Press Bender

Being an avid DIYer, I always find the need to bend up brackets, even if it is a simple 90 degree bend bar.  Quite often a trip to the local hardware store will reveal suitable substitute brackets.

I stumbled on Swag Off Road 20 ton press brake.  Kool,  if only they were available here in Australia too.

They say “Necessity is the mother of all invention”.  Watching the video a couple of times, got me thinking, what would it take to make a similar unit?  So the long process of considering all sorts of solution starting to roll through my mind.  Some got sketches, some didn’t make it that far.  At one point I realised I don’t need a massive solution and the 20 ton press was probably a bit of an overkill not to mention where I would store it.

2 significant occurrences happened:

  1. Whilst in Machinery House getting a disposable Argon Shield regulator, I found 125mm Vice Brake bend jaws
  2. I stumbled on a 6 ton Bench top press on the web

Having acquired two sets of jaws and a press, this is how I went about making my very own Bench Top Brake Press Bender.

As of today, the unit is built and tried.  I have already planned a few modifications to make it better:

  1. The punches for the jaw benders are razor sharp.  This might be good for sheet metal, but I found bending 2mm Alum to 90 degree lead to about 40% failure.   I had to flatten the punches to a 1.5mm or so on the bench grinder.
  2. The wheel nut works very well as a spacer – the conical dome seats the spring very well.  I need to source two identical wheel nuts so the springs apply even tension
  3. It would be really good to some how fix the base to the side rails

If I had my time again I would extend the inner shafts and tread the ends.  This will enable a lock nut to be added to prevent the top and base separating.

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