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  • Box and pan capacity

    Nearly all box and pan brakes give material gauge capacities for mild steel, some for aluminum as well.

    Is there a rough percentage for stainless compared to the mild steel number? I am assuming it would be the lesser of the two. Or would you just go a gauge size or two thinner?

    Thanks,
    Russ

  • #2
    The 4 ft model that Northern Tool sells derates capacity at full width from 22 to 26 ga, mild steel vs. SS, respectively. The delta may be lower as the bend length decreases.

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    • #3
      Just a note. You may know this already. A key spec for finger brakes is how deep a box they can bend. This isn't always obvious from catalogs.

      metalmagpie

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      • #4
        Don't go by that Northern tool. A 22ga. mild steel capacity tool is pretty useless to begin with unless you're making duct work or tissue boxes. And stainless steel uses a different gauge standard than aluminum, brass and A36 steel. The strength difference between A36 and SS is substantial so you need to use the thickness rather than the gauge and cut the A36 thickness by about half. (Added: The actual number is closer to 48%)

        For example: A brake that claims a capacity of 16ga. mild steel (CR 1008 or A36) means a thickness of .060". If you are bending SS, the capacity will be reduced by about half or .030". This is about a 22ga. in SS.
        Last edited by CCWKen; 03-06-2015, 12:00 AM.

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        • #5
          The manual for the Chicago Dries and Krump brakes downrates them 4 gauges from mild steel to stainless steel. And they were built like tanks. Dennis

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          • #6
            I have a 4' Edwards folder, not even a finger or box machine, I found out how tough stainless is on it, it weighs about 3/4 ton and I was lifting the front of the machine with a peice 1.5 mm thick by about 18" long, ids all I could do to put a bend in it, I got there but only just!, tried shorter pieces, very hard work.
            It takes a lot of muscle to shift stainless, I think a lighter machine might even break.
            My final solution was gash bending, the gnashing being done with a thin slitting disk for stainless, iron free, and welding the corner.
            Mark

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            • #7
              Do steel mills hot roll sheets that thin??

              -D
              DZER

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              • #8
                Yes the mills I've worked on did, they could take it down to practically foil, but the mill had to work, drive currents would max out on wide, and rolls would get swapped out after half the time of mild steel, there would be a lip on the roll where the edge of the sheet was, pissed the roll shop off as a regrind takes time.
                Mark

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                • #9
                  Ha, one more reason for USA to finally go metric

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Prokop View Post
                    Ha, one more reason for USA to finally go metric
                    I'm puzzled. Are you saying that the fact that you don't like to or can't read gauge specs is a reason for the U.S. to go metric?

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                    • #11
                      The United States won every war they were in with a foreign nation.
                      I think the rest of the world should use our measurement system.
                      If we had lost a war or two, we might be speaking German today.
                      Why should we use a measurement system thought up by France?
                      -Doozer
                      DZER

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                      • #12
                        I can read and work with both, but the USA system just makes very little sense especially gauges.

                        Look at the table here:

                        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sheet_metal

                        and compare it to thickness expressed in mm. Just a number and - imagine that if you can - you dont have to specify what material is the gauge for.

                        Revolutionary, isnt it?

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                        • #13
                          In the Chicago press brake manual as a rule of thumb they say aluminum takes 1/3 the force of mild steel, SS takes 1-1/2 times the force. So, if a certain bend needs 1 ton force with mild steel, the same bend in SS will need 1.5 tons.

                          An important thing to keep in mind is most brakes won't do their rated maximum bends. My 24" Di Acro finger brake is rated full width bend in 16ga mild steel. Maybe on a good day if I had a helper. Even then, the bend won't be uniform across it's length.

                          With any brake it's probable a good idea to degrade it's advertised bending ability by at least one gage. If your bending work involves 16ga, get one rated for at least 14ga.

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                          • #14
                            how does that gauge stuff work? 1mm is around 18 and 2 mm is around 12.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Doozer View Post
                              The United States won every war they were in with a foreign nation.
                              I think the rest of the world should use our measurement system.
                              If we had lost a war or two, we might be speaking German today.
                              Why should we use a measurement system thought up by France?
                              -Doozer
                              Using the same logic, maybe USA should speak and write Vietnamese, or did you win that war too?

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