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I want to be able to bend aluminum and mild steel sheets, up to about 3 feet wide. Nothing too thick, things like flashing over doors, What I'd really like is something like Tom Silva on "This Old House" uses, but those seem to be in the $2000 and up price category. The tabletop models that clamp to a bench are around $300 on Amazon, and have mixed reviews.

I'd prefer free-standing, since I have room, and I've found that if I have to pull out a tool and set it up, I tend to rarely use it, even when it is the best tool for a particular job.

Just wondering if anyone has a model in the mid-price range, say $500 to $1000, that they might recommend?
 
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Check out Harbor Freight. They have a 3' free standing brake for light sheet metal work for $229.00.
 
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I like the idea of this unit from Eastwood. 3 in 1, so you have a shear and slip roller too. It would be nice to have a shear in the same unit. It only does up to 30" wide and up tp 20 ga, which isn't much.

Eastwood 30" 3 in 1 Sheet Metal Shear Brake and Slip Roll

They also have one for up to 48" and 18ga but it is only the brake.

Eastwood 48 Inch Box and Pan Sheet Metal Brake

I'd do a lot of research. Like everything else, they make a lot of different ones, with a lot of different features and for a wide range in prices. Do you know anyone who does metal fab work? I'd ask people that are in the trade what their thoughts are about it too. Good luck, let us know what you get.
 

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I have a Tapco brake I have used for 30 yrs. I don't know what they go for used but all the siding and roofing contractors up here have one. I would try that. Cam lock vs. slide, cams are better,slides are easier. Won't bend thick sheet, made specifically for coil stock.
 

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RE: bending brake

Consider the US built TENNSMITH products-I purchased their shear,slip roller and brake a few years back for my shop,and each pieces has performed very well. So many of the 'blue chip' brands source their products from Chinkland nowadays.......
 
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