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I thought you’d like to see some pictures of how I tightened up this standard Enco ratcheting arbor press.  As it comes from Enco, the bolts in the front and the side press against the ram to tighten it up against the casting and prevent slop.  The problem is that it doesn’t work that well — it tends to be either too loose or too tight.

Here’s my press with the front plate removed.  Notice the brass-colored smear on the front of the ram.

As you can see, there’s a hollow in the front plate…

… which allows you to insert a brass shim (I think this  one is 1/8″ thick) that’ll provide slightly better sliding contact with the ram.

There’s no pocket on the side though.

So instead I drilled out the ends of the side bolts and pressed in brass rod. You could also use bronze or plastic instead of brass, or you could just insert plugs ahead of the bolts. This modification allows you to adjust out most of the play in the ram while still allowing it to slide in the casting.


4 Responses to A Simple Arbor Press Modification

  1. kdp says:

    Awesome! Great thinking.

    Too many people put up with equipment problems. Unless you’re afraid of voiding your warranty, think of off the shelf products as starting points. It’s where you take them from there that determine their usefulness.

  2. M A Christianson says:

    Sorry if this Q is simple minded. I want to buy an arbor press for use with cutting dies (jewelry). Some arbor presses have a lever and some have the wheel as the one in this article has. What is the difference/advantage? Hope you can help with this. MA

  3. Nick Carter says:

    All have a lever, some have a wheel in addition to the lever. The wheel is for quickly positioning the ram. Of the lever, there are two types of lever, ratcheting and fixed. The ratcheting one is easier to use as you can set it to be in the best position for leverage independent of the ram position.

  4. Richard McGill says:

    I have a 2 ton abor Press, at the base is a circular,moveable plate with 4 elongated slots. Are these for anchoring something? I had intended to press imprints into leather, is copper too soft as a base.

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