Question: Could you give me a ballpark idea of what it would cost me to have this press made?
Answer: -Pricing the parts on the Internet an estimated cost for a 36 inch wide press with a gear drive would be $871.77. The only additional cost would be for shipping of parts and some welding and turning at a machine shop for the rollers. The $871.77 includes the roller materials, gears, bearings, side rails & frame etc . You would need to buy some Nuts and Bolts and threaded rod at a hardware store. If you can handle a hacksaw and an electric drill you can do most of the work your self. A machine shop can handle roller construction.
A comparison of Etching Press Prices on the Internet for a press of the quality & size you will build from these plans ranges between $8,000. to $13,000. As you can see there is considerable room for big savings!
The above is for a gear drive press a chain drive will be slightly less
One of the great features of building your own press is that you can purchase parts as you can afford them and before you know it you will have a quality press at a fraction of the cost of a manufactured one!
Question: What is the largest size press that you would recommend building?
Answer: -I have built presses that have a 36 inch wide bed and I don't see why you couldn't build one larger say 48"
Question: Do the machine shops require the full size printouts or are they open to use printouts from the pdf's?
Answer: -It depends on the machine shop most can work from the pdf printouts
Question: In the Showcase all the presses are different, are all these your design or are they adaptations of the initial design?
Answer: -These are personal adaptations made by the various builders the plans lend themselves to be customized any way you like. Printmakers tend to be a creative lot so naturally the press they build should reflect this.
Question: I am wondering how easy this is to construct yourself and do you have anything that is in a smaller format?
Answer: -You can modify the plans to any size you like and with a little patience you will be amazed how easy it is. The small bench press is for 16" or Less wide bed
Question: Are there different bed size and roller size presses for which you have plans, and if so, what sizes are available?
Answer: -There are three press designs all can be scaled to any size you want when you are building it. If you want a large floor press I would recommend the Steel Side Rail or Wood Side Rail 24 inch wide bed and larger. If you need a press with a 16 inch or smaler use the Small Bench Press plans as your starting point.
Question: What is the plate stock made from (how thick)?
Answer: -It's 1/2 inch plate steel on the Steel Side Rail or Wood Side Rail plans and 1/4" on the Bench Press.
Question: If I order the PDF's, do I get all the goodies that would be included in the CD-Rom?
Answer: -The download file with All Three Press Designs is almost identical just short a few of the 3d models. The individual plans have everything that is important to building a press just short a couple of bells and whistles.
Question: I am confused about the price and payment arrangements.
Answer: -The prices shown are Canadian funds and you can pay by credit card over my secure site or you can use PayPal. Your credit card company or PayPal will do any conversions to your currency for you
Question: lost my information to get to my plans to down load.....Can you resend for me???
Answer: -Yes just email me a request along with the email address you originally used or your name or your order number if you have that
Question: I have just ordered PDFs of the plans, online. At least I think I have
Answer: -You probably did some times I'm a bit slow I do everything by hand and sometimes my wife says I have to pay some attention to her so that's probably what I'm doing. Sometimes I'm a sleep it's always daytime somewhere in the world and I can't stay up 24 hrs a day anymore!
Your plans are on the way.
Question: I would like to make a press. How do I order the plans?
Question: I don't even own a hammer or saw can I build this thing?
Answer: -You most certainly can! The press has been designed to have all of the components built by people that know what they are doing you just assemble it! Of course if you are handy you can get more involved and probably save yourself a little cash as well.
Question: Can I view these plans on my PC or Mac ?
Answer: -All plans can be viewed on Mac or PC Platforms.
Question: What is the wall thickness of the rollers?
Answer: -About 1/4"
Question: How smooth should the rollers be?
Answer: -They don't have to be chrome plated just turned on a lath to remove any imperfections on the surface and made true. Remember there is a thick felt blanket between the plate and roller
Question: How are the rollers made and from what material?
Answer: -You have the rollers constructed at the machine shop (unless you are very handy and can do them yourself) the plans are provided you decide how wide you want them.You can have them made from steel or Stainless steel tubing about 6inches in diameter
Question: Are micro adjusters possible?
Answer: -Yes but you will have to find a source for them. I was originally going to install them but decided against them when I found I really didn't need them. Once you get acquainted with your new press I think you will find like I did that you will be able to adjust the pressure by feel and get what you want
Question: Which is better gear drive and chain drive?
Answer: -The gear drive gives you a bit more torque but if you are strong like me that doesn't matter the chain drive works fine used one for about 15 years
Question: Where do you suggest buying gears and bearings?
Answer: -If you are having difficulty finding a supplier for gears and bearings in your area you will find some Internet links to suppliers included with the plans.
Question: Does the Chain drive Press utilize gears to allow one to pull a print easier?
Answer: -It has two sprocket gears one large one small this gives you the torque required to move the plate through with a lot of pressure applied
Question: How do I go about contacting a machine shop?
Answer: -Machine shops can be found in the local yellow pages or you might try a google search for one close to you.
The Press Bed
Question: What is a good material for a bed?
Answer: -You can make the press bed from a couple of materials. I use a sheet of Melamine which is a very hard hardboard that you can get at any building supply store. It has a baked on white surface that is easy to clean up and stands up well with repeated use if you are careful with your pressure adjustments. Or you can have a sheet of 1/2 inch steel ground and trued up much more expensive. A good machine shop can do this for you.
Question: I noticed in the photos section that some folks had the bed cover the whole length of the press while another fellow had a short bed. pros and cons?
Answer: -The size of the bed depends on what size plates you are going to pull. If you use the Melamine it comes in a 4' by 8' size and can be changed at any time to suite your needs.
Question: How long is the bed 24"" x??.
Answer: -You will want to make your bed a couple of feet longer than your longest Plate
Question: Can the bed of the press be made thicker or is this a standard thickness that has proven its worth?
Answer: -You can make it as thick as you like anything over 3/4 inches is overkill though