Use a 20-ton hydraulic press to emboss a design made from 16 gage wire into 22 gage sheet metal. The embossing designs can then be pressed into many different sheet metal projects. This instructable was created by Hyde Middle School students as an instructional aid during their metal shop classes.

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Step 1: What you will need

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20 ton press
card stock paper
scotch tape
16 gage wire (galvanized steel)
22 gage sheet metal (steel)

Step 2: Make pattern

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Cut out a 6 inch x 6 inch card stock that will be used to tape your design onto.

Step 3: Draw a 1" boarder around card stock

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Draw a 1inch boarder around the 6 inch x 6 inch card stock material.

Step 4: Draw your design in the middle box.

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Try to keep the size of your design limited to the middle box. Keep your design simple. Have your instructor approve your design.

Step 5: Add 16 gage wire

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Bend the 16 gage wire to the shape of your design. You may want to use forming pliers or needle nose pliers to help bend the wire. You can bend the wire around just about anything that will help you achieve the shape you want for your design.

Step 6: Tape down wire

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Use scotch tape to tape down the wire design.

Step 7: Begin to press

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Set finished pattern on the press.

Step 8: Insert 22 gage sheet metal

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Set the 22 gage 6 inch x 6 inch piece of sheet metal on top of your pattern.

Step 9: Insert rubber pad

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Set the 1inch red rubber pad onto the sheet metal.

Step 10: Pump the lever on the press up and down

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Make sure that the pressure valve is turned clockwise until it is closed. Pump until the gauge reads 6,000 lbs. of pressure or until it gets hard to pump.

Step 11: That's it, you're finished!

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File all corners with a single cut file until they are rounded. Sand the corners, front and back surface with 220 sand paper. You can put a finish of your choice such as paint, rusting solution, or a clear coat to protect your project. Drill a hole in it the top and you can hang it up to show all of your friends your cool personalized metal emboss.

This Instructable was created by and for Hyde Middle School students for instructional aid during their Metal Shop classes.
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CarlosSantana2 months ago

This is fantastic. Can you tell me where to buy the rubber pad? Thank you so much for posting this! By seeing this, you've put this into my eyesight that I haven't seen before.

invisibl34 months ago

Do you know of a supplier for the 1" rubber pad ?

soul_eater1 year ago

I was looking for something like this i have never imagine to use something so simple like a wire with that nice finish Thanks for sharing

satibel2 years ago
I plan to make a press and I don't have any rubber pad so can I use a block of wood instead?
thartman33 years ago
If you don't have a hydraulic press, but would like to do something similar, you can use soda cans that you have opened and flattened, and work on them with clay tools, as you back the piece with foam core. The edges are EXTREMELY sharp, and don't fold easily, but I made a piece and attached it to a driftwood frame after "pewtering" it with black acrylic paint. It was really pretty.
gerry_495 years ago
Great stuff.

I'd like to try that with the pressing wire made into a name.

