Sheet Metal Fabrication DIY Tips

Are you working on a DIY project that requires the use of sheet metal? Sheet metal is one of the most versatile metals for DIY projects. It comes in different varieties, sizes, and shapes. Chances are you will be required to bend and cut the metal to suit your project needs. With simple sheet metal fabrication techniques, you can easily work with sheet metal without soliciting the services of an expert fabricator. However, there are a few tips and tricks you will need to get that sheet metal into the desired shape.

Determine sheet metal thickness

An important thing when working with sheet metal is to determine the thickness of the metal you will need for the project. A sheet metal gauge is used to determine the thickness and weight of sheet metal. The gauge has numbers that indicate the thickness of a given piece of sheet metal, with a higher number implying a thinner sheet. Sheet metal gauges are available for ferrous and non-ferrous metals; therefore, when purchasing, ensure you get the right one for the type of sheet metal you will be using.

Bending techniques

Bending sheet metal can prove difficult if you do not have the right tools for the job. An ideal sheet metal bending equipment that makes clean and precise curves is a metal brake. When using a metal brake, you should follow these steps:

•    Place the metal on a flat, gated surface

•    Clamp a flat bar on top of the metal

•    Lift the gated portion of the surface to bend the metal to the desired angle

If you do not have a metal brake, you can use the form bending technique where you bend metal over an edge that's located beneath it. For example, you can place sheet metal on the edge of the working table and bend it using your hands, a hammer, and a shaping dolly.

Cutting techniques

Many tools can be used in cutting sheet. They include snips, hand shears, jig saws, band saws, and table saws among others. Since this is a simple DIY project, you can utilize the cutting tools in your workshop without going out to buy others. After cutting sheet metal, a sharp edge is usually left behind. To smooth it out, you can use a standard sheet metal deburring tool. A file will also get the work done effectively too.

With these simple tips and tricks, you can get around any DIY project that requires cutting and bending of sheet metal.