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Old 03-11-2011, 09:14 PM
Gary66 Gary66 is offline
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Default Home made hydraulic cylinder

The attachment is of my first all metal cylinder. Don't know if it's hydraulic, pneu or traumatic. It was a shock absorber style opener (or Keep It Opener) I suppose. Like the little units on a hatchback car rear door. One of them seemed to be spring loaded and somewhat functional. T'other just flopped back and forth - so he got gutted. It's a welded, steel cylinder 3/4" X 10" (or so). Nothing premium about the tube due to the weld. It appeared to have a cap at the business end that was threaded on. Wouldn't budge and too much effort would distort the tube, so I cut it off.

The piston had metal disks sandwiching a plastic vented piece (shock absorber style) and a flat rubber (?) washer. I burned the piston with my torch, cleaned the debris, and brazed fill back for the sandwich. I chucked it in the lathe and turned it down to fit the tube, then ground a bit for the "O" ring groove. I used a tight fitting "O" ring and cut'n'tried until the groove seemed right and the cylinder could be raw-jawed over the piston.

I decided to use Zirk fittings for the inlet/outlet. Drilled and tapped the cylinder then cut the threads off the Zirk until it no longer penetrated past the cylinder wall. This cutting also enabled me to punch the spring and ball out. Each Zirk was then brazed in. I felt I would need packing for the shaft so I selected a brass threaded coupler for the new end piece. I put a threaded cap on one end, chucked it in the lathe and drilled the cap and coupler out for the shaft. Now the cap can serve as the packing nut and end of the cylinder.

After cutting the end off the cylinder at the beginning, I had a short stroke. Fine, that prevents the piston from passing the zirk at the far end. I measured back to determine how far to allow the piston to return and cut a spacer to fit over the shaft and seat between the piston and the brass coupler. With that in place, I brazed the coupler into the end (being careful to keep the piston at the far end for heat protection). I used kite string for the packing. I just wrapped it around the shaft until I had formed a pack by threading the drilled-out end cap on, off, on, off. The packing is visible sticking out the end a small amount. That extra packing gives me future leakage control. I would have preferred to be able to remove the piston in the future as needed, but this time it is locked in for life due to brazing the coupler in place. Of course I could re-heat the coupler and remove it.

I threaded the end of my grease gun into my compressor blower and timidly put some air pressure to it. NOTHING HAPPENED! I wasn't too keen on high air pressure due to the thinness of the cylinder walls and the bullet shape of those Zirks. This is not intended to be a high pressure cylinder...in fact, it isn't intended to be ANY kind of cylinder. I just needed to make a first potential hydraulic cylinder. Now I've made one.

I put the grease gun back together and pumped the piston into movement. I caught the grease in a container for re-use. After a while the dry packing got lubricated and it started to free up a tad. Then I emptied the grease gun and loaded it with used crankcase oil. To my surprise that lame idea actually worked, and the piston freed-up a tad more. Each end is threaded for mounting, so that's good. Now I need to see if I can make one that can handle some pressure.
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Old 03-12-2011, 02:08 AM
Gary66 Gary66 is offline
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Default It moved a doiley!!!

I can't believe there have been no reply's to my heroic new project. After only a ton of hours pushing and pulling (along with all the pressure my compressor could grunt out), that magnificent cylinder managed to drag a doily the full stroke - AND BACK!!! It's just possible I tightened the packing a tad too much.
I'm confident that when I mount it on my little tractor with the 12V hydraulic system (that nobody was impressed with either!!!), it will faithfully push the on-off switch (assuming the pump continues to deliver 3,000psi).
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Old 03-12-2011, 09:55 AM
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OhioTC18 OhioTC18 is offline
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Looks good Gary.
Your original post was made around 9 PM my time. The forum seems to have low activity at that time of day (night).
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Old 03-12-2011, 02:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Gary66 View Post
I can't believe there have been no reply's to my heroic new project. After only a ton of hours pushing and pulling (along with all the pressure my compressor could grunt out), that magnificent cylinder managed to drag a doily the full stroke - AND BACK!!! It's just possible I tightened the packing a tad too much.
I'm confident that when I mount it on my little tractor with the 12V hydraulic system (that nobody was impressed with either!!!), it will faithfully push the on-off switch (assuming the pump continues to deliver 3,000psi).
Gary66,
Interesting design. I don't understand this cylinder's function. Can you explain a little more its intended use?
hugs, Brandi
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Old 03-12-2011, 11:44 PM
Gary66 Gary66 is offline
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Default Just wanted to make one

