Forster coax press...should I buy one?

Clark

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My original drawing [ugly sketches].
I might have emailed I used 1018 steel [what speedy metal had] to Manzgear, but when I have spoken with Bob Ruch at Forster about this project, I said nothing about 1018.
 

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Far North Hunter

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If a person had a bushing machined to fit over Josh’s stop would that limit the travel enough to allow the use of the Manzgear conversion. Or would Manzgear sell his kit with the countersink? Seems like both parties have it in their best interest to solve the interference issue.
 

Svashtar

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My original drawing [ugly sketches].
I might have emailed I used 1018 steel [what speedy metal had] to Manzgear, but when I have spoken with Bob Ruch at Forster about this project, I said nothing about 1018.

Clark, sorry, the 1018 reference wasn’t from Manzgear, but from Josh regarding his side links. I’m not sure what material Manzgear uses for his HD shell plate.
 

Svashtar

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If a person had a bushing machined to fit over Josh’s stop would that limit the travel enough to allow the use of the Manzgear conversion. Or would Manzgear sell his kit with the countersink? Seems like both parties have it in their best interest to solve the interference issue.


Agree for sure. I just emailed both of them and directed them to this thread. I apologize if my recommendations caused anyone any problems if they did as I did and bought both parts.

I think the solution probably will come from Manzgear who hopefully will have some low profile screws, or be willing to countersink the shell holder. I personally wouldn’t want the overall travel reduced to solve the problem.

I’ll post back here as soon as I get a response.
 

Far North Hunter

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Another thanks for your taking the initiative to seek there support for what should be a easy solution. After all we want both parties to prosper.
 

Svashtar

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Another thanks for your taking the initiative to seek there support for what should be a easy solution. After all we want both parties to prosper.

No problem, and thanks to Shinbone for pointing out the issue. (I can’t believe that on the 2 or 3 forums where I’ve seen both these products mentioned, that he’s the first to put them together and find the conflict with the parts.)

I heard from Michael and he doesn’t want to countersink the screws as he feels it will weaken the shell holder. He first suggested that I might be able to buy some low profile cap screws that may or may not work, but then suggested what is probably a better solution:

That is, when Inline Fab first made their improved access side links they didn’t have a stop built in, so some guys just installed one of them, and kept the stock link with a stop on one side. The same thing should work here.

Since I operate the lever with my right hand and move the brass with my left, I’ll replace the right side link with the OEM link with the stop.

Josh told me his links had the same range as the Forster links, but it looks like they have _more_ range, which is why they’re hitting the thicker Manzgear plate.

It’s not ideal, as you won’t have improved access from both sides, but it should be a good compromise. Shinbone, try this and see if this works for you. I’ll install the thicker shell plate and one of the OEM links and see how that works myself.

I’ll let you know if Josh comes up with anything once I hear from him. Your suggestion about limiting the travel of his links makes sense in light of this info.

I’ll also see if I can locate some 10-32 low profile cap screws, but with the extra range involved not sure that will work. Bottom line, the Manzgear plate is designed to work fine with the OEM link range, but anything else isn’t guaranteed.
 
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Savage 12BVSS

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Well this thread has sold me on a forester co ax but at this point they are rather hard to come across. Will wait till Graf's get some and switch over. Will keep my rockchucker but I don't use it for priming or bullet pulling so for now it will stay put. It has some movement at full extended ram and I'm having concentricity issues so things gotta change. Thanks for all the good info Dave
 

DFHarley19

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Well this thread has sold me on a forester co ax but at this point they are rather hard to come across. Will wait till Graf's get some and switch over. Will keep my rockchucker but I don't use it for priming or bullet pulling so for now it will stay put. It has some movement at full extended ram and I'm having concentricity issues so things gotta change. Thanks for all the good info Dave

If you are getting Forster co ax today then the shell holder housing is updated with pins (The image is what I have). YouTube showed the older version. If I were you, I would go ahead and get Forster co ax right away. I might want to get a new linkage and plate after Josh and/or Manzgear solved the problem.

 

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shinbone

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The Manzgear shell plate is super stout. It is thicker and made out of harder metal than the Forster shell plate. Plus, it is a better overall design than the original shell plate.

I bought my Coax and Manzgear shell plate at the same time, and so first started using the press with the Manzgear shell plate. I have never used the Forster shell plate. For those that have used the Forster shell plate, how often do they bend?

From an engineering design perspective, once the shell plate is stronger than the case rim, any more strength has no benefit because it is the case rim that will fail. If it exists, call this extra unneeded shell plate strength "surplus" strength. I am not saying the Manzgear shell plate has surplus strength, but I am asking whether it does.

In other words, while a nice option, how necessary is the increased strength of the Manzgear shell plate? If we are unfortunately forced to choose between the Manzgear shell plate or the Badeau linkages, forgoing better access for "surplus" shell plate strength may not be a good trade.

