The bad news is the original press has some issues. One of the problems is the sides are vertical and that makes getting the block out of the press difficult. Another is it is difficult to remove the trash from the press between blocks. And then there’s the wire guides, difficult to use when operating the press, too far apart, and generally awkward to use.
The good news is
I spent some money for some more materials. I decided to use three wires for the new version of the blocks. The size is the same. But the new press has the outside wires closer inside and then I put in a middle wire to contain the middle bulge we get.
I’m trying to get the machine down in cost material wise. I also want the materials to be as common as possible so that the presses can be made on site if necessary just about anywhere in the world. I’m trying 11 gauge 2″ X 2″ square tubing for the floor and base end. I hope this will be substantial enough to hold up over time.
If you look close you and see I”m using quarter inch spacers between the tubes for wire guides. I believe this will simplify the compression phase because the tie wires will be lying out of the way. The tie wires will still have to be attached to the ram. But we won’t have to fight keeping them in the guides like we did with the original press design.
I’ve decided to put an eighth of an inch taper in each side to make removing the completed block easier. The top has an 8 ” inside measurement. And the bottom measures 7 3/4″ inside.
We’ll be making blocks with the new design tomorrow if everything goes right.