Two Ways Amateurs Can Bend Sheet Metal

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Two Ways Amateurs Can Bend Sheet Metal

Two Ways Amateurs Can Bend Sheet Metal

10 July 2015
, Blog

While there are many tools that can be used to bend sheet metal, many are not available to DIY sheet metal workers. However, you may be able to bend your sheet metal with a hammer or a blow torch if you use the right methods.

Your Angle

To determine how you will bend your sheet metal, you will need to measure the thickness of the metal. You can then use a protractor to mark the angle using a marker. Then, use the formula (0.0173 x R + 0.0078 x T) x N. R stands for the bend radius you wish to achieve. T is the material thickness, and N is the degrees of the bend. Then you will get the radius you are trying to achieve.

Immobilizing the Sheet Metal

Once you determine the angle that you would like to bend the metal at, you will need to immobilize the metal. You will also need a method of bending the metal. The most common way to hold the metal in place is to put it in a vise. Tighten the vise so that the metal does not move when you are working on it.

Hammering Away

The simplest way to bend metal is to use a rubber or plastic mallet. Strike the metal on the end that is not held in place by the vise until the metal bends to the desired angle. The downside is that the mallet is less precise and you might cause damage to the side of the metal that you tap on. Tap the metal gently at first and tap harder if the metal does not give as easily at first.

Torching It

Another tool for bending metal is a torch. First, mark a line where the metal will be bent. Then, activate the torch and run the flame across the line several times to slowly soften the metal and make it more bendable. Carefully make sure that the flame is on the line to make sure that the bend is perfectly straight.

Once the line has turned red hot, you are ready to turn off the torch and bend the metal. Placing pressure on the part of the metal that you did not heat with a flame will bend the metal, allowing you to manipulate it into the shape that you intend. Once the bend has cooled enough to where you will not damage the tool, check the angle with a square set with a protractor head. 

For more information about sheet metal fabrication, contact a professional like Waters Brothers Contractors, Inc..

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I Never Would Have Guessed

I never really gave much though to where the products in my home come from. That is until I was forced to take a job in a manufacturing plant after being laid off. It was then that I realized just how much work went into the creating the machinery and processes used to make the products that millions of people just like me took for granted everyday. Shortly after I began my job at the manufacturing plant, I was able to find a new job that better fit my skill set and so I left the manufacturing industry behind. However, the impact that this job had on my way of thinking has stuck around ever since. That is why I wanted to start a website dedicated to the manufacturing process so that others could learn to appreciate this process just as I have.