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View Full Version : 3 in one sheetmetal machine usefulness! by overloading?



interiorpainter
11-19-2007, 01:53 PM
This is my first post but have been gloating here for years.
I like to make my sheetmetalwork look a bit more professional. Heres my question.

The capacity of most of these Chineese machines is about 20 gauge over the full width.
What can be expected of the quality of work when using 16 gauge sheetmetal over a reduced width by using the brake.
NOT the shear because i think it will die instantaniously.
Rolling could be possible.

I don't have room for all these single machines but do have room for the 4ft version operated as sugested.
The heavier work is just a small portion of the work i have for this machine and makes the buy justifiable otherwise NO.
I have got a knibbler for cuting heavier sheet so no problem there

I have bend 16 gauge sheet in a 50 euro bender making an ashtray for a fireplace.
Tearing the Black and Decker workmate apart in the proces i know now when to limit stress.

When you buy a piece of sheet over here the cost of one bend is 7.50 euro and ready the next day.
Timewise this could be interesting for me.

ckalley
11-19-2007, 02:07 PM
We have the 30" (aproximately) version at work. It has a hard time cutting 24" wide .060 thick Aluminum. If memory serves me, it is rated for full width in 1mm (.040) steel, but I find that hard to believe!

As far as using it as a brake, I don't think you will have much luck on 16 ga. steel, unless its REAL narrow. Works sort of OK on thinner material, but I always seem to have to "bench" the piece to get it right.

There have been other postings related to these machines in the recent past. As I recall, they didn't get real good marks.

Craig

Mcgyver
11-19-2007, 02:08 PM
This is my first post but have been gloating here for years.

you mean lurking? :D glad you spoke up

I'd also discount whatever full width claims they make but i suppose the answer to your question is how wide is the 16 gauge?....., 1' wide is a lot different than .500" wide. that's tough stuff to bend by hand. for me, 22 or 24 gauge is prefect, making electrical enclosures etc, but if need heavier stuff and your plan is to do lots with 16 gauge I'd look at making a hydraulic press. there's lots of good info here on hydraulic presses

interiorpainter
11-19-2007, 05:03 PM
Thank you for the insight. Never expected the full capacity is that much of.
If the alu is already near the maximum of the capability of this machine than steel at sizes that are usefull to me are going to break it. And i can't Tig alu.
The simple 24 inch bender i used for the 16 inch ashtray has survived my abuse. The produced box looks nice but you can't call it square.
This bender is made of hot rolled, the 3 in 1 is made of cast iron.
Could be it is going to break.

Pitty about the shear to because a knibbler is hard to keep straight.

For as long as i can make usefull things with my cheap bender i will do a search for a hydrolic brake. Asuming this is shop press based.

It could be a sign the local machinesdealer has only a few 3 in 1's in stock but just the smallest in his showroom.
'But what does the bigger one look like' 'The same as that one, they are all in crates because we do not sell that many' And they sell A LOT of machines.
A Jorg bender could be an option, well know in the Netherlands. This is Diacro quality as far as i know. But this would abandon my 3 in 1 route.
I like to get at least what i payed for.

Funny thing about cutting sheet. My electric knibbler can cut 0.15" hot rolled steel but can not cut 0.10" ingravers quality (work hardened) brass.
It just slides of like a blunt file.

Barlow L
11-19-2007, 09:00 PM
Buddy of mine has a Harbor Frt. 3 in one. I just about broke my arse tring to shear a 1 inch wide strip of 16 gauge. Took alot of pull and when it sheared ,it snapped and sent me backwards.

Works great for what he does, duct work.

Lee

IOWOLF
11-19-2007, 09:08 PM
I have a Clark 3 in 1 ,I got it in a trade.Most of you know what I think of any 3 in 1 machine,that being said It did pay for itself with one Obsolete 20 ga. siding corner job. When you can't find a part make it, right guys?

jdunmyer
11-19-2007, 10:13 PM
I have the 40" version of the Chinese 3-in-1 machine and also had the 30" version. They work well for what I do, which is mostly a bit of shearing of smaller pieces of .060" aluminum, aluminum flashing @ .015", and sheetmetal up to the rating (.022"?) and bending of the above materials. I've also rolled a few items.

In the past, I've bent 1/4" steel brackets that were maybe a couple of inches wide. The trick is to heat it red-hot with a torch before bending; it usually requires 2 passes, as the bending dies cool the material rather quickly. It still does a better job than doing it in a vise.

The only mods I made were to weld the stand after bolting it together, as the bolts are made out of taffy or some such soft material, and to make new adjuster bolts for the shear bed. The originals had a LOT of runout in the "washer" portion, making it impossible to adjust.

Paul Alciatore
11-19-2007, 10:25 PM
I've got the Grizzly 30 inch machine at work and I believe they are essentially identical.

As for the shear, it has a slanted blade so it is only cutting one place at a time, like metal snips. This means the width is not the limiting factor, only the gauge of the metal.

As for bending, it is barely OK for the advertised gauge. I do mostly aluminum and have bent up to 0.050" thick with little problem. But it does not make a complete 90 degree bend in any gauge unless I "persuade" it with a block of wood and a 2 pound hammer after the break has done it's all. I do this with the work still in place on the break. Without the hammering, it will be only about 85 degrees or so. Perhaps a real thin gauge would reach 90, I don't know.

