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  #1  
Old 11-12-2010, 04:33 PM
Ganf Ganf is offline
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Default Brake Fingers

Anyone who has an Autobrake 2000 knows that they chew up fingers like blondes chew gum, and though I haven't found a foolproof solution to this yet, I have found something that keeps it from being as much of a problem as it can sometimes be.

It's not always immediately noticeable when a finger gets bent, and you've likely done as I have: kept working and mutilated 3 or 4 pieces of stock before you figured out what the hell was going on. Even a slight curve in these things can offset either end of the metal by 1/8 to 1/4 of an inch, creating disasters when you're in a hurry to fab a few hundred feet of trim.

Sadly I don't have a punch to make my own. The owner of the shop got tired of paying the ridiculous price for these things one day and asked a local machine shop if they could beat it; they not only beat it but said they'd make it of a harder steel to prevent the bending. And it worked... Kind of. Instead of bending, the fingers just snap off clean. The owner thought this was horrible, but I think it's great. It's easy to keep working with a finger missing, but next to impossible to get a straight brake with a crooked one. If a finger snaps off in the middle of a big project, it typically isn't a big deal. And it's always obvious when they snap, by the way, so if it is critical, you won't keep working thinking that everything is gravy.

If you've got the equipment in shop, make them yourself out of a good hard stainless steel (I'm not sure what type it was, but it was tempered dark blue). If you don't, ask around, theres probably a machine shop nearby that can fab them for cheap. It's worth it either way.
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  #2  
Old 12-06-2010, 09:24 PM
rothalion rothalion is offline
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Talking Finger death

Its called spring steel. You...well...you should not be snapping or bending fingers....I replace one to three fingers a YEAR. Yes you chew a bit from the front of a finger but...honestly...an 1/8 to a 1/4... Your flat stocks tweaked or your shear is tweaked or your break...or your bend sequencing...I checked my brake last week by bringing the fingers up to an 1/4"...I was out....now listen...one side of a singular FINGER to the other side...a 32th... so....Your brake is only going to be as accurate as your shear. You can take out a bit of deviance with your bend sequence but....finger thrashing....

Do you have a shear or a slitter?

As for crashing fingers just open the machine more until you have run through your program. There is absolutely NO need to crash fingers!

Send me some profiles...maybe I can... or some of the others here can help prevent finger death.
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  #3  
Old 12-09-2010, 01:13 AM
MattM MattM is offline
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I always found bend sequence pretty much governs whether or not I was tweaking the fingers. Some sequences just avoid the binding altogether. Then again we sheared everything whereas the guys still using the slitters are going to be seeing curved edges.

General rule of thumb is to set your stock size based off the first hem. Figure out a good straight hem pressure so your material gets a straight edge on the hem side. When I say set your stock size that means everything into the jaw with the to be hemmed edge poking out. You should be within 1/64th after that. If not pull out the manual and adjust your leading edge!

I've seen teeth last several years then a FNG learns the brake and you go through a set in no time. Don't let the FNG use the brake and it helps a lot!
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Old 12-25-2010, 07:28 PM
rothalion rothalion is offline
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Also you should be able to 'put the fingers to sleep'. You can set the back gauge so it will wait until you tell it to move. We have the 2000 with the whole graphic programing side but I am pretty sure I used to sleep the older 2000's/first generation machines as well. Let me know and Ill tell you how. It comes in handy when going from say 20" to a 1/2" and all your stocks inside the machine.
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Old 12-25-2010, 07:34 PM
rothalion rothalion is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MattM View Post
I always found bend sequence pretty much governs whether or not I was tweaking the fingers. Some sequences just avoid the binding altogether. Then again we sheared everything whereas the guys still using the slitters are going to be seeing curved edges.

General rule of thumb is to set your stock size based off the first hem. Figure out a good straight hem pressure so your material gets a straight edge on the hem side. When I say set your stock size that means everything into the jaw with the to be hemmed edge poking out. You should be within 1/64th after that. If not pull out the manual and adjust your leading edge!

I've seen teeth last several years then a FNG learns the brake and you go through a set in no time. Don't let the FNG use the brake and it helps a lot!

