I need to replace a broken plastic part on an RV. To do this I would
like to take some 3/4 x 3/4 angle 1/16 thick that is available in DIY
stores and form it around a radius keeping the cross section more or
less uniform. This means that one edge will have to stretch. My
question is, what is the smallest radius that is reasonable, with or
without heating, to expect using hand tools and a wooden form?
I expect you are going to have a great deal of difficulty with this plan.
Most of the aluminum angle you will find is anodized, and that gives the
aluminum a nice hard finish but it doesn't like bending. Also since this is
angle, one of the legs is going to be bent the hard way, and it doesn't like
to be bent the hard way.
To successfully bend you need dies that will hold everything in position and
that will require a bender not just some wooden forms. A way to do this
would be to cut off the leg for the distance that you want to wrap around
the curve and then make a replacement piece out of flat aluminum and weld
the two pieces together, dress the welds down and it will look like angle
bent round the curve.
If looks don't matter as much, you can slot one leg bend around your form
and use some aluminum filled epoxy to fill the gaps and then paint the thing
once you get the cosmetics acceptable.
It might be cheap enough to just buy the plastic part from the dealer, did
you try pricing it?
I'd also put my vote in for not doing this.... rolling/bending angle is
super hard, even with the right tools. Even with appropriate rolling dies
etc, typically you end up introducing a twist into the material.
I should have added that the bend is inwards. I am going to try to do
it and will report back so you guys that know about metal can all
laugh at me! :).The material is not anodized that i can get. Imlike th
eidea of fabricating a part by welding but my aluminum welding skills
are pathetic. The plastic part was custom molded so is almost
impossible to buy.
Thanks for nice responses. If anyone needs electric motor help ask me
The aluminium angle in the home stores is hardened to T6, almost always 6061
T6, and won't form without annealing. What I would do to make this is make
a wooden form and hammerform the shape with a bunch extra, then cut out what
I need and clean it up.
I fairly often make round caps for tubes, say 6" in diameter, with a 90
degree flange just about like a hat. You could do the same, but cut out the
edge and use it for your project.
Oh, much easier, assuming that "inwards" means this: with the bent part
laying on a table, the vertical leg is on the outside of the curve.
If so, make a series of "V" cuts on the inside leg and bend to close
them. When done, use the zinc based aluminum solder ("Alumiweld", or
something like that) on the joints. Not as good as welding, but I'm
guessing that this application does not need a lot of tensile strength.
Of course this produces a chorded bend, not an actual circle. With
sufficient notches you can get close.
We get that for carpet edging and such. That's not what
I'd call angle aluminum. The DIY stores around here
typically have bar, angle, and sometimes round aluminum
stocked with the mild steel bar, angle, rod, and threaded