How to Use a Sheet Metal Brake

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Sheet metal can be used for a number of purposes in construction, gutter work, and heating and cooling work. It is durable, lightweight, and can stand up to a number of types of abuse and wear. Bending it into the angles it needs to be used for these purposes isn't always easy, though. That's where a sheet metal brake becomes useful, as its purpose is to easily bend sheet metal to whatever angle you need. If you've never used a sheet metal brake before, it's actually very easy.

Things You'll Need

  • Sheet metal
  • Sheet metal brake
  • Mark the sheet metal that you are wanting to bend with a pencil or by scratching the surface of the metal with a screwdriver or sharp object. Be sure to double-check the point that you want to bend it at before you actually start to bend the metal.

  • Open the sheet metal brake using the lever or levers on the side of the clamp. Slide the piece of sheet metal into the clamp up to the line that you made on it, then pull the lever to close the clamp again in order to hold it tightly in place.

  • Using the lever that is attached to the bending bar, slowly move the bar upward so that you can start to bend the metal. The sheet metal brake should have a gauge on it to show you the angle that you're bending the metal to so that you can get the exact angle that you need without going over or being under.

  • When you've reached the appropriate angle, pull the lever back and then release the clamp holding the metal in place. You may now remove the metal and use it, or put it back into the sheet metal brake in order to bend the metal in another place or to make a bend in a different direction.

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