newbie question: looking for a (new) compact hydraulic press cheap!

Hi,
I'm totally new to hydraulic presses, I would like to seek advice on where (what) to get a compact/small/light/table-top hydraulic press
preferrably horizontal type.
I'm planning to squeeze solid (but soft) vegetative (plant) matter and extract liquids/fluids from it. Something that can squeeze about 1-2 gallons (4-8 liters) of solid matter at a time will be sufficient. I think I need about 30tons, 8000-15000 PSI. Will likely use it daily (5-7hrs/day) for the next 5 years, so it should last a long time. Budget: less than $1000 per press.
Any advice/alternatives/tips/safety info/etc.. would be greatly appreciated.
thanks, eric
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ericag snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com says...

I assume that this will be hand powered? A couple things come to mind. One is a used platen press like this...
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&category &261&item5569431652
That one's missing the bottom platen, but it's nothing more than a heavy plate that sits on the ram and has a ears that keep it centered in the side columns. Coincidentally, I have one just like it I've been meaning to set up as a bearing press.
Another possibility is a tie rod or platen type die set and a hydraulic jack. Download this pdf and go to page 13 to see the die set.
http://www.danly.com/idanly/PDFs/DanlyIEM-PlainBearingDieSet-0598.pdf
I got a quote a few months ago on one that was probably bigger than what you'd need, IIRC it was around $800.
Ned Simmons
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Most of these types of manual presses just use a bottle jack in a frame of sorts. Harbor Freight proly has some. Muffler/car shops use'em for bearings, etc. Then, just weld together various "dies" fer yer veggies.
Goddamm HF sells some of this stuff for what the raw steel alone would cost here in the US. Cain't get much cheaper'n'dat.
Bottle jacks themselves are a dime a dozen, imported.
I lernt about bottle jacks first hand, when, after a murder in my apt building in Le Bronx, the cops found a drug press in the apt. right next to mine. Indeed, an 80 ton bottle jack in an A-frame.
Guess who has dat bottle jack now? :):):)
Figgered I'd never need their coke and reefer dies, but, shit, I coulda given'em to you!! ---------------------------- Mr. P.V.'d formerly Droll Troll

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On 29 Mar 2005 16:41:52 -0800, the inscrutable ericag snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com (Eric Gutierrez) spake:

Better make that table a sturdy sumbish, Eric. The hydraulics alone would collapse a card table.

Makin' pulque, are ya? ;)

Maybe fab something up out of plate stainless and a 10T porta power with pneumatic controls to test your needs, then upgrade from there.
If this is a tequila plant you're making, will you need food-grade hydraulics or just completely remove them from the food-contacting surfaces? That's bound to be more expensive. What about protection from corrosion by the pressed liquids? Special steels may be needed.
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Eric Gutierrez wrote:

Sounds similar to an apple press. The commercial units I have seen have a series of canvas bags that are filled with pulp. The bags are aligned like a bellows and the press pushes the whole stack horizontally. Extraction is pretty good as the pulp comes out almost dry.
I think for a home set-up you might be heading down the wrong path though. Check out the unit at http://www.mendingshed.com/mendingshed/bactobasvics.html . This is a screw extractor. Although some pulp does get through, the off-fall is pretty dry (after a second pressing) and with the right input, I have done 10 gallons out an hour without working. Instead of hydraulic, you may want to use a modified (bigger) version of this screw extractor. If you need pure liquid, a second pulp straining might get you where you need to be.
The other option I've seen is roller presses. Cranberries and similar are often done this way in commercial operations.
More info might help...is your the process you are doing something really specialized that you don't want to talk about or can you give us more?
Koz
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Hi,
Here's more info:
I'm going to be processing about 500 coconuts per day at the start (hope to grow to 10000 per day within a year). First, I need to grate the coconuts to get -only- the cocomeat. Coconut meat is white, soft, rubbery and almost dry unlike apples.
I then will bag the coconut meat into a mesh-bag (or canvas bag). The total volume of the bag is probably the equivalent of a basketball. I can of course use smaller bags to make them fit in the die/plate. I then need to press this bag as much as possible to extract coconut milk (food, end-product). That's pretty much what I need to do. So the 'die' or press-plates have to be food-grade, so I'm thinking stainless steel.
I've been looking at cheap hydraulic shop presses around $100-400 at http://www.asedeals.com/hydraulic_press.html Perhaps the 30-ton version at $288.
I was thinking that I can just use food-grade dies/plates and put the mesh-bags in-between the plates while the press works on pressing them together and hold for a few minutes. While pressing, the coconut milk will be collected somehow.
That part (die/plate) I'll probably have to fabricate somewhere.
Again, thanks for any tips/advice. eric

