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Looking for a 10' brake and a shear

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I haven't been to a trade show since probably 1982 when they had it in Miami.


I guarantee all of the brakes I have used over the years were already old when I went to that show.


If you were looking for a new brake what would you look at? Are the computerized brakes worth the money?


What about 10' shears? We have an electric and a pneumatic shear. But, they both have their nuances.


So, same question. If you were looking for a 10' shear, what would you look for and if you have any recommendations.


Our channel letter department is all automated. But, our cabinet building shop is kind of iron aged in comparison.


So, any advice is appreciated.

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  • 2 weeks later...
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IDK if this is too late but here goes.


For an apron brake, I'd look for an old Dreiss/Krumpf (Chicago) brake instead of a new unit.   I have the one that my Dad bought (used) ~35-40 years ago.   Other than maybe needing some paint touchup, it will probably last til my great grand kids are ready to retire.   I did a quick google search and apparently they are still made.   IDK if they are still the same quality, etc. so you'll have to check that out.    I've only used a computerized brake once and it was at an associates shop.  He was helping me by bending some 1/8" aluminum to odd angles to fit an existing cabinet.   His head shop guy said that they didn't really use it that much and they are a much larger operation than mine.  In fact he had to spend a bit of time getting it calibrated.  i had brought some off-cuts to test because it needed some tweaking to get the angles right.    If you would use it often enough, then maybe it would be worthwhile but I don't really see the need myself for basic sign fabrication.   I'm a dinoasur so take my opinions with a large grain of salt.


I've always liked the look of the Baleigh industrial sheet metal equipment but am pretty sure they are from the far east.   I, again, have an old 10' shear that my Dad bought used.  It's a Niagara and when I had the blades rotated to a fresh edge last year (sadly the last good edge), the repair guy said it was in great shape considering it's probably from the mid-1960's.    My only wish was that the back gauge went beyond 18" and that it was automatic.   I have to turn a hand-wheel and always double check with a ruler before cutting anything.  Niagara is no longer around or I'd recommend one of those.   It might be a matter of who is near you and has service available if you need it.   Also, having a foot switch that can be moved around would be a nice feature.   And (assuming you have the space), a squaring arm is nice to have but not 100% needed.  I have the arm that came with our shear but just don't have the shop room keep it on the beastie.  IIRC I've only used it a 2-3 times and it takes some time to get set up and at right angles to the blade.   

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And another late entry.   I was looking for a USA made drill press because my old one is ready to be replaced.   I found Kalamazoo metal muncher (https://www.kalamazoometalmuncher.com/product-category/machines/hydraulic-shears/) and they say their products are still USA made.   

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Thanks Rocco. I was able to find suppliers that would ship to us. But, we would be on our own for set up and training on the new machines.


We are going to send our fabricator to a couple of shops that have purchased from our prospective supplier and check out the equipment before we buy.


Thank you for taking the time to reply!

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