Post By PJRitz
Post By Toolchaser
opinions on a 3 in 1 sheet metal brake/shear/roll
I am looking for a good quality 3 in 1 sheet metal brake/roll/shear combo. All I can find are the import ones that all look the same with a diiferent name on them...are there any better quality ones being made today?
I need one for misc. small patch panels, making small covers, boxes and trays, ect.
I could probably get by with a 30", but may swing for a large one.
Any info would be a help...
I have never seen one that wasn't an import. My buddy has a smaller one it it does a nice job on patch panels for cars. Here is a vid link to a Baileigh 52" job. I don't know about rolling 50 inches of 16 ga by hand. I have a Tennsmith 24" slip roll and i powered it because it would roll easier if i was 18 again but thats not going to happen...Bob
Baileigh SBR-5216 Shear Brake Slip Roll 16 Gauge Combination Metal Forming Machine - YouTube
Bob Wright Metal Master Fab
Salem, Ohio Birthplace of the Silver and Deming Drill, all others are copies.
I have a Grizzly G4011 30" 22ga capacity, it will do the job if you stay within it ratings, but don't try to push it much past 20 ga, the slip rolls are not very user friendly, it is hard to get them aligned to roll evenly, good if all you want to make are cones though. the 90 deg fence on the shear is short enough to be completely useless, and the backstop is more trouble to adjust and square up than it's worth. The fingers on the brake are so short you can not bend a very deep box at all.
I would definately recomend buying a better machine than this.
Well, thats the problem, I don't know if there are better ones...they all look the same (Grizzly, Shop Fox, JET, Harbor F, Northern Tool, Eastwood, woodward,ect.)
Where or who can I find that offers a better quality rig?
The Baileigh unit is priced just a few bucks more than the others, so I would guess the same quality from them on the 30" (about $550 for theirs).
I would pay 3 times that for one that would do a nice job and last....just not sure they exist??
Buy used Diacro, but not all in one.
ALL the 3 in 1's I have seen are junk
There arent any good ones.
Interestingly enough, there WAS a slightly higher quality version, back in the day.
But it wasnt cheap, and it quickly got priced out of the market by the current range of total crap.
See my post here, for pics-
Design Provenance of the HF Junk?
I actually think its an inherently flawed design.
The rolls never seem to work well, but they are better than the shears, which are usually completely useless. And the miniature press brake idea looks good on paper, but requires much more mass and better machining to actually function.
Dont buy one. You will be sorry, if you are trying to work with anything thicker than tinfoil.
I think any '3-in-1' tool or machine fits the old adage, "Jack of all trades, master of none." I have a Diacro 52", 16 ga. power shear, a Diacro 52", 14 ga. hand-powered roll, and a Dreis & Krump 8' 12ga, box & pan brake, and I can't imagine trying to do any significant fabrication without them. I may have to power the roll, as, although I am stouter than I was as a young man, it isn't the kind of stout that makes the work easier.
Seems like every race team I have worked for had one......every one was a POS. The things might be OK if you are only working with tin foil.....no wait, the shear will only fold tin foil!! The wimpy ass gears on the slip roller always break. Without movable lower dies even the little press brake on the things is useless...All that said, I have one that is all apart, the gears on the slip roll are broken. It's all there though....75.00 Probably to heavy to ship though. Buy a shear, a brake, and a slip roll and be done with it.
My brother's last place of employment had one. His quote " they excel at sucking at all three operations"
Looking just at the rolls on one of the 4ft 16ga 3-in-1's, their diameter is 2.5" best I can tell since they spec a minimum rolled diameter of 2.5".
We've got 2 sets of 4ft 16ga rolls, one Pexto and one Tennsmith which is a copy of the Pexto. The most important aspect of rolls is the stiffness of the machine and of the rolls themselves. Pexto and Tennsmith both use 3" dia rolls. The stiffness is a function of the cube of the diameter, and when you compare 2.5" and 3" dia rounds, the 3" is 1.75 times as stiff as the 2.5".
I can say from experience that the 3" roll diameter is absolutely necessary for 4 ft 16 ga mild steel rolling. I'd also make a wild guess that 20ga would be the upper limit of what you could roll with the 16ga rated 3-in-1.
Regarding the brake function, and the likelihood of grabbing onto a handle and bending 4 ft of 16 ga press brake style..... good luck with that. I've got a 4ft 16ga Roper Whitney leaf type finger brake, which is supposedly one of the better ones out there, and in reality 4ft of anything heavier than 20ga would overload it in the mind of most anyone experienced with good finger brakes. That said, I'd still give 10 to 1 odds its more useful as a brake than any of the 3-in-1's.
don't do it
Just another one chiming in on the chorus - those 3n1's are JUNK. Save your $ and buy good equipment one piece at a time. Tennsmith/Pext/Whitney all have small rolls, shears, and brakes that will last a long time and do the job as they should.
The 3 in 1's dont do any of the 3 operations to my liking, maybe for small prototype work or low production auto restoration they would be fine. Most are only rated for 20 Ga. anyways ..... trust me, the day will come you will overload this machine with some 18 or 16 Ga. and you can kiss the castings goodbye.