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2018-Aug-4 - Wooroloo - Windows #28
Now that I have the 4 support beams in place, I need to install a number of intermediate purlins to support the veranda floor boards along the diagonals cut by the bay window.

I had a choice to do this using brackets or a Mig welder.

Generally I have never had a use for a Mig welder and to buy a decent one I would need to spend $1200. Probably I would have bought a cheapy for $200 that would have just done this job and not much more.

Instead, I went down the path of buying a plate bender so I could make up my own brackets.

These can be around the $400 mark but I bought a cheap one from Stott and Hoare for just over $200. It weighs 35 Kg and seems to be very solidly made- so I think it will keep going forever.

I had intended to be up early on Saturday morning, make a few test brackets and be out on site by midday to test them out.

However, I did not wake up until 8.30 am, had a coffee with Ian and then helped someone winch a bogged car - so a slow start to the day.

I had done some preparatory work however - I had already drawn up a plan for the brackets and their fixing holes, and I had fastened the bender down to a sheet of chipboard so that it could be clamped to my work bench.

I decided that drilling the holes in the brackets would be time consuming - so my first job would be to master the bender and avoid wasting any drilled out brackets.

I worked my way through 6 pieces of 180 x 75 x 4 mm plate learning how to set up and use the machine.

By the end of this process I had found where to position the bracket and determined which bending block to use.

Also I need to bend some bracket through 90 degrees and some just by 45 degrees - I experimented with how far to pull the main bending arm in each case.

In addition I tested how I could correct any over bending by using a 4 tonne press in my workshop.

Once all this was achieved I cut and drilled a template piece, transferred the hole positions on to 4 test pieces, drilled the holes out to 12 mm on a drill press and then bent them to the required angle on the plate bender.

I worked right up to 4.30 pm to achieve this - so my idea to test them on site went out the window for today.

Plate Bender

Practise pieces


Press used to back off bend angle

The final product