Modifying a bottle jack for press use

I scrounged a small press frame some time back, but it was missing the
hydraulics, so its been languishing in the back 40 for sometime, and
last week I decided to experiments a bit. Leigh Knudsen told me one
of his buds used a bottle jack, by simply turning it upside down and
adding an outside reservoir. So I tried it.
Having a small 6 ton import (Allied) bottle jack surplus, I used it.
I bolted a 3/4" plate to the underside of the top of the press frame
and machined a pair of brackets to hold the jack upside down against
the plate.
I then pulled the filler plug on the jack body, and tapped it to 1/8"
pipe, and installed a hose barb, with a bit of hose running upwards to
a reservoir made from a piece of 1' hose clamped to an upright on the
top of the press frame. Oddly enough..I didn't have anything suitable
for a reservoir around. (making notes to scrounge...), and filled both
the jack, and the reservoir with hydraulic oil.
Now came the big problem..bleeding all the air out of the jack. I
tried various methods, and finally settled on two ways. Pulling the
valve out (be careful, there is a ball check valve that will pop out)
and cycling the ram by hand, brought out a lot of air. (cover the
hole with your finger on the suck stroke). I repeated this a dozen
times or so, until I stopped feeling that bouncy bit in the ram as it
pushed air. I also drilled and tapped a 10-32 hole near the top of the
bottle and standing the jack upright, pushed down on the ram and a
fair more bit of air came out, then sealed the hole with a screw and a
bit of thread dope.
I took a big washer, unscrewed the adjustment screw from the end of
the ram, put the washer over the end of the ram, and replaced the
screw. A hole drilled in the washer got one end of a heavy screen door
spring leading to bolt inside the top of the press frame, to retract
the ram when pressure was released.
I like the ability to use the screw at the end of the jack ram for
fine adjustments before pumping it up, and its handy if your blocks
are too short and saves you from having to scramble around looking for
another block or three.
The only downside to doing this..is the pump handle is on the left,
and you have to pump UP wards on the power stroke.
My particular jack drips a drop or two of oil from someplace (probably
the pump seal) every day, but its not a big concern to me.
Oh.. a further note..you can make your reseviour out of PVC pipe or
whatever, but make sure its capacity is a lot bigger than you think
you will need. As I was bleeding air..I was filling the resiviour,
and found that when you retract the ram..it moves a LOT of oil into
the resivior..more than my first attempt would hold.
When I get around to it, Ill put a bigger jack in the frame, modified
as above. The little 6 ton one has already been handy as hell.
And it looks a lot better than the standard upright jack with a
stinger welded to its ass end and a bunch of springs. Shrug.
Gunner
"To be civilized is to restrain the ability to commit mayhem.
To be incapable of committing mayhem is not the mark of the civilized,
merely the domesticated." - Trefor Thomas
Reply to
Gunner
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Gunner,
I skip around on this list, but mostly read your posts... a voice in the wilderness!
I'm wondering why the jack needs to be inverted? I've been using mine for 20 years or so, and the only change has been from a 6 ton jack to a 12 ton. Mine was deliberately made too small so it would be relatively strong. It usually fits my needs.
If necessary, the jack can be removed for other uses, but I have quite a few others.
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George Willer
Reply to
George Willer
Maybe you should fill your jack reservoir with Mountain Dew. At least then the clean-ups would all smell the same!
:)
Jim
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Reply to
jim rozen
If you will use a flexible hose and large enough reservoir, bleeding is pretty easy with the jack on its side and the hose connection at the top. A minimum fitting length extending inside the jack body will also minimize trapped air while bleeding. Don Young
Reply to
Don Young
Gunner the other solution to an inverted bottlejack is to take the outer reservior off the jack and attach a feed tube to the intake hole in the base. This way when you put the outer shell (reservoir) back on, and invert it, the oil can be sucked from the bottom of the reservoir.
At school we did a bunch of these conversions using 1/4" hydraulic steel tube, and threading the end to be screwed into the base.
Reply to
Ernie Leimkuhler
Most of this problem can be solved much easier. If you'll take the reservoir off the jack (just unscrew that big nut which is around the ram) then you can tap the suction hole for a piece of pipe. Make the pipe as long as you can without hitting the reservoir when installed. While you have the reservoir off drill and tap (or braze) a hole near the original base of the jack. If you'll come out of that hole with a ell and then a vent cap you can use it to fill the jack. This will completely eliminate the need for a external reservoir.
If you turn the jack around backwards and modify the jack handle hole you can then use the jack handle in the down direction. The only problem with this is that the release will be on the wrong side. But I take the release screw out and weld a handle on it anyway so it shouldn't be much of a problem.
As for the screw adjustment it is nice. But I've got a easier way to get it with the jack left upright. I took the ram out of a old broken 20 ton jack and sawed it off. I then welded this to the bottom of the plate that my jack sits on. This way I can still take the jack out and use it normally while still benefitting from the adjustment feature. I'm sure you should be able to scrounge up a none working jack somewhere with your abilities. :-)
Wayne Cook Shamrock, TX
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Reply to
Wayne Cook
On 22 Feb 2004 18:33:54 -0800, jim rozen brought forth from the murky depths:
I'm wondering why he didn't just take a 10T porta-power and tack weld it into the press frame. Having the extended pump is much nicer. You can sit in a chair and watch your parts go together while you pump it on the floor. Or hook up an air-powered oil pump to the thing for more action.
-- If it weren't for jumping to conclusions some of us wouldn't get any exercise.
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Reply to
Larry Jaques
(snip)
Photos to drop box pls?
I took a different approach which probably isn't as neat as your design:
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I agree with you that a small press is very useful at times, however it might be constructed.
