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Sheet Metal decision

2wheelz4me

Plastic
Joined
Nov 15, 2021
Hello all. I am new here and have a question I hope someone can answer. I am wanting to build a 2' by 2' by 2' square box out of 16ga steel. I am wanting it to have three bends and the 4th would be my welding the sheet together. I don't believe I can do this with anything other than an electromagnetic brake. Is this correct? Is there a better way then what I am thinking on the 3 bends of 24" x 24"? The brakes and box and pans I have looked at are rated for 16ga and are 48" in width. My goal here is not to have to weld all 4 corners. Any thoughts, ideas, or other discussions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
 

metalmagpie

Titanium
Joined
May 22, 2006
Location
Seattle
You might laugh at this, but it works. Cut out your shape however you normally would. Lay out your bend lines. Working on one bend line at a time, clamp a straightedge along the line and use it to guide a cutoff wheel onan angle grinder. Do this on the inside of the folds. Don't go all the way through. After, you can make your bends by hand and then you can reinforce them by welding to the degree needed.

If you are cutting your piece with laser or waterjet, you can also slit rhe bend lines leaving little tabs at each end to hold the part together. Again, bend by hand and weld up after as needed.

I have had real good luck with this method.

metalmagpie
 

2wheelz4me

Plastic
Joined
Nov 15, 2021
Thanks metalmagpie! No laughing here. I can see how that would work and potentially save me a bunch of money on a bender. As for cutting my material, right now I am using metal sheers. They work good but it is hard to get a 100% perfect straight edge, at least it's hard for me. Plasma would be better and easier to get those cuts perfectly straight.
 

Rob F.

Diamond
Joined
Aug 5, 2012
Location
California, Central Coast
Thanks metalmagpie! No laughing here. I can see how that would work and potentially save me a bunch of money on a bender. As for cutting my material, right now I am using metal sheers. They work good but it is hard to get a 100% perfect straight edge, at least it's hard for me. Plasma would be better and easier to get those cuts perfectly straight.
You gan get nice cuts with a metal cutting blade on a skilsaw and a straight edge. Another good way to get a nice cut is a straight steel bar and an angle grinder with a thin slicing disk. Clamp the straight piece of steel where you want to cut and then lightly run the grinder along the edge, down pressure only, not sideways into the straight edge.
This way you can cut all the way through or just score it to bend easier.
Either of these will also keep your metal flat unlike snips and slag free.
 

DDoug

Diamond
Joined
Oct 18, 2005
Location
NW Pa
Build a simple bending brake (see many plans online) and fold the thing up/over the top leaf.
Spring back into square when welding.
 

rogertoolmaker

Cast Iron
Joined
Jan 3, 2016
9
Thanks metalmagpie! No laughing here. I can see how that would work and potentially save me a bunch of money on a bender. As for cutting my material, right now I am using metal sheers. They work good but it is hard to get a 100% perfect straight edge, at least it's hard for me. Plasma would be better and easier to get those cuts perfectly straight.

Have you considered using 18ga. (.048) depending on your end requirement for the service of the box. This would Help with forming the box.
Roger
 

2wheelz4me

Plastic
Joined
Nov 15, 2021
9

I have tried a shop made bender as well as a cheap HF one that I modified. Neither work. I cannot go lower than 16ga for my particular application. Really appreciate the comments thus far but still not sure which direction to go now. It's kinda crazy but I am not finding any decent used 48" benders (Electromagnet or manual) within Texas or Oklahoma.
 








 
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