Clamp 'n Bend, photo etch bender

There are a couple commercial photo etch (PE) benders on the market these days (Hold and Fold and Etch Mate). When the original PE bender, the Hold and Fold, was released  the 4" size was too small for my needs. So, on a visit home where all my metal working tools reside, I scrounged up some scrap aluminium and hardware and created my own PE bender. Which I affectionately call the Clamp 'n Bend.

If you have a hacksaw, a drill press, and files, you can make your own PE bender. Here are the dimensions of my home made PE bender.

Base dimensions
The Base was made from 1/4" thick aluminium tread plate. The back side was nice and smooth.

I drilled and tapped the base so I could thread the bolts through the base and tighten them. If you don't have a tap set, file the holes square and use carriage bolts instead.

Under the base, I used some felt feet to raise the base so the bolt heads cleared the workbench surface.

Tool A dimensions
Tool A was made from 1-1/4" angle aluminium with one edge cut down to act as a stiffener when tightened over the PE. Each notch in the tool is 1/4" wide and allows bending more complex shapes.

The front edge is filed to a 45 degree angle to allow bending past 90 degrees.  

Tool B dimensions
Tool B provides longer straight edges for larger pieces. The rear edge can also be used for even larger pieces.

My completed Clamp 'n Bend Here is what my completed Clamp 'n Bend looks like. As you can see, the scraps I used were not blemish free. However, the clamping surfaces are. 

Clamp 'n Bend animation The Clamp 'n Bend in action...

To bend the PE, simply slide the PE under the tool, tighten the wing nuts to clamp the PE securely. Slide a utility knife blade under the PE and bend up.

This is basically a very simple sheet metal break.

Contact Coaster
Last revised on: June 23, 2004
Copyright 1998-2004, Kenneth W. Hartlen. All rights reserved.

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