Hi Bindian. I'm a retired old goat with a few assorted old tractors. I have no need for tractors, other than messing around on our little acre. I like to grade, plow, pick up dirt, dump it...and then move the same dirt somewhere else. Whenever I detect something I might make, and it would be different from store-bought things - and add to my pleasure of making and using it...I make it. I raised my family as a poor man and now I still see things from the perspective of a poor man desiring things like more prosperous folk have. Thus, instead of buying an implement etc. I seek ways to adapt something to serve that desire. As you know, hydraulics are costly, so I want to make my own, except for controls. This was my first effort using steel and I learned things that I will do better next time. Perhaps someday I will have a truly home made loader, or something. I made this little cylinder in one evening and it has no purpose of usage. I make tractors for the grandkids too and this may do something on one of them. I love my little antique metal lathe and small hydraulics provide projects for me to work on.
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Old 03-13-2011, 01:16 AM
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Hi Bindian. I'm a retired old goat with a few assorted old tractors. I have no need for tractors, other than messing around on our little acre. I like to grade, plow, pick up dirt, dump it...and then move the same dirt somewhere else. Whenever I detect something I might make, and it would be different from store-bought things - and add to my pleasure of making and using it...I make it. I raised my family as a poor man and now I still see things from the perspective of a poor man desiring things like more prosperous folk have. Thus, instead of buying an implement etc. I seek ways to adapt something to serve that desire. As you know, hydraulics are costly, so I want to make my own, except for controls. This was my first effort using steel and I learned things that I will do better next time. Perhaps someday I will have a truly home made loader, or something. I made this little cylinder in one evening and it has no purpose of usage. I make tractors for the grandkids too and this may do something on one of them. I love my little antique metal lathe and small hydraulics provide projects for me to work on.
I get it now. Thanks for the additional explanation. I think a small lathe would be a welcome project maker in any shop.
hugs, Brandi
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Old 03-25-2011, 04:28 PM
billbob billbob is offline
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Default Gary66 Cylinder

Well, I for one, am impressed! With some skill and alot of imagination a guy(or gal) can fabricate just about anything. The enjoyment in making something is that you keep the brain muscle working and you don't have to spend a pile of $$ doing it! Good work! What's the next project?

Bill
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Old 03-26-2011, 02:11 AM
Gary66 Gary66 is offline
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I already posted the "next" project and it was an 18V drill driver made to power the worm-gear drive for the front blade on one of my homemade tractors. The battery died while lifting my son as a test load. I then moved onto another project and that is also posted...a 12V Makita with 2spd drive. It lifted the 220lb test load with ease. It became stormy here and remains so, which forced me back into the shop to try to complete another tractor I've been building over the past months. The test-drive yesterday spun the key on one axle so I repaired that and then the valve stem failed so I worked on that today. Tomorrow I'll huck the tube and mount tubeless. Doc wants pictures of the member's tractors, so I charged the battery in my '28 Model A and started to drive it down to hook up a plow for the picture...but the storm stopped me. After the positive outcome of my 12V pickup truck dump bed (also posted) I decided to try a closed-loop 12V hydraulic system. I have a reversible 12V water pump and hoped to use it hydraulically without a control etc. Closed loop, so just flip the switch to go up or down. How simple can it be! It should have limit switches for safety I suppose. Without having a 3-way switch wired in, the motor wouldn't reverse. Gotta get back to that one now that I found a switch in my collection. There's more, but I'm gonna get in trouble for being off topic, or in the wrong forum.
Thanks for your interest. Incidentally, I just bought 6 beautiful aluminum cylinders with caps and "O" rings. More hydraulics coming! I'm into low pressure (high volume) hydraulics because there are so many junk things that can be used. I've even done PVC hydraulics (low pressure!) but caught Hell when posted on another forum.
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Old 03-26-2011, 09:17 AM
billbob billbob is offline
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I just looked at your post of the 18v drill worm drive. Who woulda thought! You just gave me an idea for a horse arena groomer that I am going to build that will be hauled around by my 4 wheeler. I already built a winch activated dump trailer for the 4 wheeler. combination of a scissor lift and a 3500lb winch. Works great. Dumps anything from a load of manure to firewood. A few years back I built a log winch for my tractor using a 8000lb Warn winch. Worked perfectly. Yarded enough logs to build a horse barn. I'll post some pictures of it later (buried in snow right now) I'm heading out right now to finish a project (chainsaw carrier for the 4 wheeler)
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Old 09-18-2013, 07:11 AM
chrisantmumo chrisantmumo is offline
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Default homemade hydraulics

hi this is a good post u have i just wanted to know is it possible to convert a used shock absorber(air type) into a hydraulic cylinder?
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Old 09-18-2013, 11:13 PM
Gary66 Gary66 is offline
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I am saving shock absorbers and have converted just one. They are thin, so low pressure is advised. The piston needs to be sealed of course. I designed a couple two-piece pistons that will squeeze a sealing substance out as pressure builds. This is to overcome less than perfect cylinders. Haven't followed through however. I have sailboats too and have been making inventions to assist them. Gotta get back to hydraulics.
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