The fly press is an elegant and powerful machine.
A fly press is a screw press with a weight arm attached to it. The added weight creates a driving force for a screw to pummel through whatever metal you so choose. It was an important tool before hydraulics became widely affordable or accessible, and watching Scott Wadsworth, a.k.a Essential Craftsman, get a handle on one is a delight.
Gorgeous devices, they also take up a fair amount of space. The angular moment of the flywheel can shift the entire device, making it tricky to find the right place in a workshop. Wadsworth uses pieces of metal to trap the fly press in to its current location. While he calls himself “very much an amateur” with the device, the metal jig he quickly produces shows its potential.
Source: Essential Craftsman
This article was originally written for and published by Popular Mechanics USA.