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

Discussion in 'Home Brew' started by BOOTY MONSTER, May 6, 2010.

  1. KI7FOX

    KI7FOX Member

    May 18, 2010
    Likes Received:
    Wow! I was totally thinking of the same thing. I miss that show.


  2. ve7dvb

    ve7dvb Member

    Dec 11, 2011
    Likes Received:
    Bending aluminum

    Best way to aneal aluminum is:
    Use a black felt pen and mark a line on the back side of where you are going to heat. You can use propane or acetelene. When the felt pen mark dissapears the aluminum is the right temperature to douse in cold water. Almost all non-ferrus metals can be anealed this way. Heat them up, then drop into cold water. Not so with ferrus (iron containing) metals. The aluminum will work harden as you are bending it, thus it will regain its stiffness. This bending will not make the aluminum stronger, just make it stiff again and more difficult to bend.
    Caution, you can heat aluminum hot enough with a propane toarch so as to melt it. The outside layer of aluminum rod is aluminum oxide and aluminum oxide melts at a higher temperature than aluminum. This means if you heat an aluminum rod with a toarch, the insides can become molten, with the outside still not. As soon as the outside melts, the whole issue drops on the floor.
    Using a felt pen as a temperature marker ensures that you don't get the metal too hot.
  3. i wound up using the closed end of a 1 inch wrench to bend it in little 1/8 inch bites and used the rounded back of a file to smooth out the little burrs from doing it . worked fine for the 5/8 solid .

    i used my bro-in-laws old 8 ft industrial break on the thick sheet .
  4. WA8ZYT

    WA8ZYT North Florida

    Feb 21, 2012
    Likes Received:
    I bought a nice tubing bender at Harbor Freight, that I use for bending 3/8" tubing for making driven elements on LFA Yagis. I think it cost under $6. Should work on solid rod, as well. I wish the handles were about 6" longer though.

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