Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Bending and Scraping Aluminum

The current infrastructure project is a "Amateur Folder", or bending brake, per Michel Columban, the designer of the Cri-Cri/Cricket and the Ban-Bi. Part of making it involves putting a fairly small radius on some aluminum bars. I do this by SCRAPING the metal, an operation not much used anymore, but a very handy one at times.

Think of a scraper as a file with but one tooth. In this case, I took an old, dead, saw blade, drilled a hole of the suitable RADIUS in it, ground out a notch to expose the 1/4 round radius I needed, and started drawing this improvised tool along the aluminum bar.

I hit upon this method by noticing that the radius gauges I'd made in this manner actually worked pretty good at removing metal. I'd used scrapers in woodworker, and was also aware of their use in metal working from various volumes sold by Lindsay Publications. DO NOT deburr the hole you drill - the sharp burr is part of your cutting edge.

If you've found your way here, and you think you need one of these, go make one, you'll learn more by doing than anything else I could tell you about making or using on of these.

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