DIY a Sheet Metal Brake

Step 1

To be able to use a metal brake you have to have a flat surface that can bend and a point that it beds over.

For this article you will need a strip of wood. You will then need to cut down a 2x4 wood at four feet. During this project you will realize that this would be the only wood you will need to use for this project.

You will then mark a few inches at each end, this is where the hinges will be attached.

Step 2

For this step you will need two fixed metal pieces, place the first metal piece right next to the wood, this is where the metal being used will lay. You will then have to place the other metal piece, pivoting piece, over the wood. The other metal piece is used to bend over.

To break this down, you will have 3 pieces of metal that will all meet at the corner, your work metal will go inside and the metal at the bottom will lift, this process will result in folding the work metal.

You have to make sure that both the metal pieces are of the same level and you may also need to modify some hinges onto them.

Step 3

To figure out how long the metal pieces are going to be, you’ll  need to look at the hinge marking made on the wood. With the help of a metal cutting saw you will need to cut the metal at its respective size.

It is really important that the centre of the hinge, the pivot point, is in line with the edge of the metal piece. You then have to mark where the piece sits on the folding pieces and then mark on the cut out, this is done to make room for the barrel to fit in. You could use a cut off wheel on your grinder. This may cause a lot of sparks therefore it is better to use protective gear. An alternate option to this would be a Dremel, this may take longer than the other process.

Step 4

You then have to line the metal piece up with the 2x4 and then set the hinge in place, this is done to make sure that everything is lined up properly.

You then have to lay the top piece, you will have to use a grinder again to cut out the top piece. You will need some long wood screws to drive it into the 2x4, on both the sides.

Then use a sharpie to make the holes for the hinge onto the steel, you can use a step bit to drill the holes and then attach it with some nuts and bolts to ensure that everything is securely attached.

Step 5

Lay the top piece in place and then mark the spots on the 2x where you want it to be bolted. You can then try to flatten these spots, this is so that you can drill a hole into it easily. After drilling a hole use a file to flatten out the hole, to place a washer on it. transfer these holes onto the wood and drill holes into it, flip the wood over and use a forstner bit to make a larger hole for the head of the bolt to fit in from underneath. Flip it back and put some washers and nuts into them. Place your top piece and do the same, then use a wing nut so that it can be easily tightened and loosened.

To add handles to the tool, you could use a steel tubing and cut 2 pieces of identical size. Weld these pieces at the bottom of the tool, this tube should have spacing to be attached to a longer rod. You can then sand and paint all of the pieces. The tool is now ready.

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