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  • Wirecutter
    replied
    Ries -
    Nice work! That's really something.

    I have to admit that, being a rookie, I hadn't considered the opening height of the brake's clamping mechanism. My intended use is for boxes and pans, hence the box and pan brake. Of course, as its usefulness expands, I'm sure I'll quickly find work I can't do with it. That's been happening with me and tools ever since I got my first screwdriver at age 4. I guess that's why I have such a tool jones.

    -M

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  • Ries
    replied
    The 40" brake you are looking at is actually based on a european designed brake- with the fancy foot pedal clamping system. Either German or Swedish.
    I have looked at them, and they look pretty good.

    One drawback, however, is you dont have the opening height that the standard old design ones, like the G0542 does. That one is basically a copy of the old Chicago D&K, and the advantage to it is that you can open it wider to fit in already bent things, to flatten them, or you can build your own tooling to fit, or you can slide thru parts with bends already in them.
    The one you are looking at only opens to 1 3/4", and in many cases that is gonna be a problem.
    I recently made a fence from perforated metal, with a bend every 6",alternating in direction, so the resultant 4x8 sheet was a zig-zag. The zig zag fit thru the D&K brake at full elevation, so we could bend half of the sheet, slide it out, and turn it around. Otherwise we would have had to move the brake out in the middle of the room, to have 8 feet of clearance on each side. And my brake weighs over a ton.
    Another example, when we made these benches, we custom built a front bending bar from 4" pipe, so the bend was a 2" radius curve instead of a sharp bend. The additional opening height was very handy for that.
    http://www.riesniemi.com/pages/pubart_alphabnch.html

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  • Wirecutter
    replied
    Ries -
    Thanks for all that. I'm thinking of the G0578, which is 40" by 12ga. As promised, I'll post "results" here when I have any.

    Whenever I get my hands on a machine, I've already got work lined up for it. I've got this silly notion to work with 304 stainless, since I have a bunch of it and it's so easy to weld that even I can do it. Well, we'll see.

    Also, thanks for straightening me out about Jet - I would have never guessed it was Swiss-owned.

    -Mark

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  • 3 Phase Lightbulb
    Guest replied

    I have the Grizzly 52" 16 guage jump sheer and I'm very happy with it. It cuts 16 guage cold rolled mild steel very cleanly but I really do have to jump on it more than I thought I would have. I would buy it again.

    -Adrian

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  • Ries
    replied
    Oh- and as far as Jet being from Taiwan- Jet actually started out as a metal scrapyard in Tacoma Washington in the 1960's, and the guy who owned it started importing japanese made come-alongs and chainfalls. He slowly expanded, and by the early 70's he was doing much more biz selling Japanese and korean, and later taiwanese tools, than he was as a junkyard.
    As china became more industrialized, more and more of the Jet stuff came from china, but over the years you could buy a Jet lathe made in poland, and I think they still sell drill presses made in Spain for the high end stuff. Jet stuff comes from all over, mostly china, sure, but other countries as well. Since the late 80's it has been owned by the same swiss company that owns Wilton, Columbian vises, Powermatic, and Performax sanders. Some products made in the USA, some in europe, some in taiwan, most from china, for all of these lines except Powermatic, which still makes most of its tools in Tennesee, I believe.

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  • Ries
    replied
    I think he means "Tennsmith" which is the sheet metal tool company that was started by the guys who used to own Powermatic, before they sold Powermatic to the Swiss company that owns Jet.
    Tennsmith is the lowest quality American made sheet metal tools- adequate, but certainly nowhere near as good as Di-Acro, Pexto, or Chicago D&K.
    I have a set of Tennsmith 3' rolls I have had for about 10 years now, and I would say they are only a bit better than the bigger Grizzly stuff. I live near the Grizzly headquarters, and I have looked at their sheet metal tools, and they are OK, not great. Generally every part is about 75% of the size it would be on a real industrial, made in USA tool. And you might have to replace nuts and bolts- the chinese dont waste any money putting good fasteners on them.
    But for the money, especially if you buy the biggest ones Grizzly sells, they are a good deal. My 12 GA D&K finger brake is a far superiour tool to the Grizzly G0542- but retail on the D&K is somewhere north of 6 grand, and the Grizzly is 1400 bucks.
    My feeling about the chinese stuff is that it IS worth it to buy Grizzly or Jet, as opposed to Harbor Freight, Enco, or Rong Fu, as those two actually have a service and parts department. And they do get the better products from the chinese, with their own on site quality inspectors.
    And it only makes sense to buy the absolute top of the line product Grizzly or Jet offers in each category- the cheapies are always crap, but at least with the biggest, baddest Grizzly, you have a halfway decent chance of getting a usuable machine. Not one you can love and respect, or one you will pass on to your kids, but one that will do a lot of work for the money.

