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Thoughts on Baileigh BP-3142NC press brake for light production in garage workshop?

Weldingwilly

Plastic
Joined
Dec 13, 2020
Greetings. I have been lurking around here for the past several months researching hydraulic press brakes. The forum has a treasure trove of comments based on practical experience, which I really appreciate as a rookie in this area.

My options for press brakes are somewhat limited to due to budget ($15-25k), power type and garage workshop size. One hydraulic brake that caught my eye was Baileigh's BP-3142 since I could plug and play with the single phase 220v power plus the 31" width would cover 90% of my bends. It also has a relatively small footprint and is manufactured in Wisconsin (unlike Baileigh's blue and white brakes made in China).

QUESTIONS
  1. What are your thoughts on this Baileigh model for my intended use (see below)?
  2. Are there are other important factors that come into play for low tonnage "light" production on a press brake?
  3. Should I buy direct from Baileigh or through a distributor? Do you recommend a particular distributor for press brakes?
  4. Are there alternative brakes that I should be considering? I have looked closely at several others listed below, which price in same similar range after adding essentials)
THE CONTENDERS
BAILEIGH BP-3142 31"/42 ton: Made in USA; single phase power; small footprint; shorter length would cover 90% of my bending needs, but would have to outsource 2 parts due to length
Small Hydraulic Press Brake | Metal Brake for Hydraulic Press | Baileigh Industrial
Baileigh rep told me the following: "BP-3142NC has been in production for about 8 years now. We originally designed the machine to be installed on military ships and the machine was 110v. Over the years we had more requests for the machine, so we changed the tooling to a 2" wide vee and made the machine 220v 1 phase. Machine is now 220v 1 phase only. Made in the USA."

I have not been able to find any online reviews on this model, but did exchange with a guy who has been using it for 6-7 years and has been generally pleased although it was not clear whether he was using it for production purposes.

Iroquois 48"/50 ton: USA-built; smallest model; also 220v single phase; closed frame design; longer stroke length than the others
B48/50 Press Brake - Iroquois Ironworker, Inc.

Atek-Bantam B424 48"/24 ton: Length would cover 100% of my needs; pneumatic fast & efficient; it would require me to purchase 10hp air compressor for necessary duty cycle to run light production according to Atek)
Atek Bantam 4' Bed 24 Ton Pneumatic Press Brake B424

INTENDED USE
My needs are very specific as I am focusing exclusively on light production of a single product.

  • Volume: Initial volume will be approx. 150-200 bends per week (not sure if this qualifies as light production LOL). Rapid ram approach and return speed is a consideration although probably not critical at this stage.
  • Gauge: Cold-rolled mild steel. 95% of pieces are 14 gauge with a few small 3/16 brackets.
  • Maximum bend length - There are 17 unique pieces per unit. 15 of the 17 pieces have bends of 24" or less (the two outlier pieces are 48" long).
  • Press brake length: 48" open frame would cover 100% of my bends. 24" would cover 90% of my bends and I would have to outsource my two longest bends (48" which also happen to be my two box/pan bends (see below)
  • Tonnage: Based on tonnage charts, it appears that bare minimum would be 18.8 tons for 14 gauge x longest bend of 48" based on 5/8 die opening. Do I need minimum of 24 tons to include cushion? Sweet spot of 35-40?
  • Flanges: The bend flanges range in size from 1.5" to 4". Fortunately, none of my pieces have more than one flange size.
  • Bend type: Majority of pieces require simple 90 degree bend on one side or opposite sides of piece. However, the two longest pieces mentioned above are 48"x24" shallow pans requiring bends on all 4 sides with relief holes.
  • CNC versus DRO: Heavy emphasis on repeatable bends!!! CNC backgauge does not seem like it would be essential for the time being. However, it is my understanding that I will need either digital readout or lockable micro-adjustments on X & Y axis for reasonable precision w/ consistent repeat bends.
  • Support table: Front work table/support arms would be nice to have for the two larger 48"x24" shallow pan pieces. The other pieces are manageable without support arms.
  • Power: Press will be located in my residential garage where I am currently limited to 220v single phase power. To expand my options, I am open to investing in a 3-phase power converter or a 7.5-10hp air compressor for pneumatic press.
  • Work area: My dedicated work area in the garage for the press brake and storage of the steel is limited to 9x9 area.
  • Experience level: My metal fabrication experience is limited to MIG welding. I have none with press brake.
BUDGET
$15-25k. I am generally a buy-once-cry-once kind of guy so I have some flexibility if it means major jump in productivity and/or performance.

