How to Build a 50 Ton Hydraulic Press

A hydraulic press machine is essential in the manufacturing industry, and making one is not as hard as most users think.

If the need arises to use a hydraulic press, you have to use one, for there is no substitute or alternative to a hydraulic press. But, do you know how to build a 50-Ton hydraulic press?

Fortunately, there are various ways of making a hydraulic press. They are straightforward but take substantial time.

Building A 50 Ton Hydraulic Press:

Step 1: Come Up With a Plan

Hydraulic press building plans help in identifying the procedure, tools, and materials required.

Step 2: Collect All the Required Tools and Parts

With a plan in place, you can now list everything you require and start accumulating them. In this case, you will need the following;

  • 4 x 4 x ¼ – inch wall square tube for the upper rights
  • Horizontal beams of 2 x 6 x ¼ – inch wall for the c-channel
  • Bolts of 1 – inch in diameter
  • 1 – inch plates for the base’s sliding head and press plates
  • A 50 Ton hydraulic bottle jack
  • Air pressure of a footswitch to close the ram
  • 36 – Inches and 3 – feet working table space with a vertical height of slightly over 6 – feet tall
  • Arc welder
  • Angle grinder
  • Drill press

There will be much welding, grinding, cutting, and drilling. In the process, accidents are bound to happen. You, therefore, require to have the following safety gears;

  • Proper welding gloves
  • Safety boots or leather shoes
  • Long sleeves
  • Safety goggles
  • Helmet

Step 3: Lay the Parts Out

After collecting what you require for the procedure, lay out the parts on your working space table to give you a better starting point.

Step 4: Prepare the Parts

Now that you can see what the H structure will be like on your workspace table, it’s time to make it happen.

Start by preparing the parts to attach. Take the 4 x 4 sections and drill the holes for the pins.

The pin holes should be at the center of the sections. You can use a tape measure to measure the width of the metal piece. Then mark the center.

Use a caliper or compass to measure the pin interval you want to mark the next hole. Repeat the procedure at various pin intervals. Do the same with the other metal piece.

Next, make the pinholes using a drill press. The process may take some time, so you need to be patient.

After drilling the holes, the metal sections may contain rough edges and surfaces.

Take a glider and smoothen any rough surface of all the metal pieces you will use in this process.

Step 5: Connect the Parts

When all the metal pieces are smooth, attach all the parts, starting from the bottom. Use a welding machine to fuse the parts firmly.

Remember to wear your safety gear as the hot sparks can enter your eyes. You may also step on the burning flame.

After connecting the parts, the welding may have created a rough surface. Smoothen it up with a glider.

Step 6: Attach the Bottle Jack Brackets

On the top bracket, weld a pipe section. It will secure the jackscrew top. Then fix some bent rebar to be used by the return spring mounts.

If you can find return spring mounts to use, you can substitute them with elastic luggage straps.

Be careful with the elastic cords. Never allow them to stretch beyond half of their original length. The codes may break if overstretched.

Also, always conduct a checkup on the elastic reads for fraying or damage.

Change them immediately if you find any. It’s better to use the return spring mounts. They are safe, durable, reliable, and efficient.

Then connect the 50-ton hydraulic bottle jack’s screw top to the top bracket’s pipe section.

Next, attach the return spring mounts to the bent rebar and the hooks on the base of the hydraulic bottle jack. There you have it! You can now use your homemade hydraulic press.

As illustrated above, building a 50-ton hydraulic press is not only for professionals. If you follow the above guideline, you can make yours effortlessly.

But in doing so, you need to take precautions as dealing with machines and sharp tools is dangerous.

Whether you are building or using a hydraulic press, the following tips will help you stay safe during the process.

Safety Tips for Building a Hydraulic Press

Though hydraulic presses are valuable tools, they can cause significant risks for those operating them and nearby. The machines may overheat or damage some parts unexpectedly.

It can also fly debris, lose pressure, and leak oil, which can cause safety challenges to the person using the hydraulic press.

