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Thread: A DIY Press Brake for a hydraulic Shop Press.

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    Tungsten Carbide xalky's Avatar
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    A DIY Press Brake for a hydraulic Shop Press.

    I made this press brake to fit on my HF 20 ton shop press. I thought I'd share it with you guys over here. I've seen several different variations of these for sale online at places like Northern Tool and on ebay. Some of them were pre-cut weld yourself kits others were already made. I had the steel laying around my shop so I decided to build one.

    So here's what it looks like complete:



    These are the parts mostly precut and ready for welding. The spring came from a storm door air cylinder that I had laying around. I cut it open to retrieve the spring.



    This is my Bridgeport hogging out the 60 degree wedge shape on the 1 1/2" x 3 1/2" piece of steel for the punch side of the brake. Some of the iterations of this brake I've seen only have an angle iron welded to the top punch to achieve the wedge shape or a 90 degree wedge shape but the result is that achieving a 90 degree bend is nearly impossible because of the flex-back of the material. With a 60 degree wedge on top a 90 degree + bend is easily achievable.


    Heres a picture of how it's put together from the side.



    It can bend up to 110 degrees. which is the reason why I put a 60 degree angle on the wedge to achieve the beyond 90 capability.



    I did most of this on a Saturday afternoon and finished welding it up the next Sunday morning. The longest part was hogging the wedge shape out on the Bridgeport at .040 bites at a time with a 1" carbide indexed end mill. I tried it with a larger HSS end mill and the result was way too slow for my taste. Gotta get me some of those Large indexable facing and hogging shell mills.

    Have Fun
    Marcel

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    Global Moderator jumps4's Avatar
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    Re: A DIY Press Brake for a hydraulic Shop Press.

    nice job and it looks like it works good
    steve
    " Where There Is A Will... my kids want to be in it "
    " no brains no headaches "

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    Tungsten Carbide xalky's Avatar
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    Re: A DIY Press Brake for a hydraulic Shop Press.

    Quote Originally Posted by jumps4 View Post
    nice job and it looks like it works good
    steve
    Thanks Steve. I'm painting it up now. I'll post a pic complete.

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    Tungsten Carbide xalky's Avatar
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    Re: A DIY Press Brake for a hydraulic Shop Press.


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    Re: A DIY Press Brake for a hydraulic Shop Press.

    Nice job on the ever-versatile 'H' press
    Logan 200 Lathe owner since 1975

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    Brass schemer's Avatar
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    Re: A DIY Press Brake for a hydraulic Shop Press.

    Hi,
    I am in the process of either buying a kit or making my own Press Brake but I have a question for those who have one and use it a lot. I need to bend some 1/8 aluminum sheet in a semi-circle that is conical in design. Picture a clamp that is used with EMT in a "C" shape including the flat for the bolt. Can this shape be bent in a press brake? If so, what order would you make the bends? I am assuming starting in the middle and work to one side then turn the piece around and do the same for the other side. I just don't want to have the piece get in the way of itself. Also, what die shape would be best? A 4 sided one with varying angles or just the plain 90 degree angle?
    Thanks,
    schemer



    p.s. Nice job on the Press Brake

    Thanks,
    Schemer

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    Global Moderator Rbeckett's Avatar
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    Re: A DIY Press Brake for a hydraulic Shop Press.

    Marciel,
    Lookin good there buddy. Any idea of the max thickness it will bend yet? That looks like a formidable chunk of alli in the pic of the over 90 degree bend. Keep up the great work!!!! And thanks for the really great pics, that really helps show a great project so others can give it a try too.

    Bob
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    Tungsten Carbide Hawkeye's Avatar
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    Re: A DIY Press Brake for a hydraulic Shop Press.

    Okay, Zalky. That's one more for the project list. I got a "Does not work" 20 ton at the local tool store and made it work (at least up to 15 tons). A rig like that will make it very useful.

    Thanks for sharing.
    Mike

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    Re: A DIY Press Brake for a hydraulic Shop Press.

