This is my version of a Trim Brake or tool for bending sheet aluminum or plastic for window and door trim.
Similar tools use 2 by 4s and door hinges, but I am using a full length hinge and salvaged hardwood for more control and ability to bend longer lengths of trim accurately.
Step 1: Gather Materials
For the frame of the Brake I selected a hardwood (Maple?) bed headboard and footboard I got from a neighbor who was going to put it out to the curb for cleanup week. Junk furniture of many kinds can supply the wood for this project. The wood comes nicely finished and with straight crisp edges ideal for the project. And the price is right!
The hardware needed is the continuous hinge usually called a piano hinge. If bought new they usually come with screws. Otherwise be sure to select flathead screws that wont stick out and keep the hinge from closing completely.
You will also need a few nuts and bolts. I chose wing nuts so you don't have to grab the screwdriver every time you put a new piece of trim in the bender.
Step 2: Hinge Installation
Two boards are needed to make the base and bending arm. Cut them from your bed headboard or whatever you got for the frame. The base that supports the metal and lays on your workbench or sawhorses should be as wide as possible to keep things steady. For larger bends you may need to clamp the base to the workbench. The smaller piece of wood will be the bending arm. I suggest you keep it 6 inches or less for ease of use. Install the hinge so the part that bends will not stick up and prevent the trim metal from laying flat.
Step 3: The Top Clamping Plate
This piece will have to be cut with an angle as shown. This will allow you to overbend the trim a bit so it will spring back to the perfect 90 degree angle. If you have tried bending aluminum trim before you know what I'm saying.
Step 4: Final Drilling and Assembly
Lay the clamping plate on top of the base as shown so the hinge pin faces up. Keep the edge of the clamping plate as close to the hinge as possible without interfering with the bending arm.
Drill holes for the bolts as shown and you are ready to try it out.
Step 5: Demo
Now lets try it out.
Insert your trim between the base and top plate and tighten the wingnuts.
Bending may take 2 hands on larger pieces of metal, this is just a scrap of plastic.
As I said before you will have to over bend it so it will spring back to the angle you want.
Step 6: Good Luck With Your Metalworking and Thanks for Watching!
Here is a 4 foot piece I bent for windows a while back. You may have to clamp the tool to your workbench for larger bending projects.
Have fun and be careful, that aluminum trim can be sharp!