Originally Posted by AgPnut
I'd love to hear more about your sheet metal experience--that's what I'm trying to gain. I've worked alot with aluminum (sounding rockets, airships, and lightweight structures), but my experience is limited to machining, welding, bending, and brazing.
In your experience have you ever done rolled edges (where a flap, say 1/4" or 1/2") is folded over flat to make a cleaner, stiffer, and safer (in terms of cuts) edge? I'd really like to learn how to do that without using a brake.
That would be known as a hem. Biggest issue with hemming aluminum is that it likes to crack or craze when folded over, especially in the thicker sheets. I have seen small hand tools that will deburr and put a small hook edge that will keep the front of the sheet from cutting you. I believe at one time AS used to put a small "extrusion" on the edge of the sheet to stiffen it. I looked like a bead. That will have been done on either a forming machine or possibly with a hand tool. I have an ECKO(sp) Bender that will roll a brake on anything it will fit on, especially useful on curved pieces. However it is not an inexpensive tool. IIRC I paid over $500 for the one I have.