Take the following precautions to avoid getting hurt;

i. Wear Safety Gears

When using a hydraulic press, always protect your eyes and feet. Also, based on the type of work you are doing on the machine, put on welding and face masks, gloves, helmets, and other protective gear.

ii. Ensure the Machine is In Good Working Condition Before Using It

Please make it a habit always to inspect the hydraulic press before use. Check for any signs of an oil leak or physical damage.

When you find a problem, fix it first before operating the machine. Also, before starting the appliance, understand the work you want to perform with it.

Make use of the details, such as the instructions, specifications, and drawings. Get answers for questions lingering in your mind or anything you doubt.

iii. Know the Emergency Switch

Sometimes a hydraulic press may develop a problem that may cause harm to you without notice. It is therefore vital to know what you can do when such a thing happens.

The first thing to do is to switch off the machine using an emergency stop button.

It is therefore essential to know where the emergency switch button is before using the machine.

Also, it’s wise to use a hydraulic press with an easy-to-reach emergency stop button.

iv. Take Care of Your Body While Using the Machine

You may have the safety gears on, but if not careful, you end up harming yourself. A great example is when lowering the hydraulic press’s mechanism.

You can press your hand and hurt it if placed in the system’s way. It is recommended to always be alert when using this machine.

Also, look out for any spilled liquid like water and oil and dry them off. Otherwise, you may slip or fall, causing a severe injury.

v. Safe Material Handling

Most materials used in heavy hydraulic presses are slippery, heavy, and have sharp edges.

You need to handle such materials with care. Otherwise, you may end up hurting your hands, back, or legs.

There are special gears and hand tools made to handle such materials. Utilize them.

Also, if you have workers, train them on best safe handling practices.

If you are an employee, ensure you learn such skills before handing a hydraulic press and the materials used to work on it.

vi. Presses in H-Frames Should Have Guards

If using an h-frame press, ensure it has guarded for protection. The market floods with various guards for this machinery.

An excellent example is the barrier guards. The foot pedal should consist of a guard. Also, the motor and hydraulic pump should be enclosed.

Also, consider using a machine installed with other safety implements such as two-hand tripping.

With the insight above, you may now make your hydraulic press machine. But you may still have questions you need answers for about the building process.

Check out the following solutions to the frequently asked questions. You may get the answer you are looking for.


1. How Much Does It Cost to Build a Hydraulic Press?

Building a hydraulic 20-ton shop press is much cheaper than buying one because you can use secondhand and recycled materials.

On the market today, 1- ton to over 2000 tons hydraulic presses range from $80 to over $2000.

When you create yours at home or shop, the price may reduce to approximately half price.

2. How Long Does Hydraulic Shop Presses Last?

It depends on the maintenance and care given. Generally, hydraulic presses are designed to last for many years.

But when misused without regular checkups and servicing, they may not last that long.

3. How Many PSI Does a Hydraulic Press Have?

Hydraulic pressure gets measured in units called Pounds per Square Inch (PSI). It is the force exerted on each area unit. Most presses do not exceed 3,000 psi or 200 bar.

4. Can you use a Hydraulic Press for Forging?

Yes. There are hydraulic presses designed for forging. The machines use hydro-pneumatic or high-pressure hydraulic systems to drive large pistons.

The pressure exerted on the piston’s top makes the ram move downwards, and ingot into the required shape or manipulate a billet.


Hydraulic presses are essential in any garage, workshop, or industrial production unit.

But the cost of the heavy hydraulic presses, like from 20 tons and above, requires a budget to own one, as illustrated above.

Because there’s no other machine that can perform the work of a hydraulic press, you will have no choice but to get one.

Fortunately, you can utilize the little money you have to buy materials and build yourself a machine as good as a new one.

But it would help if you took safety precautions when creating or using a hydraulic press, as explained above. Apply the tips offered above.

The above answers to the frequently asked questions will help you understand the process and the machine better.

As a beginner, follow all the details illustrated in the above step-by-step guide for building a 50-ton hydraulic press. You will achieve optimal results.

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