Pressed to Find Some Good Hydraulic Presses?

If there was ever a “back bone of the shop machine” type tool, it might just be the hydraulic press. In all the hydraulic press’s many forms, from a simple H-frame style bearing press to the most sophisticated CNC-controlled turret press, you have to admit that — besides possibly the band saw — what other machine do you see in more shops? Air compressor or forklift maybe.

The simple hydraulic press has, is, and always was an indispensable piece of equipment around many shops. If you think about it, if you just referred to a maintenance shop style H-frame bearing press, this particular press is probably in 80-90% of the machine shops, big or small. Either in production on the floor or in a maintenance department, these things can be found everywhere.

What’s the Lowdown on the History of the Hydraulic Press?

Because of the hydraulic press’s simplicity, one might guess — correctly — that the history of these machines goes way back. Indeed, there is some pretty cool history behind the hydraulic press.

The history gets interesting right off the bat. The first guy to receive a patent for the hydraulic metal press specifically was a gent by the name of Joseph Bramah of London England. Old Joe got his patent from the Royal Patent Office in June 1795. Only there was a little bit of consternation as old Joe did not have the patent on the hydraulic cylinder. (Hmmm, kinda hard to make a hydraulic press without a hydraulic cylinder.)

So, Mr. Bramah did indeed get awarded the patent for the hydraulic press but he had to go into business with the fellow who had the patent on the cylinder. History sometimes makes for some strange bedfellows. One interesting little byline of Mr. Braham’s illustrious engineering career is that he is also known in certain circles as the “father of the modern toilet.” Apparently old Joe had an aptitude for fluid dynamics and was awarded the patent for the “flushing toilet” in 1778.

Another interesting factoid about hydraulic presses is that there is an entire video channel online dedicated to all the different things you can crush with a hydraulic press, such as bowling balls and stuff like that. Enough of the history already, let’s get to the meat of the conversation about the modern hydraulic press, its evolution to the machine we know today. 

So, There’s a Long History of the Evolution of the Hydraulic Press?

It was at the turn of the nineteenth century, 1801 to be precise, when the World’s Fair called the “Second Exposition” was about to kick off in Paris, France. There was a new feeling of optimism across the world, as no large war threatened and the world had just launched the “Industrial Revolution.” People from the outer fringes of the major metropolitan centers began to migrate toward the new opportunities that were beginning to be created in the industrial centers. It was in this atmosphere that the hydraulic press began its incredible journey through history.

At first, only manufacturing companies with a specific production need had hydraulic presses, they, and the local area blacksmith resource. Beyond that, only the most forward-thinking machinery repair houses were some of the only likely remaining providers of access to the hydraulic press. As the Industrial Revolution continued to pick up steam — no pun intended — all that gradually began to change and more and more individual companies gained access to their own presses.

If you are a hydraulic press manufacturer, there are only a few design-and-build philosophies you should adhere to in order to produce a high-quality hydraulic press. Since you are dealing with extreme forces generated between the ram and whatever is at the other end of the ram, you might just want to overbuild the frame. Whatever frame design you decide on, be it an “H” frame press or a “C” frame press or one of the other of the many designs available, you want to be sure you make it heavy enough. Secondly, as the name implies, this is a hydraulic press and because of that term you know this machine will have a hydraulic pump, cylinder, valve(s), switches, hoses, seals and whatever else goes into the making of a high-quality press, to complete the necessary hydraulic system.

Who Has the Experience to Sell Me the Right Hydraulic Press?

Within the Mountain Time Zone (and a few other places), the answer to that question has always been Jorgenson Machine Tools in Salt Lake City, Utah. Jorgenson sells presses in a variety of configurations: C-Type, H-Frame, Column, Specialty and General Shop Presses.

These machines are available in a range of tonnages. Their open frame designs make them extremely versatile. Our presses can be used for many tasks such as bending, straightening, and cutting, punching, or removing parts from assemblies (e.g. removing ball bearings). Our expert sales team can help you select the press style that is right for your shop.

Since the late 1960’s, Jorgenson Machine has been conducting continuous business selling, installing and servicing our customers well beyond the warranty period. Whether you buy a new machine or a used machine from us, our service remains the same as our commitment to our customers. That’s why here at Jorgenson Machine Tools we like to say, Jorgenson Machine Tools; “Strong on Service.”