How to Use an Arbor Press

What You'll Need
Safety Glasses
Work Gloves
Steel stamp
Dead soft metal
Arbor press
Torch (optional)

An arbor press is a tool that is similar to a drill press, but it is more limited in the jobs that you can do with it. Its uses range from 5lb arbor presses being used for jobs that require precision such as jewelry repair to 500lb presses being used for jobs like putting together heavy machinery parts. 

An arbor press is made up of a rack gear with a long handle. This handle can be moved up and down. The rack gear is the part that shoves the other parts of the press. Finally, there is another plate lower down that can be adjusted to fit the type of job you are doing with it. These adjustments are made using push pins on the plate. All of this makes up the arbor press and is held together inside of a frame casing. An arbor press is also usually bolted or otherwise secured to a heavy work bench for safety.

Step 1 –  Preparation

Before you begin, it’s always a good idea to put on heavy work gloves and safety glasses anytime you are working with machinery. Next, lay out all your tools and materials so you will have easy access to them when you are working.

Step 2 – Placing of the Part You Want to Work With

Let’s say you are putting together some sort of machine that needs its bearings replaced. You would then put the bearing assembly of the machine on the plate of the arbor press. The bearing assembly must be put upside down and then lined up with the correct sized hole on the lower press. If you don’t do it correctly, your bearings will be stuck in the old part and you won’t be able to replace them with new bearings.

Step 3 – Releasing the Bearings

In this example, the next step would be to adjust the arbor press so that the rack gear can be lowered down onto the push pins on the lower plate. Be sure the push pins are in the correct position for the job you are about to do.

After this has been done, push the handle down until the bearings start to fall out of the assembly piece on the plate. Be sure to only push hard enough to make this occur or you could break either the arbor press or your bearing assembly.

Step 4 – Positioning the Bearing Assembly

Next, turn the assembly right side up again and make sure the opening is clean. You can now put the assembly part over top the openings for the bearings. Line up the bearings to the holes. This is accomplished by making sure your push pin position is a bigger hole than the bearings so they fit easily. Now, just push the handle down again with enough force to make the new bearings drop into the proper holes. If you have lined everything up correctly, the new bearings should have gone into the assembly as desired.