Am I crazy? - building a press brake!

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atIOIYIOI

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Yep, you read that right!

After working through the body restoration of my LandCruiser BJ70 I learned a lot about shaping metal.

One of the tools that I really couldn’t have done it without was a little 14” die that I made for a small manual hydraulic press - that allowed me to make nice 90 degree (or less) bends. The biggest problem was I was limited severely in the size of parts I could make.

That is about to change. I have just started fabricating a massive (for me!) 6’ long press brake that will have a 30Ton ram in it!

I am not an engineer (though luckily I have a friend who is) so this really is a fly by the seat of my pants design, and fingers crossed, when it’s done I can make some cool parts to restore my FJ45!

I’m going to video this so if anyone is interested in following along, links will be posted below!

Feel free to post thoughts, ideas, concerns (though the videos may lag behind the production so your concerns may be addressed, or already surpassed!)

All feedback is welcomed and appreciated!

Enjoy!

 

The other Sean

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Nice!

I've got one I slapped together with scrap metal and 2 door hinges. it's not pretty, works, mostly, but has paid for itself in bending up various brackets and the such. Even being able to put a couple of bends in some 1/2" thick strapping to make a bracket is nice.
 
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atIOIYIOI

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Thanks guys! My first press was made with 3 little pieces of 1/2” square bar, two welded together on the bottom to make a V, and the 3rd was the press on the top. It fit inside a standard hydraulic bearing presser and at ~14” long made a lot of little parts! Took me about an hour to slap together and was a great starter press and simple to make! This beast should let me kick it up a few notches!

More to come soon!
 

atIOIYIOI

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It BENDS stuff!

Got my dies built and attached the die holder to the traveler beam - put the jack in place and did a test bend.

Still a lot of fiddly bits, but it’s operational now!

Episode 5!

 
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Boostpowered

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Ya know they are cheap at hf.

I built one once with old street sign posts and a bottle jack, like you I needed one and couldn't find one at the time I didn't have a welder though mine was bolted together. It lasted just long enough to do what I needed it to do before it broke.
 

atIOIYIOI

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Ya know they are cheap at hf.

I built one once with old street sign posts and a bottle jack, like you I needed one and couldn't find one at the time I didn't have a welder though mine was bolted together. It lasted just long enough to do what I needed it to do before it broke.
Sure, but A) the HF ones are not 6’ wide, and B) are not finger brakes, C) are not 30 ton, D) we don’t have Harbor Freight in Canada...
 
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old_man

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Being an engineer, machinist, and fabricator, I want a large press brake for my designs. The problem is that I need something with a minimum of 400 tons of force to bend .25" plate steel that is 6-8 feet wide. To be strong enough, commercial brakes weigh tens of tons in that range. The machining and fabrication is not rocket science, but the materials are big, heavy, and will cost a ton (pun intended) I have found a few old used presses for around $15k but the shipping would be $3000, and then the power for the hydraulics requires three phase power and the footprint would take up a single car garage and be 10-12 feet tall.

One of my goals in life is to have a shop big enough to house one of these and a shear of equivalent size, coupled with a cnc plasma cutter or laser cutter.

From time to time, I buy a lottery ticket and pray.
 

old_man

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A lot of effort went into the fabrication of the die set and I salute that. Watch ebay and the web and you can score used heavy hardened steel sets used for cheap from time to time and save a ton of money and work. You still would have to make a substantial frame but the dies would handle anything and last forever.