Is 304 stainless bad to use on a hydraulic press?
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    Default Is 304 stainless bad to use on a hydraulic press?

    I purchased a harbor freight 20 ton press to work on my cars and after I finished I was playing with my son by crushing things. We had fun ha ha ha
    I put a wood screw and while it did flatten the head of the screw, it left a deep imprint of the screw in the press pin. Yeah....
    At first I was thinking of just using my tig welder to fill the imprint but then thought of using a 1.5" 304 stainless rod I have laying around.

    Would a 304 stainless steel rod be a bad idea to use on a 20 ton press as the pin?
    I'm not to familiar with different metals. I know soft metals like the current pin bend and dent but can the stainless rod handle the pressure without issues?

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    It won't care if the pin is stainless.

    I made pins from stainless for my 40 ton press frame. They work fine. I pushed the press frame to failure, rebuilt it and the pins still look new 20 years later.

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    Just what I wanted to hear. Thank you

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    304 work hardens quickly. If you deform the pin, especially around the edges, it will eventually come apart. It's not particularly hard either, so it will readily deform. Your results will depend largely on the size of the pin vs whatever you're pressing and the pressure applied. In other words, 304 works fine for normal press ops like bushing/bearing work, but it is not suitable for use as pressbrake dies or 'smashing' irregular shaped objects of harder material.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gordon Heaton View Post
    ...but it is not suitable for use as pressbrake dies or 'smashing' irregular shaped objects of harder material...
    Yeah, if you're "smashing" things using the end of the press ram then you're probably doing it wrong.
    Nothing wrong with "playing" with the press (as long as you'e doing it safely) but all the better presses
    I have seen have a removable (either slip-on or thread-on) shoe that takes the load and protects the
    end of the ram. That protector can be made of anything. I even have one made of a hard plastic for
    pressing delicate parts...

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    I used to demonstrate the presses I made by squashing a coin.....customers coin obviously........and that dates my story.....who has coins in their pocket now?

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    Quote Originally Posted by lalojamesliz View Post
    I purchased a harbor freight 20 ton press to work on my cars and after I finished I was playing with my son by crushing things. We had fun ha ha ha
    I put a wood screw and while it did flatten the head of the screw, it left a deep imprint of the screw in the press pin. Yeah....
    At first I was thinking of just using my tig welder to fill the imprint but then thought of using a 1.5" 304 stainless rod I have laying around.

    Would a 304 stainless steel rod be a bad idea to use on a 20 ton press as the pin?
    I'm not to familiar with different metals. I know soft metals like the current pin bend and dent but can the stainless rod handle the pressure without issues?
    Sounds to me like you should just use a BIGGER wood screw.

    Got the proof right in front of you that it is made of harder and tougher material than Horror-Fright grows in China, yah?

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    You guys think I should just leave it alone or use my tig to fill the pocket?

    I'm just worried that it can split from that small pocket if I was using it as a press like it's supposed to be..... I do over worry though for some things. I wore safety glasses while my 6yr old son wore my face shield and was off to the side of the press.

    I knew the quality was questionable but I knew it would work great to push out the bearings from my 30yr old hubs. Next will be some bushings and some transmission bearings.

    I didn't want to pay a machine shop $100 to press out the bearings and put the new ones in so I paid about 170 for the press.. That's the price I had from a machine shop I previously used for something else.

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    Just a suggestion: If you're going to use your press as a toy, don't make the mistake thinking that it is a toy. A workpiece can pretty easily be ejected and can maim, blind, or kill you or your son pretty easily. You can read stories here on PM telling about how the workpiece ended up going through several thckness of drywall, or how it dented steel plate.

    A curtain of 1/4" Lexan(r) hung in front of the press works. Or 1/4" weave wire cloth (like fireplace screens). Both allow you to see how things get squashed while avoiding the squashed part from penetrating your son's eyeball.

    There's lots of ways to injure yourself. I dated a girl who'd lost an eye due to a tennis-ball cannon accident. Be ashamed to end up with a son nicknamed Cyclops.

    (Cyclops is a lot less cruel than the name we gave our friend who only had one testicle: Uno).

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    Used as a toy to crush a screw, a water bottle plastic top and some playdoh...... thanks for the advice though.

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    That whole
    "press shaped object" is a hazard.

    Use your skills to build a better/stronger one.

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    Stainless 304 doesn't like to weld to mild steel all that nicely. I will stick, but the bond isn't desireable

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    Quote Originally Posted by lalojamesliz View Post
    You guys think I should just leave it alone or use my tig to fill the pocket?
    Might LEARN something useful if you just laid the glans of yer putz in the "pocket" and measured how far the blood traveled?

    Day shift foreman had stayed over into second shift to finish pressing an axle and wheel together. Grabbed the WRONG length of tubing as a bushing. Not the proper one faced both ends parallel on the lathe. The cut-off it had been MADE from..with but ONE end true from a parting-off operation. The other end that only LOOKED true. We had a damned good power hack-saw.

    But it weren't true enough.

    Cocked the wheel ever-so slightly. Dick H___ was not the most patient of men. Cranked the press power up.

    BANG! An ancient Niles Six HUNDRED TON railway-industry "wheel press" fired a 10 or 12 inch diameter, foot or so long.. length of heavy wall "hydraulic" tubing straight through a heavy industrial machine-hall concrete block wall - across the adjacent bay..... and it wasn't yet done for the day, even so.

