This 30" machine was just purchased at the local TSC store for $400, not on sale (+6% tax). It's claimed to be suitable for up to 18 gauge steel maximum.
The 30" working width is real, with about another 1/4" maximum. The break bend angle can go tighter than 90 degrees, but I haven't gaged it yet (maybe135 degrees).
As usual with China-produced products, the manual is very vague/short. There are no recommendtions for shear blade gap, even though the machine includes fine gap adjustment feature.
The shear cutting blade relief angle is stated to be 5 degrees.
Thanks to the recent RCM discussion "Clearance on shear blades?" (Oct 2009), I believe that a gap of about .002" would be good, not knowing what specific steel (Chinese grade) is used for the blades.
We've been testing the machine, using new 20 gauge steel (measures .036"), and the machine is doing a good job of cutting and forming.
Steel in 18 gauge can be as thick as .050", and I would suspect that attempting to shear 18 on a regular basis could cause problems/damage with flexing and warping or breakage, in a short time, IMO.
There is no burr on the sheared 20 ga steel, so far. I think it might be best to use a wax stick lube on the blades and/or the steel sheet.
There is a notching procedure mentioned in the manual, but I haven't seen where notching is performed yet.
There is a second pair of gears included (presumably for the rolls), surprisingly.
The closest back-to-back bends (dog leg) are about 1/4", but could be closer if the lower V die was releived at the front edge by grinding or milling.
Like any China looky-like a real machine, it appears to need some add-on accessories to improve the accuracy and ease of use. An infeed table/plate with measurement scales for determining locations of cuts and bends seems necessary.
Dial wheels or other indicators for adjusting the parallelism of the rolls, and the amount of deflection for rolling.
Pointers and scales or dial wheels to indicate how far the break blade has traveled, for an idea of the degree of the bend would be very useful.
Without any indicators on the moving parts, excessive wear or damage to the machine's parts might be likely, if the user isn't paying close attention.
The TSC description3 in 1 combination machine with all the features needed to cut, bend and form metal, wire and rod easily and accurately. 30" effective width. Max shear thickness: 18 ga. Roll diameter: 1 1/2". Shear quickly and precisely - cuts up to 30" x 18 gauge steel. Brake allows for quick, consistent bends. Roll metal smoothly and easily. Wire forming grooves.
The Grizzly G4011 Sheet Metal Machine - 30" ($495) appears to be the same machine, but the G4011 is rated as 22 gauge steel maximum for the break and roll. The maximum steel gauge for the shear is 28. The thinner gauge limits may be more realistic, or just arbitrary numbers picked by someone, or possibly a slightly different machine.Harbor Freight offers a similar/identical 30" machine with slightly different specs.