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Thread: How to make a DIY 30" Metal Brake

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    Default How to make a DIY 30" Metal Brake

    Here is what it looks like completed.....This is just a basic 30" metal brake made from scrap steel. With this one you will be able to make multiple simple bends in sheet metal or aluminum. Eventually I will add "fingers" so that I can make complete 4 sided boxes.
    Follow the tutorial to make one yourself and be sure to see the short video at the end





    Material I used....10" channel, 2 pieces of 2 1/2"X2 1/2"X1/4" angle iron, 3/4" pipe, 1/2" pipe, 2-3/4" nuts, 2-3/4" thread plugs, 2-3/4" thread couplings, 2-3/4" metal washers and 2-3/8"X 1 1/2" long bolts (not shown)





    First I buffed all the rust and then started
    laying out where I will make the needed cuts for the hinges








    I will use 3/4" pipe for the hinges and a 1/2" pipe for the pins





    Just more pics showing what I will need to cut out. I am using a Metabo with a 6" cutting disc to make the cuts. Let the sparks fly!


























    You will now need to drill a couple holes to mount down the actual piece that your material will bend against. You can use a drill motor to do this, but it sure helps if you have a drill press. I drill 1/2" holes to accept 3/8" bolts








    Test fitting the 2 pieces together








    I tack welded the nuts to the bottom side (not shown)





    Test fitting the hinges before welding them in place




    Now time to weld the hinges in place,
    TAKE YOUR TIME...
    as this is somewhat critical that you get them to line up as perfect as possible. If you do not your bends may not be perfect.














    Now lets make the pins......I used 1/2" pipe and 3/4" nuts, welded them together and then polished them up a bit so that the would slide easily into the 3/4" hinges.





    Time to see how well the pins and hinges work....... A perfect fit!








    Finally all we have to do is make the handles. I used 1/2" pipe about 30" long.
    This is where I used the threaded couplings and the thread plugs. I welded the plugs to the end of the pipe and then welded the couplings to the bottom side of the forward support bracket








    Time to bend some aluminum....





    I use a ratchet to quickly tighten down the bolts





    Now lets see how good she works......





    Not to bad if I say so myself!

















    Check out this quick video showing how the Metal Brake works


    Last edited by LazyMan; 30-09-2012 at 06:38.

  2. The following user thanks LazyMan For this above post:

    jackjack (19-11-2013)

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    Default Re: How to make a DIY 30" Metal Brake

    very cool. I came in just because I didn't know what a metal brake was. Good stuff.

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    Default Re: How to make a DIY 30" Metal Brake

    Quote Originally Posted by JMPC View Post
    very cool. I came in just because I didn't know what a metal brake was. Good stuff.
    Same here,i thought it was spam til i opened the thread! Thanks for sharing Lazy!

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    Default Re: How to make a DIY 30" Metal Brake

    Quote Originally Posted by JMPC View Post
    very cool. I came in just because I didn't know what a metal brake was. Good stuff.
    Quote Originally Posted by JamesLT3 View Post
    Same here,i thought it was spam til i opened the thread! Thanks for sharing Lazy!
    No worries guys.......It sure is a funny name for what is a metal bender....and to be honest, they normally just call it a "brake"....thought I would include the word "metal" to help aid in it's description.

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    Default Re: How to make a DIY 30" Metal Brake

    This is a great post. I would love to build one capable of bending to that thickness stock. But for anybody wanting a cheap brake for small guage sheet, you can pick one up at Harbor Freight for under $100, they also have an 18" brake for around 40. Not having the scrap steel around, by the time I bought it, wrangled up a welder to use and the time to make it. I'd be better off with the HF one. But of course the HF one will not be good for much more than 18-20ga, I dont know that I would ever need heavier for mod work.

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    Default Re: How to make a DIY 30" Metal Brake

    Quote Originally Posted by ErickSaint View Post
    This is a great post. I would love to build one capable of bending to that thickness stock. But for anybody wanting a cheap brake for small guage sheet, you can pick one up at Harbor Freight for under $100, they also have an 18" brake for around 40. Not having the scrap steel around, by the time I bought it, wrangled up a welder to use and the time to make it. I'd be better off with the HF one. But of course the HF one will not be good for much more than 18-20ga, I dont know that I would ever need heavier for mod work.
    Thanks Erick,there building a HF 5min from my house. I think we need a new section in the forum for posts like this, "DIY Mods" or something, its will be easy for this to get lost.

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    Default Re: How to make a DIY 30" Metal Brake

    Yeah, I agree...if all you need to bend is thin sheet metal/aluminum then the HF one would work. But like you said anything thicker than 18g you may have some trouble. I was able to find the material at a local machine shop in their scrap pile. Cost me $5 for the material and being a welder by trade it was a no brainer. I originally looked at the HF ones and to be completely honest they look pretty flimsy. The only one that I was serious considering was the 30" Shear, Brake and Slip Roll here. If I had more room in my shop I would have pulled the plug. The shear and slip roll features would definitely come in handy.

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    Default Re: How to make a DIY 30" Metal Brake

    Quote Originally Posted by JamesLT3 View Post
    Thanks Erick,there building a HF 5min from my house. I think we need a new section in the forum for posts like this, "DIY Mods" or something, its will be easy for this to get lost.
    That would be great James, I have several more DIY Mods for modding PC's...wasn't sure where to put this post, for now I hope this was okay.
    Last edited by LazyMan; 30-09-2012 at 16:45. Reason: spelling error

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    Default Re: How to make a DIY 30" Metal Brake

    Quote Originally Posted by LazyMan View Post
    That would be great James, I have several more DIY Mods for modding PC's...wasn't sure where to put this post, for now I hope this was okay.
    Let me send Stan a pm and see if he can get something worked out. Yeah this is fine for now,i was actually wondering that myself.

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    Default Re: How to make a DIY 30" Metal Brake

    cool
    You Raise The Blade You Make The Change


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    Default Re: How to make a DIY 30" Metal Brake

    Hey Larry, do you want me to have a section set up for you in our manufactures corner ?
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    Default Re: How to make a DIY 30" Metal Brake

    Quote Originally Posted by Doctor_Death View Post
    Hey Larry, do you want me to have a section set up for you in our manufactures corner ?
    Thanks for the offer Stan, but I don't think that would be necessary at this point. I may take you up on that offer down the road though.

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    Default Re: How to make a DIY 30" Metal Brake

    This is pretty cool. If you wanted to save yourself some hassle on fixing a bend you could get some good spacers in for the more common angles (90, 45). Anything other than that would be more difficult. Thought of an adjustable one, but I figure it would be difficult to keep it steady.

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    Default Re: How to make a DIY 30" Metal Brake

    Quote Originally Posted by MattyMatt View Post
    This is pretty cool. If you wanted to save yourself some hassle on fixing a bend you could get some good spacers in for the more common angles (90, 45). Anything other than that would be more difficult. Thought of an adjustable one, but I figure it would be difficult to keep it steady.
    Thanks mate

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    Default Re: How to make a DIY 30" Metal Brake

    When you cut out for the hinges did you measure to center pins both front to back and up and down? Thanks.

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    Default Re: How to make a DIY 30" Metal Brake

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott3140 View Post
    When you cut out for the hinges did you measure to center pins both front to back and up and down? Thanks.
    Yeah, that is what i did.....just take the OD on the pipe and split it in half, and thats what you will need to cut off of each piece.
    hope this makes sense.

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