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micro pressbrake #1018 02/04/2020 07:26 PM
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bunkclimber Offline OP
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built this micro-pressbrake a few years back..It wasn't cad designed or even designed..just thrown together out of what I had around to work with..the cylinder is NOS from Surplus Center..The stationary die support on the end is made from 1" A36 mild plate,it takes a lot of force when in operation..I mainly bend strap and sheet steel under 3/8" thick x 8inches with it,its fast and easy to use,doesnt require a monthly payment and rolls around the shop fairly easy. I quick-rewelded it last time it broke,I should have done a more serious job of repair..now I have to do some real rework to get this back in action..it uses a 1"thick A36 mild steel top slide plate,its about 36"L and supports the slide and cylinder end mounts..the force from the 4"dia bore cylinder has also egged out the pin holes that support the end of the cylinder as well.You can see from the first photo she's a bit out LOL
[Linked Image from kuhnbros.com]

so I rewelded it a few years back in a rush to get working again..better job this time around for sure..gotta find a better die support plate too,something thicker,as well as a bottom strap across the bottom end to end of the press to balance the force..

[Linked Image from kuhnbros.com]

more to come as I get into this..might haveta use 100k psi rod this time..looks as tho she had too much leverage


Re: micro pressbrake [Re: bunkclimber] #1019 02/04/2020 08:31 PM
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sonny Offline
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Not sure a double plate would help either.---Maybe a double plate extending down a few more inches then a diagonal brace to the bottom?
That's a mean looking machine! Great build!


"A machine you build yourself is a vote for a different way of life. There are things you have to earn with your hands."
Re: micro pressbrake [Re: bunkclimber] #1020 02/05/2020 11:22 AM
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JIM Offline
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Had the same problem with my wood splitter which I plan on converting to a press break like yours now that I don't split wood any more. Been using it to crush empty Freon bottles. this fix has been holding up well so far...

[Linked Image from live.staticflickr.com]


I know a lot about a lot of things BUT I still have a lot to learn.
Life is what you make of it. So, why not make a working machine to make it easier.
Re: micro pressbrake [Re: bunkclimber] #1024 02/06/2020 07:21 AM
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bunkclimber Offline OP
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I just ordered a section of 2"thick plate to rebuild the end of the brake with..Paying more for shipping than I did for the steel; It is what it is. I'm sure my rural postal carrier girl will want me to get it out from her Jeep once she gets to the mailbox..gotta be home for that one;) ..anyway,this little brake machine has lasted about 15years now, proven itself VERY handy to have..I used to bend steel in the vice with a hammer. I have some sections of 1" plate out back in the barn to cut a plate from for the bottom, might get cut from some 1-1/4"thick scraps,depends whats on top of the stack. 5"wide and about 38"L..haveta cut it longer than the brake's frame so I can tie it into the piece of 2" on the end. We've had nothing but rain for the last couple days,its a total mudbog right now so I'll have to wait for the plate cut.
I'll probably have to rework the caster mounts as well,this little yellow brake is picking up weight faster than a fatboy in a donut shop.More to come on this.

Re: micro pressbrake [Re: bunkclimber] #1025 02/06/2020 07:21 PM
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sonny Offline
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Bigger is better!!lol!! --Ya the weather here is now snow,--bout 3 to 4 inches so far, now they talking about rain coming in, so the outside stuff is on hold here too!


"A machine you build yourself is a vote for a different way of life. There are things you have to earn with your hands."
Re: micro pressbrake [Re: bunkclimber] #1026 02/07/2020 12:08 AM
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JIM Offline
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Got a place here that sells all kinds of metal at scrap prices... I think they get most of it from the shipyards here...I get a lot of stuff at great prices.


I know a lot about a lot of things BUT I still have a lot to learn.
Life is what you make of it. So, why not make a working machine to make it easier.
Re: micro pressbrake [Re: bunkclimber] #1030 02/09/2020 06:24 AM
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bunkclimber Offline OP
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hard to find good usable plate in the yards around here..I got a trailer load many years ago when I did an electrical demo job at a concrete pipe plant,a $100 bill to the job super sure paid off on that one;) When stored properly it doesn't go bad. My cousin got me some additional 1"plate from an air compressor plant in Allentown PA that was closing years ago..I scrounge it whenever I can.
any way I fished out a section of 1-1/4 plate cuz it was easy to get to, and burned out a 5" x 38" section for the bottom strap with the track torch.About 60psi oxygen.Now the real work starts cleaning up this section of metal for fabrication, and disassembling the brake for mods. It'l have to wait a day or two to get back on this as running a 9"angle grinder on early sunday will piss off the neighbors for sure.
[Linked Image from kuhnbros.com]

Last edited by bunkclimber; 02/09/2020 06:32 AM.
Re: micro pressbrake [Re: bunkclimber] #1032 02/09/2020 06:53 PM
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sonny Offline
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WOW! nice torch! --I have to freehand mine! --- makes for a LOT of grinding to clean up the edges! Yours will be super!
Lookin great!


