Tag Archives: Brake

Built and Installed a SWAG Off Road 20 TON Press Brake Heavy Duty DIY Builder Kit

I occasionally run into situations where I need to bend thick sheet metal or even bar stock to make brackets.  I needed to make a new battery box for my plow and decided it was time to get a press brake.  I did some digging around decided to get one from SWAG Off Road – their “20 TON Press Brake Heavy Duty” model that you can buy built or as a kit.  They made the tablesaw system that holds my Milwaukee Portaband and that is a really sweet set up.  At any rate, the maximum width it can bend is 19.25″ with a 110 degree radius bend.

Now, what really caught my eye were the dimensions of mild steel stock this press brake could bend:

  • 19″ wide if 3/16″ or thinner
  • 15″ in 1/4″
  • 13″ in 5/16″
  • 11″ in 3/8″
  • 6″ in 1/2″
  • 3″ in 5/8″

Most of the stock I bend is 3/8″ or less so this was right in line with what I wanted.

The brake is designed to work with two different 20 ton Harbor Freight press models – the 32879 and 606043.  My press is a 30 ton IIT H-frame so I had to make sure the total width of the brake was going to work – 22.125″ – and it did with room to spare.   Note that while my press frame is 30 ton, I run a 20 ton bottle jack on it so I matched the press brake to my the actual press capacity I I run.

So, armed with that, I bought the kit for $224.95 shipped off Amazon and it showed up about a week later coming in several heavy USPS Priority mail packages.

The kit was very well packed and the instructions were very straight forward.  I actually had a fun time assembling it.  All you need is a welder, grinder, and a square (in my case, I used a 1-2-3 block for most of the squaring).

Their instructions were very straight forward.  I am going to follow their steps in my write up and also add commentary.

I laid everything out and made sure I had all of the the parts before I started and I did.

Step 1 Weld in the Guide Rods and Ears

I hammered the rods part way into the bottom plate and made sure they were square.  The fit is tight on purpose so you need a good sized hammer and a solid surface.  You don’t hammer them in all the way as you are going to weld from the bottom.  Be sure to tack weld the rods first and double check they are square one more time before you do the final weld.  I used a 1-2-3 block to true my bars up.  You do want to make sure they are fairly square as the brake’s blade assembly needs to be able to rid up and down them.

Next, they talk about tacking the “ears” back on that you can use to secure the brake in your press.  These are the little tabs that go into the notches on the front of the lower assembly.  Now save yourself some time and make sure the dimensions will work for you.  I went through the whole building process and found out the tabs stopped my brake from going back far enough in the press to align with the ram and I had to cut them off.  Knowing SWAG, I bet the brake lines up like a charm on the two Harbor Freight press models they mention so this is because I am using a very different press (It is something like 20+ years old now too :-).  If the ears do work for you, you may need to file some excess metal off.  One of my ears had just a bit of waste metal left after cutting that filed right off in just a few seconds.  You can see the fit is great.  As with the other stuff, fit it in place, tack weld and then do the final weld when ready.  By the way, tack weld first to avoid the metal warping from the heat and moving out of the position you need – this is true for the whole kit.

In case you are wondering, I am using a Miller 211 MIG with gas.  It works great for me.  It has a far better weld and duty cycle than the Harbor Freight model I started with years go.

To protect my eyes, I use a very well regarded Antra AH6-260-0000 Solar Power Auto Darkening Welding Helmet that works great for me.

Step 2 – Weld the Vertical Guide Tubes

Next carefully position the guide tubes on the brake’s blade.  I used a Harbor Freight steel welding table and a number of magnetic clamps to get everything in position and secure before I then tack welded, tested the fit and then did the final welds.  Note, the blade edge of the die is facing up and the guides are aligned to what will be the top of the die.  I am a bit obsessive with welding.  I had the heat cranked up on the welder and did two heavy passes.  My welding will never get me any awards – even I admit I am a grinder 🙂  I forgot to get a picture of the welds at this step but you’ll see them later.

 

Step 3 – Welding the Bottom Die

The first step is to weld the two carriage bolts into place that will hold the guide later.  You *must* do them now as you will not have access to them once the angle iron is welded in place.  I simply turned the heat down on the Miller, put the wing nuts on the bolts to hold them in place and did a few quick welds.

