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Projects Building a Sheetmetal Brake

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by brucer, Nov 7, 2010.

  1. brucer
    Joined: Jun 5, 2008
    Posts: 332

    brucer
    Member
    from western ky

    i started building a sheetmetal brake 3 days ago. i used the plans from my site somewhat and added to them as i went..
    i also made the clamp plate spring loaded for easier operation,also designed it as i went..
    i need a little smaller spring, the ones in the last pic are some i had laying around and just stuck them in there to test it.

    i've taken some random pics as i progressed through the build, hope you find them useful...

    the biggest problem i had so far was positioning the hinges, took me 4 times of tack welding them and testing. The hinge pins have to be centered with the 2 pieces of angle iron, and also level and square... if i would have known how much of a pain it would have been to locate them i would have machined the hinges with locators on them before hand...

    i'm not completely done with it, i still need to add some adjusters for clamp plate forward and back spacing for metal thickness, and the handles and a stand...

    building a brake is not a quick and simple job... it is a fun one though..

    i'll add more pics as i go.
     

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    Last edited: Nov 7, 2010
  2. nocoastsaint
    Joined: Jan 5, 2006
    Posts: 413

    nocoastsaint
    Member

    I've been looking (admittedly not very actively) into building a metal brake, this will be quite helpful. Looks good, Brucer.
     
  3. lawman
    Joined: Sep 19, 2006
    Posts: 2,667

    lawman
    Member

    Made one for my business years ago (Classic Fabrication Inc).It never
    made clean brakes that I could use.Sold it and bought this one.
    Costly but its a Finger break also.You do nice work. Keep at it.
    Tom (tired Old Man)
     

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  4. brucer
    Joined: Jun 5, 2008
    Posts: 332

    brucer
    Member
    from western ky

    its starting to weigh quite a bit.. when i finish up the bracing and add the legs it's going to weigh a ton probably..

    i need to figure out how large/long to make the legs of the stand so it wont try to tip when i bend.. probably going to make it about 3 1/2 feet tall, and make the legs front to rear about 2 or 2 1/2 feet long... and might offset the brake to the front about 6 inches..
     
  5. brucer
    Joined: Jun 5, 2008
    Posts: 332

    brucer
    Member
    from western ky

    i got most of the stand built today...

    when i put the angle iron across the the 2 legs at the bottom i spaced them out 16 1/2 inches apart so a cinder block would fit between them, just in case it wanted to tip i could add blocks for weight on the bottom of base..
    actually dont think i'll need any blocks after i got it together somewhat...

    i just have the brake clamped to the stand for now, i'm going to make some mounting brackets and bolt it on..

    after i got the stand made i think i might make a small fold out table/bracve to help hold up a somewhat longer piece.. i think that would be a nice addition..
     

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  6. brucer
    Joined: Jun 5, 2008
    Posts: 332

    brucer
    Member
    from western ky

    i added the 2 angle pieces in the center, below the brake...

    i still need to add the bending handles and the casters...

    i went ahead and just welded the brake to the stand, dont think i'll need to be taking it off for any reason... when i added the clamp springs i had to notch the hinges so they would go past 90 degrees..

    heres some more pics...
     

    Attached Files:

  7. joe_padavano
    Joined: Jan 18, 2010
    Posts: 263

    joe_padavano
    Member

    Far be it for me to discourage someone from practicing their fabrication skills, but in my case I don't have enough time to work on my car projects, let alone take time to build the tools I need to work on the cars. I bought a used Tennsmith 48" finger brake for $400 from Craigslist. No muss, no fuss, no fabrication time. Check both the "tools" and "business" categories.
     
  8. brucer
    Joined: Jun 5, 2008
    Posts: 332

    brucer
    Member
    from western ky

    wish i had $400 to spend on a brake.. i dont so i build my own.... i did have enough scrap laying around for the stand.
    i bought 14ft. of 2inch angle for the brake itself... probably have around 10hrs in it... still need to add the handles and casters..

    while i'm building the brake, i'm figuring out how i want to build my tig cooler (next project).. i'm not spending $400 or more on a tig cooler that consists of $100 worth of parts...
     
  9. Gigantor
    Joined: Jul 12, 2006
    Posts: 3,805

    Gigantor
    Member

    That's awesome. I'd rather build than buy, but I don't know if I have the skills to make something like that out of scrap and my imagination. Cooool.
     
  10. harald
    Joined: Mar 5, 2009
    Posts: 80

    harald
    Member

    Hey I just posted some pics on another forum of my brake.What size is yours length wise? I made mine to handle 5 feet,used 3 1/2" X 5" angle 3/8" thick for the two bottom pieces and 3" X 4" for the clamping angle set up with the corner up for stiffness.This is the minimum size of material I would use even for a shorter brake because even with that the centre still deflects a bit.Dont know if 2" angle will be stiff enough.Just a thought.Looks great sofar tho.
     
  11. brucer
    Joined: Jun 5, 2008
    Posts: 332

    brucer
    Member
    from western ky

    mines built to fit 4ft maximum width..
     
  12. 46binder
    Joined: Jan 21, 2008
    Posts: 245

    46binder
    Member
    from Kenosha,Wi

    I saw your post on this and I've been meaning to build one myself, not quite done yet, need to make a back brace for the hold down. As it is right now, I have no problem with 18 guage. Built from scrap, 2 1/2" X 8" structural steel and other scrap. I don't have $400 either, and I had fun building it.
     

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  13. wrenchn
    Joined: Mar 29, 2009
    Posts: 33

    wrenchn
    Member
    from Chicago

    [​IMG]


    Quick and easy brake for aluminium siding to wrap window frames.

    [​IMG]

    and a stand for the roll of siding
     
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2010
  14. drdoom
    Joined: Mar 18, 2007
    Posts: 65

    drdoom
    Member
    from new jersey

    i built my 32in. brake using the book called ' designing and building the sheet metal brake' by david j gingery, book cost $8.00 and worth ever cent , i used scrap materal i had makes nice clean bends on 16 ga. its also a fun project and you know the out come is going to work no guessing involved.
     
  15. graydog
    Joined: Jan 8, 2012
    Posts: 2

    graydog
    Member
    from oklahoma

  16. Hellfish
    Joined: Jun 19, 2002
    Posts: 6,401

    Hellfish
    Member

  17. 201
    Joined: Dec 17, 2002
    Posts: 344

    201
    Member

    Brucer- how about using a valve spring mounted to give the brake jaw a little lift up and fabing an oversize wing nut on each side so you slide your stock in and position it, and then clamp down on it to hold it with the wing nuts???
     

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