Making Tools – Sheet Metal Brake

When working on the Logo Side Table, I realized there was no way to make the intricate, even bends needed in the sheet metal without a sheet metal brake, which is simply a tool that bends sheet metal. I spent some time on the internet looking at plans and homemade designs that others had used, then went scrounging in the shop for materials. I had a heavy 5″ x 3″ angle iron piece that was about 28″ long, and I decided that would work for the base for the brake that would attach to the bench. There was also a 6″ I-beam that I figured could be cut down the middle to serve as both the hold-down and the pivoting bending surface. Some 3/4″ and 1/2″ pipe would work for the hinges and spare bits of square tube could form a handle. The brake project took two full days to accomplish, but worked well for the application.