Monday, March 10, 2008

Bending Box Sections

(as always, all the pictures are clickable)

So the Deker said onto me: “do you know of anyone that can bend box stock out of flat sheetmetal? Can you do it with your press brake?”

(pressbrake:

more on this later)

Without much thinking I responded something like “Sure, why not? Pressbrake, big steel 20ton crushy thing. Good tool of destruction and changing the shape of things that don’t like to change shape…” (I can be quite eloquent sometimes when I’m not mumbling something incoherently. I mostly do that at work because I they heard what I was mumbling…)

He went on to describe how when they’ve been making Damascus billets they’ve been putting the steel into a steel box, sealing it up to weld it together and if the box could be made of the same steel that they’re making the knife blade out of it would save them the hassle of cutting it off the blank after they forge weld/hammer it. Real metal fab/machine shops were mentioned…

Huh, this is starting to sound like a challenge. I end up doing a lot of things just because I can when someone else doesn’t think so or can’t…

So later when I got home I thought about it some more and I could think of a few ways to do it that seemed kind of ugly and brutish but wasn’t sure what would be the results. Of course, I have a way with ugly and brutish, (or is that dumb luck? I keep forgetting) and the first thing I tried that I really expected not to work too well came out quite acceptable:

All I did is mark 4 sections and threw it in the press brake, bent the two ends up first making a U twice as wide as it was high, then making the middle bend around the head of the press brake. The worst part about it is that I had to hammer the piece off of the head of the press brake when I was done.


That’s a 2.5” square, it looks like I could go as small as 1.5” or so with the dies that I have but with a smaller bottom die I could get sharper corners (those are roughly 3/16” radius). I have roughly 22.5” capacity, which is more than long enough.

Unfortunately in the process I broke my 4x6 horizontal/vertical band saw (more accurate, the blade guides that were threaded into the thinnest part of the casting stripped their threads out), so in the process of further modifying, redesigning and replacing bits of it (more on that later also) I ended up needing to test it so I cut some end pieces.

Next thing I know I found myself in the basement with this thing clamped down on the drill press and the wife shaking her head “you’re not actually…”

“Yep”

I even made patterns for it so I can reproduce it exactly ;)

1 comment:

Christina said...

And you put them on the dining room table! ARGH!