Jump to content
mikiek

Tool for Shaping Brass Strip

Recommended Posts

This is just my sheer ignorance in the metal work world. I was bending some 1/16" brass strip into a U shape, or more accurately a 3 sided square. In this application each side was about 1/8". I was using a needlenose plier and a small hammer to try to get decent 90 degree bends. The result was fair but could have been better.

 

So what I am wondering is if there are some type of shaping forms that I can use to hammer brass strips on. Some square rods, circular, and maybe even triangular - probably a set with various sizes. I have plenty of brass rods & tubes but I doubt beating brass on brass is going to work.

 

I'm sure there is something out there but I don't know what to look for. Let me know how you guys do it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Mike,

Anneal the brass first.  Heat to red hot and let cool.  It'll soften it and make it easier to bend.   As for forms.. check around places like Amazon for small anvils. For a cheaper method, check around Home Depot and Lowe's in the hardware department.  They sell steel stock that might be usable.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Mike,

 

I strongly suggest you invest in a pair of quality parallel grip pliers with straight (not tapered) sides. For the brass work below, I annealed the brass as Mark suggested, scored the strip where I wanted the bend, inserted into the plier at 90* to the side, bent, and gave it a small tap with a hammer.

 

I seem to recall that you can find the pliers for about $20. I use them constantly when working with metal.

 

Best,

John

 

post-18302-0-31829100-1451430699.jpg

 

post-18302-0-83718500-1451431254.jpg

Canute, druxey, riverboat and 17 others like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sounds like just the ticket John.  Beautiful metalwork!  Thanks for sharing.

 

The other thing that has caught my eye is something they call a forming bezel. They come in various shapes - round, square, triangle.

 

I've found both the pliers and the bezels on Amazon.

Canute, mtaylor, Ray1981 and 4 others like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If pieces need to be "re-hardened" how would it be done.  I'm thinking of pieces that need to be bent, but then need to hold some weight or pressure.

 

Richard

I discovered that the only method open to the non-commercial metal worker was to work-harden the brass.

 

http://uvsmgshipmodelguild.wikispaces.com/Copper+Tempering

Canute, shiloh, GLakie and 1 other like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Joel,

Quenching in oil or water wouldn't re-harden the brass?   I'm just curious as I've not done any metalsmithing to speak of.

No.  It's a long and complicated process.  You can even quench the hot metal and it will stay soft and workable.  Google it if you like.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Joel, Mark, et al,

 

Scroll down in this forum and you will see a thread called re-hardening brass. The basic answer is: one can't.

 

I'm having a bit of a hard time imagining when you would need to do it. Under almost all circumstances where I'm worried about strength, I'm sure to silver solder my bands, eye-bolts, or whatever. There's a small learning curve but I now find it easier than soft soldering.

 

Best,

John

 

Joel,

 

Here's the pic.s and links

 

post-18302-0-77614400-1451517935.jpg

 

http://www.micromark.com/parallel-jaw-plier-flat-nose-with-straight-jaws,11523.html

Edited by Landlocked123

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey John - you mentioned scoring the pieces at the bend. What do you use for that?

 

Mark - I'm working on some metal work for the mast. Took your advice and heated up the strips first. WOW! What a difference. The strip is amazingly pliable now.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Mike,

 

It's not really a score as much as a scratch to mark the location and angle of the bends. I use a Starrett pocket scriber, but an X-acto knife would work as well as.

 

Best,

John

Edited by Landlocked123
Canute and thibaultron like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

John or nayone - hope you might still be following this. I have one more technique question for you . Let's say I have a strip in the parallel pliers coming out the side and I want to bend it 90 degrees. If I just push the strip with a finger, that bend/corner comes out a little rounded. How do you get a nice sharp corner?

mtaylor and GLakie like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That raises the same question. Whether the material is gripped in a vise, anvil or parallel pliers  - what do you use to bend/push the part that is sticking out? When I just push with my finger the corner has some roundness to it.  I suppose with an anvil you could hammer it?

mtaylor and GLakie like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Mike, you are going to have some rounding when you bend anything. Even the excellent work that John showed above the corners are rounded. As you suggested you could pound the corners square, but that would tend to cut the inside corner through unless you were extremely careful. You could also make it larger and file the excess material off to give a more square look. Lastly the only real square way would be to butt and solder two flat surfaces together at 90 degrees. If you solder from the inside of the corner, you could get a square outside. 

shiloh, mtaylor, mischief and 1 other like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Bill - I suspect I am being a bit anal about the corners. Like we always say - the average person looking at my build would never notice. I guess it's the ship-o-holic in me. Heaven help me if I took your last suggestion and started soldering flat parts for all my metal work.  :o

GLakie, robnbill and mtaylor like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Mike,

 

I suppose it would be possible to use a fine sanding drum in a Dremel to square off the rounded edge on the outside. But I'm good with getting them as the look in the pictures. But I do take an extra step. I line up the place where I want to bend square to the jaws, I then bent with my fingers, but then, while holding the pliers tightly I put the tips down on the bench and use a very small hammer to tighten the bend. I don't know if this makes sense so I will try to post a picture in the next few days.

 

Best,

John

Edited by Landlocked123
Canute and mtaylor like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×