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  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by martin_05 View Post
    If you actually read what I post before commenting you would have seen this is NOT FOR F'ING PRODUCTION! This is just to prototype/short-run little brackets. A couple of 45 to 90 degree bends here and there, nothing super precise. Real production sheet metal goes to sheet metal vendors with the proper industrial-grade CNC equipment.

    At this point a 20 ton press with a heavy duty die attachment seems to be the ticket.

    Also, if you read my post, there are two applications here. One is to donate one of these tools to the local high school robotics club so the kids can learn about working with sheet metal. It is clear now that providing them with something that can do 1/8 might not be practical. Then again, they would only be making a handful of parts per season, so a 20 ton manual press with a die might be OK. On the other hand, the 3-in-1 little machine might be enough to give them a taste without being too dangerous. One of the things we have to contend with all the time are the liability aspects of anything we introduce into the program. The school district can be a real pain to deal with. This is why, for example, the kids are not exposed to welding or machining other than to watch videos. Pretty sad if you ask me.

    As for the other application (our shop) I don't have that limitation and I have a much larger budget. I hate the idea of having to deal with a manual press, so I have been looking for a reasonably priced "less work" setup. That likely means an electrically driven hydraulic press.

    At one end of the scale there's this:

    20 Ton Shop Press | Edwards Manufacturing

    With the portable power unit this would run about $8K

    The brake tooling and back gauge would run another $2,500. So about $10K total.

    This would definitely be a slick setup and one that would be very useful for all kinds of other applications.

    That's where I am right now:

    If the school district approves it, the 3-in-1 machine might be a decent learning tool for the kids at the high school robotics club (if the school district approves). I would actually spend more money and donate a manual (Harbor Freight) 20 ton press and die set but I seriously doubt the district would be comfortable with that.

    In our case, it seems that the smart thing to do would be to buy the $10K press/tooling package from Edwards. That goes beyond anything we might want to do and the press would add massive utility to the shop.
    You seem to have plenty-o time to rebuke everything.
    Looks like your a unionized public school teacher.

    Spend more time working, less time arguing.
    You are definitely reinforcing the old saying "Those that know, doo. Those that don't, teach"

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    Who gives a shit what the school district wants? Robotics teams are in no way governed by a school district.

    This has got to be the stupidest thread on how to bend metal in history.

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    Quote Originally Posted by digger doug View Post
    You seem to have plenty-o time to rebuke everything.
    Looks like your a unionized public school teacher.

    Spend more time working, less time arguing.
    You are definitely reinforcing the old saying "Those that know, doo. Those that don't, teach"
    Do you get a kick out of belittling people? Good for you! Keep going! Please. I can't wait to see what else you are going to call me (and others). C'mon, you can be more creative than "unionized school teacher". Give it a shot.

    Have a nice day.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Garwood View Post
    Who gives a shit what the school district wants? Robotics teams are in no way governed by a school district.
    That's not true. Not even close. This is a team that competes in the annual FIRST robotics FRC competition:

    FIRST | For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology

    The team shop is located at one of our local high schools. Kids from the entire district can join. We have kids from about five high schools in the area. Because of this the school district has a say on what we can and cannot do. We even have a teacher who is the interface with the school and district. This team goes back about twenty years. In the early days things were a bit looser, but a kid got hurt (before my time, I was told it was nothing bad at all) and the school got sued. After that they clamped down on some of what could be done.

    Having met dozens of mentors in competitions, from schools all over the nation and other countries, this is typical of these teams. The vast majority of them exist within and under the "rule" of their school district. Outside the US things can be different.

    The only way to not be under school district rule would be to move the club out of the school. At that point you'd be exposed to legal liability if anyone gets hurt. I know one mentor from another school district who decided to open the doors of his own shop to the team and move them out of the school district. He had to form a non-profit corporation to enclose the liability. Even with that, a few years later he got sued by one of the parents.

    This is the sad reality that has led to hardly any school in the US having shop classes any more. Not sure how we fix it.


