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When it comes to DIY, sheet metal is one project that can be very rewarding—because it is so versatile, there is a lot that you can do with it. By learning some of the techniques and attributes of sheet metal fabrication, you can really enhance your DIY project. Here are just a handful of areas that can help you get the shape you desire from your metal.
Consider How Thick the Sheet Is
You will need a sheet metal gauge to make sure you get an accurate idea of how thick the sheet is. This will also help calculate the weight. When purchasing the gauge, you need to make sure you know exactly what type of material you will be using to select the right one.
Get the Right Safety Equipment
Many injuries can occur during sheet metal fabrication. This is especially the case when it comes to DIY. Make sure you read and learn the safety precautions of any piece of equipment before use. Also, lift heavy materials properly to prevent injury.
You will need to have the right protective clothing. Gloves and goggles are to be used at all times and even a hard hat is necessary. Remove any loose-fitting clothes and make sure you do not have any jewelry on. Wearing the right protective equipment is a must and seeking out online reviews will help you find the best quality item for you. An online resource like Best of Machinery will guide you through choosing the right protective clothing for your DIY metalworking project.
Again, you will need the right materials to make sure you are able to bend sheet material properly. A metal brake is the most common machine used for bending sheet metal. It can be challenging to use so make sure you learn how to use it properly.
To avoid the expense of buying one, it is possible to rent one for a fraction of the price. Here are some tips on how to use a metal brake.
- Use a clamping bar to hold the sheet
- Adjust the clamping handle to determine how thick you want the sheet to be
- Measure, then secure the clamps
- Lift from the surface to bend the metal
This is where the expertise of a metals fabrication company comes in handy. Expert hands make such a job look easy.
This is considered a more hazardous part of sheet metal fabrication, so again, make sure you know what you are doing. There is a variety of tools, such as a dowel jig, that can be used at this stage so use whichever you feel most comfortable with.
The likes of jigsaws, hand saws, snips, and others are viable options. Be careful after cutting as it leaves sharp edges. After cutting, you will need to sand down the area to make sure it is smooth. Due to safety issues surrounding this type of DIY, research how to use every piece of equipment properly.
There is a reason that most people use a team of experts for their custom metal fabrication needs. Still, DIY can be a very satisfying way of getting your sheet metal to look the way you want, but if you find yourself in over your head, don’t hesitate to call in professional help.