I am planning on building my own 4 foot rolling tool box.  I thought about buying a new one or a good used one and in the end decided that I could make a project out of making my own and in the process learn a lot about sheet metal working.

In order to make the box, I’m going to need to be able to make nice even bends in the metal.  I don’t have a metal working shop, so I’m going to build my own tools as needed.  Bends are made with a Press Brake or Bending Brake.  Again, you could buy a cheap chinese Press Brake that might last you a month or you could build a larger size one yourself, learn, and in the end save yourself some money.  I found a great design online.  Dave’s Sheet Metal Brake.  For my projects, the 3×3 and 4×4 angle iron was a bit overkill, so I went to the junkyard after work and acquired 3 – 1×1 angle iron stock (48 inches each), 2 0.5×0.5 angle iron stock (36 inches each). On the way home, I stopped off at the hardware store for a piano hinge (4 feet), 2-4 inch carriage bolts (3/8 – 16) and matching wing nuts, 6- half inch bolts (1/4-20) and associated lock washers and nuts.

Here are the parts on my makeshift workstation.

Press Brake Supplies

I pretty much followed the plans according to Dave’s writeup and in 2 hours had this handy dandy Bending Brake for $85.

Press Brake CompleteThe carriage bolts will go into my workbench and the bending arm will hang down when the part is aligned and lifted to make the bend.