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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello and thanks in advance!
i am a general contractor in Los Angeles and the time has come to think about buying a sheet metal brake for metal window and door pans and general flashing work in the field. I have never used one but have had a lot of sheet metal work done so know the concepts. Any ideas on brands and models? Options?
I do know how to solder pretty well
thanks much
 

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Personally for what it sounds like you might be doing I would go with either a Pro-14 or Pro-19 , with either of these you can do hemming pretty easy. Also I would not go with anything shorter then a 10-6 , specially if you do any beam or garage door caps.

I have a Tapco Black Max which is a pretty heavy duty machine , but I brake a lot of steel coil too and it stays mounted in my work trailer to heavy to be moving around.

Also I would not waste the money on a cut off tool if only braking aluminum coil. Once you get one practice, practice, you will get good with one . Amazing what you can make with one.
 

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I agree on the tapco as that's what I've always had, but disagree on nothing shorter than a 10'6". We have both an 8' and a 10' 6", and the only time the bigger one comes out is for fascia wraps.
You can do a lot with an 8', and its much easier to store/lower investment.
 

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Will you be breaking metal as you stated or aluminum.You don't solder either.I own a 10'6 Tapco and have been very pleased with it.I bend mostly aluminum coil stock.Some metal but I would not want to bend full length pieces of metal on it very often.I hear it's hard on them.I do bend 3'-5' pieces of metal on it occasionally.
 

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I've had Tapco and Van Mark. I prefer the Van Mark.

What type of metal are you bending? Standard siding brakes don't even do 29g steel all that well.

You may need to get into either Tapco's or Van Mark's commercial/industrial lines.

If you can do your bending in the shop you may want to look at a used steel brake. Many of these will do down to 16g or 18g steel and go beyond the normal call of duty. But being able to do a fully closed hem or a 1/4" kick on 24g isn't something you will ever do on a portable.
 

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I think we need to know what gauge of metal you are talking about.

Sheetmetal brakes and aluminum brakes are two different things.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
light gauge sheet metal

Hi
I want to be able to bend the type of sheet metal you buy in sheets and my fabricator typically used for bent and corner soldered pans i'm not sure of the gauge and I apologize in advance
 

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calmod said:
Hi
I want to be able to bend the type of sheet metal you buy in sheets and my fabricator typically used for bent and corner soldered pans i'm not sure of the gauge and I apologize in advance
Shower pans? Copper? I have an older tapco. It is equivalent to their pro 14 I think. I got it used. I would go with a heavier one next time. The 19" deep throat is nice to have for small roofing projects. The portables always seem to overbend the ends a bit. No portable brake compares to a shop brake.
 

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I once bought a $500 roll of aluminum gutter coil from a crack head for $50. My tapco aluminum brake would not bend it. Harbor Freight has shop brakes that will likely do what you want.
With my Tapco Black Max I am able to bend steel siding and the 29 ga roofing material.

Only thing bad about most of them shop brakes is you are pretty much limited to 48".
 

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I think you are probably looking for a sheetmetal brake.
Find out what guage of material you would like to work with, then you can check and see if a Tapco or VanMark will work for you.
If nothing else, pick up a used brake and try it out. If it doesn't work out it will be easy to re-sell.
As far as preference between Tapco and VanMark, that will be like getting into a Ford vs. Chevy discussion.
If that is something you want to know about, just say so. I will be happy to post my opinion.
 
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