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Thread: What is minimum size Pan Sheet Metal Brake would you recommend?

  1. #1
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    What is minimum size Pan Sheet Metal Brake would you recommend?

    What is minimum size Pan Sheet Metal Brake would you recommend?
    Silly question because "It depends on ones needs". I hate buying something twice. Space is an issue. Trying to get out of making gym equipment and want to make arty stuff and furniture. I tend to make thick stuff, lol

  2. #2
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    Re: What is minimum size Pan Sheet Metal Brake would you recommend?

    Minimum size (imo) would be 36Ē -16 gauge.


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  4. #3
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    Re: What is minimum size Pan Sheet Metal Brake would you recommend?

    I have a Chicago 12 gauge 48” leaf brake. It has been very handy! Also not cheap. Anything bigger that needs bent I farm out to the pressbrake shop.

  5. #4
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    Re: What is minimum size Pan Sheet Metal Brake would you recommend?

    I used to be a sheet metal worker doing almost all HVAC work. Admittedly most of my work was in a smaller operation and was duct work in residential and small commercial operations, we had a 10' brake in the shop and eventually we got a 48" box and pan brake. We used it alot but mostly in the 12-18" width range, I think it would go up to 18 gauge.

  6. #5
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    Re: What is minimum size Pan Sheet Metal Brake would you recommend?

    Here's my 36" x 16 gauge Boggs Brown I sold this summer.






    I still have the equivalent sized import box and pan I bought new on sale 20 years ago.

    The quality is nowhere near that of the old school one but I realized it is more than adequate for my needs and skill set.


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  8. #6
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    Re: What is minimum size Pan Sheet Metal Brake would you recommend?

    Thanks guys. Because I tend to make heavy thick stuff 16 gauge is probably important.

  9. #7
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    Re: What is minimum size Pan Sheet Metal Brake would you recommend?

    Lis 2323
    That looks perfect. I like the table style as well

  10. #8
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    What is minimum size Pan Sheet Metal Brake would you recommend?

    Thanks Reebz. Depending on what you plan to make you might take a look at magnetic sheet metal brakes also.


    https://www.baileigh.com/metalworkin...t-metal-brakes


    Acquiring one was definitely NOT on my radar, but I came across an automotive body guy who purchased this unit for the sole purpose of building a set of body panels for his show car. He let me have it for half the price of new.





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    Last edited by Lis2323; 11-25-2020 at 06:30 PM.
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  12. #9
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    Re: What is minimum size Pan Sheet Metal Brake would you recommend?

    How difficult is it to line up those plates on the mag brake? Seen a couples on c'list here.

  13. #10
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    What is minimum size Pan Sheet Metal Brake would you recommend?

    Quote Originally Posted by tapwelder View Post
    How difficult is it to line up those plates on the mag brake? Seen a couples on c'list here.
    Not difficult at all. You can have your workpiece and clamping bars held in position with half magnetic power. I can then use a small rubber mallet to tap square if necessary.

    FULL magnetic holding force is applied when you lift the handle to bend.

    If you have a lot of simple repetitive bends to make that donít require the clearances this brake affords it is WAY quicker to use a conventional machine.
    Last edited by Lis2323; 11-25-2020 at 09:55 PM.
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  15. #11
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    Re: What is minimum size Pan Sheet Metal Brake would you recommend?

    Seems like a 4' 16ga finger brake is the 'internet standard' answer for garage type shops.

    I agree with that. The only finger brake I have is a 24" pexto 16ga but I have other brakes too. Most straight brakes have enough room at each end to do a 3 sided box (and 1/2 of the 4th side... so they can be more versatile that some think.)

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  17. #12
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    Re: What is minimum size Pan Sheet Metal Brake would you recommend?

    On my press I cannot build a 3 foot box on my 3 foot opening. Is there a capacity on a finger brake. My sides hit the uprights, so the box bottom size is minus the side height x2.

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