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Vintage Homemade Crystal Press.............refurbished.


Geo

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I purchased a cheap Chinese crystal press when I took up watch repairing/refurbishing a few years ago, this was one of the lever operated type with nylon dies. This has served me very well, but there are some jobs that a screw type of press is far better for because of the more sensitive control.

Being a canny Scot, I kept an eye on eBay for a second hand Robur or Horotec and stumbled across this antique home made press for £14 delivered.

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The engineer in me immediately saw the potential, all it needed was stripped down, modified to take new dies and repainted.

The other thing that was required was a set of new aluminium dies, so after a search on AliExpress I purchased these for £26 delivered from China.

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Right, down to business.

(1) Modify the lower die holder to accept the 6mm threaded alloy dies.

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(2) Make an adaptor to fit the bottom of the ram with a 6mm thread to take the dies.

(3) Machine the lower end of the pillar to give clearance for the largest die.

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(4) Accurise the dies to ensure that the faces are parallel. Many were slightly out of truth.

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(5) Remove paint and rust from press, paint and polish.

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(6) Reassemble.

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Total cost of complete set £40.................well pleased!

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PS didn't know you had a lathe. Wish I had room for one

Wouldn't be without it CB, I also have a lightweight milling machine. I put together a machine shop when I was building target pistols many years ago, now it so handy for both my motorcycle and horology interests.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Looks great Geo, nice work. It reminds me that I bought a press very similar to yours meaning to convert it to take various dies I already have. You've inspired me to have another look at it, although I'll have to try and figure out a way to do it without the use of any similar equipment :). Not that easy when you're not particularly mechanically minded! Thanks for sharing.

Stephen

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