Hydraulic Press 20-tons




About: I'm interested of many metal, wood and arduino/ Raspberry stuff.

Hi boys and girls!!

My fantasy came true and finaly get my hydraulic press done. I've been thinking this about six years, but this autumn I just drive locale scrap yard and luckily there was good materials for me.

I bought for scrap metal price this U- profile bar, thickness about 6-7mm. I bought about 15 meters but 10 meters is enough for this project.


I start cutting 50 x100 mm u- profile to pieces with grinder ( big one) and dimensions are:

2 x 1900 mm for vertical bars (1800mm is also enough but I'm a long man :) )

4 x 705 mm for middle and upper bar

2 x 105 mm for middle bar intermediate parts ( depends your profile width)

1 x 500 mm for stand bars ( just cut full u-bar half from center )

1x 595 mm for press pedestal bar

few other materials that you need:

5mm thick metal plate about 550mm x 250mm piece. For upper bar stiffening plates.

Support bar about 30 x 30 mm or someting like that, 595mm piece.

Some metal piece which fit inside to U-profile, for press pedestal bar center.

2 x 25mm round bar about 210mm ( 420 mm in total)

Nuts and bolts, I use M12 but M10 is enough.

2 x hard springs.

1 x 20-ton bottle jack.

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Step 1: Making Stand

There you can see stand fitting and lower bar.

Before making legs, drill 26mm holes to vertical bars. This one is big job, because bars weigh a lot and you have to start small holes. Just change few mm bigger bits to get to 26mm. Holes are 200 mm intervals and six levels.

I started to do first lower bar fitting by drilling 3mm holes and then bigger and bigger to finaly get 12mm holes for bolts. Before that I weld both ends about 45 x 70mm metal plates. Lower bar is 605 mm long in total with plates.

Stand legs I made U-profile by just cutting it half. Then I cut little slices off at heads, so I looks much better. I also weld little pieces of metal under the legs, because usually floors are not strait. Then just center them to vertical bar and drill holes same style as before. Little tip for getting them strait: attach other leg first with two bolts and other one just one bolt ( drill only one hole for the bolt!!) Then raise frame up and gain legs so that press doesn't swing on any way. After that you can drill second hole for bolt.

Step 2: Making Middle Bar


This one is easy part.

Take two 700 mm U-profile parts that you cut and also 105 mm parts. Use grinder to remove paint from bars and after that just fit smaller parts between 700mm parts ( look how on photos). Use two clamps to keep them together when welding.

I make also those two metal plates ( about 13 mm thick) about 130 x 200 mm to help pressing stuff.

Under the middle bar, at vertical bar is those 25mm round bars 210mm long.

And we are done!

Step 3: Press Pedestal Bar


Press pedestal bar is simple but much welding to do.

Take 595 mm U-profile part and remove paint from welding areas. Then weld four plates both side to keep bar on place when pressing things. Then weld some bigger metal piece center and inside of the bar. That is for keeping jacks force on line, not on U-profile sides.

Then grinder some metal pipe half and weld pieces of it for spring hooks. You can see what I mean at photos.

Set jack on much center as you can ( pressing line!!) for bar and weld every side some metal to hold jack on place. I do L-hooks to back and front sides so jack doesn't dribble. This you can make also on last stage ( fitting jack and springs).

You maybe have to adjuts metal pieces at the top of bar, so bar can move up and down smootly.

Step 4: Upper Bar

Upper bar has also lots of welding and cutting.

First put waste piece of U-profile at head of the 700mm parts so, that you can draw line where to cut vertical bar inlays. I put two pieces of U-profile between parts and then make metal plates for top and under the bar. Then just weld plates on as many places that you can.

Measure places for spring hooks and weld them at place.

After that, you can fit upper bar at place and drill holes for bolts. Use square to get bar strait.

So almost done!!

Step 5: Fitting Jack and Springs

It was hard to get right kind of springs so I just use parts of the springs that I already have. I just measure them and cut spare off. Spring is about 4 mm thick material and very hard, so it returns jack fast but not too fast. They are about 220 mm long.

First I roll springs at place at top hook and then put them at pedestal hooks.

After that, put bottle jack on place and check that it's almost line strait in relation of vertical bars. Then put some metal ( piece of pipe maybe) top of the jack and weld piece to upper bar. This keeps jack on place, when pressing something and you can easily take jack off to use it something else.

And we are done!!

I count that I use about 80 -100€ ( 84-104 dollars) for this, so low budjet job. New press costs here about 250-350€ at shop. ( never ever count price on working hours... :-D )

As you can see, I am lazy to painting my diy- tools, but maybe some day like matt black... :-D

Have a nice time to pressing stuff!!



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    11 Discussions

    Odd Jobs

    2 years ago

    This is nice but I have to wonder about the bolts. When you got them did they specify the shear tolerance? The kilograms per square centimeter at which the bolt will cut. At some point you may need to change them to carbon steel bolts.

    2 replies
    Tepi38Odd Jobs

    Reply 2 years ago

    Yes, maybe. I think that regular bolts will hold my pressing, usually ball bearings and stuff like that. Hopely it will hold.

    But good point!


    2 years ago

    Nicely built. Looks like you used a factory press as your guide. I realize you may not have access to places like Harbor Freight or Northern Tools around where you live, but HF and NT sell theirs for about $125 dollars. I was lucky enough to buy one decades ago for less then $100 dollars new. While I though I would not use it but every now and then at the most, It has come to be a very useful and used shop tool for me over the years. Are you going to repaint it? Thumbs Up!

    2 replies

    Reply 2 years ago

    I agree harbor freight has some good quality products for great prices, but be careful with other products, they have a reputation for being called horrible freight for some tools and such.


    Reply 2 years ago

    Friends, friends, these days you have to be sharp what you buy and I think that usually price is some scale of quality. There are few exceptions for cheap tools ( for my experience) but quality costs.

    But this is also opinion question, so I dont generalize this.

    But I think that if I made it, I can fix it :)


    2 years ago

    This looks like a beast!

    It looks like it turned out great, and will be useful for all sorts of projects. Well done :)

    1 reply

    Reply 2 years ago


    It weight's also like beast, about 110-120 kg :D

    I made this to use and usually I use over strong materials, because I just hate that tool breaks down middle of using it.

    I'm really happy for nice feedback :)


    2 years ago


    Yes, we have here also same kind of presses, with 8-ton jack. They cost about 130€+ pickup, but 20- tons press is about 200-250€ with bottle jack. Same type press with pumphydraulic system is about 350-450€, I mean quality ones. I use factory versions for guide, but material thickness is much stronger than these 8 and 12- ton factory presses and maybe some other improvements, I hope... :)

    Yes, maybe some painting some day, but as I say, I'm little lazy for painting jobs :) Build and use, thats my tought.