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Another press brake. Lots of pictures.

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  • Another press brake. Lots of pictures.

    I needed a way other than Oxy/Acetylene and a vise to make a sharp bend in ¼ plate and strap for projects. A lot of press brake projects have been completed here and on other forums so I was able to roll the common design features into my own version. Also design was driven by what materials I had on hand, not necessarily by the best materials for the project. For example the bottom die I used is solid hex bar that I quite literally found out in the dirt on my property. I think it is part of an old tractor implement! I am by no means a professional fabricator but enjoy making my own tools and projects. Was recently laid off from my job of 10 years and I am now starting welding school in January. As always comments, suggestions, respectful critiques are welcome.



    Did my initial design in Google Sketchup (love this program!)



    Materials sized and cut, ready for assembly. Bottom plate is 3/8, as well as the top die. 5/8 inch bolts. Springs I bought from Ace Hardware for .60 a piece.



    I drilled the bottom plate with a 19/32 drill bit (1/32 under 5/8), then ground a taper on the ends of the 5/8 bolts.



    With the taper on the ends I tapped the bolts into place to enable me to make sure they were parallel and 90 degrees to the bottom plate.

  • #2

    Making sure bolts are 90 degrees to the bottom plate to allow smooth movement of the upper die.



    With the bolts tapped into place and square I turned the plate over and tacked each bolt from the bottom, turned the plate back over and adjusted the bolts to square, turned the plate over, added another tack… rinse repeat until I had three tacks on each bolt and then poured the heat on.



    After welding the bolts from the bottom I then ground the weld down flat



    With bolts in place and parallel, it was time to weld the guides onto the side of the top die.

    Comment


    • #3

      Because of the size of my bottom die (1.25” Hex bar) the top die did not need to contact the bottom plate to complete a 90 degree bend on anything I was going to bed. The springs compress down to 1.5” so I added a 1.5 tube spacer underneath the guides that I was welding to the top die to set the correct height and then spaced the top die up with some scrap ¼ plate. I hope that makes sense.



      Small tack welds to keep the guides in place before completing the weld



      Completed weld on guide and top die



      Because of the close fit of the guides on the bolts any misalignment during travel would cause the guides to bind on the bolts. So I hand filed angles on the openings of the guides to eliminate this. Worked great.

      Comment


      • #4

        Tack welded the bottom dies into place. From my research on this board and others it was suggested the distance from contact point to contact point should be 8 times the thickness of the material you plan to bend. In my case ¼ plate so the two contact points are 2 inches apart.



        Welded ¾ thick x 2” wide x6.75” long reinforcements on the bottom plate to prevent any bending of the bottom plate.



        I also welded 3” wide ¼ thick flat bar perpendicular to the bottom plate to index the press brake when setting it on the press. I found that after welding the bottom die and the under-plate supports that I needed to give the bolts a little love with a hammer to get them back to parallel.



        Welding a 1” I.D. tube on the top die to properly index the ram on to the die.

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        • #5

          Press brake on my modified HF press brake.



          Some completed bends. Happy with the results. 1/8 plate, 3/16 flat bar, and 3/8 inch flat bar.

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          • #6
            Your work is really good but using that hex stock wasn't the best choice. I used some of that hex stock on my base and that edge is wearing down so on my next one I'll use round stock. If there is a way to add a stop for repetitive work, it makes alot easier and enjoyable to use.

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            • #7
              Hey neighbor, looks like a really nice press and nice work. i need to build a new one or at least rework the one i built a couple of years ago to handle up to 15" wide 5/16". if you have teenage boys like i do good luck lol. my 16 yr old thought he could bend up some 8" by 1/2" plate. it handled it but did tweak the die slightly. it still works good but it just isn't right for my liking. sorry to hear about the job and good luck in school.....jim

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              • #8
                Really nice project and thanks alot for taking the time to make this into a tutorial. Alot of us really appreciate it! Happy New Year and good luck in school and on the job front.

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                • #9
                  Nice work and i like the little woodburner in your shop...Bob

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Thanks for the comments guys.

                    JayO: I came to that same conclusion after my first test bend. The nice sharp edge where I had the flat bar placed wasnt so nice or sharp anymore! I took the top die off and rounded the length of the edge on both sides. I use a little cutting wax on the edge and it seems to have solved the problem!

                    jbmprods: Yeah we are practically neighbors! Thanks for the comments. No teenagers but I do have two boys (age 4 and 3) so my time is coming! Although they like to 'borrow' my nice tools and go dig in the mud.

                    strube1369 & aametalmaster: Thanks for the comments. I have spent a lot of time on here and learned alot decided to share my little world.

                    Jay

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Thanks for sharing

                      Hi Jay,

                      Thanks for taking the time to make such a nice post, complete with clear pictures and tutorial.
                      Your work looks real good. I make and/or customize a lot of my own tools and machinery, too- a "habit" I picked up from my father.

                      What caught my eye, though, was the cool hand-wheel you made for your bead roller. There's nothing like home-made, right?

                      Keep up the good work and good luck with school.

                      Happy New Year to everyone.

                      -Chris

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by chris***@sbcglo View Post
                        Hi Jay,

                        Thanks for taking the time to make such a nice post, complete with clear pictures and tutorial.
                        Your work looks real good. I make and/or customize a lot of my own tools and machinery, too- a "habit" I picked up from my father.

                        What caught my eye, though, was the cool hand-wheel you made for your bead roller. There's nothing like home-made, right?

                        Keep up the good work and good luck with school.

                        Happy New Year to everyone.

                        -Chris
                        Thanks Chris,

                        My grandfather gave me the bug to build my own stuff. I tell my wife that part of me is really glad I am not rich, because if I were then I wouldn't have the fun of building all the tools that I can't afford!

                        I built the that bead roller out of the Harbor Freight one. I didn't have a tubing bender, but I had a lot of chain!



                        Jay

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by strube1369 View Post
                          Really nice project and thanks alot for taking the time to make this into a tutorial. Alot of us really appreciate it! Happy New Year and good luck in school and on the job front.
                          As said, thanks, you do great work and great write up. One question how did you finish the edge on the top die?, to a sharp edge?, if so how to make it uniform?

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by smooth72 View Post
                            how did you finish the edge on the top die?, to a sharp edge?, if so how to make it uniform?
                            I did not make it into a sharp point. I ground a 45 degree angle on each side of the 3/8 inch plate with a 1/8 inch land in the middle. I used a grinding disc to rough it, a flap disc to smooth it out, and then a flat file to finish it off. The hardest part about doing it this way is to be carefully of rounding the ends. I keep the 7" grinder tight and close to my chest and use my whole body to move the grinder the length of the plate. I also lift up before the end of the plate because no matter what the pressure that is on the grinder will invariablly round the end. I then finish the last bit with a flat file. Just takes time. Hope that helps!

                            Jay

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                            • #15
                              Thanks, that does help.

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