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Old 05-03-2010, 10:14 AM   #1
97OBLimited
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Default Homemade Sheet Metal Break

Sheet metal BRAKE (please forgive me)

So I have recently decided to made a "visor shelf" for my car because Subaru did not exactly grace my car with storage room. My old truck, a 93 Chevy K1500, had this and it was possibly one of the most convenient add ons i did for that truck. I have a couple pieces of scrap aluminum and one is about 4 ft x 1ft which i think will work perfectly. Only problem is i need some way to bend the metal and i cant figre an easy way to do it besides a brake. Im planning on covering it with gray carpet when im finished so it will blend in more. Now my question is, how easy is it to make a homemade sheet metal brake? ive seen plans online but most are made of heavy gauge steel and such. I dont need anything that heavy duty as i will only be making a few bends. I have a 3-4ft length of piano hinge that i think will come in handy. Does anyone have any tips/tricks to help me out? if so that would be greatly appreciated. I plan on designing it in Autodesk Inventor before i start hacking so i have an idea of what it will look like.
Thanks for the help guys.
(this is what im aiming for)
http://www.aztrucks.com/images/vdp/shelfit1.jpg
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Last edited by 97OBLimited; 05-03-2010 at 11:21 AM.
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Old 05-03-2010, 11:46 AM   #2
Dutch Scooby lover
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Are you planning on doing more workwhich needs the break??
If not I would just use a vice and 2 pieces of 2x4 wood, to clamp it down, and your hands to bend it.
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Old 05-03-2010, 12:23 PM   #3
97OBLimited
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I was thinking about that but im trying to get a fairly tight 90 degree bend and from what i have heard that method doesnt give the best results for that but correct me if im wrong.
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Old 05-03-2010, 12:24 PM   #4
DrSaabaru
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Be careful that you don't make something that'll slice the top of your head off in an accident. Some kind of cargo net setup might be safer (and easier to make).

But to answer the question, you can bend it more or less to shape with your hands, then finish it up with a hammer to get the angle you want. Since you're going to cover it in padding and carpet anyway, the hammer marks aren't going to matter as much.

Last edited by DrSaabaru; 05-03-2010 at 12:32 PM.
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Old 05-03-2010, 12:40 PM   #5
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well good news, i just found a 4x4 sheet of perforated steel that is going to be perfect, lightweight and easy to bend and i can weld it if necessary. Thanks for the help guys.
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Old 05-03-2010, 02:23 PM   #6
FourOnTheFloor65
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I have the stuff laying around to make one. I have been meaning to put it together for a few months now. I went to the local scrap yard and bought 3 pieces of 3 inch by 3 inch steel angle, 1/4'' thick, about 30 inches long. I'm making the hinges out of 1/2'' plate with a pin on each side made from a 3/4" bolt that I cut down. I have some basic plans that I based, what I'm building, off of. I'll see if I can find them and post them up.
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Old 05-05-2010, 05:46 PM   #7
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When making a bend for my radiator cooling shroud, I screwed the sheet metal to an old sub box that doubles as a work bench, bent it a bit by hand, then finished up with a rubber mallet. Made a decent crease, nothing fancy, but since you're covering it with carpet it should be just fine.
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Old 05-22-2010, 12:29 AM   #8
KINGSPADE
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BRAKE TABLES are all over the place, start calling all types of businesses in your area, gutter shops, screen door companies.... somebody has got to have one you can use for the couple of minutes it will take to do it properly with the right tools.
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Old 05-22-2010, 06:58 AM   #9
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Old 05-25-2010, 04:16 PM   #10
madmax718
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Its going to be dififcult to make a good bend on a 4 ft section with anything home made. Better off taking it to a metal fab shop, and they will bend it for you for cheap. (Probably for the price of coffee for the guys). It will literally take them 30 seconds.
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Old 06-04-2010, 04:00 AM   #11
wolfcri
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrSaabaru View Post
Be careful that you don't make something that'll slice the top of your head off in an accident. Some kind of cargo net setup might be safer (and easier to make).

But to answer the question, you can bend it more or less to shape with your hands, then finish it up with a hammer to get the angle you want. Since you're going to cover it in padding and carpet anyway, the hammer marks aren't going to matter as much.
+1

Be careful with this project, bro.

I have seen multiple crashes where a factory visor with a CD holder on it literally scalped the occupants in a crash.

I think this is a great idea but i think you might want to consider other options because the car in the pic you linked is an SUV or something with a lot more headroom.

just my .02
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