Cheapest / Easiest contraption to bend 3mm Aluminium sheet (500mm max)

  1. I'm in the process of building some sump guards and other protective plates for my bike for a Round the World trip.

    I've been looking at off the shelf benders but they seem to be limited to 1-2mm unless you spend £££££££££££££££££££££££££££££ which I don't have.

    I don't want to pay someone else to do it as it's something I will be doing a lot of in the future.

    If there something available for the £100-£200 mark which will easily bend 3mm Aluminium ???

    I've seen a few forum members make their own but again, they seem to be for thinner stuff.

    If I could buy something like this for £100, id be happy. I have limited time to making it myself.

    Cheers, Ted
  2. MCKDAVID Member

    to be honest, you've answered your own question, if you're going to be doing it a lot in the future, make one at the start. It's not difficult, three mm aluminium, is not that bad, The simplest would be the folder in the for sale section now, and a bit of muscle:whistle:

    The other option is a press brake, that way you've got flexibility on the thickness..

    If it's only 500 wide and straignt sheet with a single bend, maybe think about a v block section, and a hydraulic press to knock up the press brake. Always useful for other things, and not that expensive, mine cost me around 200 quid for 12tonne, with foot pedal, so easy to use..

    Take a section of 2" angle iron, weld it to the middle of a piece of C channel, (or two pieces of angle welded flat to form a C channel), to make a vee block, take another piece of angle, reinforced along it's lenth to make a press brake "blade"

    2 minutes in the press, job done.
  3. I already have a 20 ton press ;)

    Have you got a picture of that set up ???

  4. MCKDAVID Member

    you're already more than half way there......
  5. Wallace

    Wallace Member

    Staines, Middlesex, England.
    A quick Google of "homemade press brake" produced this YouTube clip of a tidy example that would do what you want.
  6. MCKDAVID Member

    there's hundreds of example on the web mate, just a quick search gave this one...

    Basically there's no limit to the forms you can make if you use a little imagination and thought, etc...

    the important thing to think about is doing it safely, the "formers / templates" have to be designed to take the forces that are applied, but not that difficult to do..

    aha wallace types faster than me.... great minds think alike...:clapping:
  7. Thanks so much guys. Lots to digest there.

    The idea of the V-clamp on the press. I like it. Simple yet effective.

    However, would that work with wider 500mm sheet ?? Wouldn't the pressure be quite localised and warp the sheet.

    I suppose you'd have to keep moving it but I fear that it would lead to a dodgy bend..
  8. MCKDAVID Member

    if the blade was thick enough / reinforced enough to spread the load over the width it would work, but over 500 you need a pretty thick blade to ensure that you've got the force spread equally, especially with a single point of pressure from the press.

    For reinforcing the angle iron blade you could simply plate over it, to triangulate it, or put a section of round bar in the middle, or put a vertical plate upright across teh length.... you get the idea, but the key to it is the blade being able to resist the force (ok hold the starwars gags.. !!) over the length without deflecting...

    if you're needing to go over 500, and only doing Ali, you'd get away with the press that's for sale now, might be a better option..

  9. Thanks for the info. I like the round bar idea.

    I'm determined to make my own.

    What's the point of having a workshop full of welding and fab equipment and then buying the stuff you could make !

    Looks like I'm after a 2 metres of 50x50x5 angle iron, a 10mm plate to build on, a 1m length of 10mm round bar and a way to attach the top brake to my bench Press Piston without having to weld onto it. I think I'll make a sleeve for it on top of the brake.

  10. Waaaiiiiitt a minute.. I've just bought a load of angle iron and a big piece of 10mm sheet to build on.

    However, whilst drawing up my build.. It was glaringly obvious that an angle iron press is only going to press 90 degrees. It know I can stop the piston early but the sheet will be bowed.. Not straight bent..

    Daaaaaaaammmm :confused:
  11. DrNik

    DrNik Heath Robinsons long lost son

    how about a slicing plate , like it it passes your metal bit like scissors but comes down equally and would bend various angles depending how low you bring the blade down
  12. gerrymoore

    gerrymoore CNC expert (well, getting there!)

    Wirral UK
    Hi..I happen to have an Edwards folder for sale.....and I live on the Wirral :))
  13. Hi Gerry...

    Tell me more...

    I just sent you a PM !