I built myself into a corner, now how do I bend this?

I developed the piece that I wanted and cut it out of poster board, refined it etc…
I then used the Crossfire XL to cut it in 16GA sheet metal
It worked beautifully… then I went to bend it.

I have a 48" 16GA box brake, and bend #1 works well for the full length. But bend #2 would not fit in the brake and clear. So I had to unbend it and then try to bend it partially and finish bending it by hand. It doesn’t look so good.

I can fully complete bend 1 using my box brake. For bend 2, I was looking at a simple press brake to put in my press, but all I find are closed on the ends meaning it still cannot fold bend 2 after bend 1 is completed. Suggestions?

The other small bends create weld points. I figure I can cut more relief to make them easier by hand with pliers.

1 # by bending these down with rubber mallet while clamp in your box and pan. Clamp once for the two little tabs and one for the angle tab.

2# flip and break this line in the break 90 deg

3# position angle and break 90 deg

I am not sure of the throat depth on your box and pan so this could work on your if its deep enough.

The box break is not deep enough. I can bend your line 2 without an issue, but when I try to bend 3 I cannot get the piece into the brake. I have to unbend it back to about 45 degrees before it will slide in.

Cut slits on your bend lines bend as far as you can then finish by hand . Weld the slits

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If you’re going to do a lot of this kind of work, grab a finger press brake from SWAG Off-road for your press brake (or get a 20T press from Harbor Freight).

I have a HF 20 ton press. I assume you mean this one?

I’m wondering if the fingers are long enough to allow it to bend, but I suppose I could make a longer finger for that specific piece.

That’s the one. You can save $20 by getting the standard duty one but the heavy duty version can bend some serious stuff.

I bend fuel tanks with it so I don’t think you’d have clearance issues in getting the fingers where you need them. I also have their gooseneck dies (fingers) for really complicated bends.

I use a magnetic digital angle gauge to make sure the bends hit the angles I want. I also put in a piece of 1 1/2"(?) angle iron in the stock base angle track to help get tight bends on thinner material.

I also have HFs air powered 20T jack for it. That makes it way quicker than pumping the standard bottle jack by hand.

This was not cheap but once once you have it the possibilities are almost unlimited.

Hope this picture up loads I am new at this

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I see the Eastwood version of the magnetic brake is on sale for $2000 right now, $1000 less than the Baileigh.

After some thought, I ordered the SWAG, 1) it doesn’t break the budget right now to finish this project. 2) I already have a 48" finger brake that does up to 16GA, I will work toward replacing it with a magnetic brake (one day) and 3) the SWAG will bend 12 GA (which I currently can’t do) but I do weld together 12 GA brackets that with the SWAG I may find a more efficient method without as much welding.

Thanks for the help, I had no idea the SWAG finger brake was out there!

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What is the length of the green line?
What is the length of the orange line?
This is probably the first question I should have asked

The green line is 7 7/8" and the orange line is 3 1/2"
The part is fully 15 3/4" x 8" when flat.

If I do not have enough throat on the SWAG press, I’m figuring it will still get me much closer than the brake I have and if I can’t finish the bend manually, I can design a single longer 4" wide finger and make it work for the last bend. This is 16GA, pretty easy to bend so I don’t suspect a longer finger would have too much trouble with it.

I see you are new here, welcome! I’m not much newer myself. I bought a Crossfire XL so I wouldn’t have to farm out my bracket parts any longer, it has worked well and opened new doors with new challenges. I’m looking at the mag brakes, I will be replacing mine with one eventually, but not today.


Something like this on a deep throat vice may get you by for this project.

Definitely underrated for the task but would do it

The Eastwood and the Baileigh Are the same, different color great price.
I have had mine for 4 years very handy, expensive but worth it.
Wanted a Plasma table for along time and this one was priced right and fit into my overstuffed shop.

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I made a press with the SWAG 50" finger brake earlier this year. It works great but it’s not a miracle worker. These double folds with large overhangs are still problematic. I’m pretty new to metalwork so I’m experiencing similar challenges to the one you presented.