Breaking Aluminum For Window Trim

large table saw cutting bar of aluminum siding
  • 1 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 0-100
What You'll Need
Metal brake
Aluminum sheet
What You'll Need
Metal brake
Aluminum sheet

Brake metal is metal bent to precise and accurate dimensions with a brake press that molds metal sheets and creates precise bends in the metal to create “brake metal” or cladding.

When you're working with some window trim, you may need to form such aluminum cladding to get a perfect fit. This means breaking the aluminum which is simply bending the aluminum with a special tool called a metal brake.

Measure the Trim You Need

Measure around the window for the amount of aluminum you will need for the trim.

Cut the Aluminum

Cut the aluminum to size with tin snips before you put the break in the aluminum. By doing this first, you can better handle the aluminum when it is in the metal brake tool.

hand cutting aluminum bar on tabletop saw

Place the sheet in the Brake

A metal brake is simple to operate. Mark the piece where you want it bent, then place it into the press up to where you want it bent. The brake has a lever that first engages a clamp to secure the sheet in place while it folds it forward to form the bend.

Form the cladding

Once the aluminum is placed in the metal brake, and pull the lever back until you get the appropriate angle of bend. You now formed your cladding.

Since aluminum is pliable, the bend need not be exact. You can still mold it a little to fit between the siding and the window.