    Quote Originally Posted by schemer View Post
    Hi,
    I am in the process of either buying a kit or making my own Press Brake but I have a question for those who have one and use it a lot. I need to bend some 1/8 aluminum sheet in a semi-circle that is conical in design. Picture a clamp that is used with EMT in a "C" shape including the flat for the bolt. Can this shape be bent in a press brake? If so, what order would you make the bends? I am assuming starting in the middle and work to one side then turn the piece around and do the same for the other side. I just don't want to have the piece get in the way of itself. Also, what die shape would be best? A 4 sided one with varying angles or just the plain 90 degree angle?
    Thanks,
    schemer



    p.s. Nice job on the Press Brake

    It can be done by step bending the radius then flipping to do the bend. A narrow piece of c-channel and a piece of flat bar with a piece of round stock welded to the edge for a top die will make a smoother radius. I use different width c-channels for all my bottom dies. If I need something tighter I drop some round stock in the c-channel, you don't need a bottom v- die when air bending just 3 points.
    Bill

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    Re: A DIY Press Brake for a hydraulic Shop Press.

    Thanks for the fantastic write up and pics Marcel!

    I just picked up one of these HF 20 ton presses from a guy nearby. I am in the process of tooling it up, please keep posting!



    Bernie
    Bernie

    Let's help each other with similar machines! Here's what I got:
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    Re: A DIY Press Brake for a hydraulic Shop Press.

    Quote Originally Posted by pineyfolks View Post
    It can be done by step bending the radius then flipping to do the bend. A narrow piece of c-channel and a piece of flat bar with a piece of round stock welded to the edge for a top die will make a smoother radius. I use different width c-channels for all my bottom dies. If I need something tighter I drop some round stock in the c-channel, you don't need a bottom v- die when air bending just 3 points.

    Pineyfolks,
    Thanks for the info.Do you have any pics? I was thinking of having a versatile press brake with changeable bottom dies like you describe. How are they held in place when you use a narrower C-channel? What size is the receiver for the bottom dies?
    schemer
    Thanks,
    Schemer

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    Re: A DIY Press Brake for a hydraulic Shop Press.

    Quote Originally Posted by schemer View Post
    Pineyfolks,
    Thanks for the info.Do you have any pics? I was thinking of having a versatile press brake with changeable bottom dies like you describe. How are they held in place when you use a narrower C-channel? What size is the receiver for the bottom dies?
    schemer
    The base is 1 x 4 flat bar with a 3/8 key to locate the bottom dies to the base. Just key all your bottom dies and swap them as needed. My top is a 60 deg V. No reason you couldn't make the top die keyed for different dies too, that was my plan but I ran out of heavy stock
    Bill

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    Re: A DIY Press Brake for a hydraulic Shop Press.

    Quote Originally Posted by pineyfolks View Post
    The base is 1 x 4 flat bar with a 3/8 key to locate the bottom dies to the base. Just key all your bottom dies and swap them as needed. My top is a 60 deg V. No reason you couldn't make the top die keyed for different dies too, that was my plan but I ran out of heavy stock
    Thanks pineyfolks,
    That is clear and a great solution to my question. May as well make it the most functional as I can from the get go. I appreciate the info.
    schemer
    Thanks,
    Schemer

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    Re: A DIY Press Brake for a hydraulic Shop Press.

    Press Brake dies are clamped in place by a 1/2" thick by 5/8" "tang" along the top of the die. Same for the bottom dies. Here are a couple photos of a top die and a sketch of the way they are held. Both top and bottom dies are made in sections to allow parts with lips to be bent.The one I have is 7/8" thick and about 4-1/2" tall. Just Google Press Brake die and you will find several photos of the tooling. Also check out ebay - literally tons of tooling for sale on there all the time. One interesting type of tooling is the Urethane bottom die. Check this auction out for starters. http://www.ebay.com/itm/PRESS-BRAKE-...item1c330e72cb and this one for Urethane tooling. http://www.ebay.com/itm/3-8-VEE-URET...item5657da9fb5.
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    Re: A DIY Press Brake for a hydraulic Shop Press.

    Quote Originally Posted by SEK_22Hornet View Post
    Press Brake dies are clamped in place by a 1/2" thick by 5/8" "tang" along the top of the die. Same for the bottom dies. Here are a couple photos of a top die and a sketch of the way they are held. Both top and bottom dies are made in sections to allow parts with lips to be bent. Just Google Press Brake die and you will find several photos of the tooling. Also check out ebay - literally tons of tooling for sale on there all the time. One interesting type of tooling is the Urethane bottom die. Check this auction out for starters. http://www.ebay.com/itm/PRESS-BRAKE-...item1c330e72cb and this one for Urethane tooling. http://www.ebay.com/itm/3-8-VEE-URET...item5657da9fb5.
    SEK_22Hornet,
    Thanks for the added info on the dies and punch retention. I have looked at the ebay stuff and most of it is 5-8" but that stuff will work on appropriately sized projects. I did see the urethane pieces too but thought they were for thin sheet metal work. Maybe not.
    schemer
    Thanks,
    Schemer

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    Re: A DIY Press Brake for a hydraulic Shop Press.

