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  • Bending brake.

    Has anyone built one of these that would maybe do up to 2mm .There are lots of plans around that I am getting overwhelmed. I was hoping someone had info on one that actually works well.

  • #2
    I made a finger brake that works well for its intended purpose, but its a lot lighter than 2mm. At 2mm you're approaching 12 gauge, it takes a lot of force....enough that the practical diy solution is dies you make for a hydraulic press. You're missing two critical bits, length of bend and material which (along with die size) determine the force . If steel and a the bend is a few feet long, it takes more than a couple of pieces angle iron welded together. To get a sense of it, forget the over rated (in terms of capacity) offshore stuff, but take a lot at how heavy a 12g 4' press is.
    Last edited by Mcgyver; 05-01-2018, 09:30 AM.
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    • #3
      Originally posted by plunger View Post
      Has anyone built one of these that would maybe do up to 2mm .There are lots of plans around that I am getting overwhelmed. I was hoping someone had info on one that actually works well.
      I had drawn up some rough plans a long time ago. After I started price shopping for materials I found that I could buy one for less than what the materials would cost me. Then there is the time to machine and weld etc. I didn't even start to figure that in.

      JL..............

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      • #4
        Here's one I threw together:
        I got some ideas from here:http://www.swagoffroad.com/FLAT-TOP-...rger_p_94.html
        Their kits are actually a good deal assuming you don't have materials n hand.. buying the steel quickly adds up.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by plunger View Post
          Has anyone built one of these that would maybe do up to 2mm .There are lots of plans around that I am getting overwhelmed. I was hoping someone had info on one that actually works well.
          2mm what? I dropped the money sometime back on a real (and expensive) Tennsmith 48" brake and it will easily bend 2mm aluminum or mild steel and probably stainless. I've even used it with care on .125in (.3175mm) 5052 full width, but if you try for a sharp corner you will tear the metal. I always go for a little bit of a radius corner on thicker aluminum, and sometimes anneal after partially bending in between depending on how tight of a radius.

          Before that I had a Harbor Freight 30 inch benchtop brake and it would probably bend 2mm 5052 with no issue. Maybe even 2mm mild steel depending on width. Certainly not 2mm stainless.

          Even before that I used a vise brake for small pieces all the time.

          For thicker stuff I'd either buy or make a press brake to go in my 20ton shop press.

          2mm is between 15 and 14 gauge. (.079 in) (correction about 14 gauge)
          https://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/g...eet-d_915.html

          Lots of cheap brakes claim they will bend 16 gauge mild steel. I think it will just depend on what you are trying to do whether or not you can bend your material on a DIY bending brake, and of course how much time and material you invest in your brake.
          Last edited by Bob La Londe; 05-01-2018, 11:49 AM.
          *** I always wanted a welding stinger that looked like the north end of a south bound chicken. Often my welds look like somebody pointed the wrong end of a chicken at the joint and squeezed until something came out. Might as well look the part.

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          • #6
            I needed a small brake in my off the grid shop to bend a large quantity of foot long pieces of aluminum flashing.
            I started the job by hand in a bench vise but that took forever and did a poor job.
            I made a 3 foot bench brake from 3X3X1/4" angle and a couple of heavy door hinges. The clamp is another piece of angle oh the back secured by wing nuts. I'd post a picture but I don't have one and I am 1800 miles from the brake here in Florida.
            It worked very well on the light gage aluminum and really speeded up the job.
            (Interesting point---- I was bending the flashing to glue it to the junction of the foundation concrete slab and the side walls of my cabin to keep the field mice out of the cabin. Worked like a charm.)
            I have used it a few times since and it works ok up to about a piece that is 1/8" by 1' to 18" long.
            In my other shop I have an HF bench brake that works about the same.
            I also have a press brake I bought from Northern Tool that I use in my 20 ton mechanical press. It will bend 3/16" a foot long pretty easily or 6" long 1/4" mild steel.
            I use the press brake more often than the other tools.
            Bill
            I cut it off twice and it's still too short!

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            • #7
              I forgot all about lighter stuff. I used the rail on the side of a utility trailer one day as the base for an improvised brake. I clamped a 12' 3 x 3 x 3/8 piece of angle to it, and then clamped a 12' piece of 1/2 x 4 aluminum flat bar to the bottom of the stock with bar clamps. My son and I used the bar clamps as handles and we lifted it right up to the angle we needed.