 

Now the next part is to weld the angle iron in place.  In their instructions, SWAG said I might need to grind the bottom of the angle iron to get it to sit evenly in the channel.  That did not seem to be a problem with my parts.  To align the angle iron in the channel, I sprayed non-stick on the upper die and then installed it on the lower die and checked alignment.  This seemed to work really well – the weight and position of the blade lined the angle iron up perfectly (a month later an I am still happy with it).  I then tack welded the angle iron base in place on the lower die and then welded it in place doing a section at a time on opposing sides.  I welded a closing X – starting with the corners and then moving inward a few inches at a time to avoid warping.

Step 4 – Weld the Shaft Collar

For me, the collar helps be center on the ram of my press but I do not leave it connected.  I definitely wanted it though so I welded it on.  I measured and found the center, positioned the collar, tack welded it and then did the final weld.

Step 5.  Paint It

My shop is basically an unheated garage so I have to fight condensation.  Unpainted / unoiled surfaces tend to rust so cleaned all the parts when brake cleaner and applied three coats of Black Satin Krylon that combines a primer and the paint in one finish.  Definitely let it cure for a day before you reassemble — this is an important lesson I learned years ago – dry to the touch and cured ready to use are two different things.

At this point I had to get the press ready and that meant installing real press plates that could safely (emphasis on safely) handle 20 tons of pressure.  Candidly. the cheap cast iron plates that come with most presses are not up to the task so we’ll talk about this in the next blog post.


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20 TON Press Brake Heavy Duty DIY Builder Kit


Features: Made in the USA, Designed to fit the Harbor Freight 20 ton hydraulic press Item # 32879 & 60603, Press brake kit includes an adjustable back stop and side stop for accurate and repeatable bends., Built out of high strength 3/8″ steel 4.00″ wide bottom die., Tools required for assembly, welder, grinder, level, small square.

This SWAG Offroad Press Brake kit is a DIY Builder Kit, you do the welding and assembly. Designed to fit the Harbor Freight 20 ton hydraulic press Item # 32879 & 60603. Max Bending Radius (deg.) 110 Max. Bending Capacity 3/8″ plate Max Bending Width 19.25″ Total width of the brake is 22.125″ wide It Is capable of bending mild steel in the following length and thickness. 19″ = Full bending width of the bottom die on anything 1/8″ or thinner. 15″ in 3/16″ 12″ in 1/4″ 5″ in 3/8″
List Price: $229.95 USD
New From: $229.95 USD In Stock

How to remove the Zastava M92 PAP Pistol’s Factory Thread Cover

A few folks have asked how to remove the factory installed thread protector from their M92 PAP pistols.  Zastava does actually thread the pistols and it’s a 26mm diameter x 1.5mm pitch left hand thread (M27x1.5LH is the short cut way to write it) under that cover. These things were installed for importation, ruin the look of the pistol and, fortunately, are very easy to remove if you take your time.

Now I used a Dremel with a cut off wheel.  You could just as easily use a hand file.  For me, I used the thread cover to protect the threads and did not worry if it got scratched.  Cut a little and try to turn the thread cover.  It will turn clockwise to be removed once the weld is broken.  Note, if you decide to use a Dremel and are new to them, practice with your cut off wheel on some scrap metal before doing your pistol.  They can hop around unless you know how to hold and maneuver them.

   

Next, I put the thread protector back on and used a stone wheel in the Dremel to clean up the remains of the weld on the gas block.  Again, if you are new, practice first.  The stone wheel may look simple but they can make a mess real fast if you lose control.  I’ve been using Dremels since 1985 – trust me when I say you should practice first.  Also, I like Dremels and have used them for years.  They have tons of corded and cordless models plus there are other rotary tools on the market if you expect to have very limited use and want to save money.

 

While the steel is clean and shiny, dab the bare metal with cold bluing.  I prefer and recommend Brownell’s Oxpho-Blue liquid.

Burnish it with steel wool, repeat and apply oil.

 

Here you go  – done.  You can screw on a brake or install a detente pin from CNC Warrior.

I hope this helps you out!


