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Phone: (605) 654-9056

Toll Free: (888) 310-1265

Fax: (605) 654-2074

General Information

The success of the Bulldog Press has precipitated some lively discussion about press safety. Many of you have probably heard the rumblings or have followed the postings on the Orchid Forum.

The concern is that, under certain load conditions, dies and work material, spacers, face plates and urethane pads can fly out of the press and cause injury to the operator or bystanders. To reduce the risk of this type of accident, it is essential that:

 the tooling and spacer plates aren't cracked or chipped.

 the work is centered on the movable platen.

 the movable platen cannot rotate in the press frame.

 the compression force (i.e., the jack) is applied to the center of the movable platen.

The condition of the tooling and spacer plates, and centering the work between the platens is the operator's responsibility, and just makes good sense if one wishes to obtain uniform results across the entire work piece. The other risk factors can be mitigated by the design of the press.

One common design for hydraulic die forming presses employs a movable platen that rides within the uprights of the press frame on two laterally-centered guide pins. There is nothing in this design to mechanically constrain rotation of the movable platen about the guide pin axis. The jack in this design can sit anywhere on the base rails, but generally does sit at an angle necessitated by the location of the pressure gauge in the base of the jack. There is nothing in this design to positively locate the nose of the jack in the center of the movable platen. It doesn't take a physicist or an engineer to visualize the dangers inherent to this design when force is applied and the work isn't centered above the movable platen, or if the jack isn't centered below the movable platen: the movable platen will rotate and anything between the platens could be launched from the press under the tremendous pressure generated in the die forming process.

The Bulldog Press' movable platen rides on four guide pins within the vertical uprights. Each guide pin is connected to the base of the press by a stout return spring. This pin/spring design mechanically limits platen rotation to 5, front-to-back. To ensure that the nose of the jack is correctly aligned, we weld a centering ring to the underside of the Bulldog Press' movable platen.

These Bulldog Press safety features don't replace common sense and best practices on the part of the operator. By incorporating these features in our design, our users can focus on the integrity of their tooling and on work alignment between the platens, safe in the knowledge that we have done all we can to mitigate the other risks.

Stuff you need to know before placing an order...

Press Safety

AutoTrac, Inc.

Quality products built by proud craftsmen

Dakota Bulldog Presses are sold FOB Fairfax, SD, with a 30-day warranty. We stock a full supply of replacement parts should they ever be needed.

Warranty and Service

Dakota Bulldog 6-1/2" manual presses are carefully packaged in two boxes. The larger box contains the press frame, consumables and assembly components and weighs ~120 lbs.

The hydraulic jack is packed in a separate box to avoid damage to the jack and to the press frame in transit and weighs ~35 lbs.

The 4" riser block that is included with the 10-1/2" model ships in it's own box and weighs ~15 lbs.

If the electric-over-hydraulic option is ordered, the pump and its components ship in a separate box weighing ~27 lbs.

We add a $50.00 packaging fee to all press orders. This fee covers the cost of the packing materials and labor to ensure that our presses arrive undamaged.

Packaging and Shipping Weights

Dakota Bulldog Presses are shipped via UPS Ground Service. The UPS cost for this service is added to the customer invoice.


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