Homebuilt Hydraulic Press - Request for Input and Suggestions.

I recently bought a scrapped "concrete plant". It's hard to describe. But it was an old contraption which apparently, was used to cast
concrete pipe.
It was something like a huge drill press. It was made from 4" x 1/2" angle iron into a rectangular platform about 12 to 15' high. The 4 legs probably encompassed about 6' square.
I bought it from a junk dealer who got it free for cutting it down. It has been out of commission for probably 20 years or more. There's no telling how old it is.
Anyway, the "quill" was raised by hydraulic cylinders, similar to those on a backhoe. The entire mechanism was powered by a large hydraulic pump and reservoir, driven by a 3 phase electric motor.
Two legs of the massive frame have slots in 'em. The "quill" rode in these up and down.
Metinks this would make a whopping good frame for a home built hydraulic press. I don't yet have any pictures of this plant but will take some soon. I would really appreciate hearing from anybody who's either built a press or is familiar with 'em.
One question I have is... How are presses rated? If you have say.. a 50 ton press is this simply a 50 ton cylinder matched to a frame capable of withstanding that pressure without bending?
I'd love to build a honkin' huge press versatile enough to press ball joints and transmission components in and out and also use it to squish red hot steel into useful stuff.
I would appreciate receiving a thumbnail description of the characteristics of a homeshop press along with what features are useful.
Thank!
Vernon
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A 50 Ton press will press with a force of 50 Tons. I can't picture the thing you are describing so can't help there. There is a difference between the presses used for pushing bearings and forging metal. That is speed. Pressing a bearing is best done slowly. This means that it can be pushed up to a shoulder or stopped at a particular point. Time is not normally an issue. Forging steel has to be done quickly before the steel cools. It is also not good to have the hot steel presses to an anvil for a long time as that cools it faster. I have built a bearing press using a 20 ton hydraulic jack in a home made frame. There is a similar one here titled "Hyd press" My jack cost 30, the steel I "acquired" from various sources.
John
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