A little OT: Sheet metal brakes

I'm looking at getting a sheet metal brake and have a question someone here might be able to answer.
The 36" brake I'm looking at says it can bend mild steel up to 12 gauge and
stainless steel up to 16 gauge. Based on this, what gauge aluminum sheet do you think it could bend?
I need to bend .08 aluminum (12 gauge) parts that are 12 inches wide. I don't know how hard aluminum is to bend compared to mild or stainless steel.
Thanks!
-Hoss
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Hoss wrote:

If it will bend 12 gauge mild steel, it will have no trouble with 12 gauge aluminum. You can bend 12 gauge aluminum sheet with gloved hands and a wooden block.
You're getting a Central Machinery 36" metal brake with stand, right? That should work fine.
Stay away from those combo shear/brake/roll devices, though. They're inadequately guarded, and when you're bending, you're also operating the shear at the same time.
                John Nagle
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Yup, thats the one. I already wasted money on one of the combo ones and it can't cut or bend my .08 aluminum sheet. Even if it could, the way it bends it makes marks on the metal.
Thanks! -Hoss
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http://www.metalwebnews.com/poorman/poorman-metal.html sheet metal brake made of wood?
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Hoss wrote:

General rule of thumb is about 1 gauge "increment" thicker -- 12 guage mild steel to roughly 10 gauge aluminum (about 3/32"), or other non-ferrous metal. However, this depends on the aluminum alloy and temper. There are some aluminum alloys that are quite hard and brittle.
Also the bend radius should be no tighter than the thickness of the metal. Otherwise the metal gets real weak at the bend.
Finally, I think the "max" values given by the less expensive tools, like those from Harbor Freight, are to be taken with some scepticism.
-- Gordon
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"Gordon McComb" wrote:

Which of these metals fall under the 1 gauge thicker rule?
2024-T3 BARE ALUMINUM SHEET/PLATE 5052-H32 ALUMINUM SHEET 6061-T6 ALUMINUM SHEET / PLATE 7075-T6 BARE ALUMINUM SHEET/PLATE

This was actually going to be my next question. What exactly am I measuring (how do I make the measurement)?

Yeah, I was worrying about that. Based on your comments and that the part I'm bending is only 1/3 the rated capacity in width, I think this might actually work OK. Some of the sites I read about various brakes would list their max values when the material was max width and would say larger thickness can be done if using smaller width pieces.
Thanks!! -Hoss
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Hoss wrote:

These are alloys and tempers. No thickness is given. Most aluminum is stated in "inch" sizes, not gauge, so you'd look up the gauge for the machine (say 12 gauge) and use a conversion table to look up the nearest inch size. You can find these on the Internet or they'll be in any metal working book.
There will be a maximum absolute thickness that the tool will be able to accept. The "one gauge thicker" is just a rough approximation, given the softness of aluminum over steel, but it doesn't take into consideration the maximum thickness the tool will accept. So you might take in various small pieces of the aluminum you're planning on using to see if any are too thick.

The better brakes have a radius former, or there will be a radius set adjustment. If yours doesn't, from experience you'll find what kinds of bends work best. The bending roller already in the machine will probably suffice for the maximum thickness (12 gauge or so) metal you plan on using.
-- Gordon
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