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Old 10-03-2019, 12:01 AM
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arizonian arizonian is offline
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Default Leaf Brake

I have always wanted a leaf brake. Now I have to build one to finish off my AC/furnace work. This project took some thought, as Joey Barnes (KOO) would say.

The brake is 30” wide, what it will bend will be determined by feel. It looks like 16ga should be no problem but time will tell. The frame is almost complete with the exception of mounting holes and clamping holes. The brake will be bench mounted. The leaf needs handles and a set of holes for the leaf extension. Still to fab is the clamp. It will be bolted to the frame with extended tommy bolts.

The basic frame is Angle L4x4x3/8, the leaf is FB 1/2x4, and the clamp will be FB 3/8x4 with an added top angle to reinforce.

The furnace work I am redoing was sloppy work completed before we bought the house 20 yrs ago. You gotta love fall weather in SO AZ.

There was no filter box, the AC coils were full of dog hair, the transition from the top of the coils was too small and patched together with aluminum based duct seal tape (not the gray duct tape we are all so familiar with). Basically, it was tape and patches that made the transition to the house duct work. I ripped out the entire furnace room including the false floor and rebuilt the room from the concrete up. The plenum under the furnace has been drywalled and sealed, the walls were retaped and painted, the gas pipe was anchored, and a filter box was built into the false floor to match the opening in the furnace.

The transition to the house duct work needs to shrink about 2” in both directions as it rises and is also offset by about 2”. That little shear from Harbor Freight that I reworked some months back is going to earn it’s keep. I am building the transition from 26 ga galv. sheet.

Pic 1 and 2: Frame and leaf
Pic 3 and 4: Mockup of the transition in paper, 1/4 scale
Pic 5: Layout of the transition on the galvanized sheet.
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  #2  
Old 10-03-2019, 06:00 AM
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Default

I like it. A tool made because it is needed.


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  #3  
Old 10-09-2019, 01:23 AM
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by arizonian View Post

There was no filter box, the AC coils were full of dog hair, the transition from the top of the coils was too small and patched together with aluminum based duct seal tape (not the gray duct tape we are all so familiar with). Basically, it was tape and patches that made the transition to the house duct work. I ripped out the entire furnace room including the false floor and rebuilt the room from the concrete up. The plenum under the furnace has been drywalled and sealed, the walls were retaped and painted, the gas pipe was anchored, and a filter box was built into the false floor to match the opening in the furnace.
I can't imagine how the unit survived without a filter for 20 years. Around here that that coil would have long ago clogged to the point of freezing into a block of ice & shutting down. Of course, newer units now have airflow detectors that prevent them from running with clogged or missing filters.

That aluminum tape will teach you that duct tape is poorly named. In fact, it can be successfully used on almost anything else better than on duct work while the aluminum tape is excellent for both dry and even damp metal or foil ducting. Indispensable stuff for