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Unread 09-16-2011, 10:46 PM   #1
athos76
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Bending 1/8" steel plate without a brake

Well, my plans on bending my corner guards at the local DIY auto shop on Base fell thru...

I've seen plans online for homemade brakes, but they aren't capable of bending 1/8".

Anyone have a DIY homemade way to successfully bend 1/8"? I've looked into using a telephone pole or some pipe.

The local welding shop will do it, but it won't be a priority, and they would need my jeep there to test fit...and they want $65 an hour...

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Unread 09-17-2011, 07:40 AM   #2
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athos76, Hi there, I notice you mentioned plate instead of tubing, is this true? If so is the bend you want going to be a smooth rounded bend or crisp bend right to the angle you desire?
If you want a crisp angle I have a great way to shape it, if you want a rounded bend, not much I can tell you.
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Unread 09-17-2011, 10:29 AM   #3
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I will have to make small gradual bends every 1/2" or so to get the shape desired. It won't be one straight bend.
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Unread 09-17-2011, 10:45 AM   #4
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There are times when buying what you need is simply cheaper and easier than making it yourself.

Considering your time, material costs, and fabrications costs, corner armor is a good example. Most machine shops charge about $75 or more per hour for set-up hours and production hours.

Warrior Products S916 Steel Corners (.104" thick) are about $130.
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Unread 09-17-2011, 10:49 AM   #5
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I have a press of which can bend up to 1/2" to a 90 degree with no problem. But the are times I want control the bend and it's angle more precisely. Recently in my build thread I made some spring top plates, the one that the ends are turned up a bit. I chose this method and they turned out great. Yesterday I wanted 1/8" plate that was 4" wide to have about 30 degree bends, I chose this method also. I used a 3" inch cut off wheel to make the cross cut about 3/4 deep, then by hand, bent the plate back for my desired angle. Then welded to fill the cut and ground it smooth. If this helps, great, if not, perhaps it's an idea for the future.

Both sides bent with the angle thingy to check for accuaracy between both sides.

Fill the groove with Mig welding.

Grind it smooth. I use a 4 1/2" grinder with the flap discs.
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Unread 09-17-2011, 03:26 PM   #6
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I would have gone with the poison spyder's or others, of they made them in diamond plate... I already have AtoZ diamond plate rockers, and wanted to stick with the theme.
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Unread 09-17-2011, 03:29 PM   #7
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A forming block and a rose bud tip on the torch.
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Unread 09-17-2011, 11:38 PM   #8
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Why not have a metal supply shop do the radius bend for you? Vernon Steel (my local supplier does it all of the time for a nominal fee ($20 or so).
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Unread 09-18-2011, 06:28 AM   #9
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Saw this pic on Pirate... it might not be too difficult to increase the size a bit to get the proper radius.

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Unread 09-18-2011, 10:51 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BESRK
Saw this pic on Pirate... it might not be too difficult to increase the size a bit to get the proper radius.
That's one method I was going to try out. My local DIY shop has a nice 60 ton press and some scrap steel I can use to brace it. I just need to find some pipe large enough to use.
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Unread 09-18-2011, 12:13 PM   #11
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Read page 5 and 6 of this build, or the whole thing if you have a few minutes
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Unread 09-18-2011, 02:49 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by athos76 View Post
That's one method I was going to try out. My local DIY shop has a nice 60 ton press and some scrap steel I can use to brace it. I just need to find some pipe large enough to use.
Hmmm.. I may have to mess with this idea myself. I'm thinking cut the pieces on the plasma table. Instead of a large piece of DOM, maybe cut a few round disks with slot in them for strips of flat stock.. similar to making a beer keg out of strips of wood. A 20 ton (or even 12 ton) press should be plenty strong to make a large radius bend in material up to 3/16". Might be an easy way for me to do corner armor.
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Unread 09-18-2011, 04:32 PM   #13
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Anyone know off hand what the radius of the TJ corners are? I've got a local train car repair yard that has various chunks of pipe laying around and they'll lend me a piece to use.
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Unread 09-20-2011, 06:24 PM   #14
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I'll tell you what I use, but beware it probably isn't the safest way, and it is certainly a miss use of equipment. I bought one of those cheap harbor freight pipe benders for $80 with one of there 20% off coupons. As a pipe bender, it sucks, but I use the 3/4 in. die, place a 4 in. piece of 3/4 in square tube in it with the edge up. I then place the flat plate cross ways thru the bender. I place a couple of c-clamps at the top of the bender to add a little strength, and bend away. I have bent up to 1/4 x 4 in plate into a 90% angle this way. It beats the way I used to do it by a long shot, I used to clamp the plate to my work bench, heat it with my torch, and bear down on it with long crescent wrench handle. I'll post up pics of anyone is interested. PS. I really like the press picture from pirate, I'll have to make one of those, it's probably much safer.
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Unread 09-22-2011, 04:03 PM   #15
athos76
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Well, I acquired some 6 1/2" pipe and used a 75 ton press to bend the corners. The radius is a little too tight, so I'll have to heat it up and flex it out some. One corner bent about an inch from where I wanted it to, so I'll have to work on that a little more. The bending was real easy and the width of the jaws on the press were almost perfect spacing.
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