    This has got to be the stupidest thread on how to bend metal in history
    Happy to provide entertainment. I must also thank you for your valuable contribution. I don't know about others, but I have learned so much from you. Particularly because you take the time to help others and not belittle them, as so many do on this forum. That's what valued community members do. You know, when I mentor kids in the robotics team I tell them "there is no such thing as a stupid question". I am so glad professionals, such as yourself, share in this sentiment and go out of their way to treat others with respect and consideration.

    Thank you. Sincerely.

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    You realize you got some good suggestions and didn't even acknowledge them right?

    Then you criticize some for not reading what you previously wrote when you never actually wrote anything about that.

    General know-it-all attitude.

    So, you do what you're going to do. Disregard any advice you get from professionals that have been there done that and go mentor these kids with Youtube videos.

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    Di-Acro makes some very nice small shears and brakes.

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    I have the generic 3-in one 60 cm model. I mainly use it for repair panels for my car hobby and other repair projects. It takes a bit of cleaning, filing and fitting, but for the price it has been a useful tool for me so far. 1 mm sheet is fine, 1.2 mm is the maximum over the entire length. Shorter pieces of 1,5 mm will work also, but it is a bit of a struggle. Thicker will not work.

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    Quote Originally Posted by martin_05 View Post
    Would you say it would be OK to make 90 degree bends on 1/8 in mild steel brackets, say, 2 inch max width?

    Do that here using a flypress, the link below may give a few ideas.
    ,
    Hunton Dies and Tool information - usedflypresses

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    Quote Originally Posted by martin_05 View Post
    Do you get a kick out of belittling people? Good for you! Keep going! Please. I can't wait to see what else you are going to call me (and others). C'mon, you can be more creative than "unionized school teacher". Give it a shot.

    Have a nice day.
    Yeah… he does. Spends an awful lot of time doing so for a “doo-er”. You drew an extra level of Digger-Doug ire… typically he just tells people to go somewhere else with their issues, he’s weighed in on you multiple times.

    As many have said, the 3-in-1 machines are typically the worst sort of compromise. Not enough mass, poorly designed and even worse in implementation. I’m pretty certain you’ll bend some part of the machine before you bend 1/8” thick steel of any width.

    Anyhow, don’t let the resident dickhead get you down, but do realize that machines like the 3-in-1 you’ve asked about are banned from this site for a reason… mostly because ^^ABOVE^^ happens.




    Be safe




    Jeremy

    P.S. Whatever you do, make CERTAIN in the future you contact Doug before posting… pretty much anything.

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    I've been in this ditch and the 3 in 1 machines are a good way to dig yourself in deeper, shearing, bending and rolling

    Find a small bench shear of known quality, like a diacro and then one of the hydraulic press add-on brakes. I ended up with one that I can change both top and bottom dies and handle pieces 300mm wide.

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    Quote Originally Posted by martin_05 View Post
    If you actually read what I post before commenting you would have seen this is NOT FOR F'ING PRODUCTION! This is just to prototype/short-run little brackets. A couple of 45 to 90 degree bends here and there, nothing super precise. Real production sheet metal goes to sheet metal vendors with the proper industrial-grade CNC equipment.

    At this point a 20 ton press with a heavy duty die attachment seems to be the ticket.

    Also, if you read my post, there are two applications here. One is to donate one of these tools to the local high school robotics club so the kids can learn about working with sheet metal. It is clear now that providing them with something that can do 1/8 might not be practical. Then again, they would only be making a handful of parts per season, so a 20 ton manual press with a die might be OK. On the other hand, the 3-in-1 little machine might be enough to give them a taste without being too dangerous. One of the things we have to contend with all the time are the liability aspects of anything we introduce into the program. The school district can be a real pain to deal with. This is why, for example, the kids are not exposed to welding or machining other than to watch videos. Pretty sad if you ask me.

    As for the other application (our shop) I don't have that limitation and I have a much larger budget. I hate the idea of having to deal with a manual press, so I have been looking for a reasonably priced "less work" setup. That likely means an electrically driven hydraulic press.

    At one end of the scale there's this:

    20 Ton Shop Press | Edwards Manufacturing

    With the portable power unit this would run about $8K

    The brake tooling and back gauge would run another $2,500. So about $10K total.