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Dremel 8220-2/28 12-Volt Max Cordless Rotary Tool with 28 Accessories


Features: Can be used with all Dremel accessories and attachments, Quick collet lock for fast accessory changes, One-hour charger for minimal downtime, High-performance motor designed for demanding applications, Kit contains 28 accessories, carrying case, 1-hour charger, and two 12-volt lithium-ion batteries

The Dremel 8220 variable-speed cordless rotary tool offers the highest performance and versatility of all Dremel cordless rotary tools. The strength of its motor facilitates maximum performance at all speed levels. The ability to use all existing Dremel accessories and attachments allows the Dremel 8220 to complete a wide range of projects. A slim ergonomic body provides a 360-degree grip zone for control in any position. Powered by 12-volt max lithium-ion battery technology, the Dremel 8220 has a 33 percent longer run-time than the Dremel 8200 cordless rotary tool when cutting screws.
List Price: $142.13 USD
New From: $142.13 USD In Stock

Removing the M92 PAP Muzzle Cap and Installing the Detent Pin

The M92 PAP pistol is brought in neutered with a muzzle cap and no detent spring.  With some careful Dremel work, some cold blue solution and a bit of patience, it is really easy to restore the pistol back to it’s original threaded muzzle state

SAFETY STEP – MAKE SURE THE WEAPON IS UNLOADED.  NEVER ASSUME THAT IT IS – VERIFY IT IS UNLOADED BEFORE YOU BEGIN WORK.

1.  Look at the muzzle of the PAP
M92 and you will see a big spot weld that is holding the muzzle cover on.  Thankfully it is both small and superficial so it can be cut through.

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2.  Now the first step is to secure the pistol so it can’t move around.  I used a wood jawed woodworking vice but you can use whatever you have handy.  If you use a regular vise, be sure to put something over the jaws to protect your M92 from getting all scratched up.

 

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3.  I use my Dremel tool all the time.  These days I am using one of their cordless jobs with two Lithium batteries and I like the EZ Lock bits that make replacing cutting wheels and other tasks a breeze.  Be sure to practice with your Dremel before doing this.  Please don’t go buy a Dremel and try and do this fresh out of the box.  The secret is to make light cuts and not rush.  Let the weight of the tool do the work and carefully guide it and keep it in position.

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4.  Now, I came in from the front and at a slight angle to protect the front sight & gas block combo.  The cap will twist off clock-wise as it is reverse threaded.  Cut a bit and test, cut a bit and test over and over.  If you have a strap wrench or a pipe wrench, that can help with the removal.  Again, remember that this is reverse threaded just like other AKs.  It will loosen by turning clockwise.

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5.  Hidden under that large ugly cap is the big 26 x 1.5mm LH (reverse threaded) muzzle just waiting to have your favorite brake or fake can installed but it would be real cool to get the detent pin working again – wouldn’t it?

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5.  Use a small sanding drum and smooth the block where the weld was and then use the cold bluing solution you like to color the steel while it is fresh and oil free.  I like Brownell’s Oxpho Blue and apply it with a Q-Tip per their instructions.

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6.  CNC Warrior sells a very small kit with the detent pin, spring and cross pin.  The PAP has all the holes there already.  You literally slide in the pin and spring, turn it the right way and then drive in the cross pin, which is a small roll pin.

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7.  I really like the Bulgarian 4 piece Krink brakes and CNC Warrior has great version they have made for the M92.  I pretty much knew I had to go with this brake!  It does a great job reducing muzzle flash and is real high quality.  Now that the detent pin was installed, I just threaded it on until it was where I wanted it and the detent pin engaged fully.

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So that’s all it took!  I hope this helps you with your project.

Stay tuned for more blog posts about the M92.


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Dremel 8220-1/28 Rotary Tool with 160-Piece All-Purpose Accessory Kit


Features: Compact size and weight allows access into tighter areas and reduces user fatigue, This product is made of high quality material, Can be used with all Dremel accessories and attachments, Comes with reuseable storage case and 160 accessories, Can stand upright or hang on a wall by hook, Ideal for cutting, sanding, polishing, grinding, and carving

New From: $102.30 USD In Stock
Used from: Out of Stock