It has become apparent that the big 250 ton brake press we started designing before we moved, would continue to stay on the "back burner" due to time constraints. The need and desire for a HD finger brake (something able to bend plate and not just sheetmetal) is overwhelming. But the cost of a new brand name unit (new or even just new to us) and all the required tooling can not be justified right now, especially only a year removed from the big shop move. Until it was realized that buying a Swag Offroad (www.swagoffroad.com) DIY finger brake kit, plus a few air/hydraulic jacks and some materials laying around the shop, would be affordable option. So a 50" (actually 48.5" useable) kit, extra die kits (48" of Gooseneck and 32" of hemming top and bottom dies), and a few misc other items were ordered during Swag's only sale of the year.
The kit arrived and was fairly basic and straightforward. Even though the directions seemed to be for an earlier version and really only referenced the narrower 20" brake kits. This wasn't a big deal as they are almost the same, except for width. Here is all the parts and pieces as they arrived, once unpacked:
Having assembled a 20" kit long ago after they were first introduced, we opted to not exactly follow the instructions, and promptly tossed them to the side. We start with something not in the instructions, to layout and drill some holes down the center of the base plate. These will line up with the bottom of the angle iron that is used as the bottom die. This will allow for the angle iron to be welded to the bottom of the base plate, as well as the top. Adding strength, rigidity, and to help to keep things from moving during welding the long top stretches.
Next, 2 carriage bolts are installed into the square holes in the bottom die. These will be used to secure the back stop into the assembly. Once the bolts are securely fastened, the head on the inside of the die get welded into position.