Originally Posted by silentpoet
I have decided to make a small shop press. I have a 4 ton jack that I can use for my press. I know it is not super powerful, but better than nothing. But will it be enough to press the bearings in and out on my 2003 pt cruiser. That is the current job I am needing it for. I have all or almost everything I need to make it onhand. I might have a slightly bigger jack someplace, but the 4 ton was all I could find in the basement where most of my tools and junk are. After thinking about it the 4 ton is probably the bigger one.
The other main question is about the ram end of the press. I am not sure what sort of profile I need to have on the business end.
I built a shop press in an adult ed welding class. I used 5" channel iron and a 20 ton bottle jack. I basically copied the HF frame design but used much heavier materials. The whole thing cost well under $200 for all materials, including the jack. Given the beefiness of the frame, I'm planning to upgrade to a 50 ton air over hydraulic jack in the near future. The pumping gets old if you're pressing eight lug studs out of a dually rear drum, for example.
My frame is basically an inverted "U". The jack is mounted to a cross bar that slides up and down inside the frame. The piston of the jack pushes on the underside of the top of the frame. Springs hold the cross piece up against the force of the jack. An adjustable work platform mounts below the cross piece. Holes in the frame on 6" centers allow me to move the work platform up and down to accommodate the workpiece. I welded a short piece of 1" round stock to the underside of the sliding cross piece, directly under the jack as the ram.