Press / Clicker Press / Bench Press / Arbor Press / Hydraulic press

From Reddit –

Ordered these a while ago, they came in quicker than I had expected so they sat on my bench for a while, due to being busy with a home improvement project ( story for another day) and not actually having a clicker press or modded shop press. Well I made some headway on my floors, went out and bought a 12 ton shop press and finally used my dies.

Some info:

Each die was the minimum die price of $35.

Shipping from TX to WA was $15.

Total of $87.45

I ordered and paid 8/17 dies arrived 8/24.

I sent back and forth about 10 emails to the general email address and it was the owner (I think) who was also the guy making my dies. Each one was answered quickly. (Big plus for me personally)

The die result is I’d say 99% accurate to the original design which is definitely good enough for me.

They came with the sharp edge painted, but after a couple cuts through some thick scrap, the paint came off revealing the edge, and it cuts nice thin leather like butter now.

I got other estimates that were $60 and $90 for the designs you see there, from Weaver and Texas Custom.

[–]ItsToka[S] 2 points 8 months ago

I can’t say with 100% certainty. I CAN say that I think my 12 ton press is way overkill for normal leather. I was going back and forth between the 6 and 12 ton shop presses at Harbor Freight. In hindsight I bet I could have gotten away with the 6.

[–]asdem 2 points 8 months ago

I just sent a message to Randy to see what he recommends. I have a piece that a die would be perfect for, but I’m running out of room in my shop as it is. I’d rather have a tabletop something I can store when not in use.

[–]ItsToka[S] 1 point 8 months ago

The 6 ton is benchtop at harbor freight.

[–]PoppinPMAGs 2 points 8 months ago

Did you weld a steel plate to the ram?

[–]ItsToka[S] 1 point 8 months ago

No need, I just used the other cast iron plate that came with the press. Set it on top of my die and go.


[–]PoppinPMAGs 3 points 8 months ago

Use a poundo board underneath?


[–]rllamarca 2 points 8 months ago

I’m interested as well. I think a 6 ton press might be in my near future, I’m just trying to figure out how the ram mates with the Die and doesn’t destroy it.

[–]ItsToka[S] 1 point 8 months ago

The ram never contacts the die, it contacts a steel or cast iron plate that you put between it to distribute the force, like so

[–]rllamarca 2 points 8 months ago

Thanks man, that makes a lot more sense now. How many do you think you could bang out in a minute? Clicker presses seem more convenient and faster, but god damn are they expensive.

[–]Stevieboy7 1 point 8 months ago

a 1 ton arbor won’t be enough.. less because of the pressure and more about the way that it’s applied. It’s a straight linear press, so how hard you press down is cranked. With a good press you either have a ratcheting system (like the bench hydraulic presses) or an offset wheel to give proper leverage.

Ontop of that, the amount of space around the actual press on an arbor is so tiny that you’re essentially cutting out the piece of leather to click almost the same size as your die. and then you will still need to “click” it ~4-6 times around the circumference to make sure the entire thing has gone through.

I mean, you might actually spend more time than cutting out by hand that way.

[–]savagepunkstudio 2 points 8 months ago

Thanks for writing this- I can see how valuable these could be, and I think I have to follow suit.

[–]PressGang 2 points 8 months ago

Well this just made my day. I ordered two dies the exact same size from Texas custom and it was a total of $150 including shipping. Which I found outrageous. Thanks for the post going to check out cut rite!

[–]rareandsundry 1 point 8 months ago

Definitely going to use these for my first dies. I’ve seen a couple makers (including Peter Nitz) who have said they use a hammer or mallet with the dies too. That’s probably how I’ll go as I’m largely an apartment warrior.

[–]littlewaysny 2 points 8 months ago

It would be nice if you could use a regular die with the hammer that way if you ever got a press it would still be useful.

Usually the kind that work with a hammer have a handle I think.


Manual presses don’t really make any appreciable noise. Basically like jacking up a car.

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