Sheet metal brake out of wood?

Hi. I've got a stack of stainless steel sheets about 14" x 30". I don't know what guage they are, but they're thin enough that I can cut them
with tin snips. I'm wondering if I can make some boxes and pans out of them, but aside from a drill press, some files, (and the tin snips) I don't have any metalworking tools. But everything I need to make stuff out of wood.
Can any of you suggest how I might make a small sheet metal brake out of hardwood? I looked at the cheap one for sale at Busy Bee Tools but it looks really annoying to use, and only has one long metal bar instead of a bunch of short ones you stack end to end to make different bends. Do you know of any plans out there?
Thanks.
- Owen -
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Owen Lawrence wrote:

Some clamps, some angle iron and a little imagination will get you a long way. Oh yeah! A big soft faced hammer.
Google is your friend. Search for "cheap bending brake" "homemade brake", stuff like that.
Without a lot of work, you should be able to adapt the ideas out there into a useable, if somewhat fiddly, box and pan prake, using wood chunks in place of metal for the fingers.
Cheers Trevor Jones
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of
looks
of
I saw one made of wood at an auction. The only detail I remember was the use of a piano hinge for the pivot. I think it was used for bending aluminum house trim.
Scp
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Wood sounds unlikely with stainless, but who knows? One big advantage of wood is that it goes together a lot quicker than metal. Make a couple of simple prototypes and see what happens. I'd think the harder the better for the jaws; maybe masonite or even metal inserts.
Here's what I'm going to make (when the list is reduced that far...): http://www.megaone.com/morpheus/brake/bench_brake.html
Looks pretty nicely thought out.
Steve Smith
Owen Lawrence wrote:

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Looks nice, except I don't have any metalworking equipment. Yet. That guy looks awfully young to be welding, though. :)
The metal I have is thin enough to bend a fairly crisp corner on the vice with a ball peen hammer, but thick enough that it's pretty hard on the fingers to bend. You might be right, but I think it's worth a try. Having never used a brake, though, I thought it would be a time-saver to find existing plans, rather than making all my own mistakes.
- Owen -

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On Sat, 17 Apr 2004 10:51:33 -0400, "Owen Lawrence"
......and in reply I say!: remove ns from my header address to reply via email
You still there Owen? Be good to hear back....
trouble is, if you build a bender that just does this job (tin snip cuttable stainless is pretty thin) then you are very limited. Also, wood will be easy to build, but will rapidly become squashed out of shape with repeated use, causing round bends and inaccuracies.

**************************************************** I went on a guided tour not long ago.The guide got us lost. He was a non-compass mentor.........sorry ........no I'm not.
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Yah, I'm still here. Do you suppose there's any way to back it up with angle irons or something, to make it work better (last longer)? Forget I said that. All I've got for cutting angle iron is a hack saw.
I don't mind buying a small brake if it's inexpensive (say, < $40Cdn), but it's got to be configurable enough that it can do more than just bend the entire width of a sheet. To me that implies "fingers". The cheapy brakes I've seen for sale just have one long bending bar. So I thought making one out of wood would work, since I can make any shape I want. So far the feedback I'm getting on the wood idea is a little discouraging.
Thanks for the advice.
- Owen -
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On Wed, 21 Apr 2004 20:33:08 -0400, "Owen Lawrence"
......and in reply I say!: remove ns from my header address to reply via email

Well, you could still do that. But it's going to be a lot of work. I would use _big_ _hard_ sections of wood. But the angle only needs to be 25 25 3 to stop the corners from getting squashed.
Still going to be limited.

I think you have a snowball's chance :-<
**************************************************** I went on a guided tour not long ago.The guide got us lost. He was a non-compass mentor.........sorry ........no I'm not.
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Owen,
Lindsay Publications seels a book called "Working with Sheet Metal". It's got a brake you can build very inexpensively. You can get a copy of Lindsay's catalog sent to you by going here:
http://www.lindsaybks.com/inq/index.html
Best of Luck, Dave
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I have an article from an old Popular Mechanics magazine that shows how to do this. Says it handles up to 26gq metal. Send me your email and I'll scan it and send it to you. Gary Brady Austin, TX
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Not sure if my e-mail reached you. Change "nospam" in my address, below, to "owen" and you can reach me. Thanks for the offer.
- Owen -
wrote in message

out of

do
it
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Gary has provided what I'm looking for. Thanks to all who responded!
- Owen -
wrote in message

to
scan
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