Wednesday, June 19, 2013

A Hydraulic Press Ram Adaptation

There's a bit of a back story to this.

Yesterday afternoon, it dawned on me that parts of my workshop have become something of a shambles -- too much stuff stashed away here and there that's of no real use to me, that's just cluttering up the place. I decided that it's high time for an unshambling. As for where to start, 'anywhere' seemed about right.

I started in on the bottom shelf of my wood lathe's stand, and came across this marvel of human ingenuity.

It's a flailing paint stripper that's due for retirement.

It did work, more-or-less, but it tended to litter the place with broken-off flails. It has few flails left -- there's really no point in hanging onto it. I'd like to salvage the 1/4" spindle, though, and that's where my hydraulic press comes in. (I could just hammer out the spindle with a pin punch, I suppose, but the press is way more fun.)

What I have in mind is a method of fitting a 6mm diameter 'nose' to the press' ram, to bear down on the spindle to press it out. Here goes.

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Here's the setup, ready to go. (The lighting I was using made the camera produce some odd colouration effects -- the press is actually entirely red.)

That ram-end adapter is a 1 1/2" length of 1 11/32" diameter hardwood dowel. I bored it 1" diameter, 1" deep, and cut two slots in that bore's walls. Then, drilling through 15/64" gave me a light interference fit for a length of 6mm diameter steel rod. We'll see how this goes.

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That worked nicely.

I can easily punch that spindle the rest of the way out, now that it's broken loose.

I can foresee variations on this method being useful again and again in future.

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Addendum -- THURSDAY, JUNE 20, 2013

It was brought to my attention today that I did a poor job here of showing what it was, exactly, that I was salvaging. Quite so. Here's a view of what I was after with this endeavour.

It's an almost 3" length of hard, 1/4" diameter steel rod, with a knurl at one end.

To an amateur machinist, such things are invaluable -- they do not go into the landfill.

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