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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
For those creative people in our audience, here is a site with thousands of home made tools that work well. Many are automotive, but there are tools for everything on there, enjoy. HomemadeTools.net -- Thousands of Homemade Tools

I've decided to make a 12 ton shop press myself. I'm using the harbor frieght press as a building guide. I'm using square steel instead of 3 side, much thicker and stronger than the original press. Will weld together instead of bolting. Should be a winner.

All my steel I got from friends with a racing team. Found a new 12 ton bottle jack, at a yard sale for $10. Only other things I need to buy will be jack return springs and eye hooks for the springs. Will have about $20 in it when done, and have a much stronger press than what I would have bought for $150 + tax & gas to get there, from harbor freight.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
I'll try to get a pic tomorrow, it will be of the beginning parts and pieces I have, then try to take a pic of each stage of the process. Keeping in mind that I'm never in a hurry.

Started the project today. No pics yet as I was cutting, cleaning up, and priming the steel tubing. Hopefully will have this part of project finished in a day or 2 and get the 1st pics up. Used weld through primer so metal that will be unreachable after welding will have some protection. Also coated tubes with barbecue black. I'll see how well it stands up to welding heat. It's supposed to withstand 1300 degrees. I'm thinking no more than a couple of inches from the weld will get damaged from the heat.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
First update to my making a 12 ton shop press. Got all the steel I scrounged from the steel pile at my friends house, ground free of rust, sanded primed, and painted with heat resistant paint.

Next step will be the welding up of all the parts I have laid out. I'm sure some of the paint will burn off near the welds, but the rest will be ok. Of course I'll sand the paint off in the weld area itself.

Used 3/16 steel instead of the light 16 gauge steel the HF press used.
 

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looking good so far :LS1LT1flag:
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
Update Got some of the welding done. I guess my 1992 Century brand welder couldn't take the strain, cause it bit the dust yesterday. Money is tight so I bought one of those $129 specials from Tractor Supply. If it gets me through the job and lasts a couple more years, I'll be satisfied. It does work well, and customer service is good, with someone in the US taking my call. Thought a part was missing, but it was tucked inside the wire compartment.

As I suspected, the barbecue black paint only gets burned back, maybe and inch from my welding.
 

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Yeah, welders aren't a good thing to cheap out on.
If you can't afford it, save up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
Update Got the top crossbar, press bar and work table welded up. New cheap welder is doing fine so far. Will post more pics when I get the parts painted up. Have some light forest green metallic left over from painting a hood, so will use that for the press.

Also found button diodes to fix my old welder, even though most parts houses list them as obsolete. 92 model welder is now up and running again.
 

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Update Got the top crossbar, press bar and work table welded up. New cheap welder is doing fine so far. Will post more pics when I get the parts painted up. Have some light forest green metallic left over from painting a hood, so will use that for the press.

Also found button diodes to fix my old welder, even though must parts houses list them as obsolete. 92 model welder is now up and running again.
Alright coco :) now post pics when done

Sent from my SPH-D710 using AutoGuide.Com Free App
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
Here's a pic of the mock up of the shop press. It will need to be tweaked some, that's why I just tacked the top header on so I can take it back off easily. Still need to add the return springs for the jack bottle, weld the top header bar completely, then it's off to the paint room for sanding and painting. It's going to be a light hunter green metallic. Chose that color because I have enough left over from a small paint job. Because the color is pretty transparent, I'm going with a silver base coat under the color. Then toping with urethane clear.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
With all the time and effort put in, I'm afraid I might want to keep it in the house and not use it. But no, it's only a tool, made to have a function and be used.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Latest update Project is on hold while I pull engine & trans from my 90 camaro dd, so I can change the freeze plugs. Not a bad idea to let paint on shop press sit awhile as I used spray bomb primer, and silver under coat. This type of paint tends to wrinkle and lift if top coated without the paint being fully cured.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
The ever expanding project

Well it started when a freeze plug started leaking on my 90 camaro rs 3.1 dd. Then I decided to do the job right on the 23 year old car. So I pulled the engine and transmission. Changed the freeze plugs.

Decided to change all the vacuum hoses, heater hoses, and other assorted old rotten rubber parts. Next came the motor mounts, and they are a bear to change as the control arm must be separated from the k member to get to the bottom nuts holding the mounts on.

From there I decided, well as long as the engine compartment is vacant, might as well clean up in there. That escalated to sanding the paint and now going to re paint in there. Have about 2 quarts of color left over from when I painted the car a couple of years ago. Will have to paint the front bumper cover when I'm finished, if I ever finish finding things to repair, because of the parking lot scratches it has endured.

Hopefully, pics tomorrow of the empty cavern.
 

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Well it started when a freeze plug started leaking on my 90 camaro rs 3.1 dd. Then I decided to do the job right on the 23 year old car. So I pulled the engine and transmission. Changed the freeze plugs.

Decided to change all the vacuum hoses, heater hoses, and other assorted old rotten rubber parts. Next came the motor mounts, and they are a bear to change as the control arm must be separated from the k member to get to the bottom nuts holding the mounts on.

From there I decided, well as long as the engine compartment is vacant, might as well clean up in there. That escalated to sanding the paint and now going to re paint in there. Have about 2 quarts of color left over from when I painted the car a couple of years ago. Will have to paint the front bumper cover when I'm finished, if I ever finish finding things to repair, because of the parking lot scratches it has endured.

Hopefully, pics tomorrow of the empty cavern.
Get them pics already!
 

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For those creative people in our audience, here is a site with thousands of home made tools that work well. Many are automotive, but there are tools for everything on there, enjoy. HomemadeTools.net -- Thousands of Homemade Tools
Jon here from HomemadeTools.net.

I know this thread is an old one, but thanks for the kind words :cheers:

To celebrate our 20,000th homemade tool, we made a new ebook featuring our top 50 homemade tools. You guys are welcome to it for free:

http://download.homemadetools.net/50MustReadTools.pdf

 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Just thought I'd let members know, I ended up leaving the press silver. After using it a couple of times I realized the paint takes a pretty good beating in use.
 
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