I make tools cause tools are cool

by kevinpotter on April 26, 2009

20 Ton Jewelry Press

I don’t know how many people read this, but since this is the largest group of metalworkers on the web I figured it would be a good place to ask for advice. I make tools for jewelers and metalsmiths and one of the tools that I make is a press. I make a 20 ton and a 50. I made 10 of the 20 ton models and only have two left. I am going to do another run of them and was wondering if any one had any requests or ideas for improvement.  The new models will have a larger platen and maybe a gauge, do you guys really want a gauge to be standard or would you rather have a cheaper price? The gauge modification costs more money, I want the press to sell for less than 700 dollars. I have a device that instead of pressure ,shows platen height with a dial indicator that can be an accessory or I can use a more expensive jack with the gauge port, but we are talkin’ a couple hundred bucks extra for a jack with the gauge. I could offer it as an option so that I can keep the entry price low. Another question is, is the 600-700 price affordable? I might be able to make some changes to bring it down but it is getting pretty tight. I tried to come up with a 300 dollar press but I just couldn’t do it and be willing to put my name on it and sell it with a straight face. The presses that I have made use hobby horse return springs so I figured if they were safe enough for kids toys they would be ok for the press, I am thinkin’ about modifying the jack to have an internal spring so it cleans up the look of the press. Do you guys want more height? Are there alot of you doin’ stuff that needs the extra height? I have tried to keep the weight down so I can ship it UPS. It will ship to most of the US for about 60 bucks. I am not going to change the basic structure. I like using the 1/2 inch plate -it eliminates all the welds that a fabricated from tubing press needs and is much stronger, plus I think it looks pretty cool. It only has 2 structural welds and they pass through the base plate making them incredibly strong. I posted a couple of pics one of the 20 ton on top and the 50 ton below the 50 ton has 2 plates of 1/2 inch steel and is much larger.  Anyway, if you guys have any ideas that you want to share, lay them on me, I am all ears. Just to clarify, this is not a get rich quick scheme. I just like making tools and figured I would ask the people who use them if there is anything they might like to see in a press maybe I can add it. If any one wants advice on making there own press or how to go about it I can go into more depth on how I did it. I have a 200 ton press that I built for my shop with electric solinoid valves and a 5hp pump. I think I have some pics on my website. PotterUSA.com Thanks for reading and let me know what you think good or bad I can take it.


50 Ton Jewelry Press




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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Anne May 6, 2009 at 10:51 pm

I just finished reading all of your posts and got a real kick out of your stories and your great sense of humor. As I read the one about sticking your finger in the molten metal I looked fondly down at my left hand which carries a small permanent scar put there by flying molten silver that I have had since I was in seventh grade. I got it while doing centrifugal casting. I had this really great Art teacher who let a few of us stay after school to do casting using a washtub casting setup her husband had built. There was this other kid in the group who must have been very impulsive, who pulled the trigger on the casting machine before the teacher was finished pouring the metal. I don’t think he meant any harm – just got too excited. Little drops of molten metal flew across the room – that teacher was lucky that no one was seriously injured – I was the only one who sustained a burn. It wasn’t too bad since the molten metal had a few milliseconds to cool as it flew across the room toward my hand. The teacher applied ice and a bandage to my hand and sent the kid home. I got to stay and finish my project. Even though my hand was sore, I remember how great it was to experience casting my own design in silver – it was the beginning of my love of working with metal. That was 40 years ago, and I still love it.

I’m looking forward to receiving my press – I appreciate all the hard work you did designing, building, and making it available to studio artists like me at an affordable price.

Also, thank you for sharing your stories – please keep it up – you have a way with words!


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