Author Topic: Homemade Sheet-Metal Brake  (Read 222 times)

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Homemade Sheet-Metal Brake
« on: January 07, 2018, 05:52:45 PM »
My son and I started this as a holidays project, while we both had time on our hands.  Then the temperature plunged to the low minus 20's for almost 2 weeks and wiped out most of the time we could spend on it.  Still, here and there, we got something put together, mostly with left-over materials from other projects.  This thing works but sure isn't straight enough to do airplane work.  :)

The scraps available meant that we only made it 24 inches wide.  The picture shows a quick test to see if the bend would even be straight with thick material (yes), how much springback we would get (6 degrees) and what the radius looked like with a 3/32" radius (terrible).

I bent some scrap aluminum from a computer case for testing.  It's about 0.090" thick, and looks like alloy 6061 but doesn't seem to be tempered.  I tried a fairly sharp bend.  My bender's radius went all over the place as shown below. It's sort of 7/32" but not consistent anywhere. 

This has a lot to do with not making a proper bending shoe, but using the edge of another piece of channel that happened to have a radiused edge and about 3/16" thick.  It's hard to clamp down.  The evidence shows that it was moving as I was bending.  For comparison, the same pieces already had some R0.09" bends in the factory part.

Fabrication was mostly meant to be a project for my son, keep his welding skills up, and get him used to using angle grinders and stuff.  This is the part that turned out well, as an education.  It's also surprising how a fresh pair of eyes can catch details that I'd miss or stop me from wasting time on something by finding a simpler way.  I guess I'm not used to doing shop work with a helper.
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Re: Homemade Sheet-Metal Brake
« Reply #1 on: January 07, 2018, 06:26:37 PM »
That's pretty cool.


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Re: Homemade Sheet-Metal Brake
« Reply #2 on: January 11, 2018, 07:39:28 AM »
working with your son is a blessing