Author Topic: Sheet metal folder  (Read 10018 times)

Online John Rudd

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Sheet metal folder
« on: November 11, 2009, 01:45:56 PM »
Following on from seeking advice on a guillotine, I am considering building a folder that is of the finger type.
I've acquired plans for a folder that would suffice however I have an issue with material selection..

The designer has specified mild steel for the majority of the components ( apart from PB for bushings and silver steel for hinge shafts)

I intend to mount the fingers on a piece of 8mm angle iron to give rigidity.

While the side plates and other major parts I'd go for Black flat steel,for the Fingers I was thinking Bright Flat....

I guess I should email the designer but I thought I'd seek the independant advice of the Collective..

TIA


John
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Offline Bernd

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Re: Sheet metal folder
« Reply #1 on: November 11, 2009, 02:14:44 PM »
John,

Having seen some of these metal benders (box brakes- I believe) itall depends on how heavy a material you are going to bend. If it's going to be nothing but tin or brass sheet, aluminum fingers would work. For heavier material I'd use mild steel. If your going into production work, definatly hardered steel.

So I think it boils down to material to be bent (thickness also) and use of the tool.

Bernd
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Online John Rudd

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Re: Sheet metal folder
« Reply #2 on: November 11, 2009, 03:14:53 PM »
Actually, the more I think about this the more reluctant I am at building one...purely and simply based on frequency of use...I'm thinking the material cost is going to be around 130....Buying a commercially made one is a non-starter after seeing what's available and the comments made by Bogs in a previous thread about guillotines and the 3-in-one machines. (I'd also read reports about them elswhere not being up to the job...)

The justification at the moment is to make a belt/pulley guard for my minimill. The material used for that is Aluminium sheet ( something around 1mm thick I think, which the folder would cope with easily with the appropriately selected materials...)

I guess I could cut the cost down by making a 'fingerless' model that just folds, but to make a box section say, I'd need to improvise the finger by folding around a suitable former..( I've used key steel of an appropriate length to get me where I wanted to be....)

Choices, choices, choices..... :scratch:

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Offline NickG

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Re: Sheet metal folder
« Reply #3 on: November 12, 2009, 07:35:07 AM »
Quote
The justification at the moment is to make a belt/pulley guard for my minimill.

 :lol:  I reckon your justification is as floored as mine usually is! 130 to make a guard which could probably be made by using a couple of bits of wood and a hammer!  :poke:

You just want one really don't you John! Only kidding, we all have reasons for buying / making the stuff we do.

Maybe you should try one of these 3 in 1's, it may be just what you want?

Nick
Location: County Durham (North East England)

Offline Davo J

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Re: Sheet metal folder
« Reply #4 on: November 12, 2009, 09:13:28 AM »
Here is a step by step of how to build a realy nice one.
http://www.woodworkforums.com/f65/making-pan-brake-folder-fingers-home-45792/
Dave

Online John Rudd

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Re: Sheet metal folder
« Reply #5 on: November 12, 2009, 09:27:44 AM »
Yup,I've already got the plans for that one thanks.... :thumbup:
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Offline PTsideshow

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Re: Sheet metal folder
« Reply #6 on: February 12, 2010, 07:17:22 PM »
The following are some photo's of a easy to do shop bender out of angle iron, a wood block and mallet, possibly  some C clamps for longer bends.
It works for the thinner gauge sheet goods.

The other photo's are of Heating and Vent duct work tools and for flashing and siding work. That can come in handy for other uses.

I have a Diarco finger brake that was the school shop standard for 50 years here in the states, along with a bar folder or seamer and 10' 6" Windy brand flashing brake. I still use the wack-a-doodle and the other more than the finger brake (have individual fingers in assorted sizes) so you can adjust them to bend pans or boxes of assorted widths. Mine are from " to 6" in width.

The biggest problem with the import brakes and the 3 in 1 machines is they aren't stiff enough or heavy enough. Also people tend to try to fudge the next thickest size up from their rated capacity.

I know people that have weld extra scrap iron on to them and use them for their rated capacity.

Truthfully if you are only doing a couple of bends the wack-a-doodle will work or if you don't have the angle iron. It would be cheaper to take a clear drawing labeled with the dimensions. To you local tin knocker,sheetmetal place and get it done for a lot smaller fee.
 













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Offline ieezitin

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Re: Sheet metal folder
« Reply #7 on: February 22, 2010, 08:10:41 PM »
John.
I do not own a folder. I want one. Making one is not that difficult as you know. Bracing up the fingers is all about structure geometry if you have access to a welding facility its easy to brace up the fingers.

I think if I owned one I would use it about 4 times a year, but not having one makes me roll round hoops to overcome the fact I do not have one.

I think its a worth while build and I have one in mind later this year. Irony is for about $30.00 I can build one that will fold .

If you do not have access to welding facilities then I see problems in manufacture, not impossible but just time consuming.

All the best.             Anthony.
If you cant fix it, get another hobby.

Offline Jasonb

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Re: Sheet metal folder
« Reply #8 on: February 23, 2010, 03:10:50 AM »
Could you not just knock up something like this, as its for a mini lathe I assume the folds don't need to be that long.

http://www.warco.co.uk/Vice-brake-5--wide-79E8C90E77.aspx

Jason