    600 Ton is only 30 times your 20-tonner. Smaller hunk of metal needs less energy to hit a given velocity. Smaller hunk of metal needs less energy to pierce whatever is wont to not want "pierced", too.

    I'm just worried that it can split from that small pocket if I was using it as a press like it's supposed to be..... I do over worry though for some things. I wore safety glasses while my 6yr old son wore my face shield and was off to the side of the press.
    No. Pilgrim. You don't over-worry. You don't even UNDERSTAND WHY you should be concerned, nor about WHAT!

    "Face shield?" Safety glasses?

    "The last thing that went through Bubba's mind was five pounds of cold-rolled-steel wearing bustid safety glasses ... backwards."


    Just CANNOT get trustworthy cold-rolled these days as has the least lick of common sense about clowning around for the camera!


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    Quote Originally Posted by BT Fabrication View Post
    Stainless 304 doesn't like to weld to mild steel all that nicely. I will stick, but the bond isn't desireable
    Actually, a great bond can be formed using 309L rod. It is suitable for joining a wide variety of stainless/non-stainless steels. I is also used for welding two parts of non-stainless steel when 'looks' are more important than ultimate strength. Strength-wise it is good for anything but highly stressed structural items.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gordon Heaton View Post
    Actually, a great bond can be formed using 309L rod. It is suitable for joining a wide variety of stainless/non-stainless steels. I is also used for welding two parts of non-stainless steel when 'looks' are more important than ultimate strength. Strength-wise it is good for anything but highly stressed structural items.
    Utah humour, Izzat?

    Wouldn't be any REAL stress on a mere 20 Ton press, after all. Not one from Horror-Fright, anyway

    Coke slag inclusions in the frame would fail it first?

    Or maybe just some playful fool squeezing wood screws ..every bit as oblivious to the real world as McArthur Wheeler?


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    If you want to weld mild steel to SS use 309 rod

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    If you want to see things crushed there is the hydraulic press channel:

    Hydraulic Press Channel - YouTube

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    Quote Originally Posted by bosleyjr View Post
    Just a suggestion: If you're going to use your press as a toy, don't make the mistake thinking that it is a toy. A workpiece can pretty easily be ejected and can maim, blind, or kill you or your son pretty easily. You can read stories here on PM telling about how the workpiece ended up going through several thckness of drywall, or how it dented steel plate.

    A curtain of 1/4" Lexan(r) hung in front of the press works. Or 1/4" weave wire cloth (like fireplace screens). Both allow you to see how things get squashed while avoiding the squashed part from penetrating your son's eyeball.

    There's lots of ways to injure yourself. I dated a girl who'd lost an eye due to a tennis-ball cannon accident. Be ashamed to end up with a son nicknamed Cyclops.

    (Cyclops is a lot less cruel than the name we gave our friend who only had one testicle: Uno).
    Uno.... that's hilarious!

    I do like the lexan idea. I can only think of a few more things that I'll need the press for before I sell it. Will 1/4 lexan be thick enough? Weave wire cloth sounds nice too since it will be easier to hang.

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    Quote Originally Posted by aliva View Post
    If you want to weld mild steel to SS use 309 rod
    Yeah, I have some.

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    Quote Originally Posted by thermite View Post
    Might LEARN something useful if you just laid the glans of yer putz in the "pocket" and measured how far the blood traveled?

    Day shift foreman had stayed over into second shift to finish pressing an axle and wheel together. Grabbed the WRONG length of tubing as a bushing. Not the proper one faced both ends parallel on the lathe. The cut-off it had been MADE from..with but ONE end true from a parting-off operation. The other end that only LOOKED true. We had a damned good power hack-saw.

    But it weren't true enough.

    Cocked the wheel ever-so slightly. Dick H___ was not the most patient of men. Cranked the press power up.

    BANG! An ancient Niles Six HUNDRED TON railway-industry "wheel press" fired a 10 or 12 inch diameter, foot or so long.. length of heavy wall "hydraulic" tubing straight through a heavy industrial machine-hall concrete block wall - across the adjacent bay..... and it wasn't yet done for the day, even so.

    600 Ton is only 30 times your 20-tonner. Smaller hunk of metal needs less energy to hit a given velocity. Smaller hunk of metal needs less energy to pierce whatever is wont to not want "pierced", too.

    No. Pilgrim. You don't over-worry. You don't even UNDERSTAND WHY you should be concerned, nor about WHAT!

    "Face shield?" Safety glasses?

    "The last thing that went through Bubba's mind was five pounds of cold-rolled-steel wearing bustid safety glasses ... backwards."


    Just CANNOT get trustworthy cold-rolled these days as has the least lick of common sense about clowning around for the camera!

    So what is it that makes this press so dangerous? Seriously....
    I know the things that I'm compressing are dangerous and can fly out but what is wrong with the press?
    On the top beam I know people replace the 4 top long bolts with 8 short ones of a higher grade but I don't know what grade to get.
    People seem to like adding a winch to raise and lower the adjustable platform. No thanks. It's not heavy
    The o-ring on the jack can fail but I don't see that life threatening.

    I don't plant to use this much but I also don't want to be using something dangerous if I can make it safer


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