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Plans for a sheet metal bender?

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Janderso

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#1
I would really like to build a sheet metal brake/bender. The Chinese 30" products are really poor quality. Simple yes, but not the best quality.
If you have made one or have seen a good set of plans, please share.
Thank you.
Jeff
 

Norseman C.B.

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#2
I too , would be interested in a good plan of attack...........
 

Janderso

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#3

strantor

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#4
Eastwood has a pretty good design. I like the movable jaws so you can have more bending options.
I wonder if I could buy the materials that cheap? I have a great local scrap source.
Here is a link to what I am thinking about>>>
https://www.eastwood.com/eastwood-24-inch-box-and-pan-sheet-metal-brake.html
I have that unit. It's not blue, nor does it say Eastwood, but it's the same exact model, I'm sure from the same factory in China. It's not perfect; the clamp lever, where it threads into the cam stripped out and the lever came out on one of my first bends. I drilled out the damaged metric threads and tapped it NPT and replaced the lever with a section of pipe. Never had another problem. I'm sure you could probably make a clone for less than $300 in supplies, but that's not the whole story unless your time is worth absolutely nothing. If I didn't have one and I needed a sheet metal brake (as opposed to needing a project or something to do), and I had to choose between building one from scratch or buying the unit, I would still buy the unit. It's a good value in my opinion and to build one would probably end up costing me thousands in unrealized earning as waste time on it.
 

Aaron_W

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#5
I'm thinking about making one of these.

https://gingerybookstore.com/SheetMetalBrake.html

The plans are written for a 15" brake but everything was based around a 30" machine so enlarging it is just a matter of lengthening. Over 30" it says you will need to make other adjustments, in particular a heavier gauge of angle iron to prevent flexing.


Some useful ideas and tool plans in the other sheet metal books as well.

https://gingerybookstore.com/WorkingSheetMetal.html

https://gingerybookstore.com/SheetMetalTech.html
 

Janderso

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#6
Strantor and aaron,
Thanks for the input. It's great to hear from an owner opn that eastwood clone. It's funny how one manufacturer sells to retailers that rebrand the product.
Regarding making my own, I think a 30" version of the Eastwood would work great. I have a mill so I should be able to cut the beveled edges fairly easily. Plus, i'll use quality steel and fastners.
The sheet metal references may be a great source. Thanks.
 

Logan 400

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#7
I was doing a jobsit visit a while back and some guys were bending some pretty heavy sheet metal with a brake I had not seen before. They told me they could bend 14 guage with it. I took some pictures of the bender because I want to make one. I have one i built 20 years ago but it's kind of cumbersome to use and will only bend 20" wide sheets. I will try to find the pictures and post them in a day or two.
Jay
 

Janderso

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#8
Thanks Jay.
I am thinking of making a jig or way to mount the device to my HF 20 ton press. That way I would have a stable mounting system.Shop floor and bench space is getting scarce.
I just noticed the post time, we are up a bit early this morning.
Best time of the day.
 
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TomS

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#9
There was a multi-issue pan and box brake build in The Home Shop Machinist a few years back. It was a detailed build with dimensioned drawings.
 

Janderso

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#10
How would I find the article/thread?
 

Logan 400

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#11
I don't know if this will help but here are the pictures.
KIMG1401.jpg KIMG1403.jpg KIMG1403.jpg
 

Logan 400

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#12
This is a brake I built 20 years ago when all I had was a lincoln 225, a portaband and a few pieces of metal I had picked up off jobsites. I can bend 16 guide up to 20" wide. Just can't be in a hurry. lol
KIMG1451.jpg
 

TomS

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#13
How would I find the article/thread?
You can find it two ways. Go to the Village Press website then click on Metalworking, then Back Issues. You can then scroll through and find it that way or call their "800" number and speak with a real person. Or you can wait a day or two and I will go through my back issues and find the year and months of the articles series. I've got a houseful of family this weekend but will start looking on Monday.
 

TomS

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You can find it two ways. Go to the Village Press website then click on Metalworking, then Back Issues. You can then scroll through and find it that way or call their "800" number and speak with a real person. Or you can wait a day or two and I will go through my back issues and find the year and months of the articles series. I've got a houseful of family this weekend but will start looking on Monday.

Found the first article here. HSM Vol. 27 No. 04 Jul-Aug 2008 . This being a multi-article project search subsequent issues for the follow-on articles.
 