Seems to me the best solution would be for a single entity to make both an improved shell plate and improved linkages. That way, the maker can insure that the improved components are compatible with one another.

JMHO
 
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Svashtar

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The Manzgear shell plate is super stout. It is thicker and made out of harder metal than the Forster shell plate. Plus, it is a better overall design than the original shell plate.

I bought my Coax and Manzgear shell plate at the same time, and so first started using the press with the Manzgear shell plate. I have never used the Forster shell plate. For those that have used the Forster shell plate, how often do they bend?

From an engineering design perspective, once the shell plate is stronger than the case rim, any more strength has no benefit because it is the case rim that will fail. Call this extra unneeded shell plate strength "surplus' strength. I am not saying the Manzgear shell plate has surplus strength, I am just asking the question.

In other words, while a nice option, how necessary is the increased strength of the Manzgear shell plate? If we are forced to choose between the Manzgear shell plate or the Badeau linkages, forgoing better access for "surplus" shell plate strength may not be a good trade.

Seems to me the best solution would be for a single entity to make both an improved shell plate and improved linkages. That way, the maker can insure that the parts are compatible with one another.

JMHO

You make some good points. I think from what he wrote Clark can better speak to the original problems with the OEM plate, but with some rounds and with some sizing operations it could distort. So whether it is necessary or not will depend on your round and what you’re doing to the case. Loading .357 Mag, or .22-250? I wouldn’t bother. Sizing .338 Win Mag? I’d probably get it. But even if I was loading 9 mm with my Co-ax I’d want the plate because it’s a nicer design and I’m a sucker for best tools.

The Manzgear plate has gone through a couple of revisions, and even when Forster upgraded it and trapped the springs so you didn’t have them flying off, Manzgear improved that design with a Gen II version. (Why he is up to $45 shipped now.)

He has four springs on his unit, and they’re adjustable tension with set screws; the plate is a big design improvement over the Forster plate.

Both guys here were working independently, using the standard Forster as a model, so tested against that. Manzgear also tested against the original Inline Fab side links, but not the ones from Josh.

In any case, good news and I heard from Josh this morning, and he’s essentially coming up with the solution proposed by Far North Hunter. Here was his email:

“I will work on making a couple sizes of bushings to go over my dowels. it will just be a slip fit hole going over the dowel with a set screw to hold it in place. nothing pretty or fancy, but i’d rather eat the cost and keep people reloading with both products, rather than have to choose. when i finish them, i’ll ship them out and have you try a couple different sizes before i go and start making more.
Thanks again Norm!”

So, for now I’m going to reinstall one of the OEM side links and see how that works, then will test with these bushings once Josh has them ready to see how that works out, with the Manzgear plate installed. With these bushings we should have a good all around solution, because you can leave them off if you want to use the OEM plate, or the Forster standard shellholder conversion plate.

My sole criteria with both products is that the range of the machine be about the same as factory. I don’t need more or want less, even though obviously the thicker Manzgear plate is going to take up a fraction more overall travel area.

I’ll keep you posted as soon as I get these from Josh, and once it’s final those of you who bought his side links can modify them in case you want to upgrade the shell plate.
 

Ckgworks

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I can't add much, But I really like mine. It didn't replace any of my presses, but I use it more than my other single stage presses since I got it. I have been thinking about getting the upgraded jaws but haven't yet. The open side links look nice as well.....Would Josh sell them as a single to fix the above mentioned issue, or are we stuck finding someone to split a set with? I also only use my left hand for moving shells so one would be a perfect fit for me..... I did one other Mod on mine, which there are pictures of below that probably explain better than I can. I made an extended Jaw opening rod, with a bushing at the top. This allows you to extend the rod up and shorten your swing when running short cases in the press. It saves my arm when running 22 hornet cases! You can't see in these pictures, but these presses are perfect for adding a drop tube into a bucket for the primer dispenser....The factory jar is nice and clean, but it fills up fast.
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Svashtar

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That’s a clever idea on the rod! I wouldn’t have thought of that.

You can certainly ask Josh if he’ll sell you just the left side link, but think he has a bunch of sets ready to go and probably prefers to sell them in pairs. Doesn’t hurt to ask him though.

But stay tuned, as mentioned in post #66 Josh is working on a fix that will allow both side links to stay in place while using the thicker Manzgear plate. I do load primarily with my left and pull with my right, but I occasionally go in from the right and the extra access is helpful.
 
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Svashtar

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Just an FYI: I have the improved shell plate by Manzgear. I also have the linkages by Josh Badeau for improved access. Both products are super good!

