2 Ton Press Brake (oz13918)
About this Plan
2 Ton Press Brake.
Direct submission to Outerzone.
Quote: "2-Ton Press Brake, By Charlie Fite.
I don’t know about the rest of you, but I got real tired of wasting plate aluminum trying to bend landing gear with a vice, hammer, and/or pliers. There’s nothing more frustrating than spending an hour or so bending landing gear that is asymmetrical, misaligned, or both. To remedy that, I built a 2-ton hydraulic press brake plate from materials that are readily available from any big box hardware store (HD, Lowes) and any industrial supply house (Harbor Freight, Northern Tool and of course, McMaster Carr) for a nominal amount of money. It also helps to have a mom-and-pop hardware store nearby.
I built this little brake to bend, for the most part, 1/8” aluminum plate (6061, 5052, and 3003) for my sport airframes, i.e. my Ugly Stik, and my Ultra Stik, plus a few others.
The assembly consists of 3/4” plywood sides and base, 4x4 pine bearing beams, a 2x4 yoke with 3/4” brass bushings, 3/4” aluminum tubing guides, (4) 3/4” washers, and (2) heavy duty compression springs. The male die is 1 1/2” steel angle. The female dies are 1 1/4” angle. The die plates are 3/4” plywood. I added an aluminum bearing plate at the top of the jack to keep the ram from piercing the top beam. (2) small aluminum keepers hold the guide tubes in place.
No special tools are required. It can be cut, fabricated, and assembled with a scroll or jig saw, a hack saw, electric drill, a good set of bits, a screw driver, and a couple of box end wrenches. Counter sink and Forstner or paddle bits make it easier to cut the recesses and countersinks. A band saw, drill press, table saw, a trim router, and a miter saw make things a lot easier.
I built (2) female dies with different jaw widths, (1) wide, and (1) narrow. I also added an aluminum squaring guide to ensure consistent bends.
This little brake will easily bend 1/8” and 3/16” material as long as the 3/16” material isn’t too wide. You just have to remember to go slow, and give the material time to “flow” at the break line. If the bend radius is too tight, the material will crack along the outside radius of the bend. It might break 1/4” material, but would probably require a 5 ton jack and substantial reinforcement on both the top bearing beams and the yoke. Otherwise, you might break something other than the aluminum.
I built this thing for less than $50, mostly from scrap material I had laying around the shop. Purchased brakes range between $250 and $ 2000, and you may still have to provide the hydraulic jack and the dies. Replacement dies are also pretty pricey.
And that’s about it. Some plywood, some 4 by’s, 2 by’s, some wood screws and machine screws, some aluminum plate and tubing, a couple of compression springs and bearing washers, a couple of brass bushings, a bottle jack, and you’re in business."
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