Janderso

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#15
Tom,
How do I access the article? I do subscribe.
Thank you,
Jeff
 

Kroll

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#16
These kind of post always gets my interest cause I also want one.I also posted the same question on a welding forum which receive some good answers just like here.I also would like the finger break which is what Eastwood is selling but just like your thinking the quality is just not there,so I figure I would also look for plans to make one that will bend 16ga with no problems.Well I never got around to pricing material cause there is a guy that makes breaks but not finger that he says will bend 16ga by 36" wide for 500.00. I figure that material would cost me about half that amount,then all the mistakes that I would make and all the time invested.I just don't think I can go wrong on this shop made break and like the one of the other posters here,what is a person's time worth.If I was going to pull the trigger on Eastwood,I would make plans on beefing it up any way possible then it should do anything you want it to.Please keep this post going,lots of interest here
 

TomS

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#18
Tom,
How do I access the article? I do subscribe.
Thank you,
Jeff
You have to have the magazine. As far as I know they do not have internet accessibility. If you don't have the pertinent issues you can call Village Press and buy back issues. If they don't have the issues you need let me know. I can dig through my collection and copy the articles for you. Not sure I can post them on this forum due to copyright law. Moderators - If I'm wrong please let me know and I'll post them for all to see.
 

Janderso

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#19
Tom,
I’ll give the magazine a call.
ASM109, great press mount brake ideas, thanks.
Jeff
 

Jonno_G

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#20
I know this is probably more complicated than what you had in mind, but it does fit the requirement of being plans for a sheet or pan/box brake.

These are extremely versatile, and I intend to build one myself at some point.

http://aaybee.com.au/Magnabend/Building Your Own Magnabend.html

Cheers,... Jon.

Sent from my Lenovo YT3-X50F using Tapatalk
 

brino

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#21
These are extremely versatile, and I intend to build one myself at some point.
Okay I'll bite...........................
What possible improvement to a purely mechanical bender do electro-magnets provide?
After reading thru several web pages I see NO benefit to magnets in a bender.
Did I miss something?

Thanks,
-brino
 

Jonno_G

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#22
Okay I'll bite...........................
What possible improvement to a purely mechanical bender do electro-magnets provide?
After reading thru several web pages I see NO benefit to magnets in a bender.
Did I miss something?

Thanks,
-brino
Put simply - it allows you to bend shapes that just aren't possible with a traditional mechanical brake.

Check out this video, if you can (I know the quality is very 1980's, but it's the best description of its capabilities I could find. It gets particularly interesting at 6:30):


Granted, it's probably overkill for the average home workshop - but I suspect that very few of us here have what could be called an 'average' home workshop anyway.

Cheers,...Jon.

P.S. I have absolutely no affiliation with the company, I just think it's a really cool product. I'm not even recommending that anyone buys one, because the inventor, Allan Bottomley, gave all of the plans to the public once the patent ran out, so you can (relatively) easily build one for yourself.
 

tjb

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#23
Here's one worth looking at:


Regards,
Terry
 

Janderso

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#24
tjb,
That is a great diy project for a very nice bender.
I think I have found my project of choice.
Thank you all!
 

tjb

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#25
You're welcome. Please keep us all posted on your progress.

Regards,
Terry
 

Janderso

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#27
Choices!
Thanks Tom.
I am on my way. I went to the metal yard yesterday. In the scrap pile I found the angle iron for the job.
I have all the equipment to make the project (s).
Looking forward to getting started.
I am mounting a Z axis DRO on the Bridgeport on Saturday. After that, if my bride allows, I'll start laying out the sheet metal brake.
Can't wait!
 

Janderso

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#29
Getting started with the build. I decided on a 31” over all width.
That leaves a bit less than 23” to tackle my sheet metal projects.
I was very careful but I have a bit of clearing to take care of. The plates are tight but should produce a good quality bend.
More to come.
I cleared a small groove in the web?, of the pivot point of the non moveable piece of angle iron. It now has full range with close tolerance and even side to side.
This part was a bit tricky.
Now, on to the top wedge, springs, guides, fingers?
I’ll get it.
 

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WarrenP

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#30
I would be interested in making one also, but I need to find a adjustable finger one so you can slide the fingers over together to be able to bend a small side up to the other two sides without the brake being in the way of the other two sides. Hard to find plans for that I guess.
 
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