arbor press - who actually uses the wheel
I've found myself in a position where I'm doing a production run and the assembly stage requires an arbor press. Those of you that have one, who actually uses the fine adjustment wheel? Or do you only use the ratchet?
Maybe it's odd, but I've never needed anything like this before and have always gotten away making due, but of course I underpriced the run and need to be more efficient now.
1 vote for ratchet-wheel combo
The wheel is great for rapidly getting the ram down to the part to be pressed; then position the ratchet lever where you can get the best leverage and apply the press force. Also great for the return stroke. Think of the arc your hand traces on a large lever arm versus the small wheel; the wheel is much faster if you have a lot of repetitive pressings of significant travel each. They are really useful on the larger presses (3+ ton), but maybe not as useful on smaller presses where the ram only travels a few inches.
I like mine.
I use it all the time for what George said.
We actually retrofitted ours with a handle;
There is a style of arbor press that only has a wheel, no lever. The spokes/handles are about 20"-30" diameter and they are much faster to use than a lever if you can develop the amount of pressure that you need. Dave
Same here, mine's a large Famco with the wheel, (24"?) that features a handle sticking out beyond the rim radially, every other spoke. If the ratchet is reversable to raise the ram, I've never used that feature, sounds slow and awkward.
Is there a chance that your press has the "fine adjustment" type threaded ram, that extends or retracts by a horizontal handwheel around the ram, as found on many of the heavier hydraulic presses? Just trying to grasp the "fine adjustment " mention in your post, because my wheel makes just as course an adjustment as the long ratchet handle, it's made to be a fast movement feature when high pressure is not needed.
It really depends on the stroke required for the operation. If your operation has short travels, a regular arbor press without ratchet would work fine. Time the pinion to the rack to optimize your leverage. For longer travel work, like broaching, the ratchet is the way to go. Rapid feed with small wheel to work, ratchet lever through work, and then retract with small wheel.
I have seen presses with large spoked wheels resembling a sailing ships steering wheel. They look quick to operate given they provide the leverage needed.
Have had a hand crank on the ratchet shaft for 25 years.
Be lost without it.
I am a handwheeler too. Although my newest press generates quite a bit of force with just the wheel. Great for finessing things.
Thanks everyone. This thread has really opened my eyes.
Originally I was thinking just a small 1 ton arbor press, but if I wanted to broach a 1/4" keyway in stainless say 2" thick, how much force would that take? Would I need something like a 3 ton or would the 1 ton get it done?
Guess I'll start looking for a ratchet style with the wheel.
A 1/4" keyway 2" deep is really going to fill the gullets in a standard broach adding to the force required. Adding that you are going to be using stainless, you are going to require a fair amount of force maybe upwards of 2 tons. I'd go with a 3 ton press and give your arm a break with the longer lever, or like David did, add some persuasion with an extension bar. I added an extension bar to my 3 ton and stuck a force gage between the ram and the platen and still could not deliver a full 3 tons of force.
duMont has a good chart for mild steel broaching: http://www.dumont.com/prodc.html
I occasionally broach a 3/16 keyway in annealed 4140, about 1.5" long. I do it in a #5 Greenerd floor arbor press, and it wears me out. I once did it in a 3 ton bench press and needed a long pipe on the handle, flexed the press pretty badly, I thought it was gonna break. Your job will need a good sized press.
I don't think you'll get that job done with 1T or 3T, in SS. Can't quantify it, just doesn't sound likely. Depends on which SS of course. Maybe 303 is OK.
Originally Posted by hooligan
I cut keyways up to 3/4 in 303 SS with the arbor press pictured above. You just have to hack some of the meat out of there first with an end mill or drill. The last pass is the kicker, it's a good workout at least. Use plenty of your favorite tapping fluid and it goes a bit easier.
use hydraulic press
I've broached 304 SS with DuMont broaches to 1/4-1.5 deep.
I used a 20 Ton Hydraulic press by very carefully lining things up and lots of lube.
My 2 Ton arbor would not cut it.