Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Fly Press Work Station

Recently I’ve been using the fly press quite a bit and doing some reorganizing of tools and making improvements.  There is one thing I wish I had done differently and could still change.

I probably should have made a triangular base or set my rectangular one on-the-diamond.  I do most of my work seated and that way it would be easier to straddle the base.  Otherwise, I haven’t had any problems with the way I constructed it.  It is fairly light weight in itself but I set a 5  gallon bucket inside and filled it with sand and I also store some heavy steel blocks and lead blocks there to add mass.  Without the added bottom weight the setup would be rather top heavy.  The weight additions are modular so they aren’t awkward permanent fixtures.

The rotational force applied when operating tends to make the press turn on the floor in a clockwise direction.  That was easily solved by adding a flange to the right front foot with a center hole.  I drilled a corresponding hole in the concrete with a masonry bit and made a drop pin to insert and block the movement.  Nothing more was required.

I welded a piece of round rod to the lower right ram guide bolt to serve as a handle.  When I run the ram up to change dies I give this a quick turn to lock the ram in place then loosen it when ready for use again.

I made a dedicated wrench for the ram tool holder bolt by welding a T handle on a socket wrench and attaching it to the table with a cord so it was always available without searching.  I did the same thing with a small ball peen hammer which I occasionally use to knock something loose or make an adjustment.  I also keep a tweaker blade close by for this or that.

I try to remember to leave the press set up for either bending or center punching when I’m not working on a fly press project.  That way it is always available as a somewhat generic shop tool.

I didn’t count but probably have made about 50 tools to fit the machine over the years and now rarely need anything new.

Early Fly Press Setup 
Tool rack and tray added 
Fly press area mess before I recently cleaned up

Ram lock, corded tool holder wrench and ball peen, tweaker

Stand with weight box and drop pin foot flange

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