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Air Powered 50-Ton Press

Discussion in 'Shop Talk - BladeSmith Questions and Answers' started by Marc Cooper, May 27, 2019.

  1. Marc Cooper

    Marc Cooper

    Apr 7, 2019
    Hey All

    I have the opportunity to pick up a brand new Air Powered 50 Ton Press for $400, but I am wondering if you all think it will be serviceable for pressing hot steel. I already have a Runfa 50-lb Power Hammer, but I would like the ability to make the occasional precision press on hot steel. (Sometimes I find the Power Hammer lacks the precision I want.) I can always make the dies I want.

    I do know that a dedicated Power Hydraulic Press would be a better option as it will be faster resulting in less heat loss, but shipping one to Newfoundland where I live is very very very expensive and I don't really have a lot of spare time to build one. (The bit of spare time I do have is dedicated to making knives and pens.) If I can get 2 or 3 presses before reheating, I would be satisfied.

    I figure worst case scenario I can modify this press into a power hydraulic press sometime down the road.

    Here is a link to the press I can get for cheap:


    Do you think it could work?
  2. Stacy E. Apelt - Bladesmith

    Stacy E. Apelt - Bladesmith ilmarinen - MODERATOR Moderator Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Aug 20, 2004
    Unless you need one of those for doing other tasks, don't waste the $400. It really isn't suitable for knfe work.
  3. Lieblad


    Jul 24, 2015
    $400cad. Thats not bad regardless.
    I know some guys use them, but they are pretty slow forging.
    We have a similar press, but only use it for general smithing and machinery work.
  4. John mc c

    John mc c

    Aug 23, 2018
    Fly presses have been used for a long time for smithing,this would be at least as fast or faster
    It would be quicker than doing by hand anyway
    Just my opinion
    I've never seen one being used tho
  5. Armin Drumm

    Armin Drumm

    Apr 2, 2005
    Despite the fact that this press is not suitable for forge work, how they want to achieve 50 tons with 110-120 psi?
  6. Sam Dean

    Sam Dean Gold Member Gold Member

    Aug 3, 2012
    It uses an "air over hydraulic" cylinder. The air supply runs a crude hydraulic pump, just like moving the handle of a bottle jack up & down. They're nice because they pump a bit faster than you can by hand, but they're still incredibly slow. Most, like this one, allow you to operate it manually - using the hand pump - or with air.
  7. Lieblad


    Jul 24, 2015
    Hardly. A properly set-up flypress is very quick. Both closing and opening.

    The manual press we used to have could cycle about 6-8mm per second. (Of course, it goes as fast you wanted to work it...)
    Dunno what pressures it generated, but could easily work 20mm square bars mild steel.
    A great albeit large-ish machine. Being tall, had to be careful not bonk my head on its flywheel.
    Last edited: May 29, 2019

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