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Old 04-26-2013, 01:20 PM   #1
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How to build a Metal Brake for bending sheet aluminum/steel

One of the challenges I faced in my Airstream/Argosy journey was making clean bends in sheet metal. I realized I needed a sheet metal brake, a big sheet metal brake. After recovering from sticker shock I realized my only answer was to build one. It took me some time to research it because there weren't very many good examples and nobody walked through the build / design process.

I made a video of the design/build and posted it to my YouTube channel. I'm sharing it here because it's the kind of tool that really comes in handy when working on an Airstream.

It's also available in 1080p HD.

Enjoy

How to make a 60 inch wide metal brake for bending sheet metal - YouTube
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Old 04-26-2013, 03:09 PM   #2
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Thanks. I will look at this closely...I need a brake.
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Old 04-26-2013, 05:24 PM   #3
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Total cost was about $100 in materials. I had the materials to make the legs and disregarded the wire, electricity, saw blade consumption, welding gas, etc. I estimate that I would have spent $150 if I had to buy all the materials.

I over-built the brake slightly on purpose. I think you could use smaller thickness angle and especially the legs if you reinforced them some.

Unit width is 82" tip to tip and it has a clearance of approximately 74"..... hmm, guess I mislabeled it when I made the post and video... was thinking of the material I was working.
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Old 04-26-2013, 05:25 PM   #4
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Taz wants to know who you are talking to. And why you keep looking toward the corner of the shop when you're talking. And why you ignore him all the time. And when does he get his own welding goggles?
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Old 04-27-2013, 08:53 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markdoane View Post
Taz wants to know who you are talking to. And why you keep looking toward the corner of the shop when you're talking. And why you ignore him all the time. And when does he get his own welding goggles?
A) I am talking to the camera
B) Because I was watching for the Pizza Delivery Guy who had dinner.
C) I play with him regularly... just not when I'm welding or doing a video.
D) When he can handle a torch I'll get him goggles...


On a serious note, I was initially concerned about him and grinding, welding, and cutting with the plasma cutter. He has shown no interest in the welding... he only chased the grinder sparks once and then realized they weren't that fun. He typically concerns himself with people who come within 25 feet of the fence, all cats other than KBA who lives here, and any squirrel, raccoon, or bird stupid enough to come in the yard.

KBA (Kitty Bad Ass) will typically go after the birds too. I call her KBA because she doesn't realize she is 10 pounds, and the dog is 40. She stands her ground and won't hesitate to go after him if he is being obnoxious.
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