We were planing to build this design of tile press that we found in the book Handmade Tiles by Frank Giorgini. But this one is cooler and has more power. It’s a 12 ton shop press from Harbor Freight Tools. The Giorgini press would cost at least $80 to build and take a good day of work maybe two. This bad boy was $100 on sale and took me a half hour to set up. It has the capability to turn your plaster molds to dust, plus if you ever need to press some bearings or U joints on your vehicle you’re good to go. All I had to do was add the press plates. The top one is two sheet of 3/4″ CDX plywood glued and screwed together. Then I attached a 1″ pipe flange and 6″ piece of pipe to keep it centered. The bottom plate is a 3/4″ piece of scrap cabinet grade plywood on top of a 5/4 piece of oak and has some 1x stringers to prevent it from sliding around.
I’ll post some photos of it in action soon. I did a test with one of our existing slip molds for making a piece of tile trim. Worked well up until the point that it blew out the side of the mold.
Update photos of mold breakage.