So, I ran into a gentleman at the 2010 BGCM Blacksmith Days who works with Larry Donnelly in his shop from time to time. We got to talking about damascus and it came up in conversation that Larry was thinking about selling one of his presses. Well, to make a long story short I managed to sell my Jeff Carlisle press to my friend Doug Seward and buy the press pictured below from Larry.
With the 6″ cylinder at 2500PSI (where the pressure relief kicks in) I should be making about 35 tons. That’s a bit of a step up from the last press to be sure. Of course, since Larry has 4 presses in his shop he doesn’t need to do near as much die swapping as I do, so I set out to design a setup that will make it easier to change out dies quickly and easily. Long story short here is that I forgot a critical dimension or two and have a bunch of extra steel in the shop now…and a new set of designs. Also, in the process of re-designing things I managed to break off a bolt in the press frame which I now need to drill out and replace. There are also a few hoses I need to purchase so I can get everything set up so that I’m comfortable with it. It’s been about a month since I’ve been able to forge and I’m going nuts…Gotta get on the ball here. I’ll be sure to update things here with how I’m planning to do the new die setup so that other folks can take a look at what I’m doing. It may be that somebody will have a suggestion to make it better, or they may get a good idea from it. Either way, it’s probably a good thing for me to put up here for you folks to enjoy. There will also be pictures of the press as it will be set up in my shop vs. how it was running in Larry’s shop.