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Thoughts on Eastwood product quality (box/finger brake)?

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I'm in the market for a box break, mostly for bending 16 or 18 gauge aluminum. I found this one from Eastwood, that seems to be roughly what I'm looking for:

How is the quality on Eastwood products? I don't have the space (or funds) for anything large and industrial, but would prefer to spend a little more for something that's of good quality.

Not sure about that one, but unless you like unfinished, marginally functional machine tools made from the cheapest import components and terrible, rude, and incompetent support..  all at a high price!? .. stay away from Baileigh. 

I will add that with this class of tools, the spec always seems to be more of an absolute maximum than a recommended operating condition.  So if it says it bends 16 gauge aluminum, I would expect it to maybe just barely do that without self destructing.

I almost bought this a few times too but I don't know.


--- Quote from: coppercone2 on January 26, 2023, 07:08:35 am ---I almost bought this a few times too but I don't know.

--- End quote ---

You sound like where I'm at right now... I saw some negative things about Eastwood on People seem to like Tennsmith, but those are bigger and more expensive. On the other side there are brakes like the $45 one at harbor freight. But, that's not a finger break which really limits its usefulness. I'd also like to be able to bend a bit thicker than 16 gauge, but I think that's asking a lot at this price point. Anyway, very much undecided. I think if I did buy this tho, I'd go for the 12-inch one (which would satisfy most of my work anyway) and save a larger one for if I ever do need something better and bigger.

keep in mind you can likely heat the steel plate with a torch before bending to make it easier. I think even a modest temperature (not glowing) should make it easier to bend. For certain parts, it might be totally acceptable to bend red hot stuff if you make a notch to indicate where it needs to be and act quick. So long its not too wide, I suspect if the machine has some clearance, you can bend some impressively thick objects. Bending less wide objects in a vise with a torch is pretty damn good too, you can go pretty heavy.

For instance I easily bent a 3/8 inch rod for a handle (bent a [ shape and threaded both ends, so I can put 4 nyloc nuts on it to act as a handle for a variac with only a vise and a torch, but it takes some practice... I used my intuition and 3d skills to make a handle, and I even got it to go into existing chassis holes, but if you lack the skill, bend first and then put paint or marking fluid on the bent object to figure out where to drill the holes. For alot of stuff its not super critical where they are. I like that handle alot compared to using a cabinet handle, its really strong. Someone with bigger skills and an anvil could make a even better handle by bending a more complex shape that has flattened ends and can be drilled to mount with regular bolts, but I try not to get too involved into making super duper hardware, its practical and good enough for me to just attach it with 4 nuts.

Steel gets softer starting at 180c to 600c depending on alloy.


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