Question: Metal Bending

I am looking into getting a metal brake for making 90 degree bends
lengthwise in 24-3/8" long, 16(or possibly 14) gauge steel.
I'll also need something that will allow me to turn .005 to .020"
thick sheet metal into "U" channels with 1/4" sides.
Assuming that I'll need two different brakes for these two projects,
I'd appreciate any advice on the approximate size and cost of the
hardware I should be looking into.
Thanks a lot.
Darren Harris
Staten Island, New York.
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Why would you need two brakes? There are all sorts of brakes, but the most flexible are called finger brakes. Some only allow the side flages to stick up so far before the brake beam hits them. Others have a lot of clearance.
Newer models are in the press brake form, and have even more clearance than most finger brakes. But, these often can't go past 90 degrees with the standard die sets.
Reply to
Jon Elson
16 gauge is petty standard for serious brakes. That is what my 24" DiAcro has as its maximum. The Chinese imports (Harbor Freight and the like) are probably limited to 18 gauge instead. For 14 gauge and thicker, you are talking about *seriously* heavy equipment. :-) It was a major task getting my 16 gauge 24" DiAcro up onto a workbench. Two people siding it up a board ramp which was bowing significantly.
And what *width* of 'U'?
I don't think that a finger (or pan) brake would be very easy to produce a U with 1/4" sides -- depending on just how *wide* it is. If it is say an inch wide -- fine. When I hear 'U', I think of something not as wide as it is tall (like the letter 'U' on my screen. :-)
If it is as wide as the side height (1/4") then that would not work well at all -- unless he makes custom fingers for the brake.
Again -- custom die set for the 'U'. Perhaps with a guide included for the width of the stock prior to bending, so it remains centered as the punch enters the die.
Enjoy, DoN.
Reply to
DoN. Nichols
You will need a pretty HD brake for that length of 16GA. For the U channel, think outside the box. This needs to be rolled, not pressed. A bead roller will work for that material; you will need to modify the female die to allow the sides of the channel to form. JR Dweller in the cellar
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JR North
That bend will require serious force. A leaf brake (is that what they're called?) would be massive & expensive. A press brake would be more reasonable. Even so, it would have to be big. I can make a 21" bend in 14 ga in my 20T press, but only with a cheater. I made mine from a 20T HF hydraulic press & it doesn't have a 24-3/8 opening. The HF 50T has the width & the muscle, but it's $700 vs $200 for the 20T
How long is the bend & how wide is the U? For a narrow U, clearance can be a problem with the 2nd bend. But it could be done with a dedicated die in a press brake.
Maybe not, it depends.
Reply to
Bob Engelhardt
564 > =A0 =A0 =A0 =A0 (too) near Washington D.C. |
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What's that Lassie? You say that Searcher7 fell down the old rec.crafts.metalworking mine and will die if we don't mount a rescue by Mon, 5 Apr 2010 17:13:07 -0700 (PDT):
harbor freight has a 48" box and pan brake that is rated for 16 ga. part # 45876-1CYH
for the 'U' channel, you might be better off if you find some square tubing(1/4 x 1/2) and have it cut in half. Plasma cutter would do it, or a band saw.
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It is close enough to 1/16" so you can use that as a guide.
That will be difficult given how much steel will be clamped to the metal right where the bend goes. It will take you hours to heat it, and you will be reducing the hardness of the fingers and other contact points.
If you are starting with mild steel, you probably won't need to do the heating -- unless you work-harden it by the first bend.
O.K. As a couple of points of reference:
Brake Stand Shipping Shipping weight Weight ================================================== 24" 325 100 36" 470 140
So -- do you plan to use it in the basement? You certainly don't plan to haul it upstairs use it and then haul it back down. You are still in the apartment building?
And in the basement, you want to be sure to coat it with a good oil or rust preventive (certainly not WD-40. :-)
And the limit for my Di-Acro is precisely 24".
Hmm ... from the manual for the #24 and #36 Brakes:
====================================================================== NOTE: Di-Acro Brakes are rated for 1" minimum flange when bending full capacity. Caution should be used if necessary to bend heavier gauge material in short widths. ======================================================================
And 16 gauge is the full capacity - especially at a full 24" long. So a press brake with a custom punch and die would probably be better for you.
Here is the Di-Acro page dealing with the brakes (24" and 36" ones). They used to have their manuals available for download in pdf format. I think some others have the files still available.
Good Luck, DoN.
Reply to
DoN. Nichols
Ok, no heating...
Yes, mild steel is what I'll be using.
The basement would be my only option. The small room in my apartment is for the lathe, Mill/Drill, and other smaller machines.
I use WD-40 to clean, and depending on what the tool/machine white lithium grease or 3-in-1 oil.
Ok, I guess this will be more difficult than I thought. I'd assume I'd probably need a larger and heavier machine than your Di-Arco. :-(
Ok, I'm doing my research on those.
Thanks a lot.
Darren Harris Staten Island, New York.
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