CEB Press/Manufacturing Instructions/Frame with main cylinder

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Warning.png Warning: The documentation for the CEB Press is undergoing a thorough overhaul. CAD models and written directions are presently obsolete. For more information, see Talk:CEB_Press#Documentation_overhaul_in_progress. When the models, specifications and text on this article have been thoroughly reviewed, updated when necessary, and confirmed as whole and accurate, this warning may be removed.

This page explains the assembly of the main frame. You need to complete Main cylinder preparation, all of the components in Main Frame Preparation, 2 Leg Holders, and the Soil loading drawer before you can finish this step.

Video Explantion

Note: This explanation is for an old prototype, but can still give you a good idea of how it works.

Tools Required

  • Torch
  • Hole Punch
  • Mag Drill with 3/4" and 1" dies
  • Spray paint
  • Speed Square
  • Big Square
  • Various Wrenches
  • Hammer
  • Angle Grinder
  • C-Clamps

Materials Required


  • 6” Heavy (7/16”) U-Channel: (26" for monster, 18" for normal)
    • (13” for Monster)(9" for normal)(2); Spacers
  • 2"x2"x1/4" Angle: 12"; Dirt Blockers: 6” (2)
  • 1 1/2” DOM Roundstock: 8 1/2”; Cylinder Pin (1)
  • 1 1/2” Inter Diameter DOM Tubing: 2 1/2"; Pin Receptors:1 1/4” (2)
    • For Optional “Jig”: 6”x12” Tubing: 52”

Nuts and Bolts

  • 3/4”x1.5” Bolts (28 normal, 32 super)
    • Horizontal members (16)
    • Drawer members (8)
    • Wide cylinder supports (4 normal, 8 super)
  • 3/4” Steel Nuts (2): Thin cylinder supports
  • 3/4” Galvanized Nuts (31 normal, 35 super)
    • Horizontal members (16)
    • Drawer members (8)
    • Wide cylinder supports (4 normal, 8 super)
    • Thin cylinder supports: (2)
    • Sensor Holder: (1)
  • 1/2" Nut: Roller guides (2)
  • 1/2" washer: Roller guides (2)
  • 1/2" Lock washer: Roller guides (2)


(model not completely done)


Step 1: Assemble horizontal members to vertical members.

C-Clamp the vertical pieces to the jig as shown.
Where to clamp the horizontals
The verticals clamped in place with a horizontal clamped to them
  1. Gather materials for the “Jig”; this means 6”x12” tubing (52”) and any extra heavy U Channel. If you don't have any laying around, you can use one drawer member, and one spacer on each side.
  2. Clamp the vertical pieces to the "Jig" on each end, with extra U channel in between the tubing and the vertical pieces. See the diagram on the right.
    • Make sure they are both orientated properly, that is that both roller slots are at the same end of the jig.
    • Insure the two verticals are flush at the top end and(the one with the roller slots). The slots and the thin cylinder support holes will need to align in the proper places with the cylinder later.
  3. Clamp one horizontal member at each end of the jig. Make sure it is flush with the ends of the verticals and centered on them.
    • Ensure they are square with the jig by using a large square
    • Clamp using 1 or 2 vise grips on either side.

HintLightbulb.png Hint: It really helps to label each member, so that if you end up unbolting the piece later, you'll know exactly where it goes and in what orientation. Mark which side will be the top of the machine, and which member goes where.