"A machine you build yourself is a vote for a different way of life. There are things you have to earn with your hands."
Re: micro pressbrake [Re: bunkclimber] #1034 02/10/2020 01:01 AM
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GatorS Offline
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That a neat brake, I like the cutting setup. I have one I made for my press it is only about 22: wide. With the 25 ton press it does pretty good.


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Re: micro pressbrake [Re: bunkclimber] #1035 02/10/2020 07:00 AM
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the track torch 'engine' in the pic is about 60yrs old, the controls suffer intermittents from sitting and age..then again so do I so it's all relative. I think it has a universal motor with rheostats for speed and two speed ranges..the rheostat is getting dead spots in it..it stopped a couple times when making these two cuts; coulda been the old yellow AC cord is getting stiff,maybe it was getting caught on an edge and stalling out the torch from moving. I got it as is at an auction,no tracks so I had to make a set,I had a friend with a mill cut the track grooves into two pieces of 3/8 strap and then welded in crossties to make the track,its in 5ft sections so it comes apart with two bolts. I have a not-so old Victor track torch system as well, a 10ft track,works a lot better than this one. I ran out of acetylene too,I was going to cut some rear cylinder supports as well,haveta save that for another day. So the 5x38 cut plate section is back up in the shop, I'll get to doing a primary grinder cleanup on it this week,maybe start on disassembly of the brake,shouldn't be too hard.
Still waiting on the 2"plate section for the die holder to arrive,maybe this week.

Re: micro pressbrake [Re: bunkclimber] #1056 02/16/2020 07:06 PM
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cut the pressbrake apart with a cutoff wheel in the angle grinder,cut the old welds off,removed the top slide assembly from the lower pump frame..then fired up the bandsaw again and cut and removed the bent die holder anvil plate..beveled out the weld areas for the new anvil plate to join the top slide plate...going to use Cronatron Eagle 3330 weld rod, 125Kpsi tensile..good stuff

[Linked Image from kuhnbros.com]

got the 2" thick plate section in the mail-(the US Mail Jeep girl wasn't happy about that box)..cleaned it up on the grinder, transferred the die holder mount holes and tapped them..then placed it on the frame with the new 1-1/4"thick bottom plate,checked alignment again, and tack welded it so I can setup the new rear cylinder supports..this press is really picking up weight..that bottom plate really anchored it tho..much stronger.

[Linked Image from kuhnbros.com]

Next will be burning the new rear cylinder supports from 1"plate..have to wait for a section of 1-1/4"dia 4140 round pin material to arrive so I can align and set up the rear supports..This job is easy, but as the song goes, 'the waiting is the hardest part' -seems I'm always waiting on materials to be delivered. I've learned if you need one hyd fitting or piece of rod stock to order more than you need-that way the next job you MIGHT have what you need..if you can find it again. More to come as I work on this. Maybe my mail carrier girl won't be mad at me this time when the rod stock comes in the mail..

Re: micro pressbrake [Re: bunkclimber] #1059 02/17/2020 08:37 AM
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JIM Offline
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I have drawers full of fittings because I need one or two... get 6 so NEXT TIME... but then need a different size.. crazy


I know a lot about a lot of things BUT I still have a lot to learn.
Life is what you make of it. So, why not make a working machine to make it easier.
Re: micro pressbrake [Re: bunkclimber] #1069 02/19/2020 01:54 AM
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sonny Offline
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That should hold up! --- Ya,--by 2 then still have the wrong size!-- that is always my luck! ---- parts bins run over---not the needed part anywhere ! lol!!


"A machine you build yourself is a vote for a different way of life. There are things you have to earn with your hands."
Re: micro pressbrake [Re: bunkclimber] #1071 02/19/2020 05:41 PM
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bunkclimber Offline OP
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Im so cramped for work space It drives me crazy, if Im looking for something it's in one of three spots,so a lot of walking and digging thru bins and cabinets..Im going to move south in a few years and WILL put up a steel building to work out of and FINALLY organize my parts and shop..so for today I cut out some longer caster mounts for the pressbrake out of some 3"c-channel scrap; it was tippy as built,when you moved the brake you had to be careful not to pull too hard sideways or it would tip over..more than once I had a disaster but it survived..so wider caster wheel mounts were in order..only after cutting them did I discover two different runs of 3"c-channel with different leg heights side for side..musta been some irregular runs of channel! just another challenge..

Re: micro pressbrake [Re: bunkclimber] #1108 02/27/2020 09:37 AM
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I cut rear cylinder mounts out of 1" A36 mild steel plate,I made sure to leave a good amount of metal around the cylinder mounting pin area so it won't get deformed again. I have them propped up in the photo here with some 1-1/4 rectangular tubing. The last rear cylinder plates were 1/2"thick steel and deformed under pressure because I didnt leave enough meat around them; I used what I had to build it. I'll tack these in place once aligned with MIG and then lay a root in with 120,000psi rod via TIG. I had to switch up to a 5/32 TIG tungsten for a bit more amperage capacity. The rear mountplates will tie into the 1-1/4"thick bottom sole plate. I might get time today to lay some root passes on the 2" front die plate as well.
I have to talk to a welder friend of mine about preheating all this as it's thicker plate than I usually deal with,so there may be some special considerations that have to be addressed.
I'm also aware of maybe some confined stresses with tacking it up first then putting all that heat into it with the finish weld process.
[Linked Image from kuhnbros.com]

Re: micro pressbrake [Re: bunkclimber] #1110 02/27/2020 11:19 AM
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sonny Offline
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Lookin good! That should hold! On thick iron, I usually treat it like cast iron and preheat----weld---apply heat and slowly back it down so it cools slow. Don't know if that is the right way or not but it keeps the warping and cracked weld thingy down a bunch.


