Thanks to Alfred L. Ercoline and Kenneth B. Wilton, the aluminum bending brake was invented and patented in 1968. The invention of this machine led to a revolutionary change in the metal industry. Without this, people would have not enjoyed using washers, dryer sets, stoves, and other metal-made household things. Today, aluminum bending brakes are not anymore for mass production of shaped and bended metals. Do-it-yourself enthusiasts also enjoy having a brake, which is found useful for a variety of projects. You, too, can create things out of metal if you have access to aluminum bending brake. But first, you need to know how to use the machine first. Here’s how to do that:
- Study the aluminum bending brake manual. Since its introduction, the bending brake has evolved into many types and designs. What you have can be the basic or it can be an advanced version of the common brake. Better study the manual to be sure. Bending brakes are easy to use. But still read the manual so you will be oriented on how to exactly use it. Follow the steps below if you want to know the general way of using a common aluminum bending brake.
- Set the angle. The aluminum bending brake is generally used for bending metal sheets. Most of its types will have a feature for adjusting the angle. Usually, there is a knob, which can control the angle of bending the metal. Use that knob to set your desired angle. Familiarize how each angle looks like. The more you use the machine, the more you’ll be familiarized on how each angle setting looks like.
- Get the aluminum metal sheet ready. Prepare the aluminum metal sheet first by cutting it and trimming its sharp edges. You can do this after bending the metal sheet. However, it will be safer and easier if you’ll clean the metal sheet before feeding it into the machine.
- Try the machine. A common aluminum bending brake can be used by sliding a metal sheet into its jaws. Feed the metal sheet until it gets your desired position for the bending. Get a pair of pliers and use that to grab the metal sheet’s top. Be gentle because aluminum is not a very hard metal sheet. Be gentle or else, the metal might get unnecessary dents. Grab the metal as far as the angle setting. It cannot be bent beyond the set angle. If you need to, then set the knob again so the metal can be bent further.
- Continue on using the aluminum bending brake. The first attempts of using the machine usually result to imperfect metal sheets. Don’t worry because it’s part of the process. Just continue on studying the machine. Use it as often as you can. Familiarize how it works on aluminum and other types of metal. Be careful when bending the metal, too. Working too quickly will only dent and bend the metal to an undesired angle.
Knowing how to use the aluminum bending brake will give way to many possibilities. Look for projects that will require this machine. Trying those first will give you better ideas on what you can do with the machine. Metal boxes are great for beginners. But as soon as you learn advanced skills, try on advanced projects, too, like metal cabinets, chairs, and casings. Continue on developing your skills by trying other machines besides a bending brake. The more you know, the more you can do and the more you can enhance your skills.