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Williams Lowbuck Louver Press

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by scootermcrad, Apr 25, 2013.

  1. scootermcrad
    Joined: Sep 20, 2005
    Posts: 12,304

    scootermcrad
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I recently picked up Dave's Lowbuck Louver Press and I'm starting to think about what to make for a frame as well as long-term changes for actuation.

    Any of you that have one, how do you like the setup? Anyone add a hydraulic assist or make any changes to help performance?

    I had been thinking about machining my own louver dies and components for a long time, but have a more immediate need, so I sprung for Dave's setup.

    Would love to hear some feedback as well as see some of your setups.

    Thanks guys!
    S
     
  2. scootermcrad
    Joined: Sep 20, 2005
    Posts: 12,304

    scootermcrad
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  3. belair
    Joined: Jul 10, 2006
    Posts: 8,154

    belair
    Member

    I have one, but have not made the mounting fixture either, so I will be watching this. Sorry for the lack of help.
     
  4. Atwater Mike
    Joined: May 31, 2002
    Posts: 9,822

    Atwater Mike
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    My pal Moe Miller bought the old louver press from Jerry (J&J Customs) in San Jose in 1978. This press frame was fabricated from 1/4" steel plate, in a large 'C' shape, looked like a huge micrometer standing on its spool.
    It was old when my Mom had Jerry punch the hood of her '48 Cadillac in 1955!
    The frame was about 40" deep from the C/L of the dies...Mom's hood was long, I remember them punching from the rear, then reversing the dies to continue the rows.
    That press 'punched' more hoods & trunk lids than any 10 that I can think of...
    Sid Owen told me Jerry louvered his '32 Roadster hood & side panels in 1952. (and he had to wait for 2 days behind the other louver jobs!)

    Jerry had a sealed hydraulic tank, and an air pot that he controlled with a foot lever.
    They would hold the hood in position, then the foot lever would bring the ram down slowly, right above the work: then step down on the pedal, and 'BAM!'

    When Moe got the machine, it was surface rusted all over, (it sat outside the old shop for 2 winters before he discovered it) the dies were dulled, but a tool and die maker friend repaired them.
    Hydraulic and air tanks, hoses, and pedal were there, but just aged beyond use.
    Funny how that happens...I remembered the machine as a shiny blue entity that would never get old!

    Moe set it up 'temporarily' with a hydraulic bottle jack, it was pure misery to punch any more than 5 louvers at a time! I helped him do a '50 Merc hood with 160 louvers.
    Horrible.
    Moe lost interest in his Custom shop in '88, sold the press and all his cars...
     
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  5. scootermcrad
    Joined: Sep 20, 2005
    Posts: 12,304

    scootermcrad
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    WOW! Where is the press now? Would love to see some pictures.

    I have a nice hydraulic ram that I need a pump and tank for. I'm keeping this in mind for a later modification to the hand pull.
     
  6. dreracecar
    Joined: Aug 27, 2009
    Posts: 2,869

    dreracecar
    Member
    from so-cal

    Built this one about 30 years ago, might still have the BP's but the company is no longer around
     

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  7. need louvers ?
    Joined: Nov 20, 2008
    Posts: 12,912

    need louvers ?
    Member

    The best recomendation I can give you is to build your frame much stouter than you think it should be! My frame on my press 3 1/2"X 3 1/2" 1/4" wall stuff, and you wouldn't belive how much flex it has as it works. I don't have an upper structure as the picture above shows, but make sure you add it. The only thing I worry about with the Williams unit is that I have run a mechanical press before long before I found mine and it will kick your ass doing a full hood worth of louvers. Obviuosly a longer handle makes for less work, but it also makes for MUCH less control in a one-man opperation. Figure out hydraulics for it, trust me.
     
  8. 19-c
    Joined: Jun 15, 2009
    Posts: 1,029

    19-c
    Member

    There is a gentleman on here he goes by the name "AULIZ" he built one that is killer with these same dies. I cant remember what thread the pics are on though
     
  9. marioD
    Joined: Nov 20, 2005
    Posts: 231

    marioD
    Member



    Built one exactly like that around the same time, bought the plans off Good Times Louvers in CA back then still use it every second day had my own dies machined over the years.

    The frame flexes very much but comes back so i never had any problems
    all the time. Design is good.

    A friend of mine Sir Michaels in Huntington Beach covered his press with
    1/4 inch plate long ago - still flexed so no major improvement.

    If i had to build it again i'd do it the same way and i agree use electric hydraulics!

    Mario
     
  10. need louvers ?
    Joined: Nov 20, 2008
    Posts: 12,912

    need louvers ?
    Member

    Ya, mine springs back after each hit, but damn does it move! Most people that I just casually "POP" a louver for damn near duck when it cuts!
     
