I’m getting super excited, because Nate and Andy over at Coal Iron have been working hard and are almost finished with the new Forging Press build!
Here’s the general idea of how this sort of thing goes down. First, the heavy steel pieces for the press need to be cut. Basically, you have a design, or “pattern” and you need each of the parts to be cut out so they can be fitted together. This is a job for a waterjet cutting machine.
The heavy steel plates are loaded onto a support surface, and the waterjet head shoots super compressed water, impregnated with cutting material, right through the steel!
Once you’ve got the pieces cut out, you have to start putting them together like a big 3D puzzle. The steel is put into the appropriate positions, and then welded together! As you can see from the photo below, the guys are welding huge seams of steel to ensure they don’t ever come apart.
As all the parts are welded, the press begins to take shape! Here you can see the entire top portion with the big hydraulic ram on it. Keep in mind that this thing is HEAVY!!!!
To move that giant press around, you need a mobile base for it to sit on. It begins with some heavy duty angle iron.
They get welded into a big cube that forms the basis of the base.
Then they get wheels added, and a motor mounting plate, and a hydraulic fluid reservoir.
And eventually, the top is mounted on the base!
At this point, the thing weighs like 600 pounds! But it’s not quite done yet. There are still hydraulics and electronics to add, but the guys have that well in hand and I’ll be heading North to pick it up in the next couple of weeks. So when I go I’ll take some fun photos and videos to share.
Maybe we’ll even forge something on the press… stay tuned to find out.