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  • cntryboy1289
    replied
    Do a search for used sheetmetal equipment. There are a lot of Tinsmiths out there that are auctioned off fairly reasonably. I would hesitate to buy from a supplier such as Grizzly or HF for something that works on anything that has any kind of thickness. It may work for a little while, but when it breaks, you're out the money a good Tinsmith would have cost plus the money to buy another shear or brake.

    Leave a comment:


  • Wirecutter
    replied
    YOD -
    Yeah, I knew about the sniping programs, and by avoiding them, I guess I was trying to take some silly moral high road or something. Plus, the end of an auction can actually be kind of exciting. (I know - I need to get out more...) But I think you're probably right - I've been beat, now I need to join 'em. Thanks for the link.

    -M

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  • Your Old Dog
    replied
    <font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Wirecutter:
    Last week, I was outbid on eBay for some old iron I wanted - specifically a fairly heavy duty bending brake and a shear. Pexto and DiAcro stuff. Solid. I just wasn't fast enough in the end, and I lost out. </font>

    www.esnipe.com The first two weeks is free and it gives you the same advantage as West Coast ebay'ers with their faster ping rates. You still have to put in a proper bid but speed of your connection won't be a factor. My bids are processed 4 seconds before the end of the auction. I win as many as I loose. It's not immoral, improper or illegal. I don't have to stay up till 4am to make a bid and I can use group bidding. That is, bid on a dozen bending brakes and the service will cancel all the other bids once you win one.


    [This message has been edited by Your Old Dog (edited 07-26-2005).]

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  • Wirecutter
    replied

    Thanks, fellas. It sounds like Grizzly stuff is about what I would expect - a bit rough, but hey, it's cheap. With their return policy as good as it sounds, I think it may be worth a gamble. I'll verify that before I buy.

    When I take the plunge, I'll post a review here for everyone's benefit. Thanks again.

    -Mark

    Leave a comment:


  • Paul Alciatore
    replied
    I have bought several Grizzly tools, including their 3 In 1 Sheet Metal Machine and am happy. They are not perfect but, IMHO, you do get your money's worth.

    Search the arcives, I and others have made more comments before.

    Also, I have been to both the Grizzly and HF showrooms. There is no comparison. HF s***s. Grizzly stuff looks good. I would have little hesitation in buying from them.

    All the usual disclaimers.

    Paul A.

    Leave a comment:


  • J Tiers
    replied
    OK, then....

    I bought two items from Griz..... they have both back now.

    First was a precision level. Wouldn't consistently give a reading.... checked it on a granite flat, touched only on 3 corners, not flat all over.... it was a twisted banana...

    Other was a height gage. Looked like it had been chewed out of the raw stock by a blind possum with bad dentures. Some parts didn't fit.

    If they can't get simple $100 items consistently right, I don't trust them to get $2500 items right.

    That said, they paid return shipping, and credited me for every dime.

    Not like Enco, who stuck me both ways... cost $30 to return a $60 item.....

    Griz may suck, but others suck worse.

    Leave a comment:


  • Wirecutter
    replied

    I thought Jet was Taiwanese, but I guess that wouldn't prevent them from having Chinese manufacturing. ??

    Yeah, based on what I've heard and read here, I'm staying away from HF - it's just too risky, and going to a showroom to see before buying is not convenient to me.

    Grizzly, OTOH, is starting to look pretty good. Paging through their catalog on the web, though - it seems they might be a little more into (gasp!) woodworking tools. Well, I haven't heard anything really bad about Grizzly, anyway...

    Leave a comment:


  • tonydacrow
    replied
    I have a 36" HF brake and it works fine. You can bend to 120 degrees and adjust the radius of bend easily. On top of that, it's actually fairly flat (and adjustable for flatness) along the length of the bed. I've been using it on 18 gauge mild steel in short lengths. Now, if I were using this thing more than just occasionally, I’d think hard about getting something a little better quality.

    I got screwed on a HF combo machine before (small combo mill/lathe for little parts) and finally decided that if you buy simple tools from HF that do one thing and you're only going to be using them occasionally, they work fine. If you want high precision, (OK, any kind of precision) or you're going to be putting the beast through its paces every day, go somewhere else. But, for a bending brake that's 36" wide, $189 is hard to beat. Add in a $10 off coupon...

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  • C9
    replied
    I owned one of the HF combination sheet metal machines, the 30" model.

    It was useless for the most part.
    I forget the shear rating, but it had a tough time slicing even small pieces of 18 gage aluminum.

    The slip roller part worked ok.

    The bending section shoves the sheet metal into a "V" and a sharp anvil completes the bend.
    Many times the aluminum would rupture at the corners due to the excessively sharp bend.
    Both aluminum and metal sheet would exhibit sliding marks on the outside of the bend.

    I've heard that some guys get them to work ok for bending if the anvil and V are rounded off a bit.

    In any event, I sold the tool for less than half and was happy to see it go.

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