    This would definitely be a slick setup and one that would be very useful for all kinds of other applications.

    That's where I am right now:

    If the school district approves it, the 3-in-1 machine might be a decent learning tool for the kids at the high school robotics club (if the school district approves). I would actually spend more money and donate a manual (Harbor Freight) 20 ton press and die set but I seriously doubt the district would be comfortable with that.

    In our case, it seems that the smart thing to do would be to buy the $10K press/tooling package from Edwards. That goes beyond anything we might want to do and the press would add massive utility to the shop.


    At the other end of the scale I found this:

    Potter USA - Fine Tools. 20 ton Electric Hydraulic Jewelry Press

    It's about half the money as the Edwards. My concern is that this is 1/10th the machine and you'd have to make everything for it yourself. It might be OK for bending small (2 in wide max) 1/8 mild steel brackets, but it feels like spending the extra cash for the Edwards rig would be a far more intelligent decision.
    Dude, you could maybe cool yer jets a little and consider that pretty much everyone here has outright told you that the tools you are looking at are the ass backwards way of getting things done.

    Look long and hard at the bench top Enerpac Presses. Not too expensive, good quality. bench top Enerpac Press - Google Search Hand pump, Air over hydraulics, or Electric pump options. According to that video posted about the press brake attachment, a 20 ton press will bend 3/8 steel. I'd wager that the bench top enerpac press will do somewhere around 1/4, on less than full width.

    DiAcro makes good shears and brakes, as well as bending tools. Metal Fab Tools, Sheet Metal Fabrication Equipment - For Sale You 'might' save some money buying a bender cloned from one of these, but this is what they are copying. There are almost limitless options, as far as different dies and set-ups go, and having a bender opens up a LOT of options for how hings get made.

    I have used a 3-in-1 and it was great for trimming up light gage sheet goods for small brackets and such, but really not much use as a rolls, and only half assed ok for doing simple bends. More misery than you would normally expect to have to pay for!

    Something wrong with farming out the tools to be made in other parts of your school system? You have kids doing welding projects or the like? Making the tools they are using in their school shop is good practice, and good motivation. There are kits available with all the materials for press brakes like these, just add welding and paint.

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    you really should learn a lot more so you can get something that will work.
    If you elect to not read and digest the voices of experience as above you will come up short.

    Just saying... if you have never had to JUMP on a 36" "small" Pexto "foot shear" to cut off maybe 20" of 20 gauge, you simply have no idea yet on the fight steel will easily put up

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    John Oder

    Not to mention a power squaring shear biting off 20" of 20 Ga MS while bolted to a residential garage floor.... talk about feeing the earth move!

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    Default Feel the earth move!

    John Oder

    Not to mention a power squaring shear biting off 20" of 20 Ga MS while bolted to a residential garage floor.... talk about feeing the earth move!

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    Quote Originally Posted by jermfab View Post
    You drew an extra level of Digger-Doug ire…
    Yeah. He is chasing me around other threads. Very funny, in a sad kind of way. It is so much easier (and healthier) to be kind and helpful to others.


    As many have said, the 3-in-1 machines are typically the worst sort of compromise. Not enough mass, poorly designed and even worse in implementation. I’m pretty certain you’ll bend some part of the machine before you bend 1/8” thick steel of any width.
    Fair enough. Makes sense. Despite what my buddy Diggie might say, I'm no dummy. I mean, I have equipment circling earth on the International Space Station. At least I did that right!

    I was just trying to see if a little machine like that could be put to good use for making simple little brackets no wider than, say, 2 inches. People on this thread are talking about bending 36 inch wide steel. What? Not the scope of my problem at all.

    I also had no clue that discussions about a 3-in-1 machine are actually banned from this site. It's pretty hard to be aware of years of folklore on a site like this. So, either we risk the wrath of Diggie and his crew or we go-ahead and ask questions that might very well help others some day.

    BTW, the CertiFlat press brake looks like a capable little machine that could definitely do the job of (I feel like I have to repeat myself) making a few little brackets here and there (Diggie, buddy, not for production, don't worry). For $500 plus a stubby 20 ton bottle jack, yeah, that could be a useful tool. I've already discussed the $10K rig I would consider buying for the business.

