Sheet Metal Folders

I need to bend some sheet metal - not big bits so I was contemplating, forgive me here, the small one sold by Machine Mart.
Being wary of most stuff from Machine Mart can anyone tell me if it's OK. Alternatively is there another place that I should look? I know that I could make one but when the Machine Mart one is 40quid it hardly seems worth it.
Charles
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It is the usual Machine Mart story: some stuff is ok, but you need to select carefully. Never walk out with anything that you haven't unpacked and checked.
I have had one of their 40 folders for years. I asked to see it before buying, rejected a couple, selected one that seemed fine. It has had a fair amount of use - mainly on aluminium up to 16 swg (1.5 mm). It has been regularly cleaned and lubricated and hasn't worn significantly.
I'd rather have a nice big press brake, but then I'd need a big new workshop to put it in.
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A friend of mine purchased the Warco combo, which also includes a guillotine and a set of bending rolls. Seems quite useful in operation. Just under 200, ISTR.

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On Fri, 18 Jun 2004 07:52:37 +0100, Charles Ping

If your 'not big bits' are not bigger than 12" then this gizmo may be worthwhile: http://www.warco.co.uk/metalforming/formit.html
I bought the small version for box making and it's OK, but don't bother trying to shear 12" of 16-gauge hard brass sheet with it!
I made all the platework for two 3-1/2" tank locos using nothing more than a vice and a couple lengths of 2"x3/8" BDMS bar. The sheet clamped between the two bars (in a vice with toolmakers clamps on the ends of the bars) was then bent with a hammer against a flat piece of ally 3/4" plate. Sounds dubious but it works well. Same method (with just the very edge of the sheet sticking out from between the two bars) is used with a file to get a straight, square edge good enough for soldering.
ChrisH
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On Fri, 18 Jun 2004 07:52:37 +0100, Charles Ping wrote:

Charles, I don't know if you clocked the little 3-in-1 machine in the corner of the lounge (next to the bandsaw), but it's quite a handy little tool.
It looks identical to the one ChrisH has, although it came from Axminster and it's a little bit cheaper than the Warco one... http://www.axminster.co.uk/default.asp?part=SSBP
If you just want to bend a few bits and pieces, you are welcome to come round and use it.
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I know a chap with a press brake from Northern Tools, it seems to do everything. Take a look at www.northerntooluk.com item numbers 143342E and 0143361E
John
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On Fri, 18 Jun 2004 20:05:01 +0100, Duncan Munro

Thanks for the advice chaps (and the offer Duncan). Since I already have some decent shears the 3 in 1 option will be avoided and I think that I'd better go and see what the Machine Mart version is like in the flesh!
Charles
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wrote:

Make sure you check out several: they vary, especially in the gap between moving and fixed irons. If they haven't got several to compare, go back when they have.
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