Any feedback would be much appreciated!
 

Bondo

Hot Rolled
Joined
May 14, 2011
Location
Bridgeton NJ
If you have experience with press brakes, 15k could get you a lot in the used market. Look on Ebay for cincinatti, Niagara, Pacific, wysong, and more. Amada wi be way out of your price range.

Also look at surplusrecord.com for a good overview of different equipment

As far as taiwan/china/india/cheapo machines. Some can be good, some can be bad, dont expert long term use and parts from them. Not saying it's bad, but american/European machines have a good history.

Sent from my SM-G960U using Tapatalk
 

Weldingwilly

Plastic
Joined
Dec 13, 2020
Many thanks @Bondo. I am admittedly hesitant to buy used machine because I just don't have the experience to properly vet or troubleshoot the machine. I will definitely check out surplusrecord.com to get better feel for the market.

All the models that I have been looking at are made in USA. I've noticed that they are the only ones that are single phase power.
 

Fish On

Cast Iron
Joined
Feb 23, 2014
Location
Mobile, Alabama
Baileigh doesn't make any of their own machinery as far as I know - it's all outside stuff that's had their name put on it. As such, some stuff is decent, some is garbage, just depends on the individual machine, not the brand as a whole.

As far as Baileigh press brakes, I haven't heard anything good about them, and I've heard a couple horror stories, so I'd be real hesitant on them. Maybe that small one is okay (really not a lot to go wrong on that one, given it's lack of features), but the horror stories of the larger ones don't impress me.

The bigger issue is that is a lot of cash for such a rudimentary small machine. Seriously, a LOT. It's about technologically equal to about a 1960s Diacro (hand crank backgauge, and just a dial indicator to show ram position - I'm not even stre it has a stroke stop for repetition), and I'd still prefer the Diacro. For somewhere less than half that cost, it might make sense for your application, but I just can't see shelling out over 20 grand for that. That's insane. Even moreso, when it won't even fit all of your parts.

Of your list of 3, if the closed frame design worked for all of your parts, the Iroquois is probably the best option, but I don't really like any of those options. I'm with Bondo, find a used one and get a rotary phase converter. Pretty much the oldest hydraulic press brake you can find should have the same features as the Baileigh, and your budget is getting you into older CNC machines (though, my impression is the ones in that price range are the ones you don't really want - for that reason I went new instead, for not that much more).
 

Rob F.

Diamond
Joined
Aug 5, 2012
Location
California, Central Coast
Volume: Initial volume will be approx. 150-200 bends per week (not sure if this qualifies as light production LOL). Rapid ram approach and return speed is a consideration although probably not critical at this stage.

[*]CNC versus DRO: Heavy emphasis on repeatable bends!!! CNC backgauge does not seem like it would be essential for the time being. However, it is my understanding that I will need either digital readout or lockable micro-adjustments on X & Y axis for reasonable precision w/ consistent repeat bends.

One of the benefits of a mechanical brake is the speed. Another is bend consistency. The crankshaft pushes the top die to the exact same spot every time.
It sounds like you are primarily doing one metal thickness and one angle of bend so the limitations of the mechanical machine not being able to quickly change to different bend angles should not be a concern.
Finding a good one might be hard but price will be another big benefit.

HGR has one that looks really nice for your needs:
Used Di-acro/houdaille Di-acro/houdaille 14-48-2 Press Brake | HGR...

