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Easy to make bending press brake with flexible hinge

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Picture of Easy to make bending press brake with flexible hinge
I have seen some great home-made bending presses.  But I wanted to fold up a box from a single sheet of aluminium with the edges turned right over on all sides.  This can usually only be done on a press with removable and cutaway noses (the bit over which the bend is formed is called the nose).  This is what I had in mind. The box is for the heater on my vacuum forming machine.

The aluminium I bent was 0.038in or about 1mm thick and the longest bend was 310mm, just over 12 inches.

Tools
Clamping handyman bench
Wood saw and plane
Hot-melt glue gun
Hammer

Parts
Two shelf boards (mine were melamine-faced chipboard)
An old car seat-belt
Tacks
Some wood
Non-slip mat
 
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Step 1:

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The Homemade Mini Bend Brake http://www.instructables.com/id/Homemade-Mini-Press-Brake/#intro looks great for narrow strips, but couldn’t bend up four sides of a rectangle.

In bending, there are two big problems – holding the metal against the bending nose, and stopping the metal from sliding out of the press.  Also the hinges have to be very strong.

As I haven’t any welding gear I wanted a hinge I could use with wooden boards.  They are old melamine faced shelf panels.  I connected them with strips of seatbelt webbing fixed with hot-melt glue. The belting is in tension when it holds the top board against the workpiece.  These pictures show how it works.
rimar200011 months ago
Very clever to use these flexible hinges. Metal hinges are a bit weak, generally.
cepterbi1 year ago
nice and well thought out idea....tnx
Good job, it seems to work well, incidentally - I don't know where in the world you are but here in the UK the type you described as having 'noses' are 'known as Finger folders' mostly used for up to 1/8" steel plate, and a press brake is a large hydraulic/mechanical machine for bending up to around 1/2"-3/4" steel plate.
donnadidit1 year ago
I really like your idea....I am going to do it on a much smaller scale ( and make some substitutions) for my sculpting and jewelry metal work. I have been using other ways to get a square bend and clean straight "lip" or bend over the metal edges. This can make it much easier on a smaller scale.   Thanks for making it.  :)
r_harris21 year ago
I really like this instructable, and the brake! I have wanted a metal brake for some time as well, and have come close to making one, but other things always got in the way, and it seemed too complex to be worth the trouble, etc. I like the way you worked it out and used the Workmate to clamp the custom-sized nose pieces.

About the hinge: I think a large piece of old backpack material might also work, though it's not quite as strong as seat belt straps.
stechi (author) 1 year ago
Thanks for your comments. I have changed "seat belt hinge" to "flexible hinge". I hope you can use the idea.
Phil B1 year ago
I kept asking myself what kind of hinge is used in a seat belt system, then I saw you are making a hinge from seat belt straps. Very clever. What you have done certainly filled your needs well. Sometime I have needed to bend metal. In the future I will keep in mind what you have done.
bahahaha. I thought the same exact thing.
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