Thinking about buying a press brake, looking for some advice
Close
Login to Your Account
Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 46
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Country
    UNITED STATES
    State/Province
    North Carolina
    Posts
    178
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    285
    Likes (Received)
    92

    Default Thinking about buying a press brake, looking for some advice

    I do fabrication work part time at my home shop as a hobby, with the occasional paying job that supplements my racing habit. In the past six months or so I picked up a customer that started off with a few small projects that have steadily increased in size and frequency. My most recent project includes a cabinet fabricated from 14 gauge mild steel, which has not been a fun thing to do with my apron brakes. They're rated for 14 gauge, but that's with the angle installed, so you lose the capability to do return flanges. It's also not fun to operate a box and pan brake at full capacity...stuff that's easy in 18 gauge is a challenge in 14. Assuming I keep him happy, it's likely more work of this nature is coming my way, plus the added capability wouldn't hurt on my own projects and might allow me to find some more outside work.

    So, I have started doing some research on press brakes. Being that this is a sideline for me, I'm definitely going to be looking at used equipment. In the limited research I've done so far, it looks like a DiAcro 14-72 would be about the ideal machine for my application. I'm not looking to do huge quantities of heavy stuff, but the 35 tons would give me the ability to do limited amounts of 10 gauge or 3/16" for brackets and the like, as well as 14 gauge full width. I certainly would not turn down a 16-72 or 14-48 if I happened across one, either. I like the idea of the hydro-mech system on the DiAcro brakes, it seems like a good blend of hydraulic and mechanical characteristics.

    Now I'm looking to answer some questions, like:

    1. Are there other brakes out there I should be looking at besides DiAcro? I have seen a couple mechanical Niagara's and Wysong's with similar capacity. I doubt a real modern brake is going to fit in my price range, which is definitely less than $10K, and probably closer to $5K.

    2. Since I'm buying used, what do I need to look for in a used press brake to tell if it's worth buying or not? I have quite a bit of experience with my apron brakes and jump shear, but I've never run a press brake beyond the attachment I've made for my press. It sounds like the DiAcro system is prone to leaks at the hydraulic motor that are annoying but not terminal. Are there other quirks with these that I need to watch for? What are signs of guaranteed abuse that mean I should keep looking for another machine?

    3. How tough are these to move? It looks like a 14-48 DiAcro is about 2500 lbs and a 14-72 is closer to 6000. Obviously there's a fair amount of that weight up high. I have moved both of my apron brakes (big one is a 10' x 14 gauge Chicago) and my 8' jump shear, as well as my mill and lathe, so I have a clue about moving equipment, but a press brake appears to be a whole different animal.

    Thanks in advance for reading, and any advice you might have for me.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Country
    UNITED STATES
    State/Province
    Arizona
    Posts
    179
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    8
    Likes (Received)
    76

    Default

    lol. I started as a hobby to fund a racing habit too.

    I have been without a press brake too for the longest but will wait until 2017 when maybe I can buy new.

    As far as moving goes, you'll probably want to google map a crane company very close to you. they will send a truck and forklift to move your press. What about overhead clearance for a boom? or can that press be lifted from below?

    They just charge by the hour from the time they leave their shop but with an easy pick and place like your, you;ll get out of there for a couple hundy, provided they dont have to drive across town.

    Has your research found that that press brake needs to be professionally leveled, shimmed and bolted down to your foundation?

    your venture sounds alot like my journey.

    Be sure and check out bidspotter.com and search press brake

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    Upstate NY -In the Flats next to the corn fields
    Posts
    9,111
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    1542
    Likes (Received)
    2502

    Default

    You are correct on the top-heavy guess.
    My 14-48 has been fitted with a frame underneath that includes 2 fork
    pockets made from 2 x 4 steel tubing.....a great addition.
    Plus it raises it up a bit higher.