And 2 small hydraulics at HGR:
Used Hurco / Mebusa Hurco / Mebusa Ph 33/12 Press Brake | HGR Industrial...
Used Amada Amada Rg25 Press Brake | HGR Industrial Surplus

From the link below:
"Mechanical Press Brakes - Mechanical press brakes have lost some popularity with the emergence of Hydraulic press brakes, yet still offer major advantages. To start, they are typically significantly more affordable than other types of press brakes. Some believe punching and pressing is better done with a mechanical press brake than a hydraulic press brake, due to them having two connections to the crank shaft and a fixed stroke length. This type is great for small jobs and the machines often have little wear and tear. You may also find that your press brake operator has a preference to this type of machine."
Used Press Brakes For Sale | Revelation Machinery
 

Weldingwilly

Plastic
Joined
Dec 13, 2020
Baileigh doesn't make any of their own machinery as far as I know - it's all outside stuff that's had their name put on it. As such, some stuff is decent, some is garbage, just depends on the individual machine, not the brand as a whole.

As far as Baileigh press brakes, I haven't heard anything good about them, and I've heard a couple horror stories, so I'd be real hesitant on them. Maybe that small one is okay (really not a lot to go wrong on that one, given it's lack of features), but the horror stories of the larger ones don't impress me.

The bigger issue is that is a lot of cash for such a rudimentary small machine. Seriously, a LOT. It's about technologically equal to about a 1960s Diacro (hand crank backgauge, and just a dial indicator to show ram position - I'm not even stre it has a stroke stop for repetition), and I'd still prefer the Diacro. For somewhere less than half that cost, it might make sense for your application, but I just can't see shelling out over 20 grand for that. That's insane. Even moreso, when it won't even fit all of your parts.

Of your list of 3, if the closed frame design worked for all of your parts, the Iroquois is probably the best option, but I don't really like any of those options. I'm with Bondo, find a used one and get a rotary phase converter. Pretty much the oldest hydraulic press brake you can find should have the same features as the Baileigh, and your budget is getting you into older CNC machines (though, my impression is the ones in that price range are the ones you don't really want - for that reason I went new instead, for not that much more).

Appreciate the candid advice @Fish On. It sounds like there is much more value in the used market, at least in the lower price range.

When you say that you went new instead for not that much more, what did you end up buying?
 

Fish On

Cast Iron
Joined
Feb 23, 2014
Location
Mobile, Alabama
When you say that you went new instead for not that much more, what did you end up buying?

MVD A60-2600 (8 1/2', 66 ton). Had it for almost 2 1/2 years now, and still very pleased with it.

https://www.mvd.com.tr/wp-content/themes/mvd/assets/pdf/catalog/mvd-ibend.pdf

Call up Mike at International Technologies and have him quote you a 4' 44 ton A series (A40-1250). I'm guessing it'll be somewhere around 1.5 times the upper end of your listed budget, but you're getting into a real deal precision industrial machine with graphical CNC control, etc.
 

Weldingwilly

Plastic
Joined
Dec 13, 2020
One of the benefits of a mechanical brake is the speed. Another is bend consistency. The crankshaft pushes the top die to the exact same spot every time.
It sounds like you are primarily doing one metal thickness and one angle of bend so the limitations of the mechanical machine not being able to quickly change to different bend angles should not be a concern.
Finding a good one might be hard but price will be another big benefit.

I checked out the Di-Arco Hydra-Mechanical presses. Pretty slick adaptation of a mechanical brake with stroke adjustment and dual speed. For anyone else interested, see link below.

https://www.kempler.com/sites/defau... 25 & 25 Ton Ram Adjusted, 6 & 8 Foot Bed.pdf

Do you often see refurbished ones in the market that have been serviced? That would at least minimize some of uncertainty that I have over buying used.
 

kustomizer

Titanium
Joined
Aug 17, 2007
Location
North Fork Idaho
I sold a nice Wysong with a cnc backgauge to a guy a few years ago, he told me the other day he would like to sell it back to me, anyhow he hasn't used it, I think about 7K would buy it, it is in California, PM me and I will give you his contact info.
 

dkmc

Diamond
I've got a 17-48. Clever design. The pump shaft seals leak and the actuator shaft seals leak. I think someone said the actuator shaft seals are actually packing's that have some adjustments.


I checked out the Di-Arco Hydra-Mechanical presses. Pretty slick adaptation of a mechanical brake with stroke adjustment and dual speed. For anyone else interested, see link below.

https://www.kempler.com/sites/defau... 25 & 25 Ton Ram Adjusted, 6 & 8 Foot Bed.pdf

Do you often see refurbished ones in the market that have been serviced? That would at least minimize some of uncertainty that I have over buying used.
 

