Instructables

Improved Harbor Freight metal bending brake

Picture of Improved Harbor Freight metal bending brake
I purchased a 30" metal bending brake from Harbor Freight (model 67240) for a small project I needed to complete.
I had read pretty good reviews about the brake, which cost $59.95.
Overall, the quality looked decent when I opened the package, but what I noticed was the steel hold-down bar that secures the work piece in place to the bed while bending was a separate, loose piece of metal. Clamps were required to maintain pressure on the hold-down bar and keep the work piece secured..
I decided I could sacrifice a little bit of width on the brake (I needed about 20" clear for my project) and that I could install a built-in clamping systems which would make using the brake more efficient.
The photo shows the stock metal brake with the required clamps holding down the steel bar which secures the work piece.
I permanently mounted the brake to a plank that has a piece of wood below which can be clamped into a portable workbench. The plank has a hole in it so I can just hang it on the wall when not in use. The arms unscrew and are removable to help make for compact storage.
 
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Step 1: Tools and Materials

Picture of Tools and Materials
I used a hand drill, a drill press and 5/16" threading tap (obtained from local hardware store).
Materials (inexpensive) were obtained from the local hardware store and are follows:
 - (2) knurled knobs with 5/16" machine screw 
 - (2) 5/16" fender washers
 - (2) 3/8" diam x 1/2" long stiff springs (approx. dimensions)
freewheel1 year ago
This is quite clever! I ran into a similar problem with this model of brake, but opted for C-clamps. This would be much faster and more precise.
buirv3 years ago
I like your instructable a lot! I have the same metal brake. I used C-clamps to hold the "loose" flat bar. However, why didn't I think of your idea is beyond me. Thanks for the idea help...!