How to bend 1/4" steel strip

I'm making a bracket for my racing seat. I'm trying to use the
original mounting holes in the car (a 96 Miata) which are angle away
from each other. My plan is to get a pair of 19" x 2" x 1/4" steel
strip to mount the seat on.
I need to bend the two ends of the metal strip about (20 and 30
degrees). My question is, how can I bend the metal strip with common
garage tools?
I was think to position the metal strip between 2 thick pieces of
metal and use my trailer and jack stand as a vice to hold it near
horizontal. Then use my car jack to bend the metal. I can use a
welding torch to heat the metal if necessary.
Thanks,
Freddie
Reply to
Freddie
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Freddie, Bending this plate is very easy with a brake or even a large vice or hydraulic press. All of which are common garage tools. What you're telling this audience is that you are dangerous to yourself and others. please acquire and use the correct tools for the job. Stupidity has a way of purging the gene pool. Steve
Reply to
Steve Lusardi
You really should invest in a vise. The torch heating idea is fine assuming low carbon steel.
Wes
Reply to
Wes
For crying out loud, vices are CHEAP and usefull for so many things - why would you try to use anything else? Clamp the bar in the vise, with the short end sticking out and beat the short end with a big hammet to the right angle. It AINT ROCKET SCIENCE. If you cannot handle this, you should NOT be playing around with seat mounting brackets.
Reply to
clare at snyder dot ontario do
Hey Steve,
The above is a little harsh. We (at least I) all started with mostly nothing in the way of tools (55± years ago). I remember as a 12 year old, taking apart an abandoned automobile differential with hammer, chisel and repeated dropping from a third floor balcony onto a concrete patio. I remember at the age of 13 saving up enough money for an S&K 1/2" socket set. We've all bent metal by wedging one end between tree branches etc. Give the OP a break and help him in his quest.
Ivan Vegvary
Reply to
Ivan Vegvary
Having built a base, or two, for racing seats, I'd say that 1/4 material is overkill. 1/8 material is sufficient and is what all of the commercial set bases that I've seen are made from. Pretty easy to bent 1/8 material by clamping it in a vise and whacking it with a hand sledge. No heat is needed, nor is a lot of precision required.
Reply to
Jim Levie
If the OP was in your league he wouldn't have been asking. Since he's asking, he needs to know how to do it the EASY way - which is generally the RIGHT way. I have a vice I use for that kind of thing that is not bolted to anything. Use it as a combination large vice-grips and anvil. I bought it on the road one day to replace a "U" joint on my van that let go on the side of the interstate just outside Gary Indianna one labour day weekend. (we had to change the joint IN THE TRUCK because the bolts would not come out on the rear diff flange - so my CHEST ended up being the workbench. The cost of a cheap vice is negligible, and becomes part of your arsenal of tools to attack many other jobs in the future.
Best to learn how to do something right first - then when you need to bodge something, you know what you need to "duplicate" to do the job.
Reply to
clare at snyder dot ontario do
So, farmers and such that break down in fields in remote areas should wait until they can go home and build a fabrication shop before attempting repairs? Maybe Freddie is conserving money for his project. Maybe he does not have a solid workbench to PUT a vise on. I find that various areas of my forklift carriage and mast assembly make excellent bending fixtures, and I definitely don't lack for any tools. Part of the hobby for me is to see how creative and self-sufficient I can get. Must come from my childhood where nothing was handed to me. This seems to be about Freddie's attempt to create something without a pot of gold or equipment at his disposal, and to enhance his skill. It's always easier to find an EASY way to do something., and always easy to find a way NOT to do something. Personal struggle builds character.
RJ
Reply to
Backlash
Ivan, I still have my 3/8" drive SK Wayne socket set in the toolbox in the back of my car. It's been 44 years now since I bought it for 13 dollars, and a set of vise grips for $2.45. I remember it so well because it was such a major purchase for me at the time. Next purchase was a B&D 1/4" drill. Cutting grass brought $2 a yard then. The gas cost 10 cents for the mower. I guess that's why I pull so hard for the underdog. My first major mechanical accomplishment was also the disassembly of a car, bit by bit, the hard way. Rolled the engine out through the grill area, by hand. Now I build my own street rods and motorcycles from the chassis up. I kindly correct anyone at work who tells me they can't do something. I tell them no, that's not correct, just so far, they have been unable to accomplish their goal. Never had to say it more than once. They always try to give it a shot after that. Too much negativity in the world today, as it is.
RJ
Reply to
Backlash
I have a big vice, but it's mounted on my workbench and I won't be able to use the car jack to bend it. Will this easy to bend if I put the strip in the vice, add an extension to the metal strip and just muscle it? I haven't gotten the metal yet so I'm not sure how difficult this piece will be to bend.
Reply to
Freddie
1/8 should be good enough and it should be much easier to work with.
Thanks, Freddie
Reply to
Freddie
I'd agree that 1/8" is more than enough, especially if it's wide enough to spread out the loads - if you want a bit more thickness, use a washer on top. If you don't trust the design, add gussets between the brackets and the long seat rails and/or some cross pieces of strap stock to tie together the two mounting tabs.
And adding some dull-red heat to get the steel plastic at the bending point will turn the bending process from two-handed whacking (and the resulting big dents) when done cold, to one-handed tapping as you sneak up on the right angle with the bend area hot.
And as a bonus, if you do it hot and concentrate the heat properly at the bend line it will bend only in the hot zone like you want, and you won't have to flatten the tab back out again afterwards.
-->--
Reply to
Bruce L. Bergman
Hear Hear!!
Gunner
"Pax Americana is a philosophy. Hardly an empire. Making sure other people play nice and dont kill each other (and us) off in job lots is hardly empire building, particularly when you give them self determination under "play nice" rules.
Think of it as having your older brother knock the shit out of you for torturing the cat." Gunner
Reply to
Gunner Asch
You might want to use hot rolled if you're going to bend it cold. Cold rolled will usually crack during bending, unless it is first annealed with the torch.
RJ
Reply to
Backlash
On Sat, 05 Apr 2008 10:31:42 -0400, with neither quill nor qualm, clare at snyder dot ontario dot canada quickly quoth:
I used my 6" vise to bend my mower handle open. It broke the last time I mowed so I fixed that today. The ends of the tube were flattened and drilled. It broke at the flattened portion. I opened the flat up and inserted a piece fo scrap 1/8" steel strap, then TIGged it together and painted it. It took about an hour all told.
My vise was both my press and my holder for the welding.
-- Never tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do and they will surprise you with their ingenuity. -- George S. Patton
Reply to
Larry Jaques
If'n ya got a torch, simply c-clamp or vise-grip the metal to something, then heat across the strip where you want to bend it and use a crescent (adjustable) wrench to do the bending. Ken.
Reply to
Ken Sterling
I was at a race car fabrication shop today for an alignment, and the guy their working on the race cars suggested using 1/4 steel as oppose to 1/8. It's an overkill, but it's the only thing holding the seat in when the car flips.
Reply to
Freddie

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