A DIY Press Brake for a hydraulic Shop Press.

Discussion in 'SHOP-MADE TOOLING' started by xalky, Jun 19, 2012.

  1. xalky

    xalky Global Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    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:

    [​IMG]

    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.

    [​IMG]

    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.
    [​IMG]

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

    [​IMG]

    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.

    [​IMG]

    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
     
  2. jumps4

    jumps4 Global Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    nice job and it looks like it works good
    steve
     
  3. xalky

    xalky Global Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    Thanks Steve. I'm painting it up now. I'll post a pic complete.
     
  4. xalky

    xalky Global Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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  5. burnrider

    burnrider Active Members Active Member

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    Nice job on the ever-versatile 'H' press
     
  6. schemer

    schemer Active Members Active Member

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    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

    [​IMG]
     
  7. Rbeckett

    Rbeckett Active Member Rest In Peace

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    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
     
  8. Hawkeye

    Hawkeye Active Members Supporter Active Member

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    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.
     
  9. pineyfolks

    pineyfolks Active Members Active Member

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    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.
     
  10. itsme_Bernie

    itsme_Bernie Active Members Supporter Active Member

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    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
     
  11. schemer

    schemer Active Members Active Member

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    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
     
  12. pineyfolks

    pineyfolks Active Members Active Member

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    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
     
  13. schemer

    schemer Active Members Active Member

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    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
     
  14. SEK_22Hornet

    SEK_22Hornet Active Members Active Member

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    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.
     

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  15. schemer

    schemer Active Members Active Member

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    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
     
  16. SEK_22Hornet

    SEK_22Hornet Active Members Active Member

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    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 - - -

    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
     
  17. pineyfolks

    pineyfolks Active Members Active Member

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    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.
     
  18. astjp2

    astjp2 Active Members Supporter Active Member

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    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

     
  19. schemer

    schemer Active Members Active Member

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    @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
     
  20. pineyfolks

    pineyfolks Active Members Active Member

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    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.
     

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