    Here's one thread about it
    Diacro 14-48 oil seal leakage and seal replacement?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Country
    UNITED STATES
    State/Province
    North Carolina
    Posts
    178
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    285
    Likes (Received)
    92

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Jimmy_pop View Post
    Has your research found that that press brake needs to be professionally leveled, shimmed and bolted down to your foundation?
    I have not found any information either way on this.

    dkmc, I've read your thread. The frame with fork pockets sounds like a good thing. Does your brake seem reasonably well balanced when you move it? That's the biggest issue with my shear...with the back gauge on it, it's not only top heavy, but rear-heavy, making it tough to balance when putting skates under it. It sounds like a 14-48 would move reasonably easily with a pallet jack on your frame setup.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    uk
    Posts
    14,053
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    4552
    Likes (Received)
    6705

    Default

    Most the modern amadas, just sit there, most hydrulic presses are a very smooth operating process, if it jumps then something is going badly wrong! The amadas i have been around all just have a few adjustable feet and you just level them up, job done. thats from the smallest at 80 tons upto 400 tons, but all sub 4 meter beds. There really not foundation sensitive like most machine tools are, when you consider the structural integrity a 400 ton press needs, its realy not going to have any issue flexing - lifting its self some sub 50 tons off the floor with ease! Equally not much in the way of concrete fixings are good for anything like multiple tons. A half decent concrete floor is plenty and has never been a issue on the ones i have used.

  6. Likes Graham Gott liked this post
  7. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    Upstate NY -In the Flats next to the corn fields
    Posts
    9,111
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    1542
    Likes (Received)
    2502

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Graham Gott View Post
    dkmc, I've read your thread. The frame with fork pockets sounds like a good thing. Does your brake seem reasonably well balanced when you move it? That's the biggest issue with my shear...with the back gauge on it, it's not only top heavy, but rear-heavy, making it tough to balance when putting skates under it. It sounds like a 14-48 would move reasonably easily with a pallet jack on your frame setup.
    I would say yes, reasonably balanced, but then again, it doesn't matter as much with the fork pockets.
    I've gone over uneven spots with it on the forks, and had it
    'clang' a bit IN the pockets....somewhat UN-nerving, but
    it stays captured nicely. I'm also probably a bit overconfident and reckless when moving it as a result...
    Most times I put at least a 1" ratchet strap around the top and around the mast too. Going carefully with a helper steadying it on a pallet jack should be NO problem.

    My very old Niagara 8ft x 16ga shear......whole different
    animal as you say. The couple times I've moved that SOB even a short distance it caused me more stress and extended bullshit than any other machine in the shop.
    Way top AND rear heavy, and every time it clears the ground you're sure it gonna crash. I end up with all sorts of chains and 2" straps around it to keep it from 'rolling' on the forks.
    And then it still likes to 'slip' sideways and be all unpredictable!

    What that shear REALLY needs is some sort of frame underneath to keep it from flexing, and as a lifting point. I do not want to have to shim and level it, and bolt it down to my old uneven barn floor. I'm trying to decide what to use for the frame. 4" or 6" U channel? Has to be stiff corner to corner so the legs of the shear don't twist. Hum....I'm starting another thread on this right now!

    Curious question: What type of racing??

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Vancouver Canada
    Posts
    956
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    713
    Likes (Received)
    352

    Default

    I would take a hard look at Atek. We have a 12 ton x 48" 412 with a CNC back gauge, which is great but I'd rather have the 24 ton 424. Ateks are air powered. I've heard from electric brake people (Trumpf 7036 and Mitsubishi BB4013) that Hydraulic brakes use about 1kW just sitting there if turned on, so are much better for steady production than prototyping. The 7036 is nice but over $100K so for now I'm just dreaming about it.....

  9. Likes Graham Gott liked this post
  10. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    Upstate NY -In the Flats next to the corn fields
    Posts
    9,111
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    1542
    Likes (Received)
    2502

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by rcoope View Post
    I've heard from electric brake people (Trumpf 7036 and Mitsubishi BB4013) that Hydraulic brakes use about 1kW just sitting there if turned on, so are much better for steady production than prototyping. The 7036 is nice but over $100K so for now I'm just dreaming about it.....
    Absolutely not true of the DiAcro brakes. The motor in the 14-48 is about 3HP and idles at nearly no load
    when its not being cycled. I doubt it uses more than 0.2KW when "just sitting there".

