I’ve had a couple of projects lingering around here longer than normal, waiting for some press work, and decided tonight to get to work. A while back I bought a cheap 3 ton arbor press from a new (to me) supplier. From the price, it was obviously Chinese, and I knew it was bound to be a project from jump street. I wasn’t really prepared for what I got. To be fair; the company I bought it from (which will remain nameless) disassembled the press and shipped it in two boxes, so that it would meet the UPS 80 LB limit, which was good of them as it saved me a big chunk of change. I was so bummed by the quality of the press that it has sat un-used for about six months; crude would be an understatement. The casting looks like it was cleaned up by an epileptic with a chainsaw. The first time I tried to use it, the drawbar slipped in the ratchet and d@mn near knocked me out. I stuffed the turd in the corner and started looking at other options, and my projects I had bought it for sat on the shelf. I had a nice hand wheel that I wanted to mount to my horizontal mill and a $100 broach to cut the 3/8″ square hole, and no press to do it with. Tonight I decided to fix the problem. Heres a look at the ratchet ring that came on the press.
You can see that the problem is that the gear was cut with more than a 90 degree step in it, and the ratchet cog would slip right off of it. I had to get a step that would capture the cog better. I figured the best way to do that was just under-cut the ratchet tooth with a dovetail cutter. The only cutter I had was a 60 degree (would have been better off with a 45), but I figured there was enough meat there so I gave it a try.