  11. Marty Strode
    Joined: Apr 28, 2011
    Posts: 4,168

    Marty Strode
    Member

    An old friend of mine put this one together over 35 years ago, I acquired it after he passed. The frame is 3.25" solid plate, it has some handy swing out arms, to balance large awkward items. The hydraulics consist of a ram with a tag stamped "Republic Aircraft", and a cable controlled valve, that is foot operated. The pedal is easy to creep down the die, and "wham", just like the one Atwater Mike remembered, if it has any flex, I haven't noticed.
     

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  12. marioD
    Joined: Nov 20, 2005
    Posts: 231

    marioD
    Member


    What is the biggest louverdie you are punching?

    Mario
     
  13. need louvers ?
    Joined: Nov 20, 2008
    Posts: 12,912

    need louvers ?
    Member

    3 1/2", but there is room for bigger if I ever get some made.
     

  14. Best line I've read in weeks. That's so incredibly awesome.:)
     
  15. Kirk Hanning
    Joined: Feb 27, 2005
    Posts: 1,604

    Kirk Hanning
    Member

  16. old round fart
    Joined: Jun 9, 2008
    Posts: 134

    old round fart
    Member
    from Norman Ok.

    Neatest one I ever saw was mounted to a wall and swung out to use it on a caster wheel. It had air over hydraulics and as I remember had no flex and was not hard to use.
     
  17. kasselyn29
    Joined: Dec 18, 2009
    Posts: 199

    kasselyn29
    Member

    We have one we use alot the problem with having one is you punch louvers in every thing.I made my frame from two by five tubing with eight wall thickness. Works great we have punched alot of eighteen gauge for various projects.Works best if you have to guys on to pull handle and one to Line up part.
     
  18. scootermcrad
    Joined: Sep 20, 2005
    Posts: 12,304

    scootermcrad
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Thanks everyone! Some great input here! Good to see that I wasn't the only person that needed something to punch louvers without spending $3000 on a louver press.

    I was leaning very much towards the frame design that dreracecar posted and built out of 4x4x0.25 wall tubing. I was also thinking about lowering the lower horizontal bar so that I could punch louvers in a panel that would curve opposite of the norm. So a few extra inches of height on the lower die/receiver for a reverse curve, or whatever.

    I've got a big ass Miller hydraulic cylinder that is probably way overkill for the project, but I have it and it was free and never been used. I'm guessing it would probably punch a hole in about anything once hooked up right. Was thinking of making the frame to support a lower "bed" of sorts, so it could double as a punch, when needed.

    One thing for sure... whatever frame I build, I'm gonna' need to roll it around in my little work space to move it out of the way when not in use!

    Keep the input coming! THANKS!
     
  19. Kirk Hanning
    Joined: Feb 27, 2005
    Posts: 1,604

    Kirk Hanning
    Member

    I don't do a whole lot of Punching with my press, so manual is my choice. Now granted the 240 louver punches in the insert took a while to do, it wasn't exhausting by any means.
     
  20. scootermcrad
    Joined: Sep 20, 2005
    Posts: 12,304

    scootermcrad
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    Well it sure as hell turned out great! Nice work! Always loved that car...
     
  21. scootermcrad
    Joined: Sep 20, 2005
    Posts: 12,304

    scootermcrad
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    BTTT for the weekend... Let's hear/see some more


    Posted from the TJJ App for iPhone & iPad
     
  22. HAAA! I agree with Bodi. I don't know what it is and whether you intended it or not, but there is just something utterly delightful about this sentence! It sure made me smile, man.
     
  23. scootermcrad
    Joined: Sep 20, 2005
    Posts: 12,304

    scootermcrad
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    Uuu... bump for Monday? Frames and feedback on the Williams press?
     
  24. PeteFromTexas
    Joined: Apr 4, 2007
    Posts: 3,837

    PeteFromTexas
    Member

    I've got a press with the exact frame design from another company. I dig it. It does flex though.


    Posted from the TJJ App for iPhone & iPad
     
  25. mr.chevrolet
    Joined: Jul 19, 2006
    Posts: 6,423

    mr.chevrolet
    Member

    i've got this old bandsaw that i'm going to strip and sell the C frame. would that work for you?
     

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  26. scootermcrad
    Joined: Sep 20, 2005
    Posts: 12,304

    scootermcrad
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    Actually... I really want the whole SAW! I'll PM you...
     
  27. Ted H
    Joined: Jan 7, 2003
    Posts: 312

    Ted H
    Member

    Darn, Marty, that must have been made when steel only cost five cents a pound! Looks great.

    Ted
     
  28. need louvers ?
    Joined: Nov 20, 2008
    Posts: 12,912

    need louvers ?
    Member

    That saw looks exactly like the frame Kiwi Kev started with.
     
  29. Now that is one kick ass cool band saw....I would take it in a heart beat.
     
  30. chaddilac
    Joined: Mar 21, 2006
    Posts: 13,830

    chaddilac
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