FNG I like that. Took me a second to translate...Thank goodness no one touches our machines except myself and one other guy (STG) and the boss. When I first went back to this shop they only had four good fingers on the machine all in the middle and couldn't figure out why everything came out crooked.

Also I had a salesman tell the boss that if you change one finger you should change the whole set...I don't think so, any truth to that?
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Old 12-27-2010, 11:50 PM
Ganf Ganf is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rothalion View Post
Also you should be able to 'put the fingers to sleep'. You can set the back gauge so it will wait until you tell it to move. We have the 2000 with the whole graphic programing side but I am pretty sure I used to sleep the older 2000's/first generation machines as well. Let me know and Ill tell you how. It comes in handy when going from say 20" to a 1/2" and all your stocks inside the machine.
Thats what I need to know. 99% of the time I bend a finger this is why. Such as the box gutter I was just making that had a 32.75" stretch out. What a pain.

Whoever told the customer he's always right needs to be lashed bloody.
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Old 01-06-2011, 10:41 PM
rothalion rothalion is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ganf View Post
Thats what I need to know. 99% of the time I bend a finger this is why. Such as the box gutter I was just making that had a 32.75" stretch out. What a pain.

Whoever told the customer he's always right needs to be lashed bloody.
Cool glad to help! Like my boss says..."Its a damn machine you are the boss make it do what you want it to do!"

Wow that's a big gutter. Our standard box gutter is 21". What are you putting that on?
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Old 01-09-2011, 07:26 PM
rothalion rothalion is offline
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I was thinking too that slamming your fingers probably is not good for the back gauge. Al that jarring..Good luck.
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  #9  
Old 01-10-2011, 02:15 PM
MattM MattM is offline
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We'd swap one finger at a time if possible. Although you can use 26 ga stainless to make your own, they don't last as long as the spring metal they use. It is a more rigid metal and doesn't crease near as easy.

I liked keeping a set of sawhorses out away from the Autobrake and we built a narrow bench across the top of the Autobrake using 2x4's and 3/4" plywood. You'd be surprised how much it could support on that bench!

If you can it's easier on fingers to do a whole stack on one bend at a time. Less work for the servos. Less temptation to forget that "UP" step when you're out at 28" one second then bringing it in to 3/4" on the next. (The FNG's always forget the UP's.) Not real practical for coping. Works like a charm for some of the smaller stock. And for the right projects its FAST! You really find out how much time you burn while the servos move the fingers in and out. Not a big help for other projects, but if you can get by doing the whole stack one step at a time you save load on the machine.

It's those little things that save you in the long run. Kind of like keeping the strain off your machine on the smash by using the kick out feature. You snap a chain or it gets stretched out over time it costs a small fortune. The little things save you a bundle of money.
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Old 01-12-2011, 01:07 AM
metalmanmania metalmanmania is offline
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I have a autobrake 2000 with the orion contol system, we go back along time, ten years or more. We have bent a few fingers but in all that time maybe 8 or 9. If you are chewing through fingers you are not programing it correctly. You are putting the fingers in a bined by not allowing the machine to open up far enough to shove out the material, typically this happens after the machine is trying to puch the material out after it has been hemmed. The hem catches on the upper jaw and ding you got a bent finger. Also if you are constanly having things bent crooked it is probably your shear, or in our case our slitter. It constantly cuts in a rainbow, just a real piece of shit! I hate it and my boss never adjusts it so that it works right, however it makes my life even worse trying to bend materail after "rainbow bright" has cut it. What I do is simple, find wich edge is straighter or wich edge bows away from the fingers, work of that edge or a hemmed edge, if you work off of one edge you will allways have a straight pc in the end, and most things dont have to be exactly perfect on every measurment on the flashing. If you are still having trouble, just pull every finger except for the two ends, that way there is no way it can be off, and for those of you who are having problems bending fingers you have a whole bunch of extras for the next screw up.
Also making your own fingers quite frankly is just flat ass cheap! You spent big money on a machine that can perform staggeringly accuratley, then you are going to cheap out when you SHOULD only have to replace a few fingers a year. I mean come on, they are not that expensive. They dont run the space shuttle on pump gas do they?
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