    FabBrake - CertiFlat DIY Press Brake Kit - WeldTables.com

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    Quote Originally Posted by martin_05 View Post
    Yeah. He is chasing me around other threads. Very funny, in a sad kind of way. It is so much easier (and healthier) to be kind and helpful to others.




    Fair enough. Makes sense. Despite what my buddy Diggie might say, I'm no dummy. I mean, I have equipment circling earth on the International Space Station. At least I did that right!

    I was just trying to see if a little machine like that could be put to good use for making simple little brackets no wider than, say, 2 inches. People on this thread are talking about bending 36 inch wide steel. What? Not the scope of my problem at all.

    I also had no clue that discussions about a 3-in-1 machine are actually banned from this site. It's pretty hard to be aware of years of folklore on a site like this. So, either we risk the wrath of Diggie and his crew or we go-ahead and ask questions that might very well help others some day.

    BTW, the CertiFlat press brake looks like a capable little machine that could definitely do the job of (I feel like I have to repeat myself) making a few little brackets here and there (Diggie, buddy, not for production, don't worry). For $500 plus a stubby 20 ton bottle jack, yeah, that could be a useful tool. I've already discussed the $10K rig I would consider buying for the business.

    FabBrake - CertiFlat DIY Press Brake Kit - WeldTables.com
    Jesus dude, aside from your thin skin and ample hackles, do you have anything to recommend you? I have parts flying on fighters, and they ain't much to brag up, but they are my parts. There are a fair few guys here with parts walking around inside people. Others with parts they made, in almost every home owner's garages. Pretty sure there is at least one, maybe a lot more than, here, that built the parts of that Station, and the equipment that threw it into space too. You want to impress folks? Don't sulk when one of the guys here gives you good advice.

    If you have an actual budget, buy actual working tools, not made in China Crapola. Like I said above, the stuff I posted links to, is the kind of stuff the rest of them are trying to be. It's not super expensive, despite what it seems, because it will just work, when you need it to.

    If you are going the cobbled together route, put the class to work cutting and welding the parts, start them with drawing up all the parts and go from there. That way they actually get something out of the whole process.

    I really miss the bench top Enerpac press from my last workplace! It was a nice balance between speed and power of stroke. My 20 ton hand pump press is crap, but was cheap enough that it was acceptable. It was paid for in full on the first of 7 bent up parts I bought it to straighten. I'd suggest getting a ten or twelve ton one, just for the reduced number of strokes of the handle required to move it the same distance. Esp if you don't actually need to be able to bend 3/8 inch stock.

    Honestly, the presses you posted, other than the jewellery one (made and sold by a member here too) are gross overkill for what you seem to wish to do. Those brackets you are talking about are a single stroke with a compound leverage manual press, or a small manual bender with the correct dies.

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    Quote Originally Posted by trevj View Post
    Jesus dude, aside from your thin skin and ample hackles <snip>
    Insulting and belittling people seems to be a sport among the a small club in this forum. It has been very interesting to read private messages from folks who are sick and tired of this shit yet don't want to tangle with the mob in a public discussion. You are equating not being willing to take shit with having a thin skin. Brilliant.

    Try this: Offer respectful replies and useful commentary without unnecessary jabs and insults and people might --surprise-- take it well!

    Now, if you are the kind of person who has an innate and unavoidable need to insult people as part of your process, go right ahead. I understand. You do what you have to do.

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    At our shop, our sheet metal work ranges from one off stuff up to 50-100 piece runs of very simple pieces. Everything more complicated or more quantity gets sent out. Our main tool for many years was/is a 3-in-1 and we've never been happy with it. They're not built well, having everything grouped together vertically gets in the way, and they're always a little too small for that one job. For us it came down to space. Since we didn't do a lot of sheet metal work, we couldn't dedicate a lot of space to the tools, but constantly adjusting the shear and fiddling with the break finger alignment wears on you. We've slowly been working up to dedicate more floor space to our sheet metal needs and has so far upgraded to an old Niagra 36" jump shear, and I've been on the look-out for a similar sized Pexto or other old finger break. After that the old 3-in-1 is going on Craigslist. Having the extra size and room to work helps out sooo much. We also set up a couple old mechanical die press's (8 ton and 5 ton) for any jobs that will see higher volume, such as bending some 1/8" x 4" mild steel plates. The die set was super easy to make and it knocks them out so fast. I think you're on the right track looking at hydraulic press die sets for the 1/8" steel stuff, but the thinner stuff I would stick with separate shear and break units.