    Here is link to a website that has lots of different tooling with dimensions and application information - looks like a good reference. It was in the ebay auction I linked to so i had to check it out -



    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by schemer View Post
    SEK_22Hornet,
    Thanks for the added info on the dies and punch retention. I have looked at the ebay stuff and most of it is 5-8" but that stuff will work on appropriately sized projects. I did see the urethane pieces too but thought they were for thin sheet metal work. Maybe not.
    schemer
    The dies are made so that you can end to end stack them - the shop where I used to work would buy 4' sections and cut them to smaller pieces on a power hacksaw. Especially the top dies. We made sheet metal parts out of aluminum and steel for our electronic products. Check out the urethane companies web site - it will surprise you what they say can be done with the urethane dies. If you are looking at bending much more that 16 gauge, I think you will find that you will need to beef up you dies to keep them from deflecting. Something like an A frame to hold the top die would help a lot.


    Dan

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    Re: A DIY Press Brake for a hydraulic Shop Press.

    Using sections of dies works great to bend boxes and such, just remember you're using a shop press not a brake so the load must stay centered under the ram or things will get ugly.You can also place pieces of cardboard between the top die and the work piece on one side to adjust a long piece to bend the same on each end.
    Bill

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    Bronze astjp2's Avatar
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    Re: A DIY Press Brake for a hydraulic Shop Press.

    We use dies like this at work in our 60 ton press brakes, you can get them with different radiuses, the amount of distance the top die is pressed into the bottom die will dictate the bend. If you make a back gauge, you can then make the same bend distance multiple times. You also should put grease zerks on the bolster pins so you can lube the upper die. Tim

    Quote Originally Posted by SEK_22Hornet View Post
    Press Brake dies are clamped in place by a 1/2" thick by 5/8" "tang" along the top of the die. Same for the bottom dies. Here are a couple photos of a top die and a sketch of the way they are held. Both top and bottom dies are made in sections to allow parts with lips to be bent.The one I have is 7/8" thick and about 4-1/2" tall. Just Google Press Brake die and you will find several photos of the tooling. Also check out ebay - literally tons of tooling for sale on there all the time. One interesting type of tooling is the Urethane bottom die. Check this auction out for starters. http://www.ebay.com/itm/PRESS-BRAKE-...item1c330e72cb and this one for Urethane tooling. http://www.ebay.com/itm/3-8-VEE-URET...item5657da9fb5.

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    Re: A DIY Press Brake for a hydraulic Shop Press.

    @Pineyfolks:
    Seeing I have to run to the steel store Thursday, what size c-channel do you use? I looked online and the stuff less than 3" wide gets too thin at 1/8" thick. I was going to buy a piece of 3" and try to use it as the base with round steel bars and also as the receiver for the bottom dies like angle iron etc. I figure with a little planning at the start I can make it very adjustable as far as make a new die as needed.
    Thanks,
    schemer
    Thanks,
    Schemer

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    Re: A DIY Press Brake for a hydraulic Shop Press.

    I use 3" and 4" channel for heavy material. 3" works great for me for 1/4" material. I made a bottom die with a 1" slot for 12ga. material and less. You can add some round stock inside the channel too. I also have a pointer next to my jack and a scale held on the side of the jack with magnets to use as a depth gauge for repeatable bends. I shot you some pics but I don't want to hijack this thread, just give you guys some other options when building.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Bill

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    Re: A DIY Press Brake for a hydraulic Shop Press.

    Quote Originally Posted by pineyfolks View Post
    I use 3" and 4" channel for heavy material. 3" works great for me for 1/4" material. I made a bottom die with a 1" slot for 12ga. material and less. You can add some round stock inside the channel too. I also have a pointer next to my jack and a scale held on the side of the jack with magnets to use as a depth gauge for repeatable bends. I shot you some pics but I don't want to hijack this thread, just give you guys some other options when building.
    Very nice. Thanks for the pics and added info. Looks great! I appreciate it.
    schemer

    pm sent
    Last edited by schemer; 10-02-13 at 01:05 PM.
    Thanks,
    Schemer

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    Re: A DIY Press Brake for a hydraulic Shop Press.

