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Options for making repeatable, precise bends in flat bar?

No I think it’s very good. It’s been a while but I think I remember a post where Ries needed a replacement part for his Hossfeld bender that Hossfeld wouldn’t sell him so he bought the part from American. Maybe he’ll chime in. From what I remember I think the starter setup combo that American was selling was a little more attractive than what Hossfeld offered as a starter setup.

I haven’t used mine as much as I’d hoped. Just last week I got a job though that I need to use it for. Making some hose hanger hooks in 1/8” x3” flat 304 stainless. A few sharp bends in one end and a big radius bend in the other.
 
No I think it’s very good. It’s been a while but I think I remember a post where Ries needed a replacement part for his Hossfeld bender that Hossfeld wouldn’t sell him so he bought the part from American. Maybe he’ll chime in. From what I remember I think the starter setup combo that American was selling was a little more attractive than what Hossfeld offered as a starter setup.

I haven’t used mine as much as I’d hoped. Just last week I got a job though that I need to use it for. Making some hose hanger hooks in 1/8” x3” flat 304 stainless. A few sharp bends in one end and a big radius bend in the other.
Good to hear that you've got some work for it! The hangers sound nice and I can imagine how easy they'll be to make with the American.

Do you find working with longer materials (ie, material lengths in excess of 72 inches with bends somewhere near the midpoint) to be awkward and unwieldy? I'm am trying to imaging how to support that much material extending beyond the mainframe or die.
 
I haven’t done any middle bends in long stock so can’t answer that.

Maybe a pipe stand to support the stationary end and piece of pipe between two pipe stands to support the moving end as you bend it?
 
Another option for controlling the bend on a vertical hydraulic press is to use an adjustable pressure relief valve. This is not something for an HF bottle jack press.
I have a 50 ton Dake that I modified with a power pack.
The power pack only puts out 1800 psi so the press will only go to 18 tons then I have to switch and go old school manual if I need more than that.
The relief valve works very well and I can dial in repeat bends perfectly. Another method that some of the companies that supply complete brake units for hydraulic presses use is solid stops that you can adjust up or down to limit travel. Simple but effective.
While I always agree with what Ries says in all his posts
I think on this subject there are ways to achieve repeat bends without too much trouble.
A moot point for me as last year I picked up a Bantam 24” x 24 ton air powered press and have not used the Dake since for any bending.

A Hossfeld will do what you want in flat and profiles. once you start using it you will figure out what you need for supports. They do take up a lot of space and that is why I have a Diacro #3 for some smaller round bar parts that I make.
 
I haven’t done any middle bends in long stock so can’t answer that.

Maybe a pipe stand to support the stationary end and piece of pipe between two pipe stands to support the moving end as you bend it
That should work, and would be easy to set up and break down to save space.
 
With the Hossfeld (or American), I think the die I'd be using most in the beginning is the 60B Bulldozer (21100). I would need to make bends with this die sometimes with as much as 40 inches of flat stock extending beyond the Bulldozer die onto the swinging frame side of the bender, then push it through another 40 inches to make essentially three sides of a box shape. Are bends this length going to prove to be unwieldy for the Hossfeld, as it appears there is no good way for the Hossfeld itself to support longer stock as it is being bent?
It is not really necessary to support the stock while it is being bent. You will need a pipe stand or blocks on your table or something to hold it while you slide the material to the bend position. Once you start bending the material will pretty much hold itself up and then you hang on to it when loosening it to move to the next bend.
For your 3 sided box part it might be nice to have a sawhorse type stand the material can slide on as it is bending so the first bent leg doesn't flex down to much doing the second bend, you will have to experiment there.
 
Another option for controlling the bend on a vertical hydraulic press is to use an adjustable pressure relief valve. This is not something for an HF bottle jack press.
I have a 50 ton Dake that I modified with a power pack.
The power pack only puts out 1800 psi so the press will only go to 18 tons then I have to switch and go old school manual if I need more than that.
The relief valve works very well and I can dial in repeat bends perfectly. Another method that some of the companies that supply complete brake units for hydraulic presses use is solid stops that you can adjust up or down to limit travel. Simple but effective.
While I always agree with what Ries says in all his posts
I think on this subject there are ways to achieve repeat bends without too much trouble.
A moot point for me as last year I picked up a Bantam 24” x 24 ton air powered press and have not used the Dake since for any bending.

A Hossfeld will do what you want in flat and profiles. once you start using it you will figure out what you need for supports. They do take up a lot of space and that is why I have a Diacro #3 for some smaller round bar parts that I make.

Hope you're enjoying that Bantam 24 ... it looks like a nice press with some really good features.

Because I'm still in the very beginning stages of learning metalworking, it'll most likely be one of the inexpensive HF H-frames with the air assisted bottle jack that I end up with (along with an American Bender or Hossfeld). There's a company that makes a finger brake mod for the HF that I'll purchase along with it.