My first trial of this press was to separate the bearings in the U-joint of a Dodge Aspen. I set it in place, used a socket that fit as a mandrel and started stroking the handle.
Nothing was moving. Damn, is my wimpy little press not up to such routine use? I pulled on the handle a bit harder than I thought I should need to.
POW...ziinnngggg. Oops, I'd forgotten to remove the circlip, but the press took care of that. It ripped the lip out of the forged housing, , the bearing bounced off the bench, I never did find the circlip which was probably the zinnnnggggg.
The U-joint was trashed but I didn't care at that point. It was a junk U-joint anway.
Reply to
Don Foreman
And very nice it is. However..my press only has one moving part. The ram. Well..the screw adjustable end of the ram also..but..
Only one spring, no pulleys, no stinger to weld crooked, nada. Minimal parts, minimal construction, easy to do. Shrug. I wanted to see if it could be done, and it can. My next task is to put a hyraulic pressure gauge on it. But this will involve taking the jack apart and drilling two holes.
Respects
Gunner
"To be civilized is to restrain the ability to commit mayhem. To be incapable of committing mayhem is not the mark of the civilized, merely the domesticated." - Trefor Thomas
Reply to
Gunner
Money. No 10T portapower in my stockpiles. But I do have several bottle jacks.
Gunner
"To be civilized is to restrain the ability to commit mayhem. To be incapable of committing mayhem is not the mark of the civilized, merely the domesticated." - Trefor Thomas
Reply to
Gunner
On Mon, 23 Feb 2004 12:32:01 GMT, Gunner brought forth from the murky depths:
What's that? I'm aware of the theory, but...
Why go to the trouble of inversion when tacking a rod onto the bottom of the jack or platform would do? Seems like a whole lot more work and adds potential leaks.
-- If it weren't for jumping to conclusions some of us wouldn't get any exercise.
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Reply to
Larry Jaques
Heck, I have an air-over-hydraulic porta-power, but nothing to do with it - it has a 3M MS2 cable-splicing head on it with no QD coupling, and I'm not a cable splicer anymore...
Why are you trying to re-invent the wheel by making an upside-down bottle jack? All the cheap presses I've seen have a standard upright bottle jack clamped to a big H follower arm on the press verticals. With a couple of big return springs flanking the bottle jack to counterbalance the arm.
The press tooling clamps to the bottom of the sliding arm, and when you press something the jack goes down and the cylinder stays put.
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Reply to
Bruce L. Bergman
The only work involved was tapping the filler hole and bleeding the jack. I think it took me perhaps 45 minutes total.
Now..about taking a rod to the bottom of the jack..how do you make the jack move the rod?
Gunner
"To be civilized is to restrain the ability to commit mayhem. To be incapable of committing mayhem is not the mark of the civilized, merely the domesticated." - Trefor Thomas
Reply to
Gunner
On Mon, 23 Feb 2004 21:03:21 GMT, Gunner brought forth from the murky depths:
Come now, Gunner. You've seen the sliding platform or the movable jack-on-a-springset half a gazillion times by now. If in doubt, go looky purty pitchers:
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-- If it weren't for jumping to conclusions some of us wouldn't get any exercise.
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Reply to
Larry Jaques
Yup. And my setup doesnt need any of the extra bells and whistles. Shrug. Which is why I tried this in the first place. I wanted something ultra simple and minimalist.
I was just passing on the results of my way of doing something "outside the box".
Shrug, I used it again this mornng before going to LA, to press out some wheel bearings for the Mexian neighbor. Worked like a champ.
Each to their own.
Gunner
The two highest achievements of the human mind are the twin concepts of "loyalty" and "duty." Whenever these twin concepts fall into disrepute -- get out of there fast! You may possibly save yourself, but it is too late to save that society. It is doomed. " Lazarus Long
Reply to
Gunner
I have a big press I can use but sometimes it would be handy to have a small press around for bearings and such but I hadn't built one with the bottle jack sitting upright and an extension on the bottom because I didn't like the way it looked. I had examined those a lot of times and always walked away thinking to myself, "Sumthin' just ain't right about that." So now I'll turn one upside down and make it work the way I want it to. And when i'm done it may leak oil but that's OK. I had an E-Type that leaked oil but it sure did look right.
Richard Coke
Reply to
Richard Coke
Well, if you could get a steel rod and bend it you could turn the jack around backwards, have the rod come out, loop back over the top of the whole assembly, and wind up in the front. If you can make it stiff enough you'd have a handle that worked the normal way (pull down for pressure) and it'd be back on your right hand side. Might have to rig up a guide or something to keep it from wobbling side-to-side too much.
Reply to
B.B.
Your plan works Ok for small jacks. But when you get up in the 20T and larger range it isn't so good. The problem is that the relatively long and small diameter ram can deflect, especially if the resistance offered by the load isn't dead square and even. The H frame method, often augmented by 4 guide rods, is much more resistant to sideways deflection.
Gary
Reply to
Gary Coffman
Good point. Another is that the probe on my 20T press fits in a socket and is secured from falling out with a set screw. I have at least half a dozen different ones I've made for various tasks.
Ted
Reply to
Ted Edwards
Hummm well, I guess Ill just have to move the work a bit higher up and not extend all of the ram. I wonder how the porta power type rams get away from deflection, given the rams are as long.
Gunner
The two highest achievements of the human mind are the twin concepts of "loyalty" and "duty." Whenever these twin concepts fall into disrepute -- get out of there fast! You may possibly save yourself, but it is too late to save that society. It is doomed. " Lazarus Long
Reply to
Gunner

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