Arbor Press modification for leather projects

I absolutely did NOT come up with this modification idea. I located the instructions on the Internet.

I purchased the Arbor Press at Harbor Freight. The keyless chuck was purchased from Lowes. I took the instructions and the keyless chuck to a local machine shop. They understood the instruction and charged me $25. Here is a link to the instructions at Reddit.

The machine shop only drilled out the ram rod—-I did all the other modifications.

I used an angle grinder with a metal cut off blade to cut down the tools for the chuck.

Arbor Press Modification

Pic 1. Bolted down to pressure treated lumber. Chuck is removable if you still want to use the ram rod.

Pic 2 These 2 screw bolts are for adjusting the ram rod. You do not want the ram rod moving forward or backwards when you have a punch in the chuck. Only a slight adjustment is required. Attached a door handle for easy moving.

Pic 3 Half circle punch

Pic 4 I always align the punch on a ruler.

Pic 5. When I punch the leather I tape long pieces of scrap leather to the back of the leather I am punching. This is absolutely necessary or you will destroy your tool.

Pic 6 This is what it would look like. Scrap leather taped to underside and heavy thick door hinge underneath Scrap leather.

Pic 7 You want the Arbor Press arm all the way forward. This is absolutely necessary if you were working with thick leather.

You will be using both of your hands when you punch leather . Your left hand will hold down the leather as you punch . Keep pressing down on the leather with your left hand when you bring the Arbor Press arm up .

If you do not do this you will be constantly fighting with your leather still being attached to the punch and then you have to pull it off .

Additional photos.
Various tools that can be used in the chuck. I purchased a heavy duty door hinge that is used for the base.


Nice modification!

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That is more heavy-duty than I’m ever likely to want, but I just had to drool over the popcorn machine I saw in the background. :laughing:


The popcorn machine is fun but it is absolutely MANDATORY The inside of the machine needs to be thoroughly cleaned and disassembled on the inside before it is used again. This process takes an entire hour!!!

If the cleaning is skipped the next batch of popcorn will be partially burnt and the rest will taste rancid. I know this because one time I thought it be OK not to clean it.

When people visit my home and they see the machine for the first time they get excited like a five-year-old on Christmas morning. If really like the person I will make them popcorn.

If someday you visit my home—— I will make you popcorn.


What are you using for popcorn & oil? We have one that we use almost daily at the office (when we were in the office) and never had that problem. We use the pre-packs of popcorn, oil, salt & yellow dust that makes movie theater flavored popcorn. It might get seriously cleaned once a quarter.

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All these invites—dinner and popcorn—I’ve gotta get to Knoxville someday!


The oil for the machine is sold at Sam’s Club. It is an oil/butter product that is used with these type of machines. The popcorn is a jar of Orville Redenbacher kernels.

The popcorn made with this combination of products is so very delicious and buttery. Making it this way I can experiment with different flavors and I also control the salt.

I have never purchased the popcorn/oil in the bag configuration.

My all-time favorite time to make popcorn —-is on the weekends when the weather is cold and rainy, We snuggle up together with the dogs on the daybed and watch old movies. Giant, Papillion, Clint Eastwood, John Wayne, cowboy, WW2 ,and Quentin Tarantino movies are the favorites.

No scary movies maybe a thriller but nothing that will cause me to have nightmares. I do not even like to listen to hear ominous music from a movie.

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I absolutely love love love love love love have to friends visit for ALL DAY eating, laughing, and sharing stories. When everyone is tired we just all take a nap, get up and do it all over again.

I can promise you this anybody who comes for the weekend will be 5 pounds heavier. Being fit and thin is for supermodels. I do not have any supermodel friends.

If a person is concerned about calories, eating healthy foods and being thin they do not need to come to my home. I do not even want them as a friend.

This coronavirus thing has put a major dent in my entertaining.


That would be a charming visit, I’m sure! :smile:

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