Finger brake question

I've never owned a finger brake and was looking at this Harbor freight 24" (45877) to do some simple stuff with .050 aluminum.

First of all, anyone use this tool before? I know alot of their stuff is junk but for .050 it may be fine.

Secondly, when I'm using a finger brake and need to bend something larger than the fingers will provide say....bending a 4" piece with a 3" finger......will it work? Can I have a half inch on each end bare or does it HAVE TO fit the width of the finger exactly? (Like making a box and bending the end flaps in).


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I have a Chicago finger brake. It is astoundingly heavy for the material it can bend. I can see when bending a small piece of .062" aluminum that it is near its limits, as the folding bar is visibly bowed.

The real limitation is how high the side flanges of a piece can be before it prevents the piece from fitting into the brake for bending the 3rd and 4th edges. On mine, I can't have the first 2 sides be over 1/2" or it prevents me from bending the other sides. You might want to check out any brake you intend to buy for these sorts of limitations first.


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Jon Elson


No, the finger width doesn't have to be exact. In most cases you'll find the extra width will bend okay. You should combine fingers to make it as close as possible though.


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I have their 16 ga 48" pan and box brake. So far, I like it. I haven't done aluminum, but I have bent 18ga steel, with no problem. The fingers are in a variety of sizes and you can slide them around for different configurations.

The 48" brake is around 300 pounds. Mine arrived in a wood crate with one leg bent in slightly probably during the trip. I trued the brake to the stand I built and haven't had any problems. I will caveat that with the fact that I am a hobbyist and don't use the brake day in and day out.


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