A sheet metal brake is a piece of equipment used in bending a sheet metal. By the looks of it, sheet metal brake seems too complicated to operate. The truth is that, only well-trained individuals are advised to use a sheet metal brake because of the injuries that might result from untrained usage. So if you see yourself using it for your future projects, such as making a gutter or downspout, you better learn how to use it. Please read the step-by-step guide below to help you.
Envision the end result. Having a clear picture of how you want to shape the metal will spare you from making errors and ultimately from wasting your metal. So make sure to have a design in mind and take the exact measurements. If you prefer, you can make a template that you can use to design the sheet metal itself.
Cut the parts. Cut any parts according to the template before bending the sheet metal. Keep in mind that it is quite difficult, and almost impossible to cut once the metal is already bent and shaped.
Make marks on the sheet metal. If you are using a template, just lay the template over the sheet metal and mark the points where you want to bend the sheet metal. If, however, you have no template, mark the points directly on the sheet metal. Draw a line or make connecting dashes.
Slip the sheet metal into the sheet metal brake. There is a lever located at the side of the sheet metal brake. Turn this up to open the equipment. Then, insert the sheet metal in the clamp. Make sure the bending marks are properly aligned with the edge of the clamp. Put the lever down to close the clamp.
Bend the sheet metal. Once the sheet metal is in, you can begin the bending process. Do this by pulling the bending bar level up. The sheet metal brake will bend the sheet metal at an angle you desire. Release the sheet metal afterward and reposition it to make another bend. Continue doing this until the sheet metal is bent in the directions you have earlier specified.
Pull out the sheet metal. When done bending the sheet metal, open the clamp up again and take out the sheet metal. Put the lever down to close the clamp.
There are a few things you need to keep in mind when using the sheet metal brake. One, always keep your fingers off the clamp. Unmindful placing of fingers on the clamp will result in injuries. Two, realize the fact that you may not perfect the use of sheet metal brake the first time. Therefore, it is wise to practice with a few metal scraps first. And three, always ask for assistance. If you don’t know how to pull the lever or can’t seem to feed a large sheet metal into the sheet metal brake, please try to get some help. Doing everything all by yourself will prove to be counterproductive.