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Author Topic:   Sheet Metal Brake
Dirt Full Roller

Total posts: 35
posted November 18, 2004 06:03 PM  
Has anyone out there used the brake made by MidAmerican? Parts Peddler is this weekend and I was wondering if it was worth checking out. Tanks KC

Dirt Forum Champ
Total posts: 1172
posted November 18, 2004 08:50 PM  
I use one to make my bodies and interiors. its ok if your not making bodies on a daily production basis. It was the best one for the size I was looking for when I purchased it.

[This message has been edited by CUSTOMPERFORMANCE (edited November 18, 2004).]

Dirt Forum Racer

Total posts: 87
posted November 19, 2004 09:31 AM  
If you are serious about any fabrication, check out I have used their tubing bender and brake for years and they work just as good as they day they were bought. Very good customer service and reasonable prices. Lots of good manufacturers out there, these are just the guys I use.

Dirt Forum Champ
Total posts: 753
posted November 19, 2004 10:30 PM  
The price of these brakes never seem to amaze me. $1400 for the "racer's" brake. For god's sake I just don't see spending all that money on something that I don't use everyday. I just need a simple brake to bend the side panels on my car. I figured I would just build my own out of angle iron. You would think that someone would offer a simple CHEAP brake for that reason. I know speedway has a brake thats like 30 something inches long for $50. But I need at least a 6 ft. to bend all my metal. If anyone knows of a cheap brake like this, please by all means share with everyone!!!

[This message has been edited by FlyNLoIMCA17 (edited November 19, 2004).]

Dirt Maniac

Total posts: 136
posted November 20, 2004 08:28 AM  
If you have any fabrication skills at all you should be able to look at one of those "low cost"brakes and build one,I built a 36" one years ago and helped a friend build a 60"one last year just make sure that your material is straight&don't try to bend any thing too thick.If you are a good scrounger you should be able to put one together for under 400 bucks

Dirt Maniac

Total posts: 113
posted November 20, 2004 11:29 AM  
There is a book with plans to build a brake and a engine stand. Some one had some plans on the web at one time. BIGG C

Dirt Freak

Total posts: 251
posted November 20, 2004 02:11 PM  
Hey guys...I did a search and found a set of is the site
Hope this helps....If anyone trys it let me know how easy or difficult it is to do

Dirt Roller

Total posts: 18
posted November 20, 2004 02:17 PM  

Dirt Freak

Total posts: 270
posted November 22, 2004 07:39 AM  
We bought an inexpensive 6 foot brake years ago from an outfit back east.They had an ad in the "Parts Peddler" paper.It was around 600 bucks with shipping.It was adequate but didn't bend the center of the work as tight as the ends.I'm kinda particular about my sheetmetal and ended up finding a used (old) Chicago brake pretty cheap.Good Luck!

Dirt Administrator

Total posts: 6243
posted November 22, 2004 08:42 PM  
That looks like a nice brake and its cheap to boot! Thanks Jammin' I'll have to check that out.

Dirt Forum Champ
Total posts: 1172
posted November 23, 2004 01:11 AM  
The 6' racers brake Jammin has pictured is the one I purchased when I was looking for one. Very nice brake and the manufacturer answered all my questions and demonstrated it when I went there to pick it up.

[This message has been edited by CUSTOMPERFORMANCE (edited November 23, 2004).]

Dirt Roller

Total posts: 7
posted November 23, 2004 04:39 AM  
Originally posted by 24KC:
Has anyone out there used the brake made by MidAmerican? Parts Peddler is this weekend and I was wondering if it was worth checking out. Tanks KC

If you look in Circle track and find the ad for Steve Smith Motorsports, he has a book that has the plans to build shop equipment. I bought the material for about 100.00 to build a metal brake.

Dirt Full Roller

Total posts: 58
posted November 23, 2004 07:58 AM  
FYI, the plan for the break in the Smith book doesn't work very well as originally designed. The pivot point for the piece that swings up and actually bends the metal is in the wrong position. I built one exactly as they state but wound up modifying it to work properly. If anyone decides to go this route drop me a note and I will explain further...

Dirt Forum Champ
Total posts: 1172
posted November 23, 2004 11:49 AM  
Rick I did the same as you buit one to Smiths plan but modified it to work correctly but still wasnt happy with it after 2 yrs of using it. I went with the Midamerican brake 6' and at the time it was around $700 or so 4 yrs ago. They havent gone up in price much.

Dirt Freak

Total posts: 385
posted November 23, 2004 01:32 PM  
I've used the commercial brakes in the past and when it came time to build a new body for the mod I decided to try building a sheet metal brake to bend the body panels - I used the plans that I found on the web here:

Also found pics here:

I modified the brake a little bit, and used a 20' section of 4x4 angle, cut into the 3 sctions made up about a 6.5' brake and once using it I found that I need to put a truss on the top to keep the center from bending. All told have probably less than $50 in the brake and that's with the casters to allow it to roll around. The only downside is I've got about 6-8 hours in the making of the brake and that was time not spent working on the car...

If I were doing it on a daily or even monthly basis I'd probably opt for the commercially produced brake like Jammin has listed or better...

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