DIY Headset Press

One of the must have tools when building up a bicycle is a headset press, it is also one of the easiest to fabricate as a DIY project. The recent rebuild of my Van Nicholas necessitated the use of a headset press and given the cost of a Park Tool version at over £100 it is worth the effort to build your own.

The parts needed.

! x 350mm x 12mm steel studding

3 x 12mm steel nuts

2 x 12mm steel plate washers

2 x 12mm steel washers

2 x 70mm x 70mm x 20mm ply

2 x rubber discs ( cut from old MTB inner tube )

2 x 17mm ring spanners


I Started off by measuring the diameter of the headset and then used a Forstner cutter 1mm larger to counter bore half depth through the ply. Then using the Forstner cutter centre I drilled a hole for the 12mm studding to pass through.

The counterbored wooden blocks allow the upper and lower cups to sit centrally and pull up square to the frame. In the bottom of the counter bore I cut two rubber discs from an old MTB inner tube to act as a cushion and stop any chance of the ply scratching the headset.


The press was the assembled from the bottom with two 12mm nuts, a 12mm washer, 12mm plate washer and then the ply block with rubber cushion and the lower cup

This was passed up through the head tube and then the top components added to mirror the bottom.


The press was then done up finger tight and with the blocks holding the headset central and square both upper and lower cups pulled up quite easily with two 17mm spanners.