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As mentioned in my Hydraulic Press Thread, I also purchased a SWAG 20 TON Press Brake Heavy Duty DIY Builder Kit to compliment it. Unfortunately the new press was 1" to narrow, so I had to narrow the press kit so it would work. Some pics of the project:

As received, it shipped in a flat-rate USPS box, it's VERY heavy!
IMG_3320.JPG


Main body marked and in the bandsaw to take 1" out of the middle making the total width 21":
IMG_3323.JPG IMG_3326.JPG IMG_3327.JPG

Next I cut the angle iron to fit:
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Next I drilled the rods/tubes that hold the fence, this is so the threaded studs can be plug-welded in:
IMG_3331.JPG IMG_3332.JPG



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Next I beveled the edges of the main body, clamped it down and tack welded while making sure it was still straight:
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Test fit the angle iron, I did have to grind a bit off of the bottom so it fit flush on the sides:
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Next I pressed in (with the new press of course :) the guide rods:
IMG_3347.JPG

Then plug welded from the bottom:
IMG_3348.JPG

I tacked the guide tube onto one side the top die, then I could verify how much of it I had to cut off:
IMG_3349.JPG
 

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Continued, have to cut this much off:
IMG_3350.JPG

Then I tacked the other tube on and checked for binding while sliding up and down:
IMG_3351.JPG

Next I used the top die to ensure the lower die (angle iron) was centered and tacked it in place (no pic of just that). So now that everything was tacked I started to complete the welding on the main body, I jumped around a lot to prevent warping, so its NOT very pretty!
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More to come...
 

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Great job as usual Ken. :thumbup1gif: I was eyeing your torch holder, very slick. I am thinking of just making my own attached to the bench.
 

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Great job as usual Ken. :thumbup1gif: I was eyeing your torch holder, very slick. I am thinking of just making my own attached to the bench.
Thanks Randy, I appreciate it.

As for the torch holder, it's one of the FEW nice things you can get from Horrible Fright: Magnetic MIG Torch Rest . A great freind of mine turned me onto it.
 

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OK, backtracking just a bit:
The brake needs to be centered on the press, and since this kit was made for the HF-20 press I had to adapt. Using the tabs with the kit made the brake to far forwards:
IMG_3363.JPG

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So I decided to bend the tabs down, a little heat and a big adjustable wrench made easy work of bending the 3/8" thick steel:
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Then I flattened it out with...you guessed it the press and about 20 tons of force!
IMG_3372.JPG


Now, before welding the locating tabs on I needed a ring to located the piston-the one included in the kit was to small. Started by bending a piece of 3/16" flat bar in the HF bender:
IMG_3373.JPG

I got it this close with the bender, the OD of the included ring was a good size for the new ring:
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I cut off the tail, and started working with a hammer:
IMG_3375.jpg


Then welded it together:
IMG_3376.jpg


It was a little tall so I cut it down:
IMG_3377.jpg
 

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Now I put the brake on the press to center the ring and get a position for the tabs. I tacked everything while on the press (sorry no picture) then finished welded on the table:
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Then a test bend or two on some 3/8" x 2" flat bar:
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Next I added the rear rods and length indicator:
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I also had to shorten the fence:
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IMG_3387.JPG
 

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So that is pretty much to the kit build as designed, but I plan to hang this on the wall for storage so I wanted to be sure the top die would not slide off the guide rods-as designed it just lifts off.

On to the mill, I drilled and tapped the guide rods for 1/4-20 bolts:
IMG_3390.JPG

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Then two large fender washers and 1" bolts keeps the die on the rods:
IMG_3392.jpg


So here is everything completed, minus Krylon satin black paint that is completed now. Sorry for the bad pic but the sun was coming through the window messing with the camera:
IMG_3393.JPG
 

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so, whats it do?:laugh::flag_of_truce:
 

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Very nice Kenny. OK, given all the mods you had to do to the kit, would you have designed and built one from scratch if you had to do it all over again?
 

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Very nice Kenny. OK, given all the mods you had to do to the kit, would you have designed and built one from scratch if you had to do it all over again?
Thanks MJ,
No, I still would have bought the kit-I think its a good value with all the precut materials you get, and it's a well proven design.
 

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That did turn out really nice!

How do you like the depth gauge on the back?

Thanks Jim,
I haven't really used it yet to do repeatable bends, but I suspect it may be a bit flimsy and may need a "backbone" of sorts to stiffen it up (the actual "fence" that is).
 

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To bad you had to do all that work to fit your press. But in the end it came out real nice and looks like it was not modified .
I think you will enjoy it.
I have a Swag 20 TON Finger Brake Heavy Duty DIY Builder Kit. All I had to do was square it up and weld it together.
I have a Harbor Fright 20 to press.

The only problem I had with the swag finger brake was the rebound springs. For some reason they sagged over time. I needed to get replacement springs.
Also don't try to bend round rod. I did and the finger are soft it put a flat spot in the finger. That was Ok for me because I had difference sizes to work with. But on your brake you only have one large finger. It would cause you to cut out the damage part and shorten up the work space.
 

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:thumbup1gif::thumbup1gif::thumbup1gif::thumbup1gif:
 

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Is it typical for press brakes of this type to be made from mild steel? Granted, nothing is being cut, sheared, etc; but as a poster mentioned earlier that items like rods could put flat spots or divots in the dies.
 

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I don't know the answer to that MJ...
 

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Is it typical for press brakes of this type to be made from mild steel? Granted, nothing is being cut, sheared, etc; but as a poster mentioned earlier that items like rods could put flat spots or divots in the dies.
I wonder if the steel could be hardened/case hardened? Or if the is a special welding rod that could be applied then ground/machined that would give a hardened surface to the die?
 

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I think for a brake like this, hardening or a higher grade steel is unnecessary. They're intended for 'hobby' shops, not regular commercial use. I had the SWAG Heavy Duty finger brake, I believe the instructions that came with mine said not to bend round bar with it. The lower edge of the top die on mine was also flat and about 1/16" wide, not a sharp edge. That lends to resisting damage as well.
 

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A press brake designed for sheetmetal is not designed to bend round stock,,, :dunno:

I mis-apply tools all the time,,, so I am familiar with such results!! :flag_of_truce:

To bend roundstock,,,, get a BFH!! :laugh:
 
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