Help selecting a brake press for purchase
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  1. #1
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    Default Help selecting a brake press for purchase

    I've had a shop open now for about 5 years, but I've had very limited needs for a brake press. I have a smaller magnetic brake that works great for thinner, smaller pieces, but I'm looking for something that can handle larger stuff. I don't need anything bigger than a 6' length, and 50 tons or so would be plenty, though I definitely have the space and power for a larger brake. I'm mostly working with 18ga, 11ga, and sometimes small pieces of 1/4" steel and stainless.

    I'm very new to brake presses, so I really don't know the brands, what features are good/bad, etc. I know Amada is nice, but those are all more than I want to spend on something that will only see occasional use. Ideally I'd like to be in the $5K range, if there was something that was a screaming deal, max budget would be about $10K.

    Your recommendations, tips, and suggestions are much appreciated!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Econdron;3443779...I don't need anything bigger than a 6' length, [U
    and 50 tons or so would be plenty[/U],...
    In a press brake 50 tons isn't much. Bending 6 ft. of 1/8 mild steel with a 1" bottom die (8x mat. thickness) requires
    about 66 tons of force. You can overcome this to some extent by using a wider bottom die--a 1-1/4" bottom die (10x
    material thickness) would just squeak in at 51 tons--but sometimes you need the tighter corner that the smaller die
    would give you.

    As the material width goes down the thickness can go up but if you want to use the full 6' width of the brake you need
    more tonnage.

    Playing around with this little calculator will give you an idea of the relationship between material thickness, die width
    and part length...

    Accurpress Tonnage Calculator

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    Quote Originally Posted by LKeithR View Post

    As the material width goes down the thickness can go up but if you want to use the full 6' width of the brake you need
    more tonnage
    Additionally, press brakes don't take point loads very well. Rule of thumb is that full tonnage of the machine can't be used on a part shorter than 60% of the bed length.

    That 1' long piece of 1/4" stainless may not seem like much, and it won't be for the hydraulics, but could contribute to ram upset.

    5k isn't going to get you much right now. Get Amada out of your vocabulary, add start thinking more about onestepabovescrapiron...

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    The largest material I would need to process would be 11ga x 53", 1/4" x 24", 18ga x 62". To the best of my knowledge, I haven't needed anything bent in the last 5 years or so that exceeded those dimensions.

    Purchasing the press brake isn't so much about cutting down on the cost from outsourcing, but more so for the convenience of having it there. Sending someone to drop off/pick up outsourced formed parts plus the lead time waiting for them to be formed sometimes really screws things up around here.

    So what would you recommend I do?

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    Given your wonderful location for finding a cheap press brake, I don't think you will have any problem finding and old Cincinnati or D&K (Chicago) mechanical brake. You can probably easily find 10 different ones for $5,000 each and they will last much longer than you will.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Econdron View Post
    The largest material I would need to process would be 11ga x 53", 1/4" x 24", 18ga x 62". To the best of my knowledge, I haven't needed anything bent in the last 5 years or so that exceeded those dimensions.

    Purchasing the press brake isn't so much about cutting down on the cost from outsourcing, but more so for the convenience of having it there. Sending someone to drop off/pick up outsourced formed parts plus the lead time waiting for them to be formed sometimes really screws things up around here.

    So what would you recommend I do?
    With those parts, as long as you can use 8x material thickness die (2" die for 1/4", etc), you should be fine with a 6' 60 ton ish machine.

    If you have employees, avoid the old mechanical brakes.

    What type of parts are you making? Are we talking about marking with a soapstone and eyeball it, or are you needing something with an NC backgauge?

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    Mostly channels, shelves, boxes, etc. Soapstone and eyeball work perfectly for what we need. Backgauge is nice for repetition though. And yes, unfortunately I have employees, so I am a little worried about the mechanical press brakes...

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    Hi, I have a 60 ton Wysong hydraulic brake with 1axis backgage for sale. It has an 8’ bed. Look at NH craiglist for picture, search under Wysong. I am asking 9,750.
    Can give a demo of it running and more info. If interested.
    Martin

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    Many "pre owned" to choose from if you are hitting a marked line to bottom bend. Punches and die selection will be a big $ factor. Dies more so. Employees and employee protection need to be factored in to what your purchase plans are. Many older good machines may not have current guard protection for employees. Or the required huge plaster of warning stickers.

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    I once owned an Adira upstroking hydraulic press brake. Upstroking means gravity return so it is cheaper to build. I really liked the upstroke to because if you rest your hand on the press you instantly realize when it is moving. Also the stroke control allowed you start a bend and turn the dial as it bends so you can see exactly how much bend you have and hit the angle perfectly in one try even with overbend. I have no experience with downstroke presses but I imagine they have the same.

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    Quote Originally Posted by garyhlucas View Post
    I once owned an Adira upstroking hydraulic press brake. Upstroking means gravity return so it is cheaper to build. I really liked the upstroke to because if you rest your hand on the press you instantly realize when it is moving. Also the stroke control allowed you start a bend and turn the dial as it bends so you can see exactly how much bend you have and hit the angle perfectly in one try even with overbend. I have no experience with downstroke presses but I imagine they have the same.
    Somehow I think that is a bad habit to get into. Like both hands reaching through to adjust a back gauge with power on.

