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July 2, 2021

Hagerty Feature: DIY Sheetmetal Break

Hagerty Feature: DIY Sheetmetal Break

Among the many reasons our friends at Hagerty are a wonderful partner to the SCCA is that they love #FunWithCars just as much as we do – and they are a wealth of knowledge on a variety of car-related subjects. The following article originally appeared on Hagerty.com. For this and all of Hagerty’s car-related content, visit their media site here.

We’ve poked at bending sheetmetal in a previous installment of Wrenchin’ Wednesday, but today we’re going to talk about how to build your own sheetmetal brake for the sake of getting crisp, precise edges on custom-fabricated parts. Hammering metal around a form is effective, but can leave behind apprentice marks, leave an inconsistent edge, or just be a flat-out pain in the backlite to get the bend started. Brakes do two things here to solve that, one is to clamp the sheetmetal securely against a sharp edge for its form, while also putting the bending/working surface on a solid axis, both of which make the bends tighter and more accurate.

For today’s project, you’ll only need a stick of angle-iron, a couple of hinges, and enough nuts and bolts to pile it all together. For the sake of time, our example was built out of thin 11-gauge stuff from the hardware store, and thus it’s only capable of bending thin sheetmetal, perhaps up to 1/8th-inch, definitely use thicker angle-iron and larger hardware for your own build if you plan on bending anything substantial, but the design and steps are practically the same.

Continue Reading At Hagerty.com

 

Words and Images by Phillip Thomas

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