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On 30 Mar 2005 17:13:38 -0800, the inscrutable ericag snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com (Eric Gutierrez) spake:

Ooh, too bad. I'm a coconut milk afficionado myself. Ever use an ounce of coconut milk in your omelet? It's a most fluffy, tender treat!

I thought you wanted a HORIZONTAL machine, Eric.

I would think that mesh bags would compress more eaisly than coconut meat. Are you sure they're not cold-expeller pressing the stuff?

Perhaps you could check with some of the repair companies in Thailand. That's where most of our imported coco meat and milk comes from. Maybe they could send some of the brochures for the production machines and you'd geet a better idea of how the pros do it on a massive basis.
I'm really curious as to their processes, too.
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About 25 years ago the professionals used a rotary screw press to extract coconut oil from copra. The copra was fed by conveyor to a press that had a tapered screw which ran in a cylinder made of 25 mm steel bars. The pitch of the screw reduced along its length so that the volume of the copra was continuously reduced. The juice ran out between the bars and was collected for further processing. This was a 200 Hp unit,a little large for your needs, but a similar unit could be cobbled up from an old domestic meat grinder with a few holes drilled in the barrel. they can generate a pretty high pressure if you turn them fast enough. I haven't had any exposure to the industry for a long time so I don't know what the latest approach is
Tom

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Eric wrote:
<snip>

I've been using a 12 ton "A" frame press from HF for some years now and they are selling this:      32880-0VGA 30 TON A-FRAME HEAVY DUTY SHOP PRESS $249.99
I strengthened the top of my "A" frame with 3/8" straps and replaced the top with a piece of 3/4" x 4" CRS and got their air/hydraulic 20 ton jack. Really saves on the arm!! The unit works well to this day (well over 10k cycles to date. You might consider it if you have a compressor.
Bill
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Eric Gutierrez wrote:

I think you will need a lot more pressure than 30 tons to get the kind of extraction rate you need to do this commercially. Even if you use a 6" "meat" cylinder to hold the bag of product at 30 tons you have only about 1 ton per square inch. With a fairly dry product and even if you assume the product fluidizes under pressure, my guess is the extraction rate will be lower than you want.
Loading a 6" cylinder would be a pain and the press stroke would have to be fairly long....along with needing a more complex hole pattern on the extraction cylinder because the product will act as a plug to block the liquid extraction. Larger and easy to load extraction cylinders would be worse unless you can really up the pressure.
Most extractors I have seen for fairly dry product (75 % solids?) are either screw type or roller type. Screw would be the way to go but is a little complex to scab together. Roller would be good but you would probably have to use 2 sets...a pre-roll with a rough surface so the product begins to sheet without backing up and a second roll set to do a final pressing. Removal of the off-fall is usually done with a woven wire conveyor belt that allows any residual liquid to drop through....is also sometimes done with a wedge wire screen if the off-fall can slide into a dump bin that can be emptied often (ok for small volume, bad for high). Vacuum systems are sometimes used to get the last drops off the product if the liquid has value or if there is enough left to be worth collecting. It adds cost in the short run but if the extra recovery is even 1/2 of 1% it can pay in the long run.
Is this going to be a food operation in the US? If so, check the new homeland security crap for food manufacturers. It's a MAJOR run around now that essentially squeezes out the little guy due to product reporting requirements from source to table. I'm not sure how vigorous the enforcement is for small manufacturers but initially, it looks nearly impossible for the little guy to meet the requirements.
It all may be a moot point though; I am more used to continuous process applications rather than batch. Lower extraction rates and batch handling may work just fine for your needs.
Koz

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