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    Upstroke would be hard to hand align.

    You want Accurpress or Amada. Accurpress makes a nice 60 ton 5' machine...but get it checked out well, it's not uncommon to see bent torque arms.

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    That Wysong secetal has looks pretty nice, and Wysong made good stuff.

    When you mention things like shelves or boxes, you need something with a bed that's longer than your max length. The first two sides of a box, for example, can be formed on any length punch and die so long as its long enough. But the other two sides have to be formed using a punch no longer than the length of the sides you're forming.

    Having a bed longer than the minimum allows you to leave your longer punch and die in place and have room to install a shorter punch and die set as necessary for forming the final bends on boxes and similar work. One man can easily install a die set that's 18-24 inches long, but if you have to remove a full length punch to install a short one then that's a two man job.

    One other thing you need to decide is whether you want to bottom or air bend. Bottoming requires a lot more tonnage. From past experience, I'd bottom the 18 ga stuff but I'd air bend the 11 ga and quarter inch materials unless there's some specific need to bottom the 11 ga.

    You're unlikely to find a press brake in the used market that comes with all the tooling you need. People either keep the tooling for use in other machines, or they sell it separately as punches and dies are a much easier sell than the brakes themselves.

    Since you mention forming channels, you should look for a gooseneck punch as it allows much more flexibility in forming bends that are close together without the previous bend leg striking the face of the punch as it often can with a standard punch. A gooseneck will function the same as a standard punch while also allowing you to form shapes like small channels, so you wouldn't need to buy both types.

    Don't know what kind of shop you operate, but if you have decent milling capabilities, then you can make a lot of smaller dies as necessary for now and then use from mild steel like 1018 rather than spending a ton on a commercially made die. I've got a set I made for forming a short legged channel with 1/2" radius from 11 ga. I've formed over 2000 parts (4000 bends) on that set and it shows no wear. Took about a day and ~$100 worth of material as opposed to a quote of $2800 and 2 months delivery time for a commercially manufactured set.

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    What I have seen is $10K is a once or so a year fire sale price for a decent 60-100 ton CNC press brake. If you have that cash sitting in a coffee can and lots of patience you can swoop in and get a pretty good deal now and then.

    $5k doesn't go very far. Most old mechanicals are in the $1500-$5000 range.

    Press brakes don't lose much value though. I have seen more than a few really old Amadas sell for $40k++ I remember a guy local had an old fully automated robotic fed 130 ton Amada. It was the cat's ass in 1988 or something, but completely useless today. He started at $150k or so and eventually sold it for $30K. To me, that was a hell of an investment in a technological boat anchor, but somebody paid that.

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    You are in a better part of the US than me for surplus machinery, and a press brake is not a cheap shipping item so finding locally helps. As someone who has been looking for a similar press brake the past few months I have to agree with others that your budget/needs may not prove possible. (short of a rare deal that you luck into) If you are willing to deal with hiring a shipper, and buying at auction...possibly having to do some work before putting it on the shop floor...then that price range I see a few come up.

    From my looking recently though. If you want a unit that can go straight to work then 5-10 may get you a decent mechanical press brake with one or two dies. Possibly a small hydraulic or pneumatic in the 4ft 30ton range that probably wont suit your needs. I would say double that budget, and you can get a decent brake like you are thinking about size wise. My opinion is that if you do find a 72" 60ton range hydraulic brake in good shape for close to 5k, make sure you have the cash ready to buy because it will go fast.

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    Check out Iroquoisiron.com They are a small company that specialize in brakes and Ironworkers for small shops. I don't know how they compare in price to amada or accurpress.

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    There was a LVD 165 ton and a Pacific 70 ton both hydraulic press brakes for sale at the last auction I watched. Starting out at $2500 they got no bids but looked like decent iron. The LVD needed a controls retrofit but I think the pacific worked. I bought a few dies at the auction. They were both in Moline, IL. If I didn't already have my Pearson 175ton I would have jumped on the LVD. I'm retrofitting mine with a SLC 500 and a panelview right now, just need a backgauge but got one in the works.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BRHMFG View Post
    Check out Iroquoisiron.com They are a small company that specialize in brakes and Ironworkers for small shops. I don't know how they compare in price to amada or accurpress.
    Press Brakes - Iroquois Ironworker, Inc.

    Looks like they blew the OP's budget requirements

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    close to budget, cnc and in your state: Machine Tool Bids - WYSONG H-2052 1995 HYDRAULIC PRESS BRAKE

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    Quote Originally Posted by memphisjed View Post
    close to budget, cnc and in your state: Machine Tool Bids - WYSONG H-2052 1995 HYDRAULIC PRESS BRAKE
    That's a 20 ton, 4' machine. He's needing something in the realm of 6' 60 ton...


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