View Full Version : chicago brake

12-04-2010, 11:54 PM
a friend just bought a dreis and krump finger brake. its a model w35 with a 60" working width. its missing counter weights,maybe a finger or 2 but works pretty good. does anybody know the capacity of this brake? ive e-mailed dreis and krump today with the same questions but dont expect a reply before tuesday. how old are these? thanks,mike

12-05-2010, 01:29 AM
Any help here?


12-05-2010, 10:06 PM
not much help there,Tiff. thats where i got the e-mail adress and phone number. the dreis & krump site is mostly "pick a machine and well send you a quote". not any archival info that i could find. i went about 4 pages into google and nothing looked good. ill wait for a reply from d&k and go from there. thanks,mike

12-06-2010, 11:52 AM
Most likely its a 12 gage machine, these were the most common. If so, it will weigh around 2600lbs.
If its significantly lighter than that, its a 16 gage machine.

Most of the ones heavier than that were motorized, with power leaves, up to 3/8" and sometimes 1/2" thickness capacity, but its rare to see a 5 footer- they were generally bigger, 6', 8', 10', and up.

12-06-2010, 12:56 PM
This might help:

"Chicago Box and Pan Brakes are available in 11 standard sizes with bending lengths on mild steel of 3 feet of 14 gauge to 10 feet of 14 gauge."

This is from a 1966 listing of their machines, it's their only mention of finger brakes at that time.

That's not to say they didn't build heavier equipment at other times.

12-06-2010, 10:55 PM
my buddy has been a welder for 35 yrs and guesses 14ga. i guestimate the weight at 2000#. right now it doesnt have the counterweights or handles and the fingers are spaced out and if jammed together,6-8" more would fit. i was hoping to google some specs and pics to determine the capacity and what parts are missing. thanks,guys. mike

12-07-2010, 12:08 PM
The 14 gage machines are relatively rare, as they are kind of inbetween, and havent been made for a while.

Most people want a 12 gage, as you can do 1/8" plate in it without damaging the brake.

There used to be a ton of local sheet metal shops working thin material, and so there were a lot more 16 gage and 14 gage machines out there- but most ducting is done now on big press brakes, power rolls, and just installed by HVAC companies. So the current market is more fabricator oriented, and they want 12 gage brakes.

2000 lbs sounds about right for a 5' 14 gage machine.

Counterweights can be faked by stacking garage sale bench weights- you may have to bore the centers, or weld on a piece of the right sized threaded rod to the current arm- most Chicago brakes have a removable 1" or so thick round bar that the weights mount on, so you could make a new one, with the last foot or so threaded rod, and then just cinch down a bunch of weightlifting weights- they are cheap and easy to find.

Fingers are a bit harder- I am sure D&K will sell you new ones, but they will be fiendishly expensive- a new brake like the one you are talking about probably runs seven grand, and as usual, if you buy it part by part, its probably much more- Fingers will be hundreds of bucks each.
And they are very tough to find used, singly- everybody wants em, as so many brakes have lost their fingers. You could make your own, and just use mild steel, mill and fabricate em up.
I have made several round nose bars to fit my brake- its not too hard to build up the slot the fits the brake by welding up different pieces of flat bar, then tap em for a thumbscrew. Not as good as factory, but a whole lot cheaper.

Liger Zero
12-07-2010, 12:11 PM
I have made several round nose bars to fit my brake- its not too hard to build up the slot the fits the brake by welding up different pieces of flat bar, then tap em for a thumbscrew. Not as good as factory, but a whole lot cheaper.

Question... do they need to be heat-treated?

12-07-2010, 12:30 PM
Use 4140 Pre Hardened or 4142. It's called Brake Die Steel because that's what it was developed for. It machines fine with HSS tools. I think it's around 35 Rc. It is already heat treated when you get it. Just make your part and use as is.

Liger Zero
12-07-2010, 01:58 PM
Good to know. I have a small finger-brake and was wondering what was involved in making custom fingers.

Thank you.

12-07-2010, 02:18 PM
We have a BPC-412-5 48 inch brake and we routinely bend 16 ga mild steel the full length. Ocaisionally there is the odd 14 or 12 ga short peices and the machine doesn't seem to mind. 18 ga is about the limit for stainless though.

12-07-2010, 11:22 PM
somewhat surprising news. a lady called today to inform me that the brake is a 5 foot ,14 ga with 8" extensions. she had no info on date of mfg. she then said i would recieve a manual via e-mail(pdf, i guess). we thanked each other and that was that. or so i thought. 2 hours later the same lady called apologizing all over herself saying their computers were down and she couldnt send e-mail.she asked if it would be ok to send a printed manual to my po box. i couldnt believe it! i didnt know people still did that! im still amazed.

12-08-2010, 01:47 AM
You may find that you don't need to replace the fingers. I have a 36" Chambers & Corner finger brake missing a 1" finger and I find not having a full set of fingers very handy as usually when folding up a box you'll want a couple of gaps for a flange to fold into. I can position fingers to have 2 1/2" gaps that do this very nicely. If I'm folding a full length of something the 1/2" gap is barely noticeable in the finished fold provided the gap is not at the end of the fold.


12-08-2010, 06:30 AM
i have dealt with them before. Really helpfull. Nice people. I find that most of the manufacturing equipment companies are pretty helpful and nice. When they are, i give them as much as my business as possible even if it is more expensive. Less profit for me...but i am happier at the end of the day.

Rob :)