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Old 09-15-2014, 11:26 PM   #1
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Default Sheet Metal Bending Brake - 8 ga/1/8" capacity?

I'm looking to pick up/make a manual brake to bend some 1/8" (8 ga.) Aluminum and possibly steel. Looking for something budget conscious too.

I have an idea on how to make one, but would like to see what can be bought to save me the hassle of making one.

Any suggestions, links to diy info or inexpensive retail? (this is not a "wanted" thread - so don't post up something you have for sale.)

Thanks!
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Old 09-16-2014, 11:17 AM   #2
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Default Re: Sheet Metal Bending Brake - 8 ga/1/8" capacity?

hydraulic jacks are good and can help you make a compact press brake using c channels.
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Old 09-16-2014, 11:24 AM   #3
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Default Re: Sheet Metal Bending Brake - 8 ga/1/8" capacity?

I didn't think of hydraulic jacks, but that makes sense. Much better power. Just need to design the channels.
Still looking for other options as well.
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Old 09-16-2014, 01:26 PM   #4
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Default Re: Sheet Metal Bending Brake - 8 ga/1/8" capacity?

I have this and works pretty well. They also have 30" one

18" Bending Brake
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Old 09-16-2014, 02:58 PM   #5
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Default Re: Sheet Metal Bending Brake - 8 ga/1/8" capacity?

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Originally Posted by eric113 View Post
I have this and works pretty well. They also have 30" one

18" Bending Brake
Have you tried bending something like 1/8" thick aluminum with it?
Specs only say up to 16 ga, which is half as thick as I am looking to do.

I had considered it, but don't think I could make it work.
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Old 09-16-2014, 11:42 PM   #6
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Default Re: Sheet Metal Bending Brake - 8 ga/1/8" capacity?

I've bent 1/8" with a manual brake..just a pain more then anything..usually need a lil leverage on the handle too...never noticed the channels/ pins worn out but didnt constantly do it either.
Most manual brakes are overbuilt...

Sent from a whiskey downer beer pounder's shop
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Old 09-18-2014, 02:57 AM   #7
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Default Re: Sheet Metal Bending Brake - 8 ga/1/8" capacity?

Harbor freight tools.
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Old 09-18-2014, 07:33 PM   #8
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Default Re: Sheet Metal Bending Brake - 8 ga/1/8" capacity?

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Originally Posted by onecool54@yahoo View Post
Harbor freight tools.
I've seen the one HF sells, and it was the first thing to come to mind. The whole reason I started this thread is that it is only listed as being able to bend up to 16 gauge steel, and I'd need something a little stronger. If it can actually bend 8 gauge aluminum, that is the question.

I guess for how inexpensive it is, I can give it a shot. I can always make a longer/stronger pull bar.

Thanks!
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Old 09-18-2014, 07:51 PM   #9
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Default Re: Sheet Metal Bending Brake - 8 ga/1/8" capacity?

For what you are wanting to do a press is what you really need. Finding a brake that can do 10ga would run you some serous coin.

If you pick up a shop press, the bigger the better, and find some dies you can do form up 10 ga or even thicker depending on wide you are going.
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Old 09-18-2014, 09:00 PM   #10
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Default Re: Sheet Metal Bending Brake - 8 ga/1/8" capacity?

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Originally Posted by monkeyracer View Post
Have you tried bending something like 1/8" thick aluminum with it?
Specs only say up to 16 ga, which is half as thick as I am looking to do.

I had considered it, but don't think I could make it work.
I have that as well, only bends 1/16" alum if it is soft, 1/16" steel no way....
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Old 09-19-2014, 06:33 AM   #11
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Default Re: Sheet Metal Bending Brake - 8 ga/1/8" capacity?

Go on instructables dot com. There's a ible for making a smallish bending jig using hinges! I guess if you used bigger or HD hinges you may be able to make your own!
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Old 09-19-2014, 08:17 AM   #12
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Default Re: Sheet Metal Bending Brake - 8 ga/1/8" capacity?

Check out http://www.woodward-fab.com
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Old 09-19-2014, 04:13 PM   #13
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Default Re: Sheet Metal Bending Brake - 8 ga/1/8" capacity?

Depending on what angle you are trying to achieve, go for something like 5052, or 6061 O (annealed) aluminum. Also for tight bends go with the grain if possible. Anything with a heat treat rating, like 6061 T6, will tear or break when you bend it. And heating up the heat treated material can make it worse.

I worked in a shop where I did mountains of laser cutting and bending. Granted we had a 90 ton CNC press brake, its still the same concept. Even though The Harbor Freight gizmo says 16 ga steel is the max, that is not comparable to the force it takes to bend 16 ga aluminum. You can clamp in whatever thickness you want to that kind of design, your limit is how well can you hold it down, how hard can you yank that lever, and how much force the machine takes before something breaks.
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Old 09-19-2014, 05:22 PM   #14
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Default Re: Sheet Metal Bending Brake - 8 ga/1/8" capacity?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mtdriver View Post
Depending on what angle you are trying to achieve, go for something like 5052, or 6061 O (annealed) aluminum. Also for tight bends go with the grain if possible. Anything with a heat treat rating, like 6061 T6, will tear or break when you bend it. And heating up the heat treated material can make it worse.

