How to use a bending brake

Steve if it is the $165 sheet metal bender
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to the manual you can adjust the pressure on the clamps, also check to see is the clamp may be to far forward, you should have at least the thickness of the metal being bent between the clamps front edge and the face of the brake when it is bent up, maybe 1-1/2 times the thickness. 18 gauge is the limit for this machine and a full width bend may be taxing it a bit (18 gauge is aprox .048") link to manual
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Steve Worcester wrote:
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I didn't think I was dumb before, but I have been humbled.
I got a cheap bending brake from HF and after reading the instructions, got
more confused.
I took a piece of sheet metal (don't know what gauge, but it is about
".050), clamped it down to the part of the brake parallel to the bench that
doesn't move (supporting plate) . I then clamped the pressing plate over the
metal onto the moving plate. Everytime I pull the handle expecting it to
bend the metal, the darn pressing plate slips and I get a cockeyed bend.
I have tried it with the pressing plate clamped over moving plate with the
metal sandwiched in-between there also, and things still move around.
Is it me, is it a POS, or am I doing something else wrong?
Reply to
Steve Worcester
Hey Steve,
Geez, 50 thou is about 18 gauge, which is is pretty heavy for making let's say a small metal box. You can make a step-stool with that size material. And you don't say what width the new toy is good for, or more important, what width you were trying to bend, which is all important for your chore.
In the small sizes of tools, weight and material being near equal, a press brake will handle more than a plain brake. I doubt an HF cheap hand bending machine (I wouldn't call it a brake) will handle much over 20 ga. in aluminum, let alone steel., but I don't have a HF catalog here to look for specs.
Don't get hurt. Take care.
Brian Lawson, Bothwell, Ontario. XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
Reply to
Brian Lawson
Based on what you're calling the individual parts I'm guessing you're using one of these?
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If so, and if I understand you correctly you're clamping the pressing plate onto the moving plate but that isn't correct. You should be clamping the pressing plate onto the supporting plate and you should clamp it so that the back edge of the pressing plate (the edge AWAY from the moving plate) is even with the back edge of the supporting plate. The pressing plate should be slightly less deep than the supporting plate and that should give you the clearance you need for the bend.
Also, you shouldn't be clamping the workpiece to both the supporting plate and the moving plate. Your workpiece should be sandwiched between the pressing plate and the supporting plate and then that sandwich should be clamped with a couple of C-clamps. Then you're ready to go!
One last thing... the specs say it will bend up to 16 gauge metal but that's not at full width. At full width you'll be lucky to handle anything over 22 gauge. You MIGHT be able to do a 4" wide piece of 16 gauge if you baby it.
And one MORE last thing. :-) The gauges are usually referring to mild steel. Stainless is tougher to bend so you won't be able to handle as thick a piece.
Best Regards, Keith Marshall
"I'm not grown up enough to be so old!"
Reply to
Keith Marshall

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