Greg Smith Equipment Sales stocks hundreds of H-Frame Shop Presses and Shop Press Accessories at their eight brick and mortar showroom / warehouses located throughout the USA. We stock Hydraulic Shop Presses that range in capacity from a 12 Ton Shop Press to a 20 Ton Shop Press, and all the way up to a 100 Ton Press. Hydraulic shop presses that are manually powered, air powered, or electric powered can be found on display at all of our locations or ordered online. A hydraulic shop press is an absolute necessary piece of Automotive Equipment for any business that offers auto repair services.
Shop presses deliver an immense amount of concentrated vertical force in direct proportion to the hydraulic pressure delivered to the piston. This hydraulic pressure is controlled by the hydraulic pump of the Shop Press. The hydraulic pump can be powered by several different methods.
The more inexpensive shop presses have a hand pump bottle jack situated on a spring loaded platform that has a pressing pin located at the bottom of the jack platform. The jack is operated exactly the same on this style press as it would be operated as if it were placed under a truck. The release valve is locked and handle is pumped to create hydraulic pressure in the jack. The jack’s piston moves up to contact the top cross beam and the bottom pressing plate moves down so that the press pin contacts the surface of the object that is being pressed. When the job is finished, the jack’s release valve is opened and the springs between the lower plate and the top cross beam allow the bottom plate to be retracted.
There are other manual style hydraulic systems used for shop presses.
Porta-power style hydraulic systems which incorporate a separate hand pump with handle that is connected (with hydraulic hose) to a vertical cylinder (with an internal piston) mounted on the top cross beam are also popular. The side mounted hydraulic pump allows the operator to stand to the side of the object being pressed. Many porta-power hydraulic systems have a pressure gauge mounted to the vertical cylinder to show the operator how much hydraulic pressure is being applied. This porta-power side mount system can be either manually operated or pneumatically operated or a combination of both manual and pneumatic.
Larger tonnage shop presses are operated by a pneumatic pump to make the press work faster and with less effort. Many shop presses that incorporate the air pump system also provide for the pump to be manually operated in case air pressure is lost. The manual hydraulic pump system also allows the operator to better control the applied hydraulic pressure while observing the pressure gauge reading.
Electric hydraulic power is the most expensive method to use for hydraulic pump power, but it is easier to regulate the pressure (in increments) using the electric/hydraulic power station than using the air/hydraulic power station. Electric hydraulic power can deliver more pressure than air/hydraulic power.
Adjusting the Bolster
The lower cross beam or bolster beam provides the flat “pressing surface” on which the object to be pressed is placed. This beam (depending upon the pressing capacity of the shop press) is normally the heaviest part of the shop press frame. The bolster is supported by positioning pins that extend through the upright legs of the shop press.
The heavy bolster can either be moved manually (normally by two people) or by a hand winch system that allows one person to move the bolster up and down. Normally, the more expensive higher capacity shop presses have the bolster beam winch system.
Movable Press Head
Some shop presses have adjustable (side to side) pressing ram heads that can be moved across the top beam on the rail guide so that the head can be located in several positions.
The ability to move the pressing ram along the top rail maximizes the number of pressing positions and increases the efficiency of the shop press.