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best way to bend solid aluminum rod and sheet ???

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Old 05-07-2010, 08:25 AM
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KEY to METALS Articles: Heat Treatable Aluminum Alloys

depending on the size and configuration, I don't know that i would mess with trying to harden the sheet after it has been bent. Depends on what you're gonna use it for. As the article says, you can heat treat and quench some aluminum. Annealing will make it easier to work with but if you're talking about solid stock round aluminum, it's not gonna be just butter. Bending it round for something like a gamma match, it will hold it's shape just fine after forming. Also, the more temper you put into a piece of metal, the more brittle it becomes.

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Old 05-07-2010, 02:29 PM
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I personally never worry about annealing any aluminum I work with. Anything that you will use for building an antenna will be easy enough to form as is. You don't think the antenna manufacturers anneal, do you?
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Old 05-07-2010, 02:46 PM
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I personally never worry about annealing any aluminum I work with. Anything that you will use for building an antenna will be easy enough to form as is. You don't think the antenna manufacturers anneal, do you?
ill be bending either 1/4 inch 5/16 or maybe even 3/8 inch diameter solid aluminum rod . heres the specs for it .

6061-T6 and 6061-T651
ALUMINUM ROUND
Federal Spec QQ-A-225/8 Cold Finished
Federal Spec QQ-A-200/8 Extruded
12 Ft. Length

i havnt seen any cb antenna builders use solid aluminum rod of that thickness and i have no idea how antenna manufacturers build their products . usually aluminum tubing and cast hubs and SS brackets are used .

ill have some 3 foot scrap peices to pratice with using the suggestions here so far .

thanks folks

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Old 05-07-2010, 03:19 PM
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You might have to use more heat than just annealing if you plan on making sharp bends with the thicker solid rods bootymonster.

Last edited by swanny; 05-07-2010 at 03:42 PM.

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Old 05-07-2010, 04:07 PM
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I've had great luck just using a propane torch. I've heard the carbon of acetylene only works better but propane works fine. It should be fairly hard to melt the material with just propane if it's at least 1/4 inch. You don't have to bring the temperature too close to the melting point to soften it either.
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Old 05-07-2010, 04:35 PM
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Try it cold first. Sizes that small shouldn't be a problem. I used to build fire and rescue vehicles from scratch, most were aluminum bodies, and i don't think I ever needed heat except to weld em together. Aluminum is pretty soft, and unless you are bending complex shapes or heavy stock, it should bend fine. The idea of using a pulley, or other round form for shaping round or square stock is a good one, too. A break or brake press will make flat work easy, but clamping angle to a work bench works, too. I wouldn't beat on it though, as it leaves unsightly damage and causes stress points.
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Old 05-07-2010, 07:51 PM
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Originally Posted by packrat View Post
I personally never worry about annealing any aluminum I work with. Anything that you will use for building an antenna will be easy enough to form as is. You don't think the antenna manufacturers anneal, do you?
Tubing 3/8'' and lower is easy enough to just fill with sand and bend.

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Old 06-16-2010, 01:45 AM
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Yep I learned about the annealing process watching Jesse James making fuel tanks for custom bikes.
Wow! I was totally thinking of the same thing. I miss that show.
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