Best way to line up bends on a brake?
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  1. #1
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    Best way to line up bends on a brake?

    So i purchased the swag 20 ton finger break.

    Currently working on welding it up. I’ve never used a brake and I’m simultaneously learning to use fusion 360s sheet metal features.

    but first thing i noticed when I took out the pieces was that the fingers/blade for bending have a 1/8 landing on them rather than a sharp point. I’m assuming this is to prevent damage to a thin edge and it’s it is probably common on all brakes.

    What’s the best way to line this up for bends? Should I just be measuring back half the distance for my lines?
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  2. #2
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    Re: Best way to line up bends on a brake?

    Is it flat or radiused? Seems like that brake might offer a variety of radius dies. Bend lines are directly related to the accuracy required. To setup for making repeatable bends for short run style production (I'm thinking of your product line?) I would set up a few scrap pieces dimensioned correctly, with your preferred method of drawing lines. Bend up the part contour, measure and adjust as required. Won't be long before you are hitting your dimensions every time. We used to shear up "test coupons", 1" by 6" or so, kept on hand for just this type of fine tuning. Never any experience with Fusion 360 but take your flat pattern, draw a few reference lines to aim for, (I like the center of bend for example) and measure the result. Adjust as required. Bend allowance can be a little confusing until you establish familiarity with the way your CAD program calculates it
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  3. #3
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    Re: Best way to line up bends on a brake?

    When lining up a brake, go to half pressure......just enough to get the fingers on the crease, or flat. Line 'em up. Tighten the bolts. Long as they're in a straight line when a bit of pressure is applied,, you's good go go.

    SWAG thing is a joke, but good luck with it.

  4. #4
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    Re: Best way to line up bends on a brake?

    As long as you utilize the same place you will be good. Layout some marks on some scrap of the same thickness and note how the dimensions turn out in relation to your marks, adjust accordingly.
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  5. #5
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    Re: Best way to line up bends on a brake?

    I think it was Minnesota Dave posted some great information on making bends in metal.
    Laying out based on metal thickness and difference in inside radius vs outside.
    Don’t recall the thread but, I’m sure he’ll chime in.

  6. #6
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    Re: Best way to line up bends on a brake?

    Aw Hell, I thought this was about lining the fingers.

    On the SWAG thingy, you're looking at air bends. The die is too wide for anything else.

    So, it's a matter of doing a bend, and seeing just how much the radius varies from the bend line. Woulda thought that was obvious.

  7. #7
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    Re: Best way to line up bends on a brake?

    I would look at adding some sort of a back gauge. I need to do the same on my homemade press brake that uses American-style press brake tooling. For right now, I measure the distance from the edge of the sheet to the edge of the lower die and add half the die width to get to the center. It's not the most convenient way of doing things, but because of the radius on the upper die it's impossible to see exactly where the bend line is relative to the upper die.

  8. #8
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    Re: Best way to line up bends on a brake?

    just do a few bends, you'll soon figure it out.

  9. #9
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    Re: Best way to line up bends on a brake?

    Quote Originally Posted by farmersammm View Post
    Aw Hell, I thought this was about lining the fingers.

    On the SWAG thingy, you're looking at air bends. The die is too wide for anything else.

    So, it's a matter of doing a bend, and seeing just how much the radius varies from the bend line. Woulda thought that was obvious.
    They sell an adjustable top plate that narrows the die. I’m going to just copy it on my plasma. You can also insert narrower angle irons stacked to reduce it.

    At the moment though just it’s 100% am air bend. I can’t claim much experience but i don’t think it’s a joke. It bends 5/8” if you need it to. It serves its intended purpose for only $300.
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  10. #10
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    Re: Best way to line up bends on a brake?

    If you're doing thin (less than 14 ga) on that thing you need a sharper lower die.Got someone with a mill that can sharpen up the radius inside a piece of angle iron ? You can also take a couple of 1/4 x 2" flat bars and make a lower v-block, welding only the outside of them, leaving a sharp 90 inside.If it warps a little the die/blade will straighten it up for you

  11. #11
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    Re: Best way to line up bends on a brake?

    Actually the lower vee width should change vs. material thickness. General rule of thumb is 8x the material thickness for mild steel. So to bend 11 gauge (1/8") you need at least a 1" wide lower. Wider is fine, but you end up with a larger bend radius which is necessary for alloy steel or other materials. Narrower can cause cracking and the makes the required tonnage go up. The nose radius on the upper die also gets smaller as material gets thinner.

    Here's a link to a tonnage chart that should be helpful: https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&sour...60955574148171

  12. #12
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    Re: Best way to line up bends on a brake?

    http://www.swagoffroad.com/SWAG-20-T...Die-_p_94.html

    They sell this. But I may just plasma cut my own.
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  13. #13
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    Re: Best way to line up bends on a brake?

    Some cool bending with various dies.


  14. #14
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    Re: Best way to line up bends on a brake?

    SWAG also offers a backgauge. Good visual in the last scene of the video Samm posted.+1 on that slomo video!
    Once you have developed your flat pattern and bent a few samples you can determine the offset for specific thickness and angle. Keep notes until it becomes second nature.
    Last edited by _Dom; 06-18-2019 at 02:54 PM.

  15. #15
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    Re: Best way to line up bends on a brake?

    Quote Originally Posted by _Dom View Post
    SWAG also offers a backgauge. Good visual in the last scene of the video Samm posted.+1 on that slomo video!
    Once you have developed your flat pattern and bent a few samples you can determine the offset for specific thickness and angle. Keep notes until it becomes second nature.
    The back gauge for repeated bends comes with it. I just don’t have it attached.
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  16. #16
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
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    Re: Best way to line up bends on a brake?

    I use a marking gauge with a scribe point for wood working to scribe lines. Then I line the metal with that line. That way the measuring is all done on a shop table instead of trying to measure and align at the press. Just use amazon to see pictures of woodworking marking gauge to get an Idea of what I am talking about.

  17. #17
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    Re: Best way to line up bends on a brake?

    I have been looking at that 20 to press brake. Looks like a good deal for the $$. I thought that it came with the back gauge?

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