I worked in a shop where I did mountains of laser cutting and bending. Granted we had a 90 ton CNC press brake, its still the same concept. Even though The Harbor Freight gizmo says 16 ga steel is the max, that is not comparable to the force it takes to bend 16 ga aluminum. You can clamp in whatever thickness you want to that kind of design, your limit is how well can you hold it down, how hard can you yank that lever, and how much force the machine takes before something breaks.
Very helpful information.

I ended up getting the HF unit for $30 and a few pieces of material to make a mini frame for it. Basically it is just 18" length 1" square steel tube that the bender is bolted to. This way I can clamp that to the workbench for better leverage. If I find it doesn't hold up, I'll look at other brakes.
I bought some 1/8" Aluminum (although not sure of the alloy or temper) and it bent pretty easily, although the outside radius of the bend started showing signs of cracking.
For the material I am going to make my Wraith Frame rails out of, I can choose either 5052 or 6061, but they don't list the temper on the site, so I will likely go with the 5052.
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Old 09-20-2014, 09:53 PM   #15
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Default Re: Sheet Metal Bending Brake - 8 ga/1/8" capacity?

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Originally Posted by monkeyracer View Post
For the material I am going to make my Wraith Frame rails out of, I can choose either 5052 or 6061, but they don't list the temper on the site, so I will likely go with the 5052.
Good choice. If there is no temper listed, just assume it inst hardened to the point where they feel its worth advertising, meaning still relatively soft. Most aluminum you will find by the small sheet in a hardware store or similar will be 6061, it is going to be the most common for sure.

Even non tempered aluminum will tear. Its all about chemical composition when you're talking metallurgy. For example 6061 has Zinc and Silicon, which makes it good for corrosion and welding and is a cheaper alloy (why its so common). But being softer its a gooey stringy mess to machine. Get to 7075 aluminum and there is more copper, making it as strong as steel, but not as corrosion resistant. Being harder, it is a dream to machine compared to 6061, it will actually break chips. Your 5052 will have even less metal added in, and 3003 even less than that.

Now those rent real factual statements from a credible source, just the info i have in my head which might be right. Haha.

Last edited by mtdriver; 09-20-2014 at 10:12 PM.
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Old 09-21-2014, 10:21 AM   #16
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Default Re: Sheet Metal Bending Brake - 8 ga/1/8" capacity?

The shop uses 5052 H32 and 6061 T6, so I am going with 5052 since that will be better for bending and still be strong enough to do what I need it to.
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Old 09-27-2014, 02:21 AM   #17
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Default Re: Sheet Metal Bending Brake - 8 ga/1/8" capacity?

It sounds like you are dedicated now but I the harbor freight 50 ton press with some home made press brake dies works very well for not a lot of money. I've used it to press brake up to 3/8" steel brackets for the race car...
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Old 01-01-2015, 09:01 AM   #18
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Default Re: Sheet Metal Bending Brake - 8 ga/1/8" capacity?

How long of stuff you are looking to bend will also be a factor in what you need. Annealing the part to be bent can help also.
Swag off road offers a cool DIY bending brake. 12 ton shop press brake
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Old 12-03-2019, 10:09 PM   #19
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Default Re: Sheet Metal Bending Brake - 8 ga/1/8" capacity?

Quote:
Originally Posted by monkeyracer View Post
I'm looking to pick up/make a manual brake to bend some 1/8" (8 ga.) Aluminum and possibly steel. Looking for something budget conscious too.

I have an idea on how to make one, but would like to see what can be bought to save me the hassle of making one.

Any suggestions, links to diy info or inexpensive retail? (this is not a "wanted" thread - so don't post up something you have for sale.)

Thanks!
In the following article, it has a video to show you how to DIY press brake, enjoy it.

https://www.machinemfg.com/press-brake-ultimate-guide/
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Old 12-04-2019, 11:09 AM   #20
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Default Re: Sheet Metal Bending Brake - 8 ga/1/8" capacity?

How big of a bend are you looking to make? This will make or break the deal. That 6061 T6 needs a bend radius of 8x or greater so it does'nt crack, and requires some serious tonnage to push it for any real length of the piece. No scale parts coming off that. The type O will need to be work hardened once formed or it will bend/deform/dent easily. What part ar you trying to build, anyhow, that needs to be 1/8"? For "inexpensive" machinery, look at Enco, box and pan brake. Tennsmith is a little more $$$. Look for something older if you are going to buy, Chicago or Pexto. New stuff is junk. Do know that exceeding the capacity of the brake will probably jack it up, spring it, even with the setback adjusted correctly, being the machinery is rated at the given thickness at the brakes length in mild steel. Most are 16 ga. capacity with the bending angle.
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