This article is the fourth in the Snips series on hand brake troubleshooting that originally appeared in 1986. This article is from August 1986

When the shipping skids have been removed, the new brake should be bolted to the floor before operating, as shown here.


 This article is the fourth in the Snips series on hand brake troubleshooting that originally appeared in 1986. This article is from August 1986.

For the past three months, Vince Bellik has presented a series of articles on hand brake troubleshooting. The first series dealt with hand brakes that were made prior to 1965.

This month, Bellik comments on hand brake troubleshooting for those machines that were manufactured after 1965. These later machines have incorporated many advanced features, particularly those for making adjustments easier to accomplish.

Vince Bellik is one of the industry’s most knowledgeable individuals regarding taking proper care of this invaluable piece of sheet metal shop equipment. He has had many years of experience with Dreis & Krump Manufacturing. Co., and Pacific Press & Shear Co.

For this first article in his second series on hand brake troubleshooting, Bellik discusses: leveling, capacity and top adjustment, clamping for metal thickness.

To adjust the leveling, be sure that the bed-adjustment saddle and the top adjustment screw collar are locked into position so that the adjustment screw cannot move back and forth in the saddle.

Leveling the new hand brake

It is mandatory to set the hand brake level, with the shipping skids removed, and bolt it to the floor before operating. If the brake is not level, the top leaf will creep and produce error in the parts being formed. To adjust:

1. Check to be sure all bolts and setscrews are tight.

2. Check to be sure that bed adjustment saddle and top adjustment screw collar are locked into position so that the adjustment screw cannot move back and forth in the saddle. The front shoulder of the screw and face of the collar must be snug -not tight - against the saddle. Be sure that setscrew in top adjustment nut is snug. Check both sides of the brake.

3. If top leaf still creeps, place a wedge under the rear leg at the creeping end until the creeping stops. Replace the wedge with permanent shims.

If top leaf still creeps after other adjustments, place a wedge under the rear leg at the creeping end until the creeping stops, as shown here. Replace wedge with permanent shims.

Capacity and top adjustment

Before shipment from the factory, all brakes are adjusted to their maximum capacity. Therefore, it is necessary to readjust the brake when lighter gauge materials are to be formed.

Hand brake capacity is established with the bending leaf angle bar in the high position. This allows full rated 1-inch-minimum flange on capacity material (mild steel) with top leaf adjusted back from the bending edge twice the material thickness.

Hand brake capacity is established with the bending leaf angle bar in the high position, as shown here.

When the angle bar is removed, the brake capacity is reduced four gauges. When both the angle bar and the insert bar are removed, the brake capacity is reduced seven gauges. When forming lighter gauges of material, the top leaf setting can be reduced in accordance with material thickness. These bars are removed only to make narrow offset bends on light material.

For adjustment of top leaf, release clamping handles slightly. By means of the top adjustment, turn star wheel forward or backward to obtain the desired setting.

When the angle bar is removed, as shown here, the brake capacity is reduced four gauges.

Clamping for metal thickness

For easy operation of the clamping handle, apply only enough pressure so that the top leaf clamps the material and it cannot be moved by applying hand pressure regardless of the thickness of material.

For adjustment of top leaf, release clamping handles slightly. By means of the top adjustment, turn the star wheel, as shown, at right, forward or back, to obtain the desired setting.

Next month, Bellik will discuss clamp adjustment, bending leaf adjustment and the clicking and snapping bending leaf and how to correct this problem for the brakes manufactured after 1965.