Sheet Metal Brake

More of an art than a science - discuss metalworking and welding here.



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PostPosted: Tue Jun 28, 2022 3:22 pm
I have bent some metal in the past using a home-made brake made out of angle iron. It turned out pretty good. I have access to a table top (eastwood I think) metal brake that I believe is large enough to bend this up.

Two questions:

(1) Any issues you guys see? I will need to practice with some scrap to make sure I can make all the bends (not sure if it is possible)
(2) See “A Side View”: my first thought is to bend a tab that will brace against the radiator but the tab is only ½ and the distance from the radiator to the shroud is only 1”—not sure I can do this with a metal brake. The other option is to remove the tab and have some type of cushion (i.e. spilt vacuum tube)

If I cant do all the bends, I plan to weld the top and bottom pieces on. I am using 16g steel.

Drawing is NOT to scale.
Attachments
Shroud.jpg



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PostPosted: Tue Jun 28, 2022 11:31 pm
Easy money with a Good Finger Brake.
I am sure you could pull it off with the Brake your talking about as well, just not as easy.
Keep in mind Your likely to make some scrap along the way but that's what learning is all about.

There is a Lot to know about sheet metal such as Bend Radius, Set Back, and a lot lot More! But I don't think your interested in getting all that technical about your project.
Dennis B.
A&P Mechanic, FCC General radio Telephone Operator
Line Maintenance A&P Mechanic and MOC Tech specialist.



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PostPosted: Wed Jun 29, 2022 4:11 pm
Thanks. It is a radiator shroud but a decent size piece of metal so I dont want to screw it up and waste money. I am most concerned about being able to make the 1/2" bend at the top and bottom that would press against the actual radiator.

I am also most concerned that I dont screw up the last bend in a series of multiple bends--those things always tend to happen.

Would it be dumb to bend the 4 sides separately and then weld them to the larger panel?



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PostPosted: Wed Jun 29, 2022 10:00 pm
Welding is an option.
Seriously though if you cant find a Finger brake you should be able to pull that off with an ordinary Box break its not a difficult project piece.

Perhaps grab some extra material to practice with making a storage box?
I might add that I would highly suggest adding relief holes at your bending corners they don't need to be real big just some crack prevention at your inside corners.

Just an idea but if you lack the specialized bender perhaps contacting any small Air conditioning outfit that installs AC in homes and business they could whip this out for you for a 12 pack especially if you supply the material and the exact dimensions you want.
They are likely to only have Galvanized sheet metal any way which you probably don't want.

Be very precise on you measuring if you go this route they are not gonna favor you if you claim they screwed up your material!
A better idea may be too take them the Radiator your sketch and the material I am sure they could whip it out just as fast although it may cost a few bucks plus the Beer lol!
Dennis B.
A&P Mechanic, FCC General radio Telephone Operator
Line Maintenance A&P Mechanic and MOC Tech specialist.



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PostPosted: Thu Jun 30, 2022 6:47 am
I just built a shroud for my 56 Olds, and I know how tricky it can be to bend all 4 sides and get them right. I got mine pretty close, and put some self adhesive foam on the flanges to seal it to the radiator (and protect it from rubbing against it) So a bit of mis-bending isn't a problem.
If one or 2 of the sides is off by a lot, just cut it off, make a new one (with flanges on both sides, and plug weld it onto the shroud. Don't bother trying to butte weld, or edge weld it.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 30, 2022 10:44 am
I have one of these cheap and simplistic models:
Sheet Metal Brake.jpg


With your drawing, I would have to do the complex end bending first, then the straight sides. The difficulty comes when doing 90 degree bends on the straight sides because of the already bent sides hitting the brake.

I have accomplished this by allowing the previously bent sides to flare out where they contact the brake. However, even then I often only get a partial bend. As long as I could get the crease in the metal correct, I could later bend them into the correct shape by hand, while welding the corners.

Hope this makes sense?
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 02, 2022 1:21 am
I am sorry guys explaining how to do it is just frustrating for me to explain please watch these vids and you will begin understand my frustration because I cant tell you how to do it without going into great detail with precise measurements using the correct tooling.

You can say I don't need a perfect part just close is good enough and too that I say Get a Box or Finger Brake and shear or a set of hand shears and start making scrap metal you'll eventually get close enough to be happy with some practice.
But when your ready to get serious about making parts that fit well you'll get serious about learning the skills to make good parts. There really is an art to it.


These are seriously basic 101 level:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=31sCFJ7p4pA
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_dwT7UMX9x4
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HemwD3NpKXk

He could maybe make what he wants with something as simple as this I think eastwood sells a a little bigger copy of it.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c-EkbAJarxU
Dennis B.
A&P Mechanic, FCC General radio Telephone Operator
Line Maintenance A&P Mechanic and MOC Tech specialist.

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