We’ve seen a lot of homemade, and cheap, sheet metal brakes. And ultimately they all suck because they are too small, too light duty, or just flimsy in comparison to a real purpose built brake. But, most people do NOT need a sheet metal brake that is as big and bad as those you buy at most industrial supply and tool companies. The truth is that most every panel you would ever use a brake for in your hot rod or race car is going to be 24 inches maximum. Sure there are a few instances where you might need to make something 36 inches wide, like for a trunk pan or something in a back half car, but those are going to be few and far between. Even the folks we know that build cars for a living, and have a sheet metal brake, rarely use them for pieces more than 18 inches long.
So why not build a DIY Sheet Metal Brake like this for yourself? It seems to bend aluminum and mild steel without much effort. We know that a high dollar brake will bend with a slightly tighter radius, but at 1/8th inch, we’re confident this one is good enough for anything we’re building.
If nothing else, the accuracy, precision, and method with which this guy builds his is awesome. Enjoy.