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Antique Machine Tools (Pre 1930)

What the Heck Is It?


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  #1  
Old 04-28-2019, 09:14:23 PM
Monsonmotors Monsonmotors is offline
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Default What the Heck Is It?

EBay seller advertised as a metal forming press for stagecoach parts. I don’t believe it.
I suspect 1900 or earlier.
It sure looks good in the old shop!
I don’t see one identifying number or patent date or manufacturer’s marking.
It’s about 33” tall by 13” wide by 3” or 4” deep.
It’s very well made and appears to have all kinds of things going on simultaneously. It’s heavy but I lugged it into the shop by myself.
If it helps at all it came from an old barn in New England.
Please tell me what it is.
Thanks In Advance.
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Old 04-29-2019, 07:03:08 AM
Ret AF Ret AF is offline
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Default Re: What the Heck Is It?

Cracking open Brazil Nuts? Only kidding!
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  #3  
Old 04-29-2019, 11:46:35 AM
Monsonmotors Monsonmotors is offline
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Default Re: What the Heck Is It?

Maybe if I take a piece of sheetmetal and stick it in there. I do see a kind of punch.
Looks stout for a hand-operated device.
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Old 04-29-2019, 12:52:57 PM
Monsonmotors Monsonmotors is offline
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Default Re: What the Heck Is It?

More pics and a sense of scale.
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  #5  
Old 05-01-2019, 08:34:56 PM
cornbinder89 cornbinder89 is offline
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Default Re: What the Heck Is It?

No idea but am interested in what you find out.
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Old 05-01-2019, 10:47:18 PM
CharlieB CharlieB is offline
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Default Re: What the Heck Is It?

It looks like you have a fly press. It would have been mounted vertically to a very sturdy bench. It would have had a very heavy inertia wheel or a dog-bone mounted to the tapered shaft. Spinning the heavy wheel or dog-bone manually would store energy for the pressing. They were used for punching, with dies for pressing coins, or for any operation requiring great force. The lower long screw on yours appears to be an adjustable stop.
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  #7  
Old 05-01-2019, 11:16:36 PM
Monsonmotors Monsonmotors is offline
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Default Re: What the Heck Is It?

Cool! I will research fly presses.
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Old 05-01-2019, 11:23:58 PM
GeorgeC GeorgeC is offline
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Default Re: What the Heck Is It?

Monsoon,
Is it seized or have you checked between the press jaws to see if there are dies mounted or fitted that would be used to form the parts? Else there should be some means of external attachment to fit dies to the jaws.
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  #9  
Old 05-02-2019, 08:35:16 AM
cornbinder89 cornbinder89 is offline
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Default Re: What the Heck Is It?

Quote:
Originally Posted by CharlieB View Post
It looks like you have a fly press. .
All that to kill a fly? Well I suppose they do get annoying at times!
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Old 05-02-2019, 10:30:39 AM
Monsonmotors Monsonmotors is offline
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Default Re: What the Heck Is It?

No, not seized. Parts still move.
Looks like die is removable. Held in by set screws.
I did some quick online research last night on fly presses. I think it’s the best match, yet.
Mine would be missing the flywheel or dog bone on top that provides the inertia to do the work.
I found a fuzzy picture of a device that does not appear to have a flywheel on it. It came up under “flywheel press” search. It sure looks close!
Anyway, the myriad external set screws, acme thread and jaws-within-a-frame
certainly match up with fly presses.
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  #11  
Old 05-02-2019, 10:36:22 AM
Monsonmotors Monsonmotors is offline
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Default Re: What the Heck Is It?

If I haven’t said, this tool appears to be completely in line with my “late 1800s wagon/ blacksmith/ early automobile” vibe in my old shop recreation. Makes me very happy! It was so weird and such a long shot!
Most fly presses appear to be stand alone. The force of inertia imparted to the work at hand rocks the machine. Since this is a smaller version I mounted it on my Model T Frame workbench.
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Old 05-03-2019, 10:51:21 PM
Pete Spaco Pete Spaco is offline
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Default Re: What the Heck Is It?

It may well be a fly press, but the flypresses that blacksmiths normally use have much coarser screws. Even the powered ones.
Maybe it was designed for direct pressure from an easily repositionable crank, hence the taper.

A friend of mine sells fly presses:
https://www.oldworldanvils.com/fly-presses
Note the coarse threads. I think they are even double lead or something like that.

Pete Stanaitis
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Old 05-03-2019, 11:31:52 PM
Monsonmotors Monsonmotors is offline
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Default Re: What the Heck Is It?

Mounted on the Model T Bench.
The die wants to slide out without trouble. I still don’t see any markings.
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  #14  
Old 05-03-2019, 11:34:59 PM
Monsonmotors Monsonmotors is offline
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Default Re: What the Heck Is It?

Try that again..
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  #15  
Old 05-03-2019, 11:38:49 PM
Monsonmotors Monsonmotors is offline
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Default Re: What the Heck Is It?

These threads are less coarse?
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Old 05-04-2019, 11:53:53 AM
Monsonmotors Monsonmotors is offline
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Default Re: What the Heck Is It?

Most if not all the fly presses I’ve seen new or old appear to have a cast body. Mine appears to have been machined from one billet of steel?
One of the identifying aspects of fly presses appear to be myriad set screws. Why is that? Mine has them all over. What is their purpose?
I can’t understand why someone didn’t pound numbers or letters into it. They did a great job! Reason to be proud?
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Old 05-04-2019, 04:17:03 PM
Pete Spaco Pete Spaco is offline
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Default Re: What the Heck Is It?

Re: "These threads are less coarse?"
Maybe it's semantics. Your machine has a finer pitch screw than do the fly presses that I have seen.
Usually, the user grabs the ball or the handle and does the work with a quarter turn of the flywheel or less.

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  #18  
Old 05-04-2019, 05:09:58 PM
dalmatiangirl61 dalmatiangirl61 is offline
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Default Re: What the Heck Is It?

There are some videos on youtube showing how to use a flypress, now I want one
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Old 05-04-2019, 05:17:57 PM
Monsonmotors Monsonmotors is offline
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Default Re: What the Heck Is It?

Ok. Thanks!
The original description never said fly press, but you have to admit it has some fly press characteristics..? Best guess, so far...
Semantics never slow me down...
I really wanted something blacksmith/ wagon-era, useable and obviously old. Did I do good?
If you really want to buy old and weird (and you live on the West Coast) buy a whatzit from New England.
This thing is a stumper. I’m now spending time looking at ancient patent office drawings and reading American Machinist from 1900. Good times!
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Old 05-05-2019, 01:28:28 PM
Monsonmotors Monsonmotors is offline
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Default Re: What the Heck Is It?

I removed the die to inspect. Residue tells me it was used quite a bit.
Just a square hole. And then a pointed square shaft pierces it.
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