How to Bend an Aluminum Plate

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For people who do not do work with metal on a regular basis, it is difficult to know where to start when trying to bend an aluminum plate. Does someone just take the plate into the garage and go to town with a hammer, or is there a specific machine that will make this process easier?

Things You'll Need

  • Bending brake (also known as a press brake)
  • Acquire a bending brake by renting, borrowing, or purchasing one. Request a demonstration of how to use the machine.

  • Place the machine on a flat, even surface. Make sure there is plenty of space in which to work.

  • Secure the aluminum plate on the machine.

  • Drop the die onto the plate to create an even bend in the desired spot. This will apply an even pressure and create a perfect bend.

  • Carefully remove the aluminum from the machine.

Tips & Warnings

  • Metal fabrications stores will often bend the aluminum for you since they keep bending brakes on site. Simply clamping down the plate and hitting it can create an uneven force on the plate, which can make the bend sloppy or possibly even break the aluminum plate. The thicker the aluminum plate, the bigger and stronger the machine will need to be.
  • Aluminum can scratch so be gentle when handling it. Resist the temptation to simply hit the aluminum with a hammer or mallet.

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  • Photo Credit www.alibaba.com, www.cincinnatiprecisionmachinery.com, www.biplaneforum.com
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