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I recently purchased the Harbor Freight 20 Ton Press and I thought some of you maybe interested is seeing a short video on it. 

I have that same shop press and it works fine for me and was cheap at about $150.

I also have that same press although it is an older model where the main frame is a welded unit. No bolts holding it together except for the "legs". The box it came in was huge.

I've modified mine by replacing the jack with an air/hydraulic jack and added a foot pedal air valve. Nice to be able to use both hands to line up and steady your work and not need a third hand to pump the jack. If you are ever interested in bending flat stock with your press, think about getting a press brake either in kit form or an assembled unit from Swag Off Road. It is specifically designed to fit the Harbor Freight Presses. Or you can build your own from flat plate and angle iron.

I don't know what kind of material HF is using for their press plates these days, but they did sell a lot of presses with CAST IRON plates. Dangerous as can be since they can shatter / exploded under pressure and should not be used. If you have cast plates I would recommend replacing them with solid steel plates - yesterday!
I have an old Wagner Electric 25 ton press. Currently the "plate" consists of a couple pieces of 4x4 - yeah, wood! But when the need arises I have a piece of 1.5" thick 4140 that will happily take their place. I've considered putting an air/hydraulic jack on it but can't seem to bring myself to spending $80+ on something that rarely gets used (even tho I do stuff like that on a regular basis). The one mod I did do, however, is put a valve handle on the release to make it easier to release the pressure. Got that idea from someone on Welding Web.
(10-25-2017, 08:07 PM)Vinny Wrote: [ -> ]The one mod I did do, however, is put a valve handle on the release to make it easier to release the pressure.  Got that idea from someone on Welding Web.

Yeah, That was the very first thing I did with mine too.

I did it this way

[Image: bottlejack1.JPG]
Did you mill a square on the end of the valve shaft?
No. It had the rectangle on it and I milled out the slot for it in the handle. I did drill and tap the shaft tho. I don't think that's a self tapper... maybe it was. It's been a few years.
Just another design change I suppose. The valve stem on mine is round with a cross pin through it. I just turned a cap that would fit over the stem and drilled it so the same cross pin could be used to hold it in place. I don't have the hand grip strength I used to and needed more of a lever to crack open the valve. It seats pretty tightly.

The major flaw for me is the lousy fit between the pump handle and the valve stem on the original set-up. The ID of the handle is WAY too big and flops around on the valve stem, usually slipping off of one side of the cross pin. At first I made a different handle from a solid bar and drilled it to better fit the valve stem. But I still had an issue breaking loose the valve trying to turn the handle by hand grip alone. The side lever makes it much easier and I don't have to deal with having to pick up the pump handle all the time to work the valve.
When I retrofitted my press with a HF air operated hydraulic jack I cross drilled the jack handle & installed a piece of 1/4" round threaded on both ends and capped with acorn nuts.