Anybody know how to bend sheet metal into a curly s-shape along it's length?


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I'm still making soap trays! Ha ha ha! I've decided that they just can't be made out of wood, because there really isn't a finish that can handle being wet all the time, and having a bar of soap (oil's enemy) sitting on it. Plus rinsing under hot water all the time... so wax, or butcher block oil... nothing will work. 

So... I've decided to make a wooden base that will sit up on silicon rubber feet. I will finish the base with a marine varnish. But where the soap actually sits I'd like to make out of galvanized metal flashing, like you can buy at Home Creepo for roofing. But I'd like to bend the flashing into a specific shape. Can anyone help me think of a way to bend the flashing into this shape?

 

SoapTrays_w_Metal.jpg

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I'm still making soap trays! Ha ha ha! I've decided that they just can't be made out of wood, because there really isn't a finish that can handle being wet all the time, and having a bar of soap (oil's enemy) sitting on it. Plus rinsing under hot water all the time... so wax, or butcher block oil... nothing will work. 

 

So... I've decided to make a wooden base that will sit up on silicon rubber feet. I will finish the base with a marine varnish. But where the soap actually sits I'd like to make out of galvanized metal flashing, like you can buy at Home Creepo for roofing. But I'd like to bend the flashing into a specific shape. Can anyone help me think of a way to bend the flashing into this shape?

 

 

 

SoapTrays_w_Metal.thumb.jpg.f0502ce71800d338c64ae2d0432d4ee1.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

The simple cheap answer is to make a form with one groove the same size as your intended curve out of a very hard hardwood. Line it with a piece of leather. Take a metal rod of of a similar diameter to your curve and hammer the metal into the correct shape. Flip the piece of metal and repeat until you have your desired corrugation. I would be leery of using galvanized metal as it tends to get brittle when making complex shapes. Stainless is my go to metal for water based applications but it can be super ridgid and hard to form without a press brake, english wheel, or heat. Copper that is coated with a marine finish also looks nice and is very workable, but it's not cheap.

 

 

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I agree that Copper would be better. It's softer. Looks cooler. And if will patina but not rust. I don't know how copper will do in the presence of soap. Either way, whether I use copper of galvanized metal flashing, I had planned on "sealing" it with a dead flat lacquer by H. Behlen. So... I am not overly concerned with rust. Although... it may be trading one problem (wet wood) for another (wet metal). 

I just know that I do not want to use plastic of Vinyl. 

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How thick is the flashing? Best I can come up with is to use a core box bit to route mating grooves into two blocks, and clamp the sheet between them. Might work better with a softer material, like aluminum or copper flashing.

 

I think galvanized steel will still rust on the cut edges.

 

I was thinking about making a clam shell type of system too but I have a feeling it would require a one ton press and could snap the forms in half if there was too much resistance.

 

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I've also seen videos, so I thought, where someone uses a scroll saw in the center of a thick hardwood board to cut the profile of the curves, then take a sheet of softer metal like copper, and roughly bend it into that shape, shove it through the wooden board like a "die", and grab the end with some pliers and just pull the damn metal through the board thus bending the entire length of the metal into that shape. Then cross cut off the lengths that you need. I just can't find that video anymore, so I may have made it up. 

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Corrugated Metal Roofing - 9 PC. SET / Sheet Metal - Great for Kit Building, Wargaming, Bird Houses, Model Railroads, Arts and Craft Supplies (Metal Roofing ONLY)

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01B6HVOLY/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_jqFqzbQS0723S

 

One question. What the hell is wargaming?

 

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2 minutes ago, C Shaffer said:

Corrugated Metal Roofing - 9 PC. SET / Sheet Metal - Great for Kit Building, Wargaming, Bird Houses, Model Railroads, Arts and Craft Supplies (Metal Roofing ONLY)

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01B6HVOLY/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_jqFqzbQS0723S

Damn man! I think that's perfect. It's a damn shame that it costs $1 per sheet, + $6 in shipping. I'm sure that copper sheets are even more expensive though. Hmmm.... Thanks man. I never even thought about looking for model type stuff. 

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Today's galvanized flashing has Very thin Zinc on it.  The metal itself is a lot thinner than it used to be.  In short, it won't last as long as you might think without rusting.

There is also the issue of making the edges safe so as not to cut fingers.   Even cut on a shear, sheet metal this thin is still a danger to fingers.

Not worth the trouble, in other words.

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If you use copper, use a torch to get the piece good & hot & then let it cool before pressing. That will soften the copper up a lot so it won't spring back when the pressure is released.

It's a cool idea, but there is still the wood base that is going to get gunked up & gross looking. I think, as someone suggested in one of your other threads, that you should just treat them as a consumable. Give them a coat of oil & call it good.

 

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2 minutes ago, drzaius said:

I think, as someone suggested in one of your other threads, that you should just treat them as a consumable. Give them a coat of oil & call it good

 

Ultimately, I think you are right. I should just make them out of cheap pine or even free pallet wood, hell everyone likes that kinda crap anyway... and just give them away. And if I were a soap maker, I would do exactly that. The problem is... I have a soapmaker that wants to pay me for high end soap trays. So, I'm treating this as a learning experience. I'm sure that 10 years from now, I will need to come up with something that involves a wet environment and soap, and I will be like "Ah ha!!! This is what I did back when I made soap trays."

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Ultimately, I think you are right. I should just make them out of cheap pine or even free pallet wood, hell everyone likes that kinda crap anyway... and just give them away. And if I were a soap maker, I would do exactly that. The problem is... I have a soapmaker that wants to pay me for high end soap trays. So, I'm treating this as a learning experience. I'm sure that 10 years from now, I will need to come up with something that involves a wet environment and soap, and I will be like "Ah ha!!! This is what I did back when I made soap trays."

 

Depending on how much you are getting paid to do these soap dishes have you considered having a ceramic top with a wooden base? That way your soap and constant moisture is against the ceramic and won't effect the wooden base much at all. There are usually some local potters in most areas that could possibly get you a good price for the dishes and then you could turn a nice bowl shaped base.

 

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