  11. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Country
    UNITED STATES
    State/Province
    North Carolina
    Posts
    178
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    285
    Likes (Received)
    92

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by dkmc View Post
    Curious question: What type of racing??
    Sprint cars. That's really what started me down the path of machining and fabrication, and now I get more out of the design/build than I do the actual racing. Here's a picture of me with my most recent creation:


  12. Likes Kiwi2wheels, dkmc, rbdjr59 liked this post
  13. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Imlay City, Michigan
    Posts
    1,952
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    99
    Likes (Received)
    205

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Graham Gott View Post
    I do fabrication work part time at my home shop as a hobby, with the occasional paying job that supplements my racing habit. In the past six months or so I picked up a customer that started off with a few small projects that have steadily increased in size and frequency. My most recent project includes a cabinet fabricated from 14 gauge mild steel, which has not been a fun thing to do with my apron brakes. They're rated for 14 gauge, but that's with the angle installed, so you lose the capability to do return flanges. It's also not fun to operate a box and pan brake at full capacity...stuff that's easy in 18 gauge is a challenge in 14. Assuming I keep him happy, it's likely more work of this nature is coming my way, plus the added capability wouldn't hurt on my own projects and might allow me to find some more outside work.

    So, I have started doing some research on press brakes. Being that this is a sideline for me, I'm definitely going to be looking at used equipment. In the limited research I've done so far, it looks like a DiAcro 14-72 would be about the ideal machine for my application. I'm not looking to do huge quantities of heavy stuff, but the 35 tons would give me the ability to do limited amounts of 10 gauge or 3/16" for brackets and the like, as well as 14 gauge full width. I certainly would not turn down a 16-72 or 14-48 if I happened across one, either. I like the idea of the hydro-mech system on the DiAcro brakes, it seems like a good blend of hydraulic and mechanical characteristics.

    Now I'm looking to answer some questions, like:

    1. Are there other brakes out there I should be looking at besides DiAcro? I have seen a couple mechanical Niagara's and Wysong's with similar capacity. I doubt a real modern brake is going to fit in my price range, which is definitely less than $10K, and probably closer to $5K.

    2. Since I'm buying used, what do I need to look for in a used press brake to tell if it's worth buying or not? I have quite a bit of experience with my apron brakes and jump shear, but I've never run a press brake beyond the attachment I've made for my press. It sounds like the DiAcro system is prone to leaks at the hydraulic motor that are annoying but not terminal. Are there other quirks with these that I need to watch for? What are signs of guaranteed abuse that mean I should keep looking for another machine?

    3. How tough are these to move? It looks like a 14-48 DiAcro is about 2500 lbs and a 14-72 is closer to 6000. Obviously there's a fair amount of that weight up high. I have moved both of my apron brakes (big one is a 10' x 14 gauge Chicago) and my 8' jump shear, as well as my mill and lathe, so I have a clue about moving equipment, but a press brake appears to be a whole different animal.

    Thanks in advance for reading, and any advice you might have for me.
    I have a Di-Acro 14-48 that is for sale if your interested.........the brake is definitely top heavy but if you use a sling from overhead you will be fine.

    I like the idea of the fork pockets as well, I have moved mine with a pallet jack, but you need to use cribbing!

    Kevin

  14. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    Upstate NY -In the Flats next to the corn fields
    Posts
    9,111
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    1542
    Likes (Received)
    2502

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Graham Gott View Post
    Sprint cars.
    Pavement no less...
    Oh and you're from Ohio, shoulda known, that's sprint
    car country. But how can you call that a car?
    There's no fenders, no clutch, no starter, no transmission, and probably no carburetor!

    I get it.....I make the trek to Oswego Speedway several times
    a year to watch the SuperModifieds. My favorite class, along with Modifieds, Sprint, and Midgets. Not into Dirt tho...
    Nice looking rig you have there.

  15. Likes Graham Gott liked this post
  16. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Country
    UNITED STATES
    State/Province
    North Carolina
    Posts
    178
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    285
    Likes (Received)
    92

    Default

    Yes, no starter, clutch, transmission, or battery. Everything you need to go fast, nothing you don't!

    I've been involved in a couple supers, too. Not from-scratch builds, but close.

