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  #1  
Old 02-09-2011, 11:10 PM
tikicarver tikicarver is offline
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Tehachapi,CA
Posts: 131
Default bending a flange in .050

I'm trying to bend the flange on the bottom of the instrument panel in the -4
It is 2024-T3, .050, plans say min 1/4 radius.

tried some practice bends on a brake at work, but the radius is too tight and I see cracks in the bend. Our brake has no adjustment for radius.

any good tips out there how to make this bend without a brake?
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  #2  
Old 02-09-2011, 11:58 PM
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frazitl frazitl is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Posts: 488
Default I tried to make a similar bend

in .062 2024 for my 7A panel. I gave up and rivited a piece of 1/2 x 1/2 x .062 angle to the bottom. Worked fine and was much easier.
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  #3  
Old 02-10-2011, 02:51 AM
RV6AussieNick RV6AussieNick is offline
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Brisbane Australia
Posts: 166
Default Bending tip

You can try to make up some bend radiuses, use some .040" 2024-T3 or if you can get your hands on some 6061-T4 or some annealed 2024-0 .050" that will work fine, Bend up 2 or 3 pieced stacked up, make sure it's long enough for your intended bend, these bend radiuses will now be what you need to form a bigger radius to stop the cracking, if the bender has adjustment, adjust the apron to allow for the extra thickness of the material to be bent and the new bend radius.

Hope that helps,
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Last edited by RV6AussieNick : 02-10-2011 at 03:41 AM.
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  #4  
Old 02-10-2011, 07:08 AM
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Mel Mel is online now
 
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Default

Nick's idea for stacking thinner material within the radius is right on.
Another hint for bending aluminum is that aluminum should be bent "across" the grain. If you look closely, aluminum has a grain. Bends should be at 90° to the grain, as much as possible. Bending it "with" the grain will cause cracks.
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  #5  
Old 02-10-2011, 07:17 AM
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Brantel Brantel is offline
 
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Location: Newport, TN
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Default

I gave up and just riveted a piece of angle on the bottom. Works great and takes minimal time. Like Mel sez against the grain is better but the piece of stock that I got from Spruce was cut the wrong way for me to do that...and I was not about to pay for another piece since shipping cost almost as much as the stock.
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  #6  
Old 02-10-2011, 01:34 PM
RV6AussieNick RV6AussieNick is offline
 
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Location: Brisbane Australia
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Default

Thanks Mel,

I forgot about the grain, that is the most important thing to look for before you consider the bend, also polish the ends to help stop cracking.

If it's a bit cool you can also use a heat gun to warm the metal, and bend in small increments.

If it's all too hard and the bends ends up cracking you can rivet an angle to the bottom as other have done.

Cheers,
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  #7  
Old 02-10-2011, 02:11 PM
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N941WR N941WR is offline
 
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Default

Assuming you want a recessed switch panel on the bottom of my instrument panel, here is one way to install one.

Pick up some hardware store aluminum angle; it doesn't have the radius in the corner, so it "nestles" easier.

Rivet one piece to the bottom of the panel and then rivet a second piece under that. Secure the switch panel to the second piece with plate nuts so it is easily removable.

In my installation, after the two pieces were riveted together, plate nuts were used to secure it to the bottom of instrument panel and to secure the switch panel to the angle. That way it can be removed for future upgrades.
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  #8  
Old 02-10-2011, 02:47 PM
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cropdusterengineer cropdusterengineer is offline
 
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Location: North Central TX, via Taylorsville, GA
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Default

2024-T3 is the problem........6061-T6 will make that bend all day long.

MDR
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  #9  
Old 02-11-2011, 06:36 PM
larryj larryj is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Bellevue, WA
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Default

Since it sounds like you have access to a brake at work, all you need to do is make "wrappers"; strips of thinner aluminum. Either a press brake or finger brake; same process:
Double-side-tape a strip to the male die (or fingers) and bend it (now it's stuck to either the top die or the fingers. Adjust the stroke to allow for another thickness and do it again. Now you have 2 strips taped to either the top die or fingers and you will see a bigger radius taking shape.
I have a finger brake at home and do this ALL the time; stacking as many as 3 or 4 strips of .062 thick aluminum strips. My preference is to use 5052-H32; I have a bunch of .032" and .062" sheared up into 1.0" wide strips. The alloy is not that important, the 5052-H32 is softer and easier to bend than the 2024-T6 and is softer so it doesn't mar the surface of the 2024-T6. I also like to leave the vinyl on the 2024-T6 part being bent. You are very correct in watching for stress cracks when you fabricate you own parts.
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  #10  
Old 02-12-2011, 08:46 PM
tikicarver tikicarver is offline
 
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Location: Tehachapi,CA
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Default

Thanks for the tips.
I'll try it with some wrapper strips
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