How to Choose, Cut and Bend Sheet Metal for a Camper

At some point, your camper may suffer damage to the siding or metal framework that holds it together. Those who are looking to save money may even buy an older camper with structural issues. Regardless of why a camper is damaged, it is important that you know how to choose the right material to make a repair. It is also critical that you know how to use the tools necessary to get the job done right.

According to GCI Group, a laser cutting and metal fabrication specialist in Queensland, here are some of the tips for you on how to choose sheet metal for a camper and how to cut and bend it.

Types of Sheet Metal

There are a wide variety of materials that you can choose from when picking out sheet metal. When working on a camper, you may be best served using either aluminium or stainless steel. Metal sheets with diamond plating on them may also be worthwhile to use when fixing damage on a camper.

However, you can also choose from copper, steel or titanium. In addition to choosing a material that works best for your project, it is also important to choose a thickness that is appropriate for the work being done. You can determine the thickness of a piece of sheet metal by looking at its gauge. The higher the gauge, the thinner the piece of sheet metal will be.

How to Cut Sheet Metal

The best way to cut sheet metal depends on what you are trying to accomplish by cutting it. If you are trying to cut long sheets of aluminium, it may be a good idea to use a band saw or a table saw. When using these items, make sure to go slow and cover your ears. If you are trying to create custom shapes or pieces that will fit into irregular spaces, a jigsaw may be the best tool for the job. For thinner sheets or softer pieces of metal, make sure to use an aviation snips device.

It is similar to a pair of scissors, and different designs are available for use making left cuts, right cuts and straight cuts. Hacksaws can be used if no other tools are readily available, but it may be difficult to make deep cuts with such a tool. A nibbler is ideal for when you need more control over how a cut is made. This sheet metal cutter comes in electric and pneumatic versions to make the process easier.

How to Bend Sheet Metal

Bending aluminium sheet metal may require the use of a bending brake or a homemade tool that acts like a bending brake. What you want to do is create a bend line on the sheet and place it on a wooden surface. From there, the metal can be clamped to the wood so that it doesn’t move. The final step is to gently manoeuvre the metal by hand at the desired angle. A mallet may also be used to make the process easier or to make sure that the metal bends at exactly 90 degrees.

 

Armed with the right sheet metal cutting tools and bending tools, it may be possible to make repairs to your camper in a timely manner. These repairs may make it possible to stop the frame or body from rusting, which could lead to a variety of other issues for anyone trying to use the camper. It may also help to increase its value if it is ever put up for sale.

 

Read Also: How Rivet Nuts Work | Rivnut Installation on Your Campervan

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