Weldingwilly

Plastic
Joined
Dec 13, 2020
You are spending a good bit of money, WTF would you even consider a brake that does not do 100% of your work?
Mainly because of the single phase power limitation, small footprint and preference for made in USA. There just aren't that many new options out there that fit that criteria other than three I mentioned above. Others have given me good suggestions on used ones and I did just receive a quote for 3-phase power for around $2.5 to 3k factoring in the rotary converter.

What's frustrating is that it seems that smaller lower tonnage press brakes went extinct somewhere along the way.
 

kustomizer

Titanium
Joined
Aug 17, 2007
Location
North Fork Idaho
Mainly because of the single phase power limitation, small footprint and preference for made in USA. There just aren't that many new options out there that fit that criteria other than three I mentioned above. Others have given me good suggestions on used ones and I did just receive a quote for 3-phase power for around $2.5 to 3k factoring in the rotary converter.

What's frustrating is that it seems that smaller lower tonnage press brakes went extinct somewhere along the way.

The Wysong I mentioned above had a belt drive motor that could be swapped out for a single phase real easy or driven with a vfd
 

Weldingwilly

Plastic
Joined
Dec 13, 2020
The Wysong I mentioned above had a belt drive motor that could be swapped out for a single phase real easy or driven with a vfd
Many thanks. I will PM you for the info.

I see many, but they are expensive.
Digger doug - Can you provide a few examples? Other than the three I mentioned above, the only other lower tonnage new ones under $25k appear to be 3-phase and made in China. Here are a couple:

U.S. Industrial - Press Brakes, CNC, Hydraulic

CNC Hydraulic Press Brake - BP-3305CNC | Baileigh Industrial
BP-3305 CNC // In Action - YouTube

33 TON 5' Hydraulic Press Brake - 0% Financing* Pre-Sale $15,220.00 | Tommy Industrial

Betenbender appears to make a 20 ton, but they have not been very responsive to my questions, which never bodes well for service in my experience.
Betenbender 4' x 20 Ton Hydraulic Press Brake - NEW - Vander Ziel Machinery Sales
 

Fish On

Cast Iron
Joined
Feb 23, 2014
Location
Mobile, Alabama
Digger doug - Can you provide a few examples? Other than the three I mentioned above, the only other lower tonnage new ones under $25k appear to be 3-phase and made in China. Here are a couple:

He didn't say they would be under 25k (in fact, he specifically said they'd be expensive), only that there are plenty of small lower ton machines available, and not from China. They've definitely NOT gone by the wayside.

Just like the old "Good, Cheap, Fast - pick any two" adage, the same applies here. "Under 25k, New, Decent - pick two".


Single phase will be a different story. If you can get an older one where the motor just runs a pump at a fixed speed and can swap for single phase, go for it. If you're looking at a newer one, just bite the bullet and get an RPC, and it'll open you up to other machine options down the road.

I'm about to list a 2.5 year old American Rotary ADX-20 for sale in a couple days, as I'm moving the shop to a new location that has real 3 phase power, if that helps anyone.
 

Fish On

Cast Iron
Joined
Feb 23, 2014
Location
Mobile, Alabama
Betenbender appears to make a 20 ton, but they have not been very responsive to my questions, which never bodes well for service in my experience.

Search Betenbender on this forum, there's a couple threads from a few years ago that confirm your concerns. Plus, I think you need to be looking at 30-40 tons for your uses anyway. Remember that A36 steel has to meet minimum strength requirements, but there's no maximum - as time goes on, steel has been getting stronger due to recycled scrap often containing higher strength steels in the melt, so old tonnage charts are often on the low side these days.
 

Spud

Diamond
Joined
Jan 12, 2006
Location
Brookfield, Wisconsin
For that money you should be able to find a nice used Amada at auction. Thing with auctions is, you got to be willing to wait for awhile for the right machine to show up. And odds are they won't be single phase, but you have the budge for a phase converter.

I don't have any expereince with press brakes, but have followed Press brakes at auction on Bidspotter and similar sites for many years now.
 








 
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