As for being worth it, I believe it is. I have made several projects with it, any one of which would have paid for it. One of them was eight 20 or 24 inch AC duct feedthroughs. I used the rollers on that one. Any sheet metal shop would have charged at least $50 each, probably more. And the value of being to reach in the scrap pile under it and just make any small sheet metal part I need on the spur of the minute is almost invaluable. I've done that dozens of times.

When I have to bend small items with heavier gauge, I go to the 6" vise and the above mentioned 2X4 and heavy hammer. Not good for a production situation, but for one-offs it works for me.

dicks42000
11-19-2007, 11:44 PM
I have one of the 40 in. 3 in 1 machines and it was the first sheet metal machine I bought (before a complete shop came up for sale.)
As others have said, they work OK for light stuff, but the "ratings' are a little "optimistic". I use mine in the home shop if I need to whip something up out of 26 or 24 ga. Mostly flashing bits, drain pans or ductwork pieces.
CCWKen had an interesting thread on here late last year about stiffening up and powering one of these using a motor & gearbox from a lawn tractor....neat idea and it increased the capacity probably up to 18 ga.....
Search for it ?
Hope that helps.
Rick

darryl
11-20-2007, 01:16 AM
I have the 30 inch 3 in 1. I'd be lucky to get a bend in 16 ga that's more than about 8 inches wide. I am surprised that I haven't broken anything on it yet, considering the force I've exerted on the handle at times. The shear part is now virtually useless, since one or two times it rolled over the material instead of shearing it. I did set up the tension bar, but it sorely needs a regrind on the cutting edges. I don't think those cutter bars are very good steel-
To my mind, 24 ga is about as thick as you'd want to shear or bend in that machine.

Anyway, I built a press brake using a 6 ton hydraulic jack, and it will easily bend 16 ga up to its capacity, which is 15 inches wide. And it will do the same degree of bend on both ends- something that the 3 in 1 doesn't seem to want to keep doing. I keep having to adjust it.

One trick I use is to keep a formed shim handy. It looks like a piece of angle iron, but it's just flashing material thickness. I lay it in the groove when bending thinner stuff, so I can get the full 90 out of it without having to hammer, etc.

Oddly, the roll part seems able to work with 16 ga ok. I rolled some stainless in that thickness and it did it alright on a piece 20 inches wide.

gn3dr
11-20-2007, 04:30 AM
If this is like the 3 in 1 that I have (from Warco in the UK) then I think that your problem might be that the blades need to be adjusted (set lower in your case). The set up instructions explains this - there will be different blade positions for different thicknesses of metal in order to get a 90 degree bend.




I've got the Grizzly 30 inch machine at work and I believe they are essentially identical.

As for the shear, it has a slanted blade so it is only cutting one place at a time, like metal snips. This means the width is not the limiting factor, only the gauge of the metal.

As for bending, it is barely OK for the advertised gauge. I do mostly aluminum and have bent up to 0.050" thick with little problem. But it does not make a complete 90 degree bend in any gauge unless I "persuade" it with a block of wood and a 2 pound hammer after the break has done it's all. I do this with the work still in place on the break. Without the hammering, it will be only about 85 degrees or so. Perhaps a real thin gauge would reach 90, I don't know.

As for being worth it, I believe it is. I have made several projects with it, any one of which would have paid for it. One of them was eight 20 or 24 inch AC duct feedthroughs. I used the rollers on that one. Any sheet metal shop would have charged at least $50 each, probably more. And the value of being to reach in the scrap pile under it and just make any small sheet metal part I need on the spur of the minute is almost invaluable. I've done that dozens of times.

When I have to bend small items with heavier gauge, I go to the 6" vise and the above mentioned 2X4 and heavy hammer. Not good for a production situation, but for one-offs it works for me.

interiorpainter
11-21-2007, 12:19 PM
Apart from shimming and tweeking to get a nice bend could it be possible the angle of the V-block is to small. Manufacturing mistake?

For a 30"machine that will just bend 8" 16 gauge means at some point a bigger version can be use to bend a 16 gauge drawer.
20 gauge should be enough for cabinet making be i like the feel.
Now and again there is an assignment for sheetmetal and that will be the time to make the final decision to go hydrolic or 3-in-1.
Every machine i own pays its own way exept the Atlas shaper.
That one is just sweet.

CCWKen
11-21-2007, 09:04 PM
I about got a hernia trying to cut about a 12" piece of 18ga. with mine. The single handle is useless unless the unit is bolted down. My skinny little arse didn't have enough torque. The 20ga. was no party either. Sooooooooooo I made a few mods. I'm getting lazy in my old age so I turn on a master switch and press a pedal to make things go. :)

The pictures are still on Photobucket so if you can find the old post, you can copy whatever you want. I little extra bracing and some fine tuning really makes a huge difference in the shear and brake. Before I added the bracing, bending full/near full length sheet was pretty sloppy. The top bar flexed in the middle and gave a too rounded bend. With the bracing, it gives a pretty good bend all the way across.

You need to adjust the top die bar for the bend angle you want. It will make up to a 135 bend. Make sure you have your metal thickness as clearance--Don't bottom out the dies or you could break something.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/0903/CCWKen/Tools/ShearPressRoll/ComboReinforced-1.jpg

Paul Alciatore
11-22-2007, 01:55 AM
If this is like the 3 in 1 that I have (from Warco in the UK) then I think that your problem might be that the blades need to be adjusted (set lower in your case). The set up instructions explains this - there will be different blade positions for different thicknesses of metal in order to get a 90 degree bend.

Oh, come on. Everyone knows instructions are for wimps.


........


Seriously, I will check it out. Thanks for the tip.