View Full Version : An old hydraulic press

07-20-2017, 06:46 AM
Found this old hydraulic press on CL and picked it up yesterday. I can't tell it's capacity, but guessing maybe a 20 ton. What's cool is the hydraulic setup...it all works and doesn't leak (much). And the cable/crank/pin setup for quickly raising or lowering the bottom base bars. The seller didn't have any arbor plates to go with it, so I just ordered a new alloy steel set off ebay.
Some cleanup and maybe paint and this thing will have another life in my (soon to be built) shop-garage.
Saving another old piece of American Iron. (this was made in Los Angeles).




07-20-2017, 07:20 AM
I have a modified HF POS of the 20 ton variety and I shattered the press plated that came with it. Store mgr said I overloaded them. I asked why they sold plates not capable of 20 tons with a 20 ton press. I have some cut from 1 inch steel now.

07-20-2017, 07:56 AM
Pretty cool Paul. We had a similar newer one in the shop where I worked at H-P and one thing I always liked about it is that it has a gauge on it so you could tell how much force you were putting on it. You might consider putting one in the pressure line and trying to calibrate it. I think it would be good to know.

I have the HF 20-ton press and it's worked really well for me for lots of things. My biggest complaint is that it's so short, and I'm not a tall guy. I may put legs on it to raise it 8" or so. I bought a nice press-brake for it and I can easily bend 3/8" steel with it. I think it would be pretty easy to over-load the press without knowing how much force you're putting on it. Clearly a 20-ton ram could exert more than that if you put more force on the handle than intended. That's why a pressure gauge would be nice.

07-20-2017, 08:41 AM
That's some nice looking 'old American iron'... :) clean it up and paint it 'industrial gray', and it'll last another 100 yrs ... :)


07-20-2017, 03:58 PM
The arbor plates that come with HF presses are just some cast junk. If you've ever seen how many voids can be in a cheap Chinese casting, you know that the strength is not determined by the material.

Just plain low carbon steel will be far better. (And do as I say, not as I do - I still have the HF plates.)

07-20-2017, 05:07 PM
I bought steel plates from an eBay seller.

07-20-2017, 05:09 PM
I bought a nice press-brake for it and I can easily bend 3/8" steel with it.

I'm looking for something like this. Post a pic and tell me what you got so I can find one too.

07-20-2017, 05:53 PM
Too easy to just order up those ebay plates rather than find a local supplier, and figure out all the notches. Plus they have to be cheaper than a one off.

07-20-2017, 08:47 PM
I'm looking for something like this. Post a pic and tell me what you got so I can find one too.

Paul, Swag Offroad makes some really cheap cool stuff for home fabrication. Check this out.


07-21-2017, 07:19 AM
It looks like this press has more adjustment holes than my HF model that's good it was a pain in the ass to drill a hole in between each hole. It also appears to be taller and have a sturdier case another modification had to make, eight inches taller and a stronger base. Nice score.

07-21-2017, 10:45 AM
It looks kind of "Steam Punkish" Cool I like old tools. I still use my dad's Craftsman tool box he bought when I was a newborn. This thing is 53 or 54 years old!!

07-21-2017, 12:37 PM
I still use my dad's Craftsman tool box he bought when I was a newborn. This thing is 53 or 54 years old!!

I still use my Craftsman tools that I BOUGHT when I was going to Aircraft Mechanic School in 1973.....that's 44 years ago! :eek:

07-21-2017, 05:31 PM
A hunderd bucks. It WAS a nice find. Spent $75 on the new 1 inch alloy steel arbor plates. Now looking for a finger brake.

I checked on the SWAG stuff and it's a smokin deal for what you are getting. I will keep that in mind. Not in a terrible hurry just yet, but eventually will add to the tool collection.

Back to wiring the Nomad....slow and methodical...

07-24-2017, 08:57 PM
There was a tag on the hydraulic fluid box that said "Wm. S. Pine Inc. Los Angeles CA"
A google search lead to this ad from Popular Mechanics magazine.


So the actual press has no markings on it, but the hydraulic unit came from this old company in LA. No longer there...

Just some more lore for ya'all.

03-05-2018, 09:00 PM
Made these stands over the weekend, and used the press to bend the top plates. 3/16" cold steel. Easy peasy...



03-06-2018, 03:01 AM
Nice score!

03-06-2018, 04:40 AM
Nice job Paul! Also, great stance on that 57 Nomad! ;)

03-08-2018, 05:49 AM
Thanks for the compliment Laszlo. I have the coil over shock springs dialed all the way "down" at the moment, so it's sitting as low as it ever will. But I still have to add glass, upholstery/interior, etc...so I may need to increase the spring load to hold that added weight. AND....I will know if the front tires rub when turning once I get this beast running and drivable. So I may need to raise the front an inch or so for clearance of fenders when full turns are made. Time will tell. But overall, it's a badass stance for sure.