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Edvin

Mounting dies on a 1 Ton Arbor Press?

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I have a whole lot of dies for setting rivets, stamps and other tools that I have collected over the years. All of them are hand held. Now I'm thinking of getting a small arbor press for some of that work. I would like to mount the dies I have in the arbor press. Several of the dies are hand made for custom projects and it would be good to use them in the future.

Have anyone any idea how to do that? I'm guessing some kind of chuck and somehow attaching that to the press?

image_18449.jpg

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One way is to drill the ram and use a set screw to secure your dies. Of course that depends on what the dies look like? Do you have pics of the dies?

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When I first got my arbor, I rigged up a chuck from an old electric drill.    Although it had a lot of potential for using with stamps and dies, the chuck did take up a lot of the limited height on the arbour.

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Several of my dies are just made from filing down center punches. Others are like these for eyelets. 

FREE-POSTAGE-5MM-font-b-Eyelet-b-font-Pu

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I'll share my experience. It may change your mind about spending a lot of money modifying an arbor press.

I modified my arbor press as Albob suggests. 3/8" hole in the ram and a thumb style set screw, with carefully aligned 3/8" hole in the rotating anvil. I had tools of several different diameters so I had my machinist make slotted bushings of the appropriate diameter to fit the various tools in the ram. Works just fine.

But then I learned some things from experience.

1) I didn't need the bushings for many operations. The set screw grabs the tool off-center from the ram but that makes no difference since you center the tool visually anyway for them.

2) The rig is inconvenient for me to use because it has to be bolted down and I bolted it to the end of my workbench. So I have to get up, go over there, set the dies up, set the snap, etc., remove the dies and return to my stool. For most of my work I get the job done just as well and much more quickly with my hand setter. Grab it, boom, done.

3) I ended up buying both the Tandy and Goldstar presses. They are much more convenient because they really don't need to be mounted, and if you do mount them only a small, narrow platform is necessary. My intended use for the Tandy press is the large inventory of Ohio Travel Bag snaps and rivets I use. The Goldstar press won't fit them. But I use a lot of spring snaps and I have trouble with hand setting them. I bought a gazillion Asian spring snaps and the Goldstar press is used exclusively for them. I didn't care for Tandy's spring snaps and didn't want to spend $90 on a set of dyes.

4) In the end, my arbor press gathers dust. Honestly, the Tandy press also gathers dust. I can't justify buying more dies and I can set most everything but those finicky spring snaps by hand.

5) If I had to do it all over again and if I didn't have such  a large inventory of Ohio Travel Bag hardware (that doesn't fit the GS press), I'd I'd go for the Goldstar press and associated dies and hardware. I'd have saved a ton of money with that hindsight.

An arbor or hand press sounds appealing but when you get down to actually using one in a productions environment you find out how clumsy and time consuming it is to mount the two sets of dies you need to set one snap and you arrive at one of two conclusions. You  would do very well to practice hand setting as it is far quicker and more efficient unless you can justify buying a hand press and associated dies for each type of hardware you use.

That's my experience and opinion. YMMV.

Michelle

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I had an almost identical experience with my arbor press as posted by Silverwingit.  My arbor press is sitting under the workbench, holding down a section of floor.  Besides, there's just something medicinal about smacking things with a mallet/hammer :)

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I find the last 2 responses enlightening, as I too have been thinking about utilizing my 1-ton arbor press for various tasks such as setting snaps and stamping. In light of what was shared, the only leatherworking task I still think I'll need my arbor press for would be getting the pressure needed for an embossing plate I bought, (but still haven't used). I do most of my leatherwork in my livingroom (until I get around to putting together a dedicated shop), so maybe I'll bolt my arbor press down to the workbench in my shed for occasional general use. And I even made a buddy a small leather item with the understanding he'd help me modify my arbor press when I'm ready to tackle the project. He works in the Tooling Department at my job, so he has access to various machine shop equipment. I think I'll get him to make me a multi-slotted edge beveling tool That I can attach to a small bench grinder instead. Sounds like a (new) plan. :rolleyes:

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Good responses all, but I actually have the opposite problem. I'm in an apartment and everything is carpeted. With the bench that I have, I have way too much bounce and shock absorption to set anything any kind of decent. The only place I have that is solid enough to set things like snaps, rivets, and grommets is the kitchen floor. So, I am on hands and knees, trying to hold everything straight, and get a good whack with the mallet.

I bought my arbor press to put grommets in the crying towels we made for our annual (Cowboy Action Shooting) this year. Even with holding the hand tool in the press and using the arbor to push the hand tool down into the setter gives me better results than sitting on the floor in the kitchen. The bonus is that I do not irritate the neighbors with a lot of banging around.

Also must say though, I do not do anything in a production-style setting. Everything is a one-off so every step has all its own set up and take down. This is best for me as I can concentrate on each step of the process as I need to.

As Michelle said, your mileage may vary.

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I have the Goldstar press that I bought to set grommets in Cattle GPS collars I was making, and it is worth every penny for how much easier and quicker it made setting all those hundreds of grommets. However, I don't like the setup as much as the 1 ton arbor press because I have to stand behind the goldstar press to depress the lever. I would much rather have an arbor press that I would bolt to the my bench ( I make quick detaches so I can easily take my presses off for storage) and sit in front of so I can easily guide the leather into the die and depress the lever. This wouldn't be a big deal if you are only doing a few rivets, buttons, or grommets at a time, but its a huge pain when setting a lot. But for just a few, I still use my hand tools. 