  • Note: If you didn't need to use the drawer members for the jig, you can drill those and the wide cylinder support holes now too so you won't have to handle the material twice. See below for how to do it.
  1. Use a Mag-Drill to drill the 3/4" holes each place where the horizontal members overlap the vertical members. Before drilling, double check that when the holes go thru the vertical members, they will be on the lip of the U-channel, not going into the wall, or off of the lip.
  2. Bolt the horizontal members tightly to the vertical members.
  3. Flip the jig over so you have access to drill the other holes. See video for help.
  4. Clamp the other 2 horizontal members in place.
    • Align the other horizontal members with the ones below the jig, so that they are both at the same location relative to the vertical members. This is crucial so that the machine will stand up straight and there won't be any gap between the drawer and the top horizontal members.
    • Insure once more that they are square with the vertical members.
  5. Mag Drill (3/4") them.
  6. Bolt them tightly to the vertical members.
  7. Double check to make sure everything is still square. If not, loosen the bolts and square it up on what you labeled top first and tighten those bolts. Then square out the other side and torch out any spots prohibiting the bolts from going thru. Bolt it back when you're done.

Step 2: Mag-Drill the holes for the wide cylinder supports and drawer members

Clamping the drawer members in their proper location for monster CEB
How to clamp the wide cylinder supports and drawer members
  1. Clamp the drawer member centered, (5" for standard CEB, 7" for the "super" CEB) from the upper cross member. The drawer slots should be on this side, not opposite. Make sure the nuts are facing where the drawer was, look at the picture.
  2. Clamp the wide cylinder support directly below it. Make sure you label each component for re-assembly later.
  3. Mag-Drill 1" holes at these centers. Don't bolt these to the frame yet.
  4. Flip the frame over and do the same thing on the other side.

Step 3: Re-inforce the drawer members

  1. Place the 1/2"x3"x24" flats on the drawer members as shown.
  2. Weld them in place, using about a 50% weld.

Step 4: Tack the spacers

Where to tack the spacers
The spacers clamped to weld

Note: You not welding them because when you stretch the frame, it may "move" their location. The spacers need to be contacting the drawer when you are pressing bricks, or the top edges of the bricks will be "fuzzy." See the quality control section below for more info.

  1. With the frame laid down, and one of the drawer members in place, place the spacers (U-channel, 13" for monster and 9" for normal) on each side. The end of them is to be "d" (7 1/16" for monster)(5 1/16" for normal) away from the upper cross member. Look at the diagram./
  2. Insure they are parallel with the U-channel and C-clamp in two places for each.
  3. Tack them on this side in 3 spots. You may need to grind this off later, so make sure the tacks aren't longer than 1/4" or so.
  4. Flip over the frame and tack the other side.

Step 5: Weld the dirt blockers

The dirt blockers.
  1. Put the dirt blockers in place, between the vertical members, so the bottom side of them is about 1/8" above the bottom of the upper crossmembers.
  2. Weld the portion inside of the vertical members, taking care to not weld them to the crossmembers.

Step 6: Fit the main cylinder

For more info, see the video.

Fitting the Main Cylinder

Step 7: Fit the thin cylinder spacers

The cylinder spacer installed
  1. Verify that the hole for the cylinder spacers is at the right height.
    • Do so by putting the 6" bolts thru those holes and putting the spacer onto it. It should fit on the lip of the cylinder as shown.
    • If not, torch it out so the bolt can be at the proper height.
  2. Weld the nuts for them in place on the inside of the frame. Protect the threads.

Step 8: Stretch the frame

See the video.

Where to position the drawer for stretching.

Note: you need a hydraulic pump for this step.

  1. Attach the cylinder to a hydraulic pump or power cube and contract the cylinder at least 1".
  2. Stand up the frame so the press feet are facing down.
  3. Insert the Soil loading drawer on top of the horizontal members so that the press plate is facing the press feet.
    • If the drawer doesn't fit because of the spacers, you welded them too close. Grind off the tacks and tack them a little higher.
  4. Position the drawer so that the press plate will be fully contacted by the press feet.
  5. Bolt the drawer members on snugly.
  6. Use the pump to expand the cylinder as much as possible. The pump will likely stall out.
  7. If the pump stalls, turn it back on and expand it fully once more.
  8. Expand at least 3 times.
  9. Contract it, so you can weld the spacers in. Then detach from the pump.


