How to Bend Heavy Steel Plate

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Working with steel will give you a durable finished product. Metal working can be as complicated as the newest welding techniques or as simple as a drill and a bolt. Occasionally you will run into a situation where it will be necessary to bend a heavy steel plate. This may seem like an impossible task. But, with the right tools, a little knowledge, and some practice you can bend steel like a pro.

Things You'll Need

  • Acetylene torch Bench vise 5-lb. sledge hammer Tape measure Straight edge Carpenter's crayon Fire extinguisher Leather work gloves Welder's mask
  • Determine the grain of the steel. You will need to make your bend perpendicular to the grain of the metal to avoid cracking. Measure out the location of your bend and mark it with your crayon.

  • Clamp the plate into your vise and begin to heat your bend line slowly with your torch. When the line begins to glow use your hammer to start your bend.

  • Continue to heat and hammer your plate until you have achieved the proper angle of your bend. Take your time and proceed slowly. Too much heating will cause a hole to be burned in the steel.

  • Leave the bent steel in your vise until it has cooled on its own. Do not submerge the hot steel in water as this will cause the metal to become brittle.

Tips & Warnings

  • Working with a torch can be dangerous. Be sure to have a helper stand by with the fire extinguisher as a "fire watch." Be sure to read and follow all of the manufacturer's instructions. Working with heated metal can be dangerous. Wear all of your safety equipment and stay focused on the task at hand.

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