Important Tips on Extending the Life of your New Fly Press
When making up tooling for the fly press tooling hole all tools should:
#1 Have a shoulder on your tool to distribute the force of the tooling hitting the workpiece. This will prevent the tool from being driven into the top of the ram tool hole. Over time this could do damage to the top of the tool hole in the ram and might upset a tool in the ram making it difficult to remove.
A good solution to this is to go to the local farm store and buy some mild steel bolts with hex heads. The shaft of the bolt should be slightly shorter in length than the ram hole. Chamfer the sides of the bolt shaft that goes up into the ram tooling hole with a grinder. You can weld your tooling onto the hex head of the bolt. Add a couple of washers to the hex head screw shaft and this will transfer even more of the stress to the ram face. The ram has a set screw that allows you to tighten the bolt in the ram. Tooling can include, but is not limited to the following:
Note: The the bottom half of the tenon die can be attached to a user supplied piece of plate steel as seen in the photo below. Cutting a hardy hole in the plate that is the same size as the hole in your anvil will allow you to use your existing hardy tools with the fly press.
- side sets
- tenon dies
You can add more shoulder area to the hex head of the bolt if desired. Take a piece of hot rolled mild steel that spans the ram face but doesn't hit the guides and heat it up to a yellow-white heat. With a bolt shaft up in the ram tooling hole, tighten the set screw , Bump the bolt head in the ram into the hot steel. This should sink the bolt head into the hot steel so the bolt head is flush with the hot steel. Now you can clean up this hole and weld it to the bolt head. You now have more surface area that spans the ram face and you can weld your tooling onto this piece of steel. This helps to distribute the rebounding force of the tool in the ram over more of the ram face and not the tooling hole in the ram. An even easier way to do this is to just add 2-3 washers to the bolt shaft and this will transfer more stress to the ram face.
#2 Always work with as much of the ram up in the guides as possible. This gives the ram the most support in the guides and prevents any slop when the ram is at it's full length. To do this, just raise your workpiece with a piece of steel under it, so that the ram stays up in the guides as much as possible. I use a piece of 1" cold rolled plate that I bought at the scrap steel yard and used this as the basis for the fence in the photo above. I also add a piece of 1"thick X 3"wide piece of hot rolled to raise the workpiece up to keep the ram in the guides, as much as possible.
#3 Do not use grease on the fly press. Use a light weight motor oil, i.e.: 10W, 5W.
#4 If upon arrival the fly press doesn't spin down easily, you can control the ease with which it spins by the the interplay between the two nuts above the ram on the screw. Try loosening them and you should be able to set the fly press to spin down when you let go of the handle or if you tighten them you can set the handle at a certain position and it will hold that position. This is very handy if you need to change tooling with the ram up in the guides. The photo above shows the ram and screw with the two nuts on top of the ram. The writing on this photo is in yellow.
#5 You have to tighten up the screw on the check nut if you are going to use it as a vertical stop. If the check nut is left loose you can damage the threads on the check nut when used as a vertical stop.
Any questions, please call or email and I'll be happy to go over any of this with you.