Bending metal with a hydraulic press
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  1. #1
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    I was thinking about using my HF 20T press to bend metal - any suggestions on what I can pick up to allow me to use this. The only suitable thing I've seen made for this purpose is rather expensive (around $280 or so form what I can see). Any other cheaper options?

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    Metal?

    What are you talking about? Anything made out of metal is metal.

    Do you mean round stock or bar stock or round tube or pipe or plate or what?

  3. #3
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    Sorry - I meant sheet metal.

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    do you mean a press brake attachment? 280 bucks sounds cheap to me,

  5. #5
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    I would agree- that sounds like the bargain basement Northern Tools price.
    the only thing cheaper is gonna be 3 pieces of angle iron.
    2 on the bottom, one on the top.

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    I use my HF 20 ton to straighten steel all the time. I have straightened 1/2" steel plate brackets from under a street sweeper that hit a curb.
    The term you are refering to is called "Braking metal" or a metal brake.
    I have a 50ton Scotchman Ironworker. The brake attachment for it costs about $1000. I made my own from scrap. I used 3 pieces of 1 1/2" X 3/16" angle welded together in an upside down W for the bottom and a piece of 3/4" plate for the die. I made it 12" wide. I built a frame for the 3/4" to move up and down in.
    It will bend 3/16" X 10" or 1/2" X 3". I also use it for round bar. I have bent 3/4" round.
    Northern has a brake listed for presses but if you can fabricate you can save a lot.

  7. #7
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    You can build one cheaper if you have the materials. I built the inverted W for mine but instead of using a piece of angle iron for the top piece I took a 3" wide X 1/2" thick flat and ground, didn't have a milling machine, one edge to an included angle less than 90 degrees. Then fabricated a way to clamp it to the ram. Using a piece of flat bar shaped like this allows a bit of over bend to compensate for spring back.
    TS

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    Anyone have any pictures of the press brake attachments that you have made?

    Thanks

    TMT

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    I made my own. Started by adding a 20T air over hydraulic cylinder - on sale for $69 as I recall.

    Then made a press brake attachment. Piece of 1/2" x 3 x 24+ steel I got from a friend. Had some sort of stamped pattern on it and it was hard as crap. Cut an 80* included point on one long side and stitch welded (keep down the heat, don't want to anneal) a back bone of 3/8 x 2" stock down the back side with a piece of roll bar scrap as an adapter socket for the press ram. 2 Jack screws on each side keep it straight and some pieces of scrap square tube keep it aligned with the vertical rails.

    The die is just a piece of 1/4" x 6" plate with 2 pieces of 1/4" angle iron inverted and welded with a ~1/4" gap between them.

    Finally, I added some "gibs" to my ram cross bar to keep it from shifting when pressure was applied.

    I've bent 16 ga 20"+ wide to 90*, 1/8" x 1" strap to 90*, and a fair bit of other stuff as well. Seems to work fine, but I wouldn't go much past 1/8" without a stronger die plate and more gap.




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    Yes, I was referring to the press brake from Northern tool. Did not make sense to spend that much on the attachment given the cost of the press. Ideally it would be nice to get a stand along brake but I do not have the room for one plus I do not do much bending. I have had a one of those little crappy 30" portable brakes for some years - it works quite well (suprisingly) on Al and I recently did a 30 deg bend on a 1/4" X 1" piece of steel - provided the press plate is firmly clamped it seems to work OK.

    However, since I also have the hydraulic press I thought using that with an attachment would make more sense. Making one sounds like a good idea.

  11. #11
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    Timw
    I use my HF 20 ton to straighten steel all the time. I have straightened 1/2" steel plate brackets from under a street sweeper that hit a curb. The term you are refering to is called "Braking metal" or a metal brake.
    Actually the term is BENDING or FORMING metal in a PRESS brake...

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    I found this a few months ago, when I was looking for the same thing. I am thinking about building my own. Pretty handy thing to have around the shop.......that's for sure!!

    http://www.shopoutfitters.com/HandyBender.html

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    HELLO TO ALL,
    for heavy material, you must increase the
    radius.(larger male die) this also presents
    problems with setback. i am sure there are
    tables somewhere on the internet that tells
    how. or you can do it trial, and error.
    good luck with your projects.
    wlbrown
    wright city, mo.

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    I made this up a couple of years ago. It works real well for 1/4" plate. I needed to make up some brackets for a car I'm building and needed a way to bend accurately. I used a stick on measuring tape and pointer to be able repeat bends. Sorry about the rust.





    J. Clear

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    jjclear - that's nice!
    did you make that male die holder from a solid billet or is it repurposed from something else?

  16. #16
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    for heavy material, you must increase the
    radius.(larger male die) this also presents
    problems with setback
    You will also need to adjust the size of the V on the bottom dies for varying material thickness.

    A simple formula is material thickness x 8 equals the distance across the top of the V.

    For .125" material the distance from one top edge of the V to the opposite top edge is 1". For material over a 1/4" thick you need to use x10 instead of 8.

  17. #17
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    pm,
    That was just a hunk I had laying around. I milled a 1/2" slot into it in the hopes of some day picking up some real dies.
    kilroy,
    Thanks for that tip. I haven't done a whole lot of metal bending. Not on purpose anyway. <G>

    J. Clear

  18. #18
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    J. Clear,

    I see from your photos that you use Pampers brand storage containers. [img]smile.gif[/img] I've got some of those, too.

    Tom

  19. #19
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    You can also do forms.

    I burnt out some 1 3/4 plate curves, male and female, and they did instant forming of 10 ga sheet in my 25 ton

    John

  20. #20
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    Here are some photos of how I built mine so I could use in place of a pan brake.
    Hal
    IMG]http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v36/hrhoades/press%20brake/pressbreak006.jpg[/IMG]






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