The spendy part of Knifemaking

Well, this is getting to be like a soap opera...... a new plot every day. My local shop called cost on my existing cylinder is now up to $1,300........ still waiting on the estimate from Motion Industries. At this point, I'm thinking that if the price gap between repairing mine, or having a new one built doesn't make me faint...... I'm leaning towards a new one. HMMMMM, guess we'll see.
$1,300 to repair?? What on earth do they expect to do? I suppose if it's a welded body cylinder they will have to make a new cylinder bore- but that only requires a bandsaw to cut the end off and a new tube to put the piston/rod assy back into. Honestly, this is why tie rod cylinders are used in heavy industry. The up front price is higher, but you only buy it once. After that, it's just seal kits to keep it going basically forever. In heavy side-load applications you get a replaceable rod gland so that the gland wears out instead of the cylinder rod. I cannot imagine having any side load to speak of on a press, unless there is some alignment that can be improved. Even then, using clevis mounts would allow the cylinder to align throughout the stroke instead of side loading the rod.

Good luck, Ed. Sounds like everything piled up on you at once.
The last "addition" to the repair is that the entire "lid"/head of my existing cylinder needs to be fabbed/replaced. They found a crack.... that goes through the seal groove...... :confused:

Supposedly the Motion Rep will be getting back to me today on a price for a new one.....
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motion industries are ok to deal with, mainly save you some time in return for a 25% to 50% mark up. if you haven't already, go to Parker site, fill in the blanks, get a part number then order same. Parker offers tie-rod and bolted heavy duty industrial cylinders.
Hey Ed,
Sounds like your having a heck of a time. I thought I would give you a few more places to check out.
First is Buffalo Hydraulic (, we purchased a 8x18 custom cylinder a few years back from them and they were reasonable; might be worth a second quote.
Another place to call is Bailey Hydraulics ( While nothings listed that large on their site, they might be able to get it.
Lastly, HGR Surplus ( While I consider all the cylinders they post are a grab bag, they at least post the make and model information most of the time. With that info you can go to the cylinder place ahead of time and see what a basic rebuild would cost before buying it.

Hope some of that helps.
Thanks for those links! I spoke with Buffalo..... not interested in letting them do anything for me. I asked if they could give me a quote on a custom cylinder, and the response was "If you need a quote, then you can't afford the cylinder." :confused: Dang! Although he might be correct....... that makes a great first impression.... NOT!

Bailey now has the specs (spoke with them, and then emailed all the specs to them) but got a bit skiddish when the guy "guesstimated" $3,000-$4,000 after hearing the specs. He also said that custom builds have a 6-10 week lead time. It's going on 3 weeks with the press being down now.....and I think I'm having withdraws. :) Still waiting on Motion, but that $1,300 to repair my existing cylinder is looking better all the time.
Well, because getting quotes on a new cylinder is just dragging and dragging out, I called my local shop and told them to repair the existing cylinder. We're heading into week 3 without the press, and it's killing my production.....gotta get it back up and running. At the very least, if the time comes when a full replacement is required, I'll know how much $$$$ I need to have in reserve for the expense.

Edit: Got the quote from Motion Industries...... $3,224.91, plus shipping. I guess it's time to start rat holing money....just in case.
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Sorry to hear how much this is costing Ed! You know if it was the old days you could have offered $500 And a custom knife to the owner in barter, but those days are long gone lol
Edit: Got the quote from Motion Industries...... $3,224.91, plus shipping. I guess it's time to start rat holing money....just in case.
the quote sounds reasonable if it was for a bolted or tie rod end cylinder. not much pricing available on line for such cylinders, but that price is close to what people are asking on eBay for similar size cylinders
Scott..... That price was for a welded cylinder...... had to go that route due to the space/mounting of the cylinder on the press. That was the best estimate I've gotten so far.....still waiting on others. Ultimately, what made me decided to have my existing cylinder repaired, wasn't just the cost.... more more so the the lead time for a new one... 4-6 weeks minimum. I need to get the press back up and running. :)
Wow, when it rains it pours.

Quit breaking things and get back to making knives and videos. :D
Wow, when it rains it pours.
Sure does seem that least lately.

I figured since the press was down, and because it and my rolling mill run off the same power unit..... I'd do some maintenance on the rolling mill too. Pulled the control valve off it, and installed new seals (it was leaking too), and finally figured out why the rolling mill always produces curves in billets...... one end of the bottom roller has about .050" space when the rollers are brought together..... that should be an easy fix..... just have to add .050" shims to one side of the roller. Last I checked, the boys at the hydraulics place said my cylinder should be ready early next week! Maybe I can get everything put back together and get back into production. :)
Something to keep in mind, you could put in two smaller cylinders side by side.
Maybe even a gang of 4

It wouldn't give you the same capacity, but it would be a stop gap measure to keep under your hat in case you need it.
I actually thought about that very thing..... but that was after I told the shop to go ahead and repair my existing cylinder. It will certainly be something I keep in mind for the future! Thanks!