"A machine you build yourself is a vote for a different way of life. There are things you have to earn with your hands."
Re: micro pressbrake [Re: bunkclimber] #1121 03/02/2020 10:27 AM
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got the caster mounts completed,4 new-used casters installed and mounted to pressbrake lower pump frame. In addition to everything got an awesome bad case of the flu and recovering. Grapefruit and sunshine help a lot. Amidst chunky phegm cough-ups, I got the lower press frame painted, maybe I'll get some work done to it this coming week..I have a paying job lined up for it..Keep ya posted.

Re: micro pressbrake [Re: bunkclimber] #1133 03/02/2020 05:41 PM
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JIM Offline
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I was going to convert my splitter Might have to re think that. Shure don't need a 24" stroke on a press break


I know a lot about a lot of things BUT I still have a lot to learn.
Life is what you make of it. So, why not make a working machine to make it easier.
Re: micro pressbrake [Re: bunkclimber] #1137 03/04/2020 07:01 AM
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But it might be useful for a bead breaker or something else a little off the wall...

Re: micro pressbrake [Re: bunkclimber] #1139 03/04/2020 08:56 AM
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JIM Offline
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I have in the past unhooked the wedge from the guide plate and rotated it 90 and used it to break the beads on the 14.5 lowboy tires my flatbed has. it IS good for that....


I know a lot about a lot of things BUT I still have a lot to learn.
Life is what you make of it. So, why not make a working machine to make it easier.
Re: micro pressbrake [Re: bunkclimber] #1141 03/04/2020 11:32 AM
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bunkclimber Offline OP
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so I got the welding done on the mini pressbrake,heated it with a propane torch off a 30lb cyl for well over an hour,got it good and hot..did some TIG root passes with my Syncrowave 250,maxed it out on a 5/32 zirconiated tungsten,blasting it and laying in the 120K psi Cronatron rod.I scraped all the flux coating off the outside of the Cronatron stick rod and used it as TIG filler rod material..man that stuff is nice,wish I had more..Built it up as far as I could,It had a lot of heat,even with gloves,full leathers and sleeves I had a lot of radiation coming off that process..something I like to limit as I get older..I feel it all day today..burned my hand later as well but thats all part of it I guess,nothing that won't heal....then did some cover passes with er70s6 MIG..turned out good as I can get it. Made some MIG passes on the rear cylinder mounts and basically finished the welding portion of the rebuild.
>>Used my Lodestar shop chain hoist to gently lift it off the weld tablette and down onto the press frame.
[Linked Image from kuhnbros.com]

I was a bit unsure of using the hoist as the roof structure usually doesnt see that much of a load here,but it held..precariously
More to come as I get it back together and tested

Re: micro pressbrake [Re: bunkclimber] #1151 03/04/2020 09:30 PM
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Lookin good ! That should hold!


"A machine you build yourself is a vote for a different way of life. There are things you have to earn with your hands."
Re: micro pressbrake [Re: bunkclimber] #1158 03/07/2020 04:23 PM
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Ok so I got the micro pressbrake all back together, I even slobbered a coat of oil base grey paint onto it..dialed the hydraulic pressure back on the pump to 2500psi-ish instead of the wide open 3000psi like I had before..I might even dial it back further if I see fit,nothing like hitting the relief valve to let you know you're up on the top end! Press so far works great,no issues.

So the first job I had to do was bend up some custom J-hooks for a customer, I don't ask why or what for I just build to print or the damn drawing they give to me on the back of a Chick-fil-A napkin..easy enough. 1/2" A36 rod stock, a few bends and I'm finished. Good first use of the brake.Can't imagine how I got along without it..no more bending metal in the vise with a hammer.
[Linked Image from kuhnbros.com]

I have some small sheet metal braces to fab up next week,I have a shop cleanup to do first before starting that job.Moving onward..

Re: micro pressbrake [Re: bunkclimber] #1159 03/07/2020 06:27 PM
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That looks great! --- You do excellent work!
Glad all went together well and works good! I can see where that would be really handy.


"A machine you build yourself is a vote for a different way of life. There are things you have to earn with your hands."
Re: micro pressbrake [Re: bunkclimber] #1161 03/08/2020 11:25 PM
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Very nice give us a fully assembled pic


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Re: micro pressbrake [Re: bunkclimber] #1168 03/10/2020 07:34 AM
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will get back on it ASAP with electrical fittings and cord upgrade..busy right now


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