              Another trick I have used when I needed sharp angles on thicker (.100 to .125) aluminum was to score about halfway through with a saw. Usually a table saw, but I have also used my skill worm drive. Brake to the angle I needed, and then welded the inside. Its incredibly strong that way, and it avoids a lot of tricky clamping and back purging with gas. I have bent those on the side of the utility trailer too.
              *** I always wanted a welding stinger that looked like the north end of a south bound chicken. Often my welds look like somebody pointed the wrong end of a chicken at the joint and squeezed until something came out. Might as well look the part.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by softtail View Post
                Here's one I threw together:
                I got some ideas from here:http://www.swagoffroad.com/FLAT-TOP-...rger_p_94.html
                Their kits are actually a good deal assuming you don't have materials n hand.. buying the steel quickly adds up.
                I made a small press brake for bending 1/4" thick flat bar.
                I had thoughts of making one like yours, but I have to ask... do the two plates being held down with the BHCS push out when you start pressing??

                JL..................

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by JoeLee View Post
                  I made a small press brake for bending 1/4" thick flat bar.
                  I had thoughts of making one like yours, but I have to ask... do the two plates being held down with the BHCS push out when you start pressing??

                  JL..................
                  No, they don't. I had the same concern.. like I said I used the one I linked to earlier as a guide. I went with the biggest hardware I could. I plan to chamfer the edges of the plates, but have yet to do so.. they work well as is, but do leave a minor scratches at the bend. I figure I will leave the opposing faces sharp and I can just spin the plates around depending on what I'm doing.
                  I have seen some designs that have bolts/set screws that push up against the plates to prevent slipping and aid in fine adjustment.
                  Last edited by softtail; 05-01-2018, 02:34 PM.

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                  • #10
                    You didn't mention how wide you wanted to bend. I bought this one last year. It's supposed to be rated for 48" of 16 gauge mild steel. I have bent 36" of 16 gauge with it and it was definitely pushing it's capability. This brake weighs around 600 lbs ( I think) so 14 gauge would require a substantially heavier machine.



                    Here is a link to a finger type press brake kit.

                    http://www.swagoffroad.com/20-TON-Fi...-Kit_p_86.html

                    I'm new to sheet metal work and learning through videos and mistakes. I have found that the regular box and pan brake has some limitations on the actual shape of the parts that you can do. Some complex shapes interfere with actually getting the part in the machine and I have had to resort to rigging up angle iron on my welding table to get some bends. My point being, that a press brake would not have had those issues. That's probably the reason that most manufacturing is done on press brakes. I will be adding a press brake to my shop when I can get around to it.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by softtail View Post
                      No, they don't. I had the same concern.. like I said I used the one I linked to earlier as a guide. I went with the biggest hardware I could. I plan to chamfer the edges of the plates, but have yet to do so.. they work well as is, but do leave a minor scratches at the bend. I figure I will leave the opposing faces sharp and I can just spin the plates around depending on what I'm doing.
                      I have seen some designs that have bolts/set screws that push up against the plates to prevent slipping and aid in fine adjustment.
                      I'm surprised the plates don't move.
                      You have to radius the edges and polish the surfaces if you want to eliminate the scratches, a light coating of grease on the die surfaces helps too.

                      JL................

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                      • #12
                        Mine does.


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                        • #13
                          That's a nice build, and welded to the table top too.

                          JL.............

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by JoeLee View Post
                            That's a nice build, and welded to the table top too.

                            JL.............
                            Plan was to build a stand and eventually add some hydraulic features. Ran out of time and needed to use it. Actually have it welded to a heavier table now. I'll get it finished some day.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Boostinjdm View Post
                              Plan was to build a stand and eventually add some hydraulic features. Ran out of time and needed to use it. Actually have it welded to a heavier table now. I'll get it finished some day.
                              This looks real good. I dont understand the bolt going through the pipe welded on the top. It looks like it has a grub screw of sorts in the big nut. Also at the back ,there is another pipe with bolt going through. How does that work. I used 2mm as a guide to maximum thickness . But I am sure as has been stated ,if it is pre gashed it will bend easier.
                              With regards to cutting this I use a baby grinder .But I have seen it done with a circular saw. Are these special machines with slower rpm?What type of blade is used.
                              It looks like a death wish scenario.

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