Your description of the relief valve and having to go manual over anything requiring more than 18 tons gives me an idea of how I could simulate that with a limit switch. Doug was right in his post saying the limit switch wouldn't be quick enough to precisely stop the brake in motion at the exact angle intended, but it could be used to stop it just before the desired angle is reached, and then I could finish the bend manually.

Could you tell me more about the 1800 psi power pack. Who makes the one you have? When I Google it, pressure washers are all that are returned in the results. Haha.

Thanks,
Bob
 
It is not really necessary to support the stock while it is being bent. You will need a pipe stand or blocks on your table or something to hold it while you slide the material to the bend position. Once you start bending the material will pretty much hold itself up and then you hang on to it when loosening it to move to the next bend.
For your 3 sided box part it might be nice to have a sawhorse type stand the material can slide on as it is bending so the first bent leg doesn't flex down to much doing the second bend, you will have to experiment there.
Thanks Rob, that makes sense about not having to support the stock while it's being bent. I hadn't thought about that, but it's basically the same as the flat stock being in a vise/clamp when it's engaged with the dies and pins in the bending process.

Sawhorses, or pipe jacks with a pipe between them like Pete had mentioned, could definitely work as support for the longer lengths.
 
Bob,
No location on your profile but I will assume you are in the good ol US of A. Don’t ever settle for HF it is garbage. If you look around you will find a decent press at a reasonable price. Even up here I found mine for only $300, people thought it was too big. 😵‍💫 I also think a lot of home shop guys have trouble discerning the difference between HF garbage and a really well made Dake or other American made machine.
My hydraulic power pack is basically the setup for an auto hoist. I think it is a 1hp motor on 220 volts with a built in reservoir and a simple lever control. I put a push button switch on it so I can jog it easily a small amount. I do a lot of straightening and it is very handy.

One tip I read on here was to install a quick change fitting so you can swap out the pressure gauge to lower range gauges. My gauge doesn’t register until 1000 lbs or more but I have not added that feature yet on mine.
There are times when you need some feedback on the pressure and I should get that mod done. The one problem is if you forget to swap back to high pressure and poof there goes your gauge.
 
I made 4 7’ long stands out of pipe to go on outfeed of bender. These are extremely light weight so I can shuffle them around as needed- easily. The infeed has a diy/store bought rotary table (once you try one going back to nothing is not an option).
I do more than a fair amount of pipe rails/grab rails and try to make max stock length 200” - if course boss men think that if you can do that nesting out 288” is not a big deal. Swinging long parts is hard in you have to add a little extra bend the further out you go. Also takes a lot of real estate. Your shoulders will cry.
Try to keep bent parts to less than 6 feet. The crazy twisty bendy shop I have worked in all parts were less than 4 feet if needing welding multiples together- less than 5’ before going to multiple parts.
Commercial rails are different- you have to turn and burn fast- and we sometimes have floor space for long bending.
 
I made 4 7’ long stands out of pipe to go on outfeed of bender. These are extremely light weight so I can shuffle them around as needed- easily. The infeed has a diy/store bought rotary table (once you try one going back to nothing is not an option).
I do more than a fair amount of pipe rails/grab rails and try to make max stock length 200” - if course boss men think that if you can do that nesting out 288” is not a big deal. Swinging long parts is hard in you have to add a little extra bend the further out you go. Also takes a lot of real estate. Your shoulders will cry.
Try to keep bent parts to less than 6 feet. The crazy twisty bendy shop I have worked in all parts were less than 4 feet if needing welding multiples together- less than 5’ before going to multiple parts.
Commercial rails are different- you have to turn and burn fast- and we sometimes have floor space for long bending.
It sounds like you're neck deep into some real fun, Memphis! That infeed and outfeed setup sounds interesting, especially the rotary table part. If you have pictures of it, please share them.
 
That is a cool looking press. Who is the manufacturer? Yes, that would be the only downside to using the travel dial indicator. If one could shut it off automatically, when it reaches a user specified position, that would be ideal. But, definitely, yours is a nice solution and would be just fine without further improvement.
I just cobbled that up with some scraps I had laying around, needed it for making zig-zag bars for some bar joists.
Have used it so much over the years for everything, because it's quick to jig up, and handy.
The cylinder is a 4" dia. x 4" stroke from a Hyster forklift (tilt cylinder) the pump & tank were salvaged from a scissor lift, the spool from a logsplitter (NOS with the return detent which is very handy
 
Adding a vote for the Hossfeld. I'd get theirs. The American is fine to my knowledge, but the Hossfeld name will help you resell it down the line if you don't like how it's working for you. I don't have as much experience as Ries but I make mine do all sorts of weird stuff and it's incredibly flexible.