I don't have a press but I'm thinking that if I leave it under my cars tire overnight  it might do the trick.
pogi095 years ago
nice i like metal most of elective ever//././/./
amakerguy6 years ago
ha what are the odds of someone having a 20 ton press?!?!
Very good, actually. maybe not 20 tons, but your car jack (and car) can be jury rigged to do this same thing.
What type of rusting solution would you use? And a top coat - what is appropriate for a metal topcoat finish? Thanks and GREAT Instructable - I will look for more from you!
Great job. Very helpful.
ashwinhyde7 years ago
I think that this Instructable was very detailed and thorough. I particularly liked how each step was short and easy to follow. This Instructable is very clear and easy to use but it would be nice if you also included how to spray paint your project. People would probably want to know about the back and forth motion as well as who to clean up runs and sand down your project. Most people probably don't have a 20,000 pound press in their house but I still think this was a very constructive and informative Instructable.
i like how easy and simple the directions were. easy to follow and understand how to press a project.
atwo27 years ago
it looks cool and it's actually cool too!!! I've done it in class, it was AWESOME! and it's useful too! like you can do it on lots of things!
Wow! That looks awesome! I wish I had a hydraulic press in my school..... Perhaps I'll have to try and make a pseudo-press using a really heavy thing (like a dumpster?) and a car jack!
I suspect you could weld or bolt together some steel channel as a frame, and create enough pressure with a bottle jack -- sort of like a bearing press. Wouldn't have the nifty pressure gauge, so making exact duplicates wouldn't be easy, but .... it's possibly a cheap alternative to the big-money equipment. Would still need some substantial chunks of metal for the plates, and some hard rubber, but most of that stuff should be scroungable. An old book press (with a screw-type press plate) might suffice for doing softer metal pressings, like copper or brass. I used to have one I picked up at an auction for 50 bucks, and I could press some really neat designs into paper and soft wood.
i dont think u could use a dumpster O_O
This instructable was really cool! I already did a press project, but to be honest, i think i should have watched this video the first time around. it was very descriptive and super easy to understand. it had some useful tips i wish i knew i about, because here i was struggling to make the Deathly Hallows sign, and trying to get the circle part round with NEEDLE NOSE PLIERS, when i could have just checked this out and used some tips like USE OTHER THINGS IN THE SHOP TO HELP YOU =). It was a spectacular, neat video, and it is going to help a lot of people on their press projects, Mr. Nolte, including me i bet. Now that i saw this video, it's making me feel like i should make another press project after the ring... hmm... anyway, i really hope we win that laser cutter! Good Luck!
Spartan S807 years ago
This projectis so cool. You might even win the contest.
nice i made this in class already though... still this is hella sick
KeanAssasin7 years ago
interesting, easy and a great ordimant
4304sha7 years ago
It's cool!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
brodie6437 years ago
thats awesome, now I have gift to give to my family
eh.....it wuz awsome-ish, jk it pwned 4 a skewl projwect lolol
jhMUFC7 years ago
the press project idea is really good idea for ornaments or anything as a gift, also the designs you used are cool,
twilight1237 years ago
OMG!!!!! o.0 thisss isssss realllllyyyyy good!!!!! it would be perfectttttttttt for Christmas gifts. veryyyyy kewwllll ornaments. :3 looks like very easy steps too. I'm going to try this at home. lol. greatttttt jobbbbb!!
monkeyrules7 years ago
hey mr.nolte!!!! you explanied how to do the press really well!!!!!! i'm from your first period!!!
Anikan7 years ago
This is a great instructable. Mass pruduce press projects and sell them at another school. - 31337 m4n, |-|4x0|2
Anikan Anikan7 years ago
OMG. my sis has the same name as u - 31337 m4n, |-|4x0|2
lorrainek7 years ago
Nice intructable Mr.Nolter. It really helps.
Algore7 years ago
Wow this is amazing i wish my school had the tools to do this and i also wish they had a metal shop, i think this is a great idea to help kids in metal shop.
That's a wonderful Press Mr.Nolte. Im in your class Period 1 Axle.
hehe pretty cool..... you pump that thing pretty fast!
Mr.Jaymoon7 years ago
Wow thanks for telling me that , it's pretty useful for holiday ornaments

martin1237 years ago
wow, this is amazing, now can I can make quick and easy presents for any occasion, i hope you win the contest, EVERYONE COMMENT AND RATE HIS!!!!
wow this is amazing if i get those tools im sure ganna make a press ornament ill make sure i rate it and i hope u get more rating from other viewers
this is my homework Mr.Nolte........ it's a great way to learn a way to make a press project.......... if people want and the have the right tools they could make it at home........ i think every school should have a metal shop(but ours will be the best......lol jk)
Patrik7 years ago
Looks great! Wonder if you could do metal business cards, using a thinner gage wire and metal plate... Next instructable: how to make a 20-ton hydraulic press! :-D
hydemetals (author)  Patrik7 years ago
we are working on it.
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