    We actually took this one to Oswego for Classic Weekend in 2008. This picture is at Toledo:



    And this was a complete rebuild of a West Coast-style, Hyder Hawk car:



    I have come around to dirt. A good friend of mine built the engine in the red car, and I help him with his non-wing dirt sprint. For sheer entertainment value it's hard to top a field of non-wing sprints on a good, tacky dirt track.

  17. Likes dkmc liked this post
  18. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    Upstate NY -In the Flats next to the corn fields
    Posts
    9,111
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    1542
    Likes (Received)
    2502

    Default

    THAT is what I'm talkin about!


    Is the 14 car IFS?
    I see they are allowing it back at Oswego this year.
    I suppose Hawksby's busy with some new builds.

    Jeeze....winter......gotta go watch some youtube's with the volume turned up.

  19. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Country
    UNITED STATES
    State/Province
    North Carolina
    Posts
    178
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    285
    Likes (Received)
    92

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by bsg View Post
    I have a Di-Acro 14-48 that is for sale if your interested.........the brake is definitely top heavy but if you use a sling from overhead you will be fine.

    I like the idea of the fork pockets as well, I have moved mine with a pallet jack, but you need to use cribbing!

    Kevin
    Kevin, I sent you a PM about your brake, but it's not showing up in my sent folder, so I don't know if it actually made it over to you.

  20. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Country
    UNITED STATES
    State/Province
    North Carolina
    Posts
    178
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    285
    Likes (Received)
    92

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by dkmc View Post
    THAT is what I'm talkin about!


    Is the 14 car IFS?
    I see they are allowing it back at Oswego this year.
    I suppose Hawksby's busy with some new builds.

    Jeeze....winter......gotta go watch some youtube's with the volume turned up.
    Neither car is IFS, just outboard coils on a solid axle. Simple and effective. Both of these cars were built on pretty tight budgets, and there would have been quite a bit of added expense to develop the pieces for IFS. I don't know how much difference it really makes with a wing. Shullick just won the ISMA title with a solid axle car, and Perley kicked everyone's tail for years with the most simple, basic car in the field.

    It will be interesting to see what happens this year at Oswego with the rule change.

  21. Likes dkmc liked this post
  22. #16
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Imlay City, Michigan
    Posts
    1,952
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    99
    Likes (Received)
    205

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Graham Gott View Post
    Kevin, I sent you a PM about your brake, but it's not showing up in my sent folder, so I don't know if it actually made it over to you.
    Hello Graham,

    Yes, I did receive your PM, I will get pictures over the weekend for you.

    Kevin

  23. #17
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Country
    UNITED STATES
    State/Province
    North Carolina
    Posts
    178
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    285
    Likes (Received)
    92

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by bsg View Post
    Hello Graham,

    Yes, I did receive your PM, I will get pictures over the weekend for you.

    Kevin
    Great, thank you. I wasn't sure what happened there, normally a copy of the PM shows up in the sent folder but I didn't see one this time.

  24. #18
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Country
    UNITED STATES
    State/Province
    North Carolina
    Posts
    178
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    285
    Likes (Received)
    92

    Default

    A follow up question...

    With space and funds being what they are (both limited), I am going to have to sell one of my other brakes to make room for a press brake purchase. I have a 10' x 14 gauge straight brake and a 4' x 14 gauge box and pan brake. I don't really need the full 10' capacity of the larger brake, but want to have at least 6'. One candidate for a press brake is a 14-48 DiAcro (4' length), so I'm thinking about selling the box and pan brake to make room.

    My question is: Is there something that can be easily done on a box and pan that is either difficult or impossible with a press brake?

    I'm trying to figure out if I will immediately regret selling the box and pan because I'm losing capability I have now. I figure for the quick, "bend it approximately here, approximately this much" type of thing, the 10' apron brake will work well, and more precise work would happen on the press brake.

  25. #19
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    il.
    Posts
    6,667
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    31
    Likes (Received)
    1237

    Default

    you can't make boxes unless you have a full supply of dies which ain't cheap

  26. #20
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Country
    UNITED STATES
    State/Province
    North Carolina
    Posts
    178
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    285
    Likes (Received)
    92

    Default

    By "full supply" do you mean a variety of lengths, or all the different styles (90 degree, acute, gooseneck, etc.)?


Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •