Shop-Made Metal Brake

A while back I made a ceiling-mounted pot hanger.  The rail was a length of 1/8″ x 1.5″ stainless bar bent into a rectangle.  Well I had bend it in my bench vise and none of the corners were very good, and it formed more of a parallelogram than a rectangle.

I recently re-made the hanger, making it bigger this time.  I still liked the look of the bar so I just got a longer piece this time, but I also did some homework on how to get better-looking and more accurate bends.  I didn’t feel like spending the money on a real brake so I made a simple one in the shop.

It’s build around angle iron and 3/8″ rod for both the fulcrum and “pusher bar” (I don’t know the real name).  I had to use a Grade 8 bolt for the pusher bar because the other stock I had developed a bow in it after the first 4 bends.  I did another 4 with the bolt and it held up fine.  The body is a length of 2×4 with angle iron screwed on on the top corners.  I left about 1.5″ hanging over the edge for the fulcrum holes.  The fulcrum (axle?) acts as both the surface for the inner radius of the bend as well as the hinge for the handle.  The pusher bar’s location was eyeballed.

Not pictured here are clamps… The 2×4 is clamped to the sawhorse and the work is also clamped to the brake body using a c-clamp.

So obviously this is in no way a professional-grade instrument but it works for making repeatable bends in small pieces.

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