Sheet Metal Edge Bending Tools

Written by adam yeomans
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Sheet Metal Edge Bending Tools
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Metal work is a trade that goes back hundreds of years. In that time many different tools and methods have been used to construct objects out of metal. One metal innovation has been the ability to form metal into smooth sheets that can be bent to make roofing panels, bent to make ductwork, even formed to make gutters and downspouts for homes. There are a few basic sheet metal bending tools that are consistently used by trade workers and HVAC technicians.

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Metal Break

A break is a very large piece of equipment that is solely designed for bending sheet metal. The sheet metal is placed between two flat bars, one of which is fixed. The movable bar is operated by hand to the desired degree (between 0 and 90 degrees). This bends the metal to a particular degree with a perfect crease. Sheet metal is typically bent with a break for window and door frame exterior capping, custom roof flashing and kick flashing.

Hand Crimper-Beader

The hand crimper-beaders are hand crank tools that will bend a defined edge on sheet metal when fed through the machine. This is typically used to make ridges in sheet metal for HVAC ductwork elbows to allow the elbow and the corresponding piece to connect snugly.

Rotary Cladding Machine

This machine is exclusively used for making the edges on sections of ductwork. Turning the crank handle on this machine will give a profile to the metal edge that will allow the sections to connect properly after built. There are several profile heads available, including turning, beading, ogee bead, crimping, flattening, single bead and offset. Each profile head performs a separate function in terms of use and style for ductwork. For example, the turning head will fold a crease that the opposite edge of ductwork can be slid into to make a round duct.

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