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12 ton Bottle Jack Press

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Project by Mathew Nedeljko posted 907 days ago 6570 views 44 times favorited 24 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Up until now I have just been using clamps and cauls to mount my marquetry work. I needed a more efficient system, especially for some of the larger pieces I have planned.

This is a press that pulls heavily from Shipwrights design. I laminated douglas fir 2×4’s from HD together, milled them down to 3×3 cross section and joined them with pinned finger joints. I made up torsion boxes for the base and the top caul out of 3/4” plywood which are very strong and perfectly flat.

The jack is a 12 ton Kobalt bottle jack I picked up on sale at Lowes,. I was worried it was going to be too much force on the frame, but the pinned joints are surprisingly strong and despite deflecting up to 1/4” it shows no sign of letting go. These type of jacks are readily available, the only thing to look for is to make sure you get one which does not release pressure over time due to faulty valve.

I’ve presses six panels with it so far, and they all came out much better than I could achieve with my make shift system I was using before.

Thanks for looking!

-- Aim high. Ride easy. Trust God. Neale Donald Walsch





24 comments so far

View Michael1's profile

Michael1

403 posts in 1256 days


#1 posted 907 days ago

Good idea. I like the design!!

-- Michael Mills, North Carolina, http://www.scicaskets.com

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

111999 posts in 2173 days


#2 posted 907 days ago

Good idea well done.

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

View cabmaker's profile

cabmaker

1282 posts in 1405 days


#3 posted 907 days ago

Nicely done, looks very effective.

View woodshaver's profile

woodshaver

2730 posts in 1949 days


#4 posted 907 days ago

Very clever! May I ask what type Glue you used on the pined finger joints?

-- Tony C , My high school shop teacher said "You can do it"... Now I can't stop!

View BigTiny's profile

BigTiny

1664 posts in 1485 days


#5 posted 907 days ago

I’d like to know some dimensions of this, like the size of the upper and lower cauls etc.

Paul

-- The nicer the nice, the higher the price!

View Ken90712's profile

Ken90712

14821 posts in 1785 days


#6 posted 907 days ago

Nice work and great press. The projects look great as well.

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View Schwieb's profile

Schwieb

1476 posts in 2058 days


#7 posted 907 days ago

I like it. I’ve been trying to decide whether to build this type of press or a vacuum press. They each seem to have advantages depending on what you are working on, but this method is simpler to build. Good work. I noticed your Chevy in the background of the last photo.

-- Dr. Ken, Florida - Durch harte arbeit werden Träume wahr.

View HalDougherty's profile

HalDougherty

1820 posts in 1833 days


#8 posted 907 days ago

That’s a good looking press. I am building one to glue up laminated hardwood blanks 55” X 10” X 3” in size. To get 250 lbs/sq inch it’s going to take at least 70 tons of pressure and the frame can’t deflect and bow the walnut and maple blank. I built a prototype out of laminated construction 2X4’s that works and I’ve used it for 3 or 4 years. This week I cut several real 2” X 4” red oak boards to build two presses based on my prototype. I hope they turn out as professional looking as yours.

-- Hal, Tennessee http://www.first285.com

View shipwright's profile

shipwright

4833 posts in 1394 days


#9 posted 907 days ago

Nice job Mat. ..........................and nice marquetry as well.
When do we get to see the chevalet?

-- Paul M ..............If God wanted us to have fiberglass boats he would have given us fiberglass trees. http://prmdesigns.com/

View stefang's profile

stefang

12541 posts in 1930 days


#10 posted 907 days ago

Looks really effective and well made. I need one of these and this one will probably be the one I copy. Thanks for posting.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View Bricofleur's profile

Bricofleur

1115 posts in 1789 days


#11 posted 907 days ago

Thanks for posting. I’m keeping it in mind for when I’ll commit making veneerer small boxes.

Best,

Serge

http://atelierdubricoleur.wordpress.com

-- Learn from yesterday, work today and enjoy success tomorrow. -- http://atelierdubricoleur.wordpress.com

View LukieB's profile

LukieB

921 posts in 926 days


#12 posted 907 days ago

I’m also curios what glue you used that is strong enough and has an open time long enough for you to stop and take pictures in the middle :) Even when I know everything fits, I always experience a sense of urgency and panic once I start spreading glue on everything. Really like your press, cool design, well executed.

-- Lucas, "Someday woodworks will be my real job, until then, there's this http://www.melbrownfarmsupply.com"

View tenontim's profile

tenontim

2131 posts in 2341 days


#13 posted 907 days ago

That should exert enough pressure! Great idea, since most of these smaller bottle jacks are cheaper than the veneer press screw jacks. Very nice marquetry panels. Thanks for the post.

View Mathew Nedeljko's profile

Mathew Nedeljko

583 posts in 2426 days


#14 posted 907 days ago

Thanks for all the nice comments everyone. I am very pleased with the results I get using this press, and for the most part it was built with low cost materials I already had in the shop.

The glue is nothing other than good old fashioned yellow Titebond 1. The reason it is able to withstand the force exerted by the jack is the large surface area of the finger joints. Here’s the jig I used to cut the finger joints on my table saw.

Each finger is 0.5” thick and there are five glue surfaces for a total of 45 square inches of glue in each joint. Even so, I feel like adding a 0.5” dowel to pin the joint through its center added significant mechanical strength to the joint. Under full load there is no deflection in the joints at all. Like everyone else I get a bit nervous during glue up as time is of the essence but I find if i do a dry fit rehearsal and brush glue into a partially assembled joint I can usually avoid problems.

This press was designed accommodate up to a 24×24 square picture. The top platen is 12×19. The torsion boxes are 4” thick and reinforced with an internal support every 4”. The press frame itself is 30×24x3.

The other neat thing about this design is that it breaks down for easy storage when not in use. The frame is not physically attached to the base, so when I am done using the press I just remove the frame from the channel of the base and store the whole thing flat underneath my assembly table.

This was not a difficult project to build, and I encourage everyone that has a need for a press to give it a try. I’m happpy to answer any questions.

-- Aim high. Ride easy. Trust God. Neale Donald Walsch

View Dennisgrosen's profile

Dennisgrosen

10850 posts in 1711 days


#15 posted 906 days ago

very good idea to use the jacks :-)
but a 12 ton isn´t that a little overkill….............unless you want the high of it compared to the smaller jacks

thank´s for sharing

Dennis

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