I have to agree with RedBear, I get better and more consistent results using a press, and anytime I don't have to pound something with a hammer my ears are happier, and the reduced pounding doesn't flare up my essential tremors in my hands. 

 

Edited by Colt W Knight

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I use my arbor press for certain stamps (like letters) and for setting snaps.  Tandy has an oversize piece that fits right over the top of their stamps for use with a press (a very inexpensive part).  It almost covers the back of the stamp.  I simply set the leather on a small piece of granite on the arbor press and set the stamp with the piece on top and I get a perfect impression.  It's a much better impression than I ever get using a maul.

For snaps I use a Osborne snap jig and it works perfectly with the arbor press.  I bought my arbor press on sale from Harbor Freight on sale and they also let me use a coupon. 

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I also have a harbor fright arbor press. I mounted it to a piece of 3/4 plywood and used a C clamp to mount it to the work bench. To get enough pressure from the press I put a copper pipe on the handle to get better leverage for a large logo stamp. It works better then setting it with a maul. I just don't know if it is worth all the trouble to use it to set snaps and things of that nature.

Jim

 

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The Osborn snap setter ha a guide that the handle you hit set in. So I think ist a matter of just setting on the base plate of the press then centering the handle under the ram.

 

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Edited by Mattsbagger
Add pic

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Thank you for the photo. I have seen them. Wouldn't it be easier just hit it with a maul? The arbor press is great for setting a large stamp, is it worth going through all the drilling and the expense of buying dyes? I am not sold on converting it. Thank you for the photo, I have one from Weaver that is similar.

Jim

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For this style I don't think you would need to drill it. Same with 3d stamps. Shrug. I don't have a press so everything gets whacked with a 2 lbs maul.lol

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On 10/05/2016 at 1:43 AM, TwinOaks said:

I had an almost identical experience with my arbor press as posted by Silverwingit.  My arbor press is sitting under the workbench, holding down a section of floor.  Besides, there's just something medicinal about smacking things with a mallet/hammer :)

The hubby is using my arbor press now.   I have a little dedicated press for cutting slots for buckles, and another for press studs, the rest I hit wiv a big ‘ammer.

Wonderful way to release my pent up frustrations, and inhibitions.

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Is there any reason a bench top drill press could not be used for this? A half inch chuck ought to hold many of the stamps and dies I have seen listed.

 

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I used a bench top drill press for a long time for lots of pressing and setting functions...as well as spinning my sanding drums and my cocobolo burnisher. It worked well right up until all of the pressing/setting stress finally weakened the knuckle arm where the table connected to the vertical post and it cracked and failed...now I just use the press as a sander and burnisher (no sense in tossing it when the motor still works great). I have a 1-ton arbor press and a keyless chuck adapter with powerful magnet built into it...it just grabs right onto the ram and I can use the short/cheap line20/24 snap setters or take it off and use the ram face to press my brass maker's mark. Here's the link to the keyless chuck that I have:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Arbor-Press-Magnetic-Pin-Press-1-2-Chuck-Tool-APMT0-5/252843022376?hash=item3ade9e5828:g:PJoAAOSwc-tY4oNz

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10 minutes ago, Double Daddy said:

I used a bench top drill press for a long time for lots of pressing and setting functions...as well as spinning my sanding drums and my cocobolo burnisher. It worked well right up until all of the pressing/setting stress finally weakened the knuckle arm where the table connected to the vertical post and it cracked and failed...now I just use the press as a sander and burnisher (no sense in tossing it when the motor still works great). I have a 1-ton arbor press and a keyless chuck adapter with powerful magnet built into it...it just grabs right onto the ram and I can use the short/cheap line20/24 snap setters or take it off and use the ram face to press my brass maker's mark. Here's the link to the keyless chuck that I have:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Arbor-Press-Magnetic-Pin-Press-1-2-Chuck-Tool-APMT0-5/252843022376?hash=item3ade9e5828:g:PJoAAOSwc-tY4oNz

I like the chuck with the magnet, but it costs twice as much as the arbor press!  I just drilled a 3/8" hole in the ram of my press and I slip the different setters and punches in the ram - held with a setscrew on the side of the ram.  I will agree that the chuck is more convenient.

Gary

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At some point, I will do what you did to my arbor press ram...drill a nice deep hole with set screws on the side...so that I can use my leather stamps in it...best of everything! The magnetic chuck doesn't leave any room for such work once its in place and I'm not about to start chopping off all of my stamps to fit! That was the beauty of the drill press (lots of vertical room/adjustment AND a chuck to hold everything)...but it ultimately put too much stress on the table mount...at least in my case.

Edited by Double Daddy

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1 minute ago, Double Daddy said:

At some point, I will do what you did to my arbor press ram...drill a nice deep hole with set screws on the side...so that I can use my leather stamps in it...best of everything! The magnetic chuck doesn't leave any room for such work once its in place and I'm not about to start chopping off all of my stamps to fit! That was the beauty of the drill press (lots of vertical room/adjustment AND a chuck to hold everything)...but it ultimately put too much stress on the table mount...at least in my case.

I agree - there is clearance for all  of my stamps, but some with the thinner shafts I have to put into a sleeve that is 3/8" OD, while some of the larger ones have shafts that are larger than 3/8", so I whack them with my mallet.  I mostly use the press to apply makers stamp and stamp letters.  Also works well for border stamps.  I think there is not much clearance on the smaller arbor presses to keep flexing to a minimum.  My friend has an  old 10 ton press that has about 12" under the ram, but the press is massive!

Gary

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