How to Use an Aluminum Siding Brake
Aluminum siding is a very soft material and this makes it quite easy to work with, however it must be bent into the right shape. There are many different ways that you can accurately bend the aluminum siding into the right angles. Bending it accurately will make it fit on your house much better.
An aluminum siding brake is used to bend the metal precisely so that no mistakes are ever made. This will mean that you never have to worry about wasting expensive material.
Step 1 - Choosing Your Brake
There are three different types of brake that you can use to bend your aluminum siding into the right shape and angle. A bench brake, hand or pan brake. Bench brakes are too large for most people to have in their homes, these are industrial machines used to bend large pieces of sheet metal. A hand brake is suitable for bending aluminum siding, this is the most simple type of brake because it will only be able to bend the metal in one direction. After all this is exactly what you want.
Step 2 - Making a Template
It will be much easier to bend the aluminum siding accurately if you first take the time to make a template out of cardboard. This will also minimize the risk of making a mistake and wasting the expensive aluminum siding. It will also mean that you don't risk wasting any time. Offer the cardboard up against the walls of the house and mark on where you need to bend it and which direction.
Step 3 - Transferring
Now copy the details on your template and transfer it onto the aluminum siding. Use a pen to mark on where you need to bend the metal and which direction. This will ensure that you never bend the siding in the wrong direction. When bending the metal the metal will bend up towards the brake.
Step 4 - Bending
Put the aluminum siding section into the hand brake. Spend time accurately setting up the brake so that the metal will be bent in the right place. There will often be a mark of some form on the brake itself to identify where you need to position it.
It's actually a good idea to practice this with an off cut of your siding before you do it for real. This will ensure that you are as accurate as possible.
Step 5 - Locking the Brake
The position of the brake now needs to be locked, this will place force on the metal which will stop it from moving. Then you can use the lever to bend the metal and force it into the right shape.
Step 6 - Adjustments
Aluminum is quite soft and you will be able to slightly adjust the aluminum by hand if required. However this isn't actually essential unless required. Careful adjustments will ensure that the metal fits snugly against your building.