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................... Sheet Metal Brake Page 1
Press Brake -- I built this brake out of steel I had left over from other projects. So far I have been using it to bend 20 gauge cold rolled steel in widths up to 4 feet. I have bent 16 gauge, but I think this is the limit with this design. The 16 gauge was 12 inches long. More than that and I think you would have to use 2 or 3 jacks although Mike has bent long pieces of 16 gauge with his with a single jack. I did provide places for up to 3 jacks, but with the 20 gauge I have been using the one has been adequate. On the plans below I traced actual bends of 20 and 16 gauge steel to give you an idea of the sharpness of the bend. ......................
For a sharper bend use the option die layout I have shown. Actually different dies can be used and just laid into the bottom angle. Also if you made angles (dies) of different lengths and laid them in the bottom angle in such a way as to raise the steel to be bent above the bottom angle you could bend just partially across a piece of steel. The part not to be bent would just go straight through the brake. This is hard to explain, but if I do it (and I plan to) I'll get some more pictures/drawings up to explain it. Remember I used the steel I had laying around the shop to build this and you could substitute other pieces at various points in the design. Keep the pieces above the top die thin (the 2 pieces of 3/8X1 strap in the drawing) for a ways up above the top die so during a bend you are not hitting the metal to be bent in this area. This is especially important if you are making two bends close to one another. This brake has some limitations, but considering the price (a jack and some steel) it's a deal I think. If you improve on it send me some pictures/drawings to post for everyone. Also you can't bend past 90 degrees, but you can bend any angle less than 90. Also if you bend to 90 it is not to hard to use a hammer to go past 90 as the crease in the metal is there.
See the next page for a similar brake that Mike (Outlaw on RRT) built (Mike has been bending 20 and 16 gauge with his). Mike's Press Brake
If you have any question about the brake or it's construction just e-mail me. Have fun bending, Sum.
....................................Go to Mike's Press Brake Page 2