    Quote Originally Posted by schemer View Post
    Very nice. Thanks for the pics and added info. Looks great! I appreciate it.
    schemer

    pm sent
    schemer , here's a pic of some of my bending stuff just to give you some ideas I've got more, I was getting tired dragging it out
    Attached Images Attached Images
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    Re: A DIY Press Brake for a hydraulic Shop Press.

    Quote Originally Posted by pineyfolks View Post
    schemer , here's a pic of some of my bending stuff just to give you some ideas I've got more, I was getting tired dragging it out
    Looking good. Thanks for the pics. I am sure my first one will not be my only one.
    schemer
    Thanks,
    Schemer

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    Re: A DIY Press Brake for a hydraulic Shop Press.

    I got a start on a 10" brake, thanks to your thread. After what you said about many slow passes with an end mill, I decided to take the vertical head off my Victoria. I'd only done horizontal milling once before - a few T-nuts for the 'new' mill.

    I have to admit, I like being able to take the whole bevel in one pass. Turn the work around to make both sides match. I set up the arbor for three operations, just by moving the work for each one. The second operation was to round the crown slightly with the right-hand cutter.
    PA011009a.jpg

    The final operation added another 15o to the bevel on each side to make it a bit closer to round. I might blend the three operations with some emery strip.
    PA021013a.jpg
    Mike

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    Re: A DIY Press Brake for a hydraulic Shop Press.

    Quote Originally Posted by pineyfolks View Post
    I use 3" and 4" channel for heavy material. 3" works great for me for 1/4" material. I made a bottom die with a 1" slot for 12ga. material and less. You can add some round stock inside the channel too. I also have a pointer next to my jack and a scale held on the side of the jack with magnets to use as a depth gauge for repeatable bends. I shot you some pics but I don't want to hijack this thread, just give you guys some other options when building.
    I've been looking for an example on how to finish my press that I started about 4 years ago!

    The rollers running on the verticals is a good answer. What size of steel are you using for the horizontal jack support?
    Machinery:
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    Re: A DIY Press Brake for a hydraulic Shop Press.

    Quote Originally Posted by DAN_IN_MN View Post
    I've been looking for an example on how to finish my press that I started about 4 years ago!

    The rollers running on the verticals is a good answer. What size of steel are you using for the horizontal jack support?
    DAN, The top and bottom channel are 8". The plate above the jack is 1". The whole thing bolts together (with grade 8 bolts )so parts can be replaced if something gets bent.
    Bill

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    Re: A DIY Press Brake for a hydraulic Shop Press.

    Does anybody know the specs on the springs and where to get some? I have decided to use 3/4" posts so I need springs to fit over them but am unsure on the length and load specs. I will be using a 1" x 4" x 20" piece of steel for the top die.
    Thanks,
    schemer
    Thanks,
    Schemer

  28. #28
    Cast Iron pineyfolks's Avatar
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    Re: A DIY Press Brake for a hydraulic Shop Press.

    I got my springs from old motorcycle shocks, I think an 80 or 100cc something small. If you have to, cut them so you don't compress them to far. You can also search for die springs on ebay.
    Bill

  29. #29
    Brass schemer's Avatar
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    Re: A DIY Press Brake for a hydraulic Shop Press.

    Quote Originally Posted by pineyfolks View Post
    I got my springs from old motorcycle shocks, I think an 80 or 100cc something small. If you have to, cut them so you don't compress them to far. You can also search for die springs on ebay.
    I was looking at die springs and motorcycle fork springs today. Then I realized I have an old set that may work.
    Thanks,
    schemer
    Thanks,
    Schemer

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    Re: A DIY Press Brake for a hydraulic Shop Press.

    Hey Piney,
    On the slot for the 3/8" key in the base, did you mill the whole .375 depth? Just curious now that I have milled .1875 in the base thinking of the old regular key slot thinking, but soon realizing the channel isn't thick enough to mill .01875 for the other half as it is only .1875 thick. Probably easiest to mill the .375 instead of messing with the key stock later on the attachments but I thought I would ask just in case. My base is 1.00 thick by 4.00 wide.
    Thanks,
    schemer
    Thanks,
    Schemer

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