displacement per stroke when you want the pressure to rise. The motorized pump would usually be a ONE-stage pump, and not as easy to control when it got near the pressure or displacement you wanted to attain.

If you're watching a force or stroke gage to hit some magic correct number, the manual pump is what you want to have your hands on.

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Any suggestions for a proper 3,000 PSI pump?

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Eric, and Karl, I spent some time today with the press. I put some large steel bars on it to be used for work set-up. I used this press to straighten a 48 inch Ridgid wrench, that I bought very cheaply at an auction because it was shaped like a banana. Straightening was very simple and now I can sell it for good money.

While doing so, I looked a little bit at the hydraulics. I think that it is very easy to add a hydraulic pump to it, so that I can use both the hand lever as well as electrics, at my choosing.

Having said that, I think that a powered pump is not that necessary, it does not take that long to pump it by hand. I do happen to have a suitable hydraulic pump, 115 volts, 1/2 HP. Right now I am not sure if I should mess with this press or just use it as is.

The press has some good sides and bad sides.

1) It has a huge work envelope, meaning that I can raise the H-bar very high if I want, which I can easily do with a forklift.

2) It can develop 50 tons of force and has a force gauge.

3) It only has about 5 inches of travel of the ram, but the push rod can be extended or retracted with a screw mechanism.

4) The H-bar is counterweighted, so I expected that I can move it up and down by hand, but that is, unfortunately, not the case. I will investigate this a little bit more. It seems to stick somewhat and I need a forklift to move it.

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