  1. Remove the drawer members
  2. Look where the spacers are near the drawer. The spacers should be very close to the drawer.(less than 1/32"). See quality control below if you wonder why.
    • If they are too far, grind off the welds and position them so they are contacting the drawer. Yet again, make sure they are perfectly square with the verticals.
  3. Replace one drawer member and lay the frame back down on top of this drawer member.

Step 9: Weld the spacers

Where to weld on the interior
  1. Protect the drawer member on the bottom and the press foot so that when you weld, spatter won't stick. You could use some piece of metal or a nonflammable cloth.
  2. On the inside, bottom edge, weld the interior of the spacer inwards as far as you can. This should be an inch or more. Do this in all 4 corners accessable from this side of the frame. See the photo.
  3. Weld the top 100%.
  4. Grind the top weld flush with the U-channel.
  5. Loosely bolt the other drawer member in place.
  6. Flip over the frame.
  7. Remove the other drawer member, and repeat steps 1-5.

Step 10: Fit the drawer members

How to place in the roller guides
placing a cardboard shim
  1. Replace the drawer as if you're going to stretch the cylinder again. Consult the photo above.
    • Make sure the drawer members are loose to do so. You may need to hold them upwards as you push the drawer in.
    • Make sure the rails slide on the roller guides. You can check by putting bolts thru the nuts and making sure they have a lot of contact with the roller guides.
  2. Adjust the drawer members horizontally so the roller adjustment nuts welded to them are centered on the roller guides.
  3. Finger tighten the bolts on the drawer members, as they are sitting on top of the drawer.
  4. Try to slide the drawer in and out.
    • If the drawer gets stuck somewhere, investigate and find where it's hitting.
    • You'll probably need to loosen one of the drawer members and move it up a bit. This can be done uniformly using cardboard shims. See photo.
      • Place the shim between the drawer and the crossmember. Tighten the bolts again. Remove the shims by "jiggling" the drawer.
    • If it's hitting a spacer, grind down the spacer.
    • If the drawer itself is prohibitive in some spots, it wasn't grinded evenly. grind down the high spots.
  5. Once the drawer is properly adjusted, tighten these bolts all the way.

Step 11: Install the remaining pieces

Installing magnet holder.
The cylinder spacer installed
  1. Install the magnet holder onto the press foot. Make sure it's got an extra nut on it so you can lock its position. The flatbar needs to be parallel with the verticals. Lock it down with the nut.
  2. Install the thin cylinder supports by screwing the bolt in with an extra nut on it as shown, and placing the u-channel against the cylinder. Get both of them snug so the cylinder is centered with pressure on each side. Tighten down the nut to lock it.
  3. Install the sensor holder so the end of it (the furthest part from bolt) is overlapping the path of the magnet holder.
  4. Bolt the wide cylinder supports to the frame. Put a 2" bolt with an extra nut thru the nuts on the top of the supports. Tighten these down so the cylinder is centered with pressure on each side. Tighten down the nut to lock it.
  5. Loosely install the roller guides in their slots. The graphic showing washer locations is upside down! Look at the model photo for the proper orientation.
    • The roller guides should be able to rotate about their bolt, but should be able to resist moving from side to side.

Step 12:Tighten all bolts

  • Go back thru the frame and make sure all of the bolts are tight (except the roller guide bolts, that will be done later.)

Step 13: Weld the leg holders to the frame.

Where to weld the leg holders
  1. Position them on the upper horizontal member on the non-ejector side(Opposite side of roller guide holes).
  2. Weld them to the horizontal members.
    • Insure they are square in all directions.

Quality Control

  • The press foot must fit tightly within the compression chamber. Otherwise, the corners of bricks will not be clean as soil escapes from the compression chamber.
  • The compression chamber side spacers need to be even with the other sides of the chamber
  • Main cylinder adjusters cannot push against the cylinder in their native position. They are used to adjust the cylinder by the action of the bolt.
  • Here is a discussion: