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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
How do you bend over the edges to get a nice fold on your telescoping covers? I bought some aluminum roofing valley and need to find a good way to bend it.
 

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How do you bend over the edges to get a nice fold on your telescoping covers? I bought some aluminum roofing valley and need to find a good way to bend it.
You either buy a professional bender or you can make one with a 2X4 and cut a groove down one corner. You place the aluminum in the kerf and bend away.
 

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If you know any HVAC contractors that make their own duct-work you might be able to borrow their bending brake
 

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both tractor supply and harbor freight sell a 36 inch wide folding brake that is with a floor stand. this is the red one. I use galvinised steel 24 or 26 gauge. a 4x8 sheet will do 8 of the 10 frame covers and costs me about $18 for 26 gauge, 9 or 10 more for 24 gauge, the 24 gauge is a bit harder to work with. I punch the holes with a hand punch and do the corners with a hand seamer, both are available from harbor freight . it is worth it to get a good set of hand shears, either malco or weiss. the brake costs between 2 and 300 but you will actually use it for a lot of projects if you have it... the steel will hold up a lot longer than the thin aluminum flashing, paint it well. the steel is heavier it stays on the hive better. ..my first brake is 52 inches wide, I made it from scratch for a stainless job many years ago. the red one is very quick and easy to use and gives nice sharp corners.
 

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I used this purchased on Amazon. "30 inch Steel Bending Brake Sheet Metal Bender Tool" I bend the longs ends and use a piece of iron clamped on the brake to bend the short ends. I place the metal with the long ends bent on the brake, clamp the iron on top(actually the bottom) of the lid and bend the short ends up.
 

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I just use 2 pairs of needle nose pliars, one in each hand. It's not pretty or flush, but it keeps water off the wood.
 

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I have a 10 ton press brake and a 250 ton press brake and neither of them will brake the thin stuff. :) I've started making my covers out of 1/8" Aluminum, so I can brake them myself. Upside, they'll last forever.
 

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I just cut mine with hand shears, staple them on one side then use a hammer, a dead blow hammer, and a 2x4, and staple as I go. Oh but you wanted nice bends... I would recommend the HVAC contractor or sheet metal shop too if you need just a few say 5-20.
Fabian
 

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I was skulking around Jim Hensel's YouTube channel last night and he has built a mandrel for this purpose. I'm a journeyman sheet metal mechanic and notch my corners so they fold nice and flat, then bend them on the angle iron which trims my work bench. But if you don't have those skills what Jim is doing will work well for you.
Colino
http://youtu.be/Ud5BTKifagU
 

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Use a straight edge and utility knife run the knife down the straight do not cut all they way through just scar it, then bend. I like to use a level that way you can bend till it hits the level. Don't try and straighten it out after you bend it, it will break.
 

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I've had good success bending over the edge of my cast iron tablesaw top...it took some temporary disassembly for the nuc tops, but for the most part, not bad. Using a rubber mallet.
 

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There are some nice home builds on you tube. on nice simple brakes. One more thing on the build list.
 

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I use a homemade wooden break. Started with 2 pieces of 1x2 the length of the inside of my long bend. Cut a 1/16" x 3/4" deep rabbat on one, then lined them up and screwed them together. Cut a chamfer on one side so I could overbend slightly. Works great!
 

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I use the edge of the table saw, clamps and a piece of angle. You need to over bend it slightly. Aluminum is a lot easier than the galvanized that I purchased because I could get an entire roll at the correct width. I did see that somebody cut a kirf (saw blade cut) through a 2x4 and put a handle on it. Put the metal in the slot, step on the board, and use the handle to the correct angle (just past 90 for spring back).
 

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I have a little Harbor Freight 18" bending brake that can do part of the job. I used to use one at a shop where I worked that could be adjusted to various lengths.

One guy at the shop figured a ball peen hammer and any old bench edge was good enough for him, but it takes some skill to make it look good that way.

I'd say for small scale use, a couple of steel bars cut to length give you something to bend against. Make two bars up just the length of the inside of the two bends you need, so the bend is supported just enough. Then clamp the metal down to that bar with the part to be bent hanging over, and use another bar and a hammer to gently work the tab down. That should give a pretty smooth bend.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
The two long sides went well with a Harbor Freight sheet metal bender. How do you use it on the short sides after you have the bends done on the long sides?
 
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