Bending Basics 2018
Old press brakes with planer tooling still can produce good parts. You just need to maintain them properly, realize their limitations, and account for the inconsistencies of planer tooling.
How to predict an air formed inside bend radius with precision
NOVEMBER 19, 2018 | BY STEVE BENSON
Columnist Steve Benson helps a reader dial in the 20 percent rule to better predict the inside radius when air forming.
Analyzing the k-factor in sheet metal bending: Part II
OCTOBER 12, 2018 | BY STEVE BENSON
Bending guru Steve Benson continues his deep dive into the k-factor, arguably the most important variable in precision sheet metal fabrication.
The k-factor is like the roux of a good gumbo. The better the roux goes with all the ingredients—material type, thickness, and grain direction; forming method; tooling; bend direction, and more—the tastier the gumbo, and the better your press brake operation will be.
Some fabricators today can achieve an extraordinarily tight bending tolerance. But before testing material, establishing process controls, and generally bending over backward to achieve that tolerance, a shop should start with a basic question: Is that tight tolerance really necessary?
A reader asks bending guru Steve Benson about the challenges behind forming 6061-T6 aluminum. The challenges are many, but they can be overcome.
Press brake bending basics: How to avoid a sharp bend
July 17, 2018 | By Steve Benson
Your press brake operation is putting a crease along the inside bend radius. How do you prevent this? Make sure the force needed to pierce the material is more than the force needed to form it.
Best practices for the best press brake bending performance
July 7, 2018 | By Steve Benson
Columnist Steve Benson describes three best practices that will improve any press brake department: good setup sheets, smart backgauging, and efficient methods for dealing with material thickness variation.
Press brake guru Steve Benson answers a question about tapered bends and minimum flange lengths.
How to check the performance of your press brake and tooling
APRIL 13, 2018 | BY STEVE BENSON
The inside bend radius has far too many variables to be a metric for checking the health of your press brake, but it can check the health of your tooling. A good bending operation needs both
K-factors, Y-factors, and press brake bending precision
MARCH 7, 2018 | BY STEVE BENSON
Want to calculate your bends with precision? Then run your bend calculations using a K-factor that takes your application’s variables into account. Even better, you can turn to something that’s even more precise—the Y-factor
The absolute necessity of aligning press brake tooling
FEBRUARY 12, 2018 | BY STEVE BENSON
If a shop moves from conventional fabrication toward the precision market, an investment in precision-ground tooling can make a bending department much more efficient.
Press brake bending basics: Die angles, tonnage, and K-factors
January 2018 | BY STEVE BENSON
Bending guru Steve Benson answers several reader questions about die angles, tonnage calculations, and what the K-factor really means.