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    Quote Originally Posted by martin_05 View Post
    Insulting and belittling people seems to be a sport among the a small club in this forum. It has been very interesting to read private messages from folks who are sick and tired of this shit yet don't want to tangle with the mob in a public discussion. You are equating not being willing to take shit with having a thin skin. Brilliant.

    Try this: Offer respectful replies and useful commentary without unnecessary jabs and insults and people might --surprise-- take it well!

    Now, if you are the kind of person who has an innate and unavoidable need to insult people as part of your process, go right ahead. I understand. You do what you have to do.
    Called as seen from this side.

    So far, your suggestions as to what may seem to fit your needs, seem to me to be way out of line with your stated needs.

    If you don't need the tonnage for the work you do, why are you shopping for a press and add-ons that will do grossly heavier bends than you expect to see? Honest question.

    As I see it, what you could or should be using seems to be a DiAcro Bender with a extended set of dies for the wider material you plan on using. Clamping in your flat stock and swinging the lever once per bend, seems a lot less hassle than spending the day pumping a jack, whether or not it's got air over hydraulics, or not. If nothing else, their downloadable reading material will give you a really good idea of what the capabilities are for their machines.

    The press brake on a 3-in-1 is craptacular, but the way it works is adequate, if the machine is narrowed up until flexure of the entire rig is no longer an issue. Make one using the same round cams for power, but with a heavier frame and about 6 inches wide, and it'd likely work for what you want. Hang it on the edge of a bench with a foot pedal and return spring, and, like as not, you could drink coffee and sit, while making the brackets you need. IIRC, DiAcro did actually make some small manual press brakes. They are hard to find used, because they don't wear out quickly, and they work damn well for what they are good for.

    As for your "Try This"... Maybe you could try responding, in any way at all, to all the different suggestions made, that were not made like you were too dumb to understand them.

    You have to go pretty big on a box brake to get to the point where looking at any width of 1/8 mild steel seems a good idea, though I'd give better odds on cheating that much over the 16G that DiAcro rates their brakes at, on a real one, better than a copy. But it doesn't take a very big DiAcro bender to be able to do the exact thing you want.

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    Quote Originally Posted by M.B. Naegle View Post
    At our shop, our sheet metal work ranges from one off stuff up to 50-100 piece runs of very simple pieces. Everything more complicated or more quantity gets sent out. Our main tool for many years was/is a 3-in-1 and we've never been happy with it. They're not built well, having everything grouped together vertically gets in the way, and they're always a little too small for that one job. For us it came down to space. Since we didn't do a lot of sheet metal work, we couldn't dedicate a lot of space to the tools, but constantly adjusting the shear and fiddling with the break finger alignment wears on you. We've slowly been working up to dedicate more floor space to our sheet metal needs and has so far upgraded to an old Niagra 36" jump shear, and I've been on the look-out for a similar sized Pexto or other old finger break. After that the old 3-in-1 is going on Craigslist. Having the extra size and room to work helps out sooo much. We also set up a couple old mechanical die press's (8 ton and 5 ton) for any jobs that will see higher volume, such as bending some 1/8" x 4" mild steel plates. The die set was super easy to make and it knocks them out so fast. I think you're on the right track looking at hydraulic press die sets for the 1/8" steel stuff, but the thinner stuff I would stick with separate shear and break units.
    Very useful insight. Thanks.

    You also hit the nail on the head, in the sense that dedicating a lot of floor space to a dedicated sheet metal rig isn't justified given our requirements. Much like you, anything much beyond prototype quantities goes out to dedicated shops. If that were not the case I would buy a dedicated CNC punch press and brake...the problem is they would sit around doing nothing 95% of the time.


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