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Buy used 24" brake or make gingery's?

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  • Buy used 24" brake or make gingery's?

    My friend has a 24" American-made sheet metal brake for sale for $350. It weighs about 350lbs and sits on a homemade stand. I already cut out the parts a couple of years ago for the one that dave gingery wrote his book about. When and if I ever get it done will it be inferior in operation to the factory-made one? Has anyone built the Gingery one and do you like it? Should I put the 1/4" angle back on the metal pile and buy the used one? I am selling $300 worth of used stuff on eBay and so money is not the deciding factor. I like my tools to work well. My previous brake was one of those aluminum ones you buy out of the classifieds in the back of Popular Science for $18.95. It buckles in the middle when pushed too hard. Thanks--Mike.

  • #2
    If you are like me ---too many projects, too little time, then buy his ready to go unit. Check and make sure it isn't sprung or just plain worn out. If you then get the time build the one you started and keep your favorite and sell the other. A "friend" gave me one of the import 30 inch roller/bender/shear because he couldn't get it to work. It turns out it was "shimmed" with paint and lubricated with foundry sand. I am about 2/3 done with rebuilding the thing and have a lot of hours in the job. I am in it too deep to quit--to much time and too much ego.


    • #3
      If it is in good condition, buy it! check the bearing surfaces for excess wear, you might be able to repair these your self (sloppy bushings) Being a Tinknocker, the most common mistake I've noticed in my shop is setting the nose bar (the upper part which clamps the metal) to close to the bending leaf - it should be 1.5 to 2 times the thickness of the metal. Also check the data plate if there is one. An 816 break is 8 foot long capable of bending 16 guage mild steel the full length with the angle bar attached (to the bending leaf) The same break will bend 14 guage but only 4' long and in the center. I don't know what model the break is or what your data plate says, but I would be happy to find out any information on it for you that I can. (I originally purchasd my lathe and mill to make my own sheet metal equipment as a 10 foot brake in good condition is more than I pay for cars.) have fun and good luck with the decision


      • #4
        The making tools to make tools to make tools... cycle can be endless. If you need a brake, it probably makes sense to buy it...assuming it's in good shape, as others have pointed out.

        Try to make a living, not a killing. -- Utah Phillips
        Don't believe everything you know. -- Bumper sticker
        Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects. -- Will Rogers
        There are lots of people who mistake their imagination for their memory. - Josh Billings
        Law of Logical Argument - Anything is possible if you don't know what you are talking about.
        Don't own anything you have to feed or paint. - Hood River Blackie


        • #5
          Did build Gingery's design with a few modifications, in a 24" length. It will bend 18ga. the full width, which is all I wanted at the time. Have used it regularly over the years making boxes, patch panels, etc. Was thinking of making a beefed up 48" or 60" version using some additional ideas gleaned from professionally made units.


          • #6
            I'll check to see what brand and model brake it is tomorrow and report back. Dave Gingery's books are great, I think I have them all. Is this genius still alive and kicking? I see his son, Vince, has written some books as well. Are his as good as his dad's?


            • #7
              I would just go buy a 50 Ton 6' Hydraluic pressbrake at a industrial sale. But I am no tin basher. I am a 10Ga. smasher.

              But that would be more than $300 and your wife's car would have to be parked in a snow bank - I think she would kill you if you tried it. Go for the wee hand brake. Don't expect to bend heavy stuff. They cannot bend 16Ga and heavier (unless it is Aluminum) and give a sharp, clean bend like they can with 20Ga. or lighter. For heavier stuff a Hydraulic Press brake is the ticket.