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What Gauge of Metal Works Best For Hydraulic Press Silver?

time:2023-06-02 views:(点击 162 次)
[Article Summary]:If this is your first experience pressing silver, you may be uncertain of what to expect. Metal thinner than 16 gauge often tears, krinkles or crimp……

If this is your first experience pressing silver, you may be uncertain of what to expect. Metal thinner than 16 gauge often tears, krinkles or crimps under hydraulic pressure used during this process.

Heather is an independently taught silversmith based out of Tucson and currently traveling around. She regularly offers workshops in metalsmithing, casting, forming and hydraulic press.


Hydraulic presses are metalforming tools that use hydraulic rams and pressure to form sheet metal into various shapes. A typical hydraulic press consists of a strong steel frame into which is fitted a hydraulic ram used to press one die against another die. To use such a press effectively requires both suitable hydraulic rams as well as dies; either you purchase one commercially for around $1 000 or create your own at home for under $50 with some elbow grease.

To operate the press, you will require at least a 2-in diameter hydraulic ram for operation. The larger its size will reduce pumping force needed; you can find these at industrial supply shops or hydraulics dealers. Furthermore, each ram should feature an attachment for a hydraulic gauge in order to monitor actual pressure during use.

For optimal results from a hydraulic press, an impression die made of heat-treated tool steel designed specifically for your material of choice will be needed. Pressed by the hydraulic ram onto sheet metal shapes by design, this impression die will leave an imprint of its chosen design into it that can then be soldered together to form its final component - such as jewelry pieces, small vessels and lidded containers.


Thickness of metal used in hydraulic presses is one factor affecting their effectiveness. A thicker gauge may bend less easily through dies, crack or break under pressure, while thinner gauge metal bends much easier, making it suitable for thinner shapes. To get optimal results use 16-22 gauge metal.

Die quality is of primary importance when using hydraulic press to produce silver sheets of various thicknesses, with steel, cast or molded dies being ideal. Steel dies won't wear down as quickly than their fiberglass or masonite counterparts and are easier to clean after use; plus they're more durable against corrosion than other options.

One key consideration when applying pressure to pieces of metal is how much pressure can be applied. To get optimal results from this process, it is recommended that a hydraulic press that can produce up to 20 tons of force is used - these presses can be purchased from vendors like PotterUSA and Harbor Freight or even constructed at home for under $100 and several hours' work.

Once you have the ideal size and shape of metal for your project, the next step is assembling it. Place a matrix die and sheet of annealed metal in your press. From there, use tongs or flat vise grips to begin hammering.

Once your work is complete, place the pieces into a cleaning jig and remove them from the press. If there are any spots that require attention, you can use either a metal file or steel burr with flexible shaft to clean up. Finally, it's essential that reshaping pieces is performed as necessary before annealing again.


Temperature of silver when working with it in a hydraulic press will have a dramatic impact on its ability to hold its shape and the quality of your finished product. Because silver is such a soft metal, its heat easily comes off under pressure. Therefore, starting off with cold metal should help gradually heat it up as you work. Furthermore, temperature can affect how hard you can press without damaging it further.

The hydraulic press is a machine which uses two dies to forge metal pieces, called matrix die and master die respectively. The matrix die is responsible for most of your product's shape while master die contains any specific embossing patterns you wish to emboss on it.

Find hydraulic presses of various sizes and capacities at Sterling Machinery Exchange, Inc. in South El Monte, CA or Magnum Press in Adamsville, Tennessee. Both offer both new and pre-owned hydraulic platen presses in manual or automatic modes as well as customized presses with heated and cooled plates - plus small models suitable for small orders or larger ones with heated platens if required.

A hydraulic press is an extremely powerful piece of machinery, capable of crushing or at least deforming diamonds. However, its usage should only ever be for its intended use - any attempt to use it for something else may cause irreparable harm to both itself and your product.

With the right skills and resources, it is possible to construct your own hydraulic press at a fraction of its commercial counterpart's costs. First you will require a strong steel frame to which you can install your hydraulic ram; for welded hydraulic rams this requires four pieces of threaded stock held by four pieces of pipe with long enough pieces reaching through top and bottom plates - be sure to drill four holes through them first - followed by screwing in washers and nuts on each end for adjustment and screwing them in.


Hydraulic presses make it possible to shape metal in ways that would otherwise be difficult. They utilize a piston that applies pressure onto the material being pressed - typically between 3000-3,000,000 pounds per square inch, and they're often employed industrially to press pieces such as coins and gold bars.

Hydraulic presses feature piston pressure that can be adjusted and varied to match the needs of whatever piece being pressed, from making precise bends with extreme accuracy, to smaller projects. Some can even be automated for added efficiency and reduced effort requirements; furthermore, hydraulic presses operate quietly so as not to disrupt work areas.

To use a hydraulic press, a piece of metal must be placed between male and female dies, then compressed using hydraulic fluid stored in cylinders. Once pressure has been applied by the piston, hydraulic fluid transfers energy by deforming metal, heating up as a result of Pascal's law: energy cannot be created or destroyed - only converted to another form such as heat.

In order to operate a hydraulic press successfully, its user must ensure that the metal being pressed is weaker than the steel die that forms it. This helps avoid damaging both pieces pressed during pressing. Once activated, piston moves up and down applying pressure directly onto metal piece until deforming into desired form occurs - often called "hammering."

At the peak of its stroke, a piston releases stored energy by slowly lowering itself back down, discharging fluid into an opening in a die. For optimal results, it's crucial that all layers of die "sandwich" are equally spaced; otherwise, any irregularities could alter or compromise its shape and ruin its final product.

Link to this article: https://www.ihydraulicpress.com/yn/3375.html

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