Unfortunately, the Manzgear shell plate runs into the top of the press when using the Badeau linkages. More specifically, it is the cap screws holding the shell plate in place that hit the press. In other words, when using those two after-market products together, it is the Manzgear shell plate hitting the press that stops the ram's upward travel, rather than the stops on the Badeau linkages.

I looked into sourcing screws that have a lower profile, but couldn't find anything. The Manzgear screws already have a low profile head, so it looks like the best option would be to countersink them. Countersinking screw holes in hardened steel is beyond my abilities, though.

Again, both products are really well made, and each one is a substantial improvement over the OEM part it replaces. But, at least for my press, they are incompatible with one another. Meaning, I unfortunately have to choose between using either the Manzgear shell plate or the Badeau linkages, can't use both.




Hi everyone. FYI, here’s a status update on the issue: First off, after finally getting home for the first time in a week and installing the Manzgear plate to go along with my already installed Badeau curved side links, I can’t really reproduce this problem! Wish I had been able to test it when you posted, which might have saved everyone time and Josh effort, but not possible.

The screws DO hit on mine, but at almost the exact same time as the stops on the Badeau side links. No way there’s any visible gap, certainly not as big as this, so not sure what’s different. In fact, the rear of the screw head only touches, and you can feel the press roll over a fraction and dead stop just after. I even put some Dykem Blue on the inside of the link stops to confirm they’re hitting the press frame; they are, but so are the shell holder screws.

Josh was very responsive in any case, and sent me a pair of cool spacers he made to fix the issue you’re describing.

Those spacers work great to stand the press off the plate, but may or may not be necessary. Looks like you need them, but not sure why, unless your older Manzgear plate is thicker for some reason. (?). I attach a picture of the new spacers with set screws. They fit over the side link stops perfectly:

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After measuring a couple of times, here are a few numbers:

—> Thickness of OEM shell holder: .248”
Thickness of Manzgear shell holder: .294” on one side, .299 on the other.

(If it’s CNC machined they should be the same; call me picky, but that .005” variance really shouldn’t be there, but that’s on the outsides of the plate, no effect on functionality. Could be a leftover from final polish after he drilled and tapped the 4 sides of the plate for set screws...?)

That’s +.046 to +.051, or approximately 3/64” thicker than the OEM part.

—> Approx. (carefully measured) gap from press bottom to plate using Badeau links WITHOUT spacers installed, and using standard shell holder and stopping on the side links: .055” or almost exactly 3.5/64”. (Obviously using the new link spacers with the standard shell holder would increase that gap with no purpose for doing so.)

—> Approx. (carefully measured) gap from press bottom to plate using Badeau links WITHOUT spacers installed, and using Manzgear shell holder: no gap, press bottoms on screws and side link stops simultaneously.

—> Approx. (carefully measured) gap from press bottom to plate using Badeau links WITH new spacers installed, and using Manzgear shell holder: .1562”, or 5/32”.

So, the gap using the Badeau links with spacer with the thicker Manzgear plate, is .1012” greater than basically the OEM setup (although using the curved side links rather than the straight ones, which I didn’t measure with). 1/10th of an inch.

Personally I’m either going to use the spacers, OR try the press without the spacers, and take 3/64” off the rear top of the cap screws with a slack belt grinder and reblue the screw heads.

It gets down to whether that 1/10” less travel matters or not, and I can’t think of a reason why it should. (?)

For that matter, if I add nothing to the Badeau links and do nothing to the OEM screws holding the Manzgear plate, the press still works fine, but over time the screws will probably wear gouges in the underside of the press if it stops on the screws AND the side link stops simultaneously as it’s doing now.

Shinbone, I don’t know why you’re having such a gap, but would be interested in finding out why. (Could you put a set of calipers on your Manzgear plate and see if it’s thicker than .300”? I know Michael has had a few revisions of this plate.) And if you’re sure everything is installed correctly and still having a problem with both parts then write to Josh and he’ll send you a set of spacers which will fix your compatibility problem.

Far North Hunter, be sure to let us know if you have an issue with your setup like Shinbone did once you get all the parts. Just curious as to what variables are in play!

Thanks much.
 
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shinbone

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Svashtar - Thanks for the follow-up. It would appear that making these "simple" modifications to the Coax press is not so simple.

And, it is super awesome that Josh will listen to his customers and try to come up with solutions to improve his product. That is the kind of business that earns strong customer loyalty.

Although there does seem to be a difference between how each of our presses functions with the Manzgear plate and the Badeau linkages, if your shell plate screws are contacting the press body, then I would say your press does have the same problem as mine. Its just to a lesser degree.

The shell plate screws are hardened steel. They will eventually wear divots into the press body where they make contact. Maybe that won't cause any actual problems, but I don't know. Myself, I would rather just not go there.

Plus, I would not want to have any less ram travel than what the Coax designers originally intended.
 
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