For the size of part you are talking about, are you sure bending is the right option? Will they need to be particularly accurate dimensionally? Just wondering if cut and weld wouldn't work fine here. I scrap a lot less material welding than I do setting up for precise bend locations.
 
The guys who started American used to work for hossfeld, and they make all their parts interchangeable.

The bulldozer die is actually not as useful as it looks. Like a press brake die, its not adjustable for degree of bend. I use it, but mostly when hot bending, so springback will not be a problem.
Much more common to use the 11b square block dies, and a 9b on the swinging frame, or, the 26 B die.
Again, the ability to set the degree of bend stop is really handy.
I have several adjustable height stands, including one whose top is a piece of 3/4" ply about 20" x 20", that I can move around and use to hold stock for infeed and outfeed. The different dies all require the stands to be in different places.
 
Adding a vote for the Hossfeld. I'd get theirs. The American is fine to my knowledge, but the Hossfeld name will help you resell it down the line if you don't like how it's working for you. I don't have as much experience as Ries but I make mine do all sorts of weird stuff and it's incredibly flexible.

For the size of part you are talking about, are you sure bending is the right option? Will they need to be particularly accurate dimensionally? Just wondering if cut and weld wouldn't work fine here. I scrap a lot less material welding than I do setting up for precise bend locations.
That is true about the Hossfeld name and resale value. I'm a tool you-know-what, and I would probably let it sit in the corner of my shop before selling it, if it ever got to the point that I wasn't using it at all, just because it looks so interesting and industrial.

The first bit of work that I'll have on it will be these three sided frames with the flat stock bent across the short side, not the face. They have to match existing frames that are bent at the corners and that are not welded. And, they will have to be accurate, but that shouldn't be a problem. I just have to figure out how much additional material is taken up in a single bend, double it and add it onto the overall length. I'll make enough from this one job to cover about a third of the cost of the 46000 with 46002 tooling. I'm now certain it can be done with the longer lengths on the Hossfeld, as I've seen similar done on the IG feed #hossfeldbender earlier this morning before work.
 
The guys who started American used to work for hossfeld, and they make all their parts interchangeable.

The bulldozer die is actually not as useful as it looks. Like a press brake die, its not adjustable for degree of bend. I use it, but mostly when hot bending, so springback will not be a problem.
Much more common to use the 11b square block dies, and a 9b on the swinging frame, or, the 26 B die.
Again, the ability to set the degree of bend stop is really handy.
I have several adjustable height stands, including one whose top is a piece of 3/4" ply about 20" x 20", that I can move around and use to hold stock for infeed and outfeed. The different dies all require the stands to be in different places.
I had wondered that about American, as they're basically in the same part of Minnesota as Hossfeld.

Thanks for the info about the Bulldozer die. I like the idea of it, because it sounds like it would be a mindless, idiot proof bend every time, but that makes good sense about springback and having to go a little beyond 90 to compensate for it. Of the three dies you mentioned as being used more commonly (9b, 11b, and 26b) which of those is going to give the sharpest bend? And will Hossfeld sell the dies individually, or do you have to buy them as part of a set?

The stands you use sound perfect, and I'll build a set or two of them out of pipe jack stands.

Thanks again for sharing your knowledge of the Hossfeld in this post and the many other posts here at PM. Reading back through some of your other posts here has answered a lot of questions I had about this awesome machine.
 
The 26b will give you a sharper bend, but it's limited in capacity. I want to say it maxes out at either 1/8" or 3/16" thick material...I don't have my manual in front of me at the moment. That could be on the sharper end that allows you to do acute angles and get closer to the end of stock.

A couple other pieces of tooling that work really well in lighter gauge material are the yoke and the eyebolt bending dog. I use the regular and double width dogs quite a bit with long center pins to bend 1/8" x 1-1/2" flat bar on top of the frame. The dogs let you bend really close to the end of a piece of stock.

I bought the basic bender with the flat bar tooling set to start with. Buying the package does save you a few bucks to start with, and it includes a lot of things that you'll use for other setups.
 
26b will give you sharpest bend, but remember that in any bending, there is no such thing as a true 90 degree corner. All bends are radiuses, and minimum radius is usually a bit more than 50% material thickness depending on alloy. So the thicker the material, the more radius to the bend. Too tight, the mater cracks at the corners. Truly sharp bends are usually fake, sanded after bending.
hossfeld will sell dies individually.
I will try to find photos of stands. Not home now, but will be back in the states next week. Hei adjustment is necessary as different dies hold material at different heights.
 
26b will give you sharpest bend, but remember that in any bending, there is no such thing as a true 90 degree corner. All bends are radiuses, and minimum radius is usually a bit more than 50% material thickness depending on alloy. So the thicker the material, the more radius to the bend. Too tight, the mater cracks at the corners. Truly sharp bends are usually fake, sanded after bending.
Upsetting the corner gives sharp bend.
 








 
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