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50 Ton Horrible Freight Press --- who has one?


Well-known member
May 19, 2020
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Paxtonia, PA
I'm going to attempt to make my own press. Not looking for a true 50 ton ... and I want to change some things around.

But if anyone has one .... please speak up and let me know if I can contact you (on the side) for a couple of questions/measurements.

Thanks in advance!

We had the 20 ton. It worked but was kind of a pain to get things spaced properly. The anvil was not adjustable so you needed extra press plates so you can shim things up or down, but that only does so much. The stroke was not very long so you would end up needing to be lower than the high hole on the frame or higher than the low hole if that makes sense. The press plates that came with it were not flat, either so things wobbled around.
The 20 ton build seems to be generic across the board (HF, Northern, ATC, Carolina, etc etc etc).

Hence i was asking about the 50 ton, to get an idea of what they did to make "their junk" stronger. Been looking at OTC pics/specs ..... that's kind of the route I'm looking to go (for a home-made copy). Wasn't necessary shooting for a 50 ton press. But I want something rigid that won't twist around. Hence thicker uprights and a ram (instead of that fucking bottle jack).

55 ton "regular" press: https://www.otctools.com/sites/default/files/1850_536_0.jpg
55 ton "HD" press: https://www.otctools.com/sites/default/files/1845_4879_0.jpg

I'm looking strictly at frame design ... not fancy powered hydro setup. A simple ram/pump is preferred (for control).

Also saw this interesting concept. Not sure if it's good for anything more than quicker axleshaft bearing work

25 ton "WTF" press: https://www.otctools.com/sites/default/files/1826a.jpg

Anyone have any opinions on all of the above? The double pin is obviously strong enough and easier to do. But with that last press ... you clearly need 4 pins because of where the press point moves to. I'm **assuming** the HD press uses 4 pins because of the speed involved with that hydro assembly. Maybe a little less potential to form a "parallelogram" if everything is constrained.

But thoughts or :flipoff2:s are appreciated nonetheless.
4 pins will only be useful if the holes are all drilled accurately and closely enough that the pins share load.

Relatively simple to do basic stress calcs to figure out what stresses are in the components, but realize that little details of geometry, clearance, etc matter quite a lot.
I'm confident in my layout abilities. Whether or not my equipment is on the same page ..... :lmao:

At this moment .... I'm not sure the extra side width/overhang is useful for anything other than semi-floating axleshaft bearings. It's not like I do 10 or more a day that the effort to lift out (verses slide sideways) will save me time. I'd rather have more width between the uprights. If someone can offer solid examples of what else I can do with the side overhang/shelf, besides hit my head on it when I have to bend down to pick something up --- I will keep an open mind.

I will be at the mercy of whatever material the scrap yard has that is in good shape. If necessary, I would rather have a slightly thicker gauge metal (than thinner). I suspect this will end up heavier than I want --- and will have to incorporate a lift point if it ever needs to be moved. :rolleyes:
Oh hell no !

Awesome work ..... but i have no room for that. Nor do i trust myself with a full hydro setup. That's why I am wanting a ram/pump. Slower? Sure. More control? Most Definitely!
I have a 50 ton and have a build thread over on pirate for it...I think there are some measurements too.


fwiw, the channel is 7" and the uprights are 1/2" thick. Pins are 1 1/4". 32" inside the rails. 15" deep work area. Press blocks (not pictured)seem to be flame cut and not cast.
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Jamscal .... that's pretty much the info I was looking for. The OTC 25 ton uses 1/2 uprights. The OTC "regular" 55 ton uses 1.25 uprights. The HD uses 5/8 uprights. Odd .... but I suspect because of the double pins, they were able to use the lighter gauge. But when you look at the weights ... the HD one is 200 lbs heavier despite the thinner uprights. (yes ... comparing apples-to-apples with hydraulics). So the whole thing has me scratching my head.

It's looking like the OTC channels are 12 inch, based on the dimensions I've found. What I use will depend on what I can find in the scrap dealer.

I'll carefully sneak my way back over there and see if I can find your build thread.
Did Pirate suddenly make it harder to search with the reboot. I went to your screen name .... no way to find "threads started by Jamscal"

*edit* Found it. I'm not ready to get into the press brake end of things yet. But that is an eventual goal. My 20 ton Blackhawk (or whatever the fuck it is) has always been kinda flimsy/twisty/janky.

I will be fixing up what broke --- but will probably sell it after the new one is built. Will look it over anyways. :beer:
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