Here's how you can make your own hydraulic press from plastic pipes

Why buy one when you can build one?
Christopher McFadden

If the video player is not working, you can watch the video from this alternative link.

Hydraulic presses are fantastic pieces of kit. But most either cost a ton to buy or a lot of effort to build. However, it turns out you can make a miniature version using some very basic materials. 

Read on to find out how. 

diy hydraulic press complete
Source: Mr.Construction/YouTube

As you can imagine, you'll need some tools and materials before you get started.

Materials and gear needed

  • Various threaded connectors
  • Brass threaded hose connector
  • Plastic piping
  • Plastic sheeting
  • Rubber gaskets
  • Caps
  • Metal tubing
  • Wood
  • One-way valves
  • Drain valve lock
  • Ice roll
  • Various nuts and bolts
  • Basic tools
  • Some stuff to crush

With all your gear in hand, it is time to get on with this great little build.

Step 1: Make the press head

The first step is to take one of your threaded connectors and wrap some ice roll around its threaded end. With that done, connect this thread to another to create a water-tight seal between the two. 

Next, take one of your caps, and glue it into place on the two threaded connectors. 

diy hydraulic press head
Source: Mr.Construction/YouTube

With that done, drill a pair of holes through the cap as shown in the video. Widen the holes as needed for the hydraulic tubing. Next, take one of your hose connectors, heat the threaded end, and screw it into place through one of the holes in the plastic cap. 

Rinse and repeat for the second hole. 

diy hydaulic press hoses
Source: Mr.Construction/YouTube

Next, take your plastic piping and insert it into the threaded connectors. With that done, cut out a series of plastic disks and build a plunger for the hydraulic system using a threaded metal rod and nuts.

Sand down the discs to the right diameter needed for the plastic pipe. Glue all the parts together as needed. 

diy hydraulic press plunger
Source: Mr.Construction/YouTube

Add a rubber ring gasket to the plunger too. With that done, take more lengths of plastic tubing and caps, and build the main housing for the plunger as shown in the video. 

Connect this assembly, and plunger, to the hosed section as shown in the video. Firmly connect all pieces to ensure they are completely water-tight. 

With that done, partially disassemble the parts you've just made. Grab your spray paints, and paint the parts as needed. 

diy hydraulic press head
Source: Mr.Construction/YouTube

In this case, the parts have been colored black. Leave them to fully dry before moving on. Once dry, reassemble the parts as needed, and add some other details like decals, etc, as needed. 

Seal joints with more ice tape as needed.

Step 2: Make the frame for the press

With that main press head now complete, we can move on to making something to mount the press head. Grab some wood and metal tubing, and cut down to size as needed. 

Weld the lengths of metal tubing together to make a miniature table-like frame for the press head. With that done, affix the wooden "tabletop" to the top of the frame as needed. 

diy hydraulic press frame
Source: Mr.Construction/YouTube

If not already complete, core a hole in the middle of the wooden top large enough to hold the press head in place. Once that is complete, insert the hydraulic press head into place. 

If desired, you can also paint the metal frame to match the main press head too. 

Step 3: Connect up the hydraulic system

Next, grab our one-way valve and rubber tubing. Connect the tubing to the one-way valve as needed. 

Attach your drain valve lock as shown, and connect one end of the rubber tubing to one of the hose connectors on the press head. 

Next, take your hydraulic pump, and attach the other end of tubing from the one-way valve as needed. With that done, connect another length of rubber tubing from the last hose connector on the press head.

diy hydraulic press hydraulics
Source: Mr.Construction/YouTube

Decant some hydraulic fluid into a plastic cup, or other reciprocal, and submerge the loose tubing from the press head, and the other loose tube from the pump into the same cup. 

Turn on the pump, and let the hydraulic system flood with fluid. Keep running the pump until all air bubbles are evacuated from the system.

Once that is done, turn off the pump, and cap the open end of the tubing from the press head. Turn o the pump, and you should see the press hed depress. 

diy hydaraulic press fluid
Source: Mr.Construction/YouTube

Once the head is fully depressed, turn off the pump, remove the cap on the exhaust pipe from the head, and gently push the press head upwards to evacuate fluid and reset the press.

Reseal the tube, and your pres is ready to go again! Happy crushing.

If you enjoyed making this little hydraulic press, then you might enjoy another crushing machine-related project. How about, for example, making your own 20-ton hydraulic press from scrap metal

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