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A DIY Press Brake for a hydraulic Shop Press.

xalky

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Director
#1
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:

2012-06-11112925.jpg

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.

2012-06-10220842.jpg

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.
2012-06-10131446.jpg

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

2012-06-19090917.jpg

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.

2012-06-11113012.jpg

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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schemer

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#6
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

DSCF0032_zps1715f89b.jpg
 

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Rbeckett

Platinum
Rest In Peace
#7
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
 

Hawkeye

Active User
H-M Supporter-Premium
#8
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.
 

pineyfolks

Active User
Active Member
#9
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

DSCF0032_zps1715f89b.jpg
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.
 

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itsme_Bernie

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H-M Supporter-Premium
#10
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
 

schemer

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Active Member
#11
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
 

pineyfolks

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Active Member
#12
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
 

schemer

Active User
Active Member
#13
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
 

SEK_22Hornet

Active User
Active Member
#14
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...195?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item1c330e72cb and this one for Urethane tooling. http://www.ebay.com/itm/3-8-VEE-URE...981?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item5657da9fb5.

DSCF1872.JPG DSCF1873.JPG DSCF1875.JPG press brake.PNG
 

schemer

Active User
Active Member
#15
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...195?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item1c330e72cb and this one for Urethane tooling. http://www.ebay.com/itm/3-8-VEE-URE...981?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=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
 

SEK_22Hornet

Active User
Active Member
#16
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 - - -

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
 

pineyfolks

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Active Member
#17
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.
 

astjp2

Active User
Active Member
#18
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

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...195?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item1c330e72cb and this one for Urethane tooling. http://www.ebay.com/itm/3-8-VEE-URE...981?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item5657da9fb5.
 

schemer

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Active Member
#19
@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
 

pineyfolks

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Active Member
#20
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.

100_8499.JPG 100_8491.JPG 100_8489.JPG 100_8500.JPG
 

schemer

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#21
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:

Hawkeye

Active User
H-M Supporter-Premium
#24
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 15[SUP]o[/SUP] 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

PA011009a.jpg PA021013a.jpg
 

DAN_IN_MN

Active User
Active Member
#25
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.
attachment.php?attachmentid=61567&stc=1&thumb=1&d=1380647865.jpg
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?
 

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pineyfolks

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#26
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.
 

schemer

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Active Member
#27
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
 

pineyfolks

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#28
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.
 

schemer

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Active Member
#29
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
 

schemer

Active User
Active Member
#30
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. :lmao: 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