Hand machined mechanical pencils

Arbor press ram machining (07/07/15)

I recently bought a small 1-ton arbor press for doing various crimping and eyelet jobs. I thought it would be useful if the ram was machined to accept the range of tooling I already had for the bench punch. This proved a rather interesting task, since the ram was barely big enough to fit on the lathe. I initially planned to mount the ram to the cross slide and bore it out with a tool held in the 4-jaw chuck, but found I could just hold the ram itself in the 4-jaw. There was just enough room to drill the end.

In order to bore the end, I needed to support the ram. I found a large ball bearing which, with the help of a few shims, was a nice press-fit over the square ram. This was then supported in the steady rest. With light cuts, the job went wihout a hitch.

The ram action had a lot of greasy, gritty crap inside it, so I cleaned that out, re-greased everything, and added some brass spacers underneath the adjustment screws so they didn't mark the steel ram (which was pretty soft material).

All in all, a rather nice press, for the money. The ram isn't quite square with the base, but it's close enough.