Printing press as an adaptation of a bench press

How to build a relatively cheap printing press which will print up to A4 size.

I) buy a cheap and hopefully not too nasty bench press - 10 or 12 tonnes – from a mail order company. Assemble and make sure that the press is sitting solidly on the bench with the help of a few shims to stop any wobble.

II) Measure 1) the height of the supporting base of the press in relation to the bench surface 2) the width of the support base front to back and 3) the distance between the uprights.

These measurements determine a) the dimensions of the base plate b) the height of its wooden support c) the distance between the two strips welded to the bottom of the base plate to prevent the whole assembly sliding all over the place and d) conversely  the dimensions of the top plate.

III) The top and base plate to be made of hefty 12 mm steel plate with flanges where appropriate.

IV) Weld four lugs to each bottom and top plate and drill 10 mm holes which have to line up.

V) Determine the thickness of the MDF board you want to glue to bottom and top plate as well as the thickness of the total sandwich you want to press. This will give you the length of the four 8 mm coach bolts – heads sawn off – to be attached to the base plate. Use springs for spring loading the top plate and washers for any required spacing.

VI) The distance between the top plate and the press plunger determines the height of the plunger extender with a collar sleeve. This in order that you don’t have to pump silly every time you pull a print.

No doubt any one could come up with a better idea and or refinements depending on experience. As all dimensions are really depending on the type of pres you use, I decided not to include a plan as, I believe the photos are clear and do not require a lot of imagination.

Note! The strips at the top of the top plate are to prevent the plunger extension from slipping and being propelled into your face while under great pressure. However the depth of the collar sleeve attachment to the press’ plunger will prevent that happening any way. Still I believe it should be there.