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Sheet Metal Machine 3 in One.... Shear, Brake and Roll ...... Recommendation Help

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  • Sheet Metal Machine 3 in One.... Shear, Brake and Roll ...... Recommendation Help

    I've been putting off getting one of these for several years mainly because most of them that I've seen are HF quality and I would like to get something better.
    I've read several posts in the past about poor HF quality ones that require extensive fine tuning, modifications and or break after the first couple uses.
    I want a good quality shear, brake and roll............. NOT SHAKE, RATTLE AND ROLL !!
    It looks like there are a lot more choices out there now than there was a few years ago, and that is what makes it hard to choose.

    24" in width would be about right for my needs.

    Most of the ones I've looked at will bend up to 20 ga. steel, that's pretty thin material and I realize that spec is bending the full width of the machines capacity. Maybe they will bend heavier ga. material in smaller widths, not sure where the line is drawn.

    Are they all press brakes or are there makes and models that have a folding brake?? A finger brake type would be really nice, but haven't seen one of those.

    Show me what you guys have and your best choice, make model etc.

    JL................
    Last edited by JoeLee; 05-11-2018, 09:46 AM.

  • #2
    If you hope to avoid "fine tuning", do not buy any bending brake. Save your money. All will need adjustments, nature of the beast.

    Maybe if you just do not care, you can ignore adjusting, but to get good results you need to set it up right, and even change for different materials and thickness.

    I have used the HF version (not mine). and it works. Needs adjustments, of course.

    As far as I know, all are guillotine benders, not "box and pan" types. Those you can get, but the shear function goes with the guillotine type, and not the "finger folders".

    The bending thickness depends on width, it is limited by the total force the thing can apply.
    1601

    Keep eye on ball.
    Hashim Khan

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    • #3
      the hf type will tip over, so need bolting down. i made legs for it that stick out in front.

      Comment


      • #4
        JT, I should have done a better job wording my post. I don't mind fine tuning. What I don't want is something where I have to make better quality more accurate parts etc. etc.

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

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        • #5
          I'm happy with the HF 3-in-1. I've bent and cut small pieces of 16ga aluminum with it no problem. It bends nicely, shears nicely. I wouldn't want to try bending or cutting 16ga alum the full 30" length, but works great for the small(ish) 8-10" pieces I've tried with it. I can't see how it could be more accurate as it's fully adjustable so if you don't mind fine tuning it, the HF unit might be fine for you. Again, I only plan to use mine for small pieces and mostly aluminum. I was also planning on bolting it to the bench, but it's so damn heavy it doesn't budge at all so I'm just going to get some rubber to go under the feet to protect the finish on the bench.



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          • #6
            3 Phase........ I haven't looked at Central Machinery yet, but from what I've seen they almost all look like they are made by the same company just painted different colors.

            I'm thinking maybe Jet or Grizzly ???? got to look a little closer.

            I looked at Eastwood's stuff but they look like the ones made by "KAKA" all over ebay and probably are kaka for under $300.

            I don't think Tennsmith makes a 3 in 1 machine.

            JL...........
            Last edited by JoeLee; 05-11-2018, 12:13 PM.

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            • #7
              The amount that I've used the 3in1's over the years would suggest that the smaller 24" size on 20Ga steel is at the very limit of the machine and will give you troubles if they are not well made. If your goal is up to 20Ga steel in 24" width then buy one of the larger 3in1's and as with any Asian import gear tune it up before use. The heavier 30" or larger sorts will handle the 20 Ga steel easily and you'll be far happier with it.

              As they come out of the box/crate they don't have any features that allow for easily making multiple cuts or bends. But such things can be added to them. The other thing that is tough is getting a nice straight shear line as they typically don't have a very good arrangement of hold down fingers for the shear since they expect to work with thinner metals

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              • #8
                I've had the 40" HF for years. It struggles to meet its specification over the full bed length, but for smaller or thinner pieces, it's pretty useful. The shear took quite a lot of tuning with shims. Beefy as it looks, the castings distort under heavy loads. I also broke one of the side arms pulling too hard. I was able to get a replacement. Seems like it was under $20.

                Ed
                For just a little more, you can do it yourself!

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                • #9
                  These are a really great concept. Sad that no one makes a well built one that works well. It would cost considerably more, but there is nothing more expensive than a tool that does not work.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by JoeLee View Post
                    JT, I should have done a better job wording my post. I don't mind fine tuning. What I don't want is something where I have to make better quality more accurate parts etc. etc.

                    JL...............
                    That's fine....

                    You can use what they provide. I have made saleable parts on one, and we did sell them.

