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I'm looking at a Brake press without any dies. The seller says its easy(of course) to build them your self.
So I did a little experimenting with a arbor press. I made a lower die from a piece of 2x4 tubing split to make a C channel. I put two pieces of round stock in it and forced a third down into it as a top die.
It worked great.
Ive experimented with round stock from 1/2 inch to 1 inch in the lower die with various shims and with both round stock and 1/4 inch thick steel plate as top ties.
They have worked so well Im tempted to make my permanent dies as simply C channel and round stock , leaving them loose so I can adjust as needed.
Do you think this setup with mild steel will last through 5000 bends?
Does anybody here have experience In tool and die work? Ever tried this? Do you see any pros or cons?
 

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I think one would have to beef up the dies heaver base and sides on the base unit,

I do some bending on a hydraulic press, (not thousands of units) but have made some dies, and I know if I were to bend a hundred presses I would have to rebuild what I have, but some also depends on the forces exerted and how the bending is done,

but one could make a number of dies, at one time and cut them apart, for dies,
and as they wear or spread change them out when the part is no longer in tolerance,
 
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