Instructables

Make a 30tonne hydraulic press. Squash anything!

This instructable will show you how to make a 30tonne hydraulic press. In my press i use some serious hardware, and the final press is going to end up weighing 86kg, which is 164lbs or 13.5 stone. I use M42 threaded rod which is 42mm wide and weighs a tonne. There is nothing to stop you using smaller hardware, I am told that M30 rod (which you can buy from RS for 10 quid will take 26 tonnes, so two of those would handle it fine.

However you build it, its a nice project, and the finished product is great fun to use.

Below are some damage photos. Theres also a video i made of a santa candle being crushed. I sped the video up so its not too long, the press does not operate at this speed...
 
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Step 1: Gather materials....

This is a relativly simple project, once you have the bits and peices its very straight foward to put it all together.

You need two upright supports. If you cant get rod as hefty as the stuff I managed to find, you could use four thinner threaded rods instead. You could also use smaller box section.

Anyway, if you want to build one just like mine, you need the following:

6ft of 150mm box section. I got mine from a local steel fabrication place for 50quid. It needs to be cut into three 2ft sections. You can either do this with a big angle grinder, hack saw or an oxy acentaline torch. I did mine the lazy way and i got the steel works to cut it for me.

Two 1m lengths of M42 (or similar sized) threaded rod. I got mine off a friend, the two meter peices with all the nuts and washers for £20.

8 M42 Nuts I got mine with the M42 rod.

12 M42 washers 16 washers would be ideal, but for non-load bearing points, you dont need a nut. My freind with the M42 rod only had 12 washers.

Some suitably sized steel bar - for use as feet, if a machine this heavy fell over it would break through the floor.

An appropriatly sized square steel plate - This is optional but is necessary if your box section is significantly smaller than the base of the jack.

30 Tonne bottle jack - This is obviously the component where all the power comes from. You dont have to use a 30t jack, you can use a 50 or a 15t if you want, you can use an air powered one too if you ahve a compressor, The jacks are compleatly inter-changable. Just make sure your steel can handle the load.

Now, the tools....
marqitox1 year ago
you can´t put a measurer on press??
backchatter4 years ago
To be serious for a moment.......could this press be adapted for use as an 'etching press'. If so, does anyone know the size of print that might be achieved using a hydraulic press rather than the usual 'roller' type. (This gives something like 6000 p.s.i. along the line of the roller. I am based in 'rural' France so finding rail track could be rather difficult.
howk1014 years ago
i wouold  build hyedrolic press fore recycling matireal like plastic , batols pipse ore wotar . genaraly plastec ,, with power off 10 -20 tons. ??
Soapstone is the thing to use to mark steel. It should be available at any home improvement centre.
We tend to just use a wipeable marker pen. Great on stainless as it vanishes without a trace.
The thing with soapstone is that the mark is heat resistant so you can still see it when you use a cutting torch or plasma cutter.
metal marking paint is also pretty good its made by suremark its yellow
why did you take parts from a 80tonne press to make a 30tonne press??????????????????????????
with no hydraulics make any sense to you?
kronkoburg6 years ago
How much does it cost???
I cold knock one of these together for nowt, but YMMV. Probably you will need to buy a bottle jack. Machine Mart do them pretty cheap.
I drilled a 40mm hole in a gas cylinder with a holesaw. I broke a couple of teeth off the holesaw, but it still works. If it had been a flat surface and I had turned down the speed a bit I'm sure I could have holed the cylinder and not damaged the holesaw. Using a 10 quid woolworths drill and a B and Q holesaw no less. So a pillar drill is not essential, that said a massive 20 year old pillar drill would be the way to go if you get yours hands on one.
donmak6 years ago
This is hilarious! There are also some clips of David Letterman squashing all kinds of crazy stuff over at HydraulicPressNow.com:

David Letterman Hydraulic Press Clips
recon5066 years ago
what i would recommend doing is going to a scrap yard and finding a 6 foot section of railroad track. Because of its I beam design, it wont bend or flex under pressure and it would drastically reduce your weight.
The easiest way to drill would be with the torch.
hoarp001 (author)  The Lightning Stalker7 years ago
We did think about that, but we had teh right size cutter. It didnt take too long....
Y'know, you could maybe make a really nice pipe bender with something like this... It'd probably have to be sideways for longer pipes though.
hoarp001 (author) 7 years ago
The upright poles originaly came from an 80 tonne rubber vulcanizing press. The rubber press wasnt mine, it was just lying in a freinds garage with no hydraulics so i just bought two of the large steel poles off him....
hay_jumper7 years ago
This is a great idea. I was just thinking the other day about ways to make one of these, and your instructable got me thinking in a whole new way. I used to use a press like this to make sculpture and stuff using plexiglass dies and heavy rubber with a sheet of copper sandwiched in between. Since I got out of college and no longer have access to one, I started using a large bench vise and twisting it up real tight(maybe a new instructable is in order??). But I like this a lot. Thanks!
Machine7 years ago
Can I name your hydraulic press? How about 'Squasher Mark 1'?... It looks nice, does the anvil show any damage from pressing sharpish objects?
hoarp001 (author)  Machine7 years ago
Hmm, no more than you would expect, the concrete in fill seems to hold it back. The press is called Harold :-P hehe
all_thumbs7 years ago
I like the "squash anything" promise. The statement "the finished product is great fun to use" isn't really necessary after that...
rob16161617 years ago
damn this is ace we jus build one to crush up to 50t its fun to use for crushing the random thing in ma garage but i dont know what else i could use it for anyone got any ideas? email me at bigdave101@gmail.com with ideas and we'll get some videos of stuff being crushed on our site.
piper12347 years ago
or stam a die too
piper12347 years ago
:P haaa man did u tried to fold metal? or adapt to twist metal tube? u can made a chair, tables or metalic insertions, rivets, seal tube extremes, etc, good invention ; )
cartufer7 years ago
wouldn't be too hard to turn this into a rubber press and form sheet metal
meddler7 years ago
Anyone have any ideas on how to make a simple apple cider press????
hoarp001 (author)  meddler7 years ago
this design could easily be modified to do that. You could build a woodern base and sliding peice and use thin threaded rod on each corner. You could use a screw jack from a car (just get one out of a written off car down at the dump) and that would press apples. All you would need is a clean metal dish to catch the juice...
crapflinger7 years ago
how are you actuating the jack? (sorry didn't watch the video..as i'm at work) is this an "up and down" lever type jack? or is it one of those "stick a thing in the thing and turn it" types? have you concidered using an electric motor to do this with the push of a button/flip of a switch? that would tie into your lazyness... if it's a up-and down type of deal...you could get an electric motor and attach a wheel to the end that would move an arm up and down that would pump the arm on the jack (sort of like a locomotive wheel) or if its the turny type you could just interface the motors shaft with the turnie deal... then you could use a smaller motor to turn the release valve... with enough initiative you could probably even create some form of auto loader for the thing for rapid fire mass destruction
hoarp001 (author)  crapflinger7 years ago
Hi, its a levery type one. Im quite happy levering it, i dont use it that much so rapid fire and stuff isnt really necesary. I might attach a pnumatir ram or linear actuator or something...
Robotrix8 years ago
Damn you've created a monster for the power of recycling cans efficiently!
spinach_dip8 years ago
pretty cool, but tell me you didn't just build a press so you could squish stuff. You are using it to replace wheel-struts or press axle-shafts or something, right?
hoarp001 (author)  spinach_dip8 years ago
its for pressing fireworks but it will squasah most things....
Hoopajoo8 years ago
Dude, I would SOOOO visit a website with just videos of crap getting crushed in a hydraulic press. I've seen some home-built presses in machine-shops before, but none as pro looking as yours! Cheers mate!
hoarp001 (author)  Hoopajoo8 years ago
well im going to mount a camera mount onto the floating section to get a nice view of the stuff crushing. Then il make a montage type thing and put it on my site. check my site out at www.peter-hoare.co.uk.
that is so FREEKING SWEET i agree with Hoopajoo about making a website you should do it even if its a free blog www.blogspot.com