                    The only replacement parts it needs are narrower punches for bending, the selection supplied is not wonderful for every use. I mean the widths, we just sawed some in half to get better increments. That is a minor issue that would be expected anyway, so I do not count it against the unit

                    The shear does OK, but the blade can pouch out in the middle if asked to do too much.

                    I cut and bent lots of sheet metal up to 16 GA (short pieces), mostly prototype parts, and consider it usable and capable of work as good as you know how to make. I am not a sheet metal forming expert, but I have dealt with designing and laying out sheet metal for chassis over the last 40 years, and so I have a good idea what to do and how to do it. I always listened when the vendors explained what they planned to do, and we discussed ways to do various jobs... So maybe I am a bit ahead of some, but the basic principles are not that esoteric that a bit of thought does not show you what needs to be tightened, etc.

                    When you get it, the blade will be maladjusted, the slide for the bender will be loose or wrongly adjusted, etc. But as someone said, the adjustments are there.

                    I never used the roller, so I cannot comment on it.
                    Last edited by J Tiers; 05-11-2018, 11:38 PM. Reason: spelling. clarification
                    1601

                    Keep eye on ball.
                    Hashim Khan

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      When I got mine I had to learn how to set up the shear so it would actually cut and not just fold the material. I suggest NOT cutting anything until you do have it set properly, otherwise you risk damaging the cutting edges. If you've ever used scissors you might know that you have to keep the edges forced into contact to some extent to get a clean cut. Same with these- the blades have to be in contact with some pressure to begin with, and because the center of the blades is where the most deflection is going to be, there needs to be a 'bow-in' at that point to begin with. As the blades slide past one another, they force against that bow-in so they can pass each other. If you adjust the blades such that they contact over the full length with only slight pressure, then when you're cutting the material will just fold as it forces the blades apart. Result- ruined workpiece and probably ruined cutting edges.
                      I seldom do anything within the scope of logical reason and calculated cost/benefit, etc- I'm following my passion-

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                      • #12
                        Darryl,

                        That is exactly what I have a problem with using my HF 42" 3-1. I can't shear even paper worth a beans. How did you adjust to fix the problem? HELP Please!
                        The roller works well I have used it and had good success.
                        The brake is as the others said, not a pan brake per say and it takes a lot of fiddling with the part to make it work as you try and close onto the part. A second person is helpful which is not the best or always available. I have plans to try and modify mine for a foot stomp pedal but since they work in different directions I'm not sure this is the answer.

                        TX
                        Mr fixit for the family
                        Chris

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Back in 2012, CCWKen created a thread detailing modifications he made to his 40" Harbor Freight 3-in-1 Shear-Brake-Roll machine. With luck, maybe some day he will edit the posts to restore images currently hijacked by Photobucket.

                          J Tiers, my 3-in-1 features removeable Box & Pan type brake segments.

                          I can not imagine having the machine NOT bolted down, especially when using the rolls. Mine is well up off the ground to accomodate my stature - I do not want to be second-guessing the consequences of 'leaning into it' while performing an operation.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by EddyCurr View Post
                            Back in 2012, CCWKen created a thread detailing modifications he made to his 40" Harbor Freight 3-in-1 Shear-Brake-Roll machine. With luck, maybe some day he will edit the posts to restore images currently hijacked by Photobucket.
                            I see them fine with the Firefox add-on.

                            -js
                            There are no stupid questions. But there are lots of stupid answers. This is the internet.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by J Tiers View Post
                              That's fine....

                              You can use what they provide. I have made saleable parts on one, and we did sell them.

                              The only replacement parts it needs are narrower punches for bending, the selection suoolied is not wonderful for every use. That is a minor issue that would be expected anyway, so I do not count it against the unit

                              The shear does OK, but the blade can pouch out in the middle if asked to do too much.

                              I cut and bent lots of sheet metal up to 16 GA (short pieces), mostly prototype parts, and consider it usable and capable of work as good as you know how to make. I am not a sheet metal forming expert, but I have dealt with designing and laying out sheet metal for chassis over the last 40 years, and so I have a good idea what to do and how to do it. I always listened when the vendors explained what they planned to do, and we discussed ways to do various jobs... So maybe I am a bit ahead of some, but the basic principles are not that esoteric that a bit of thought does not show you what needs to be tightened, etc.

                              When you get it, the blade will be maladjusted, the slide for the bender will be loose or wrongly adjusted, etc. But as someone said, the adjustments are there.

                              I never used the roller, so I cannot comment on it.
                              It sounds like these are just thrown together at the factory and out the door they go. Reminds me of my Wilton horizontal band saw. Once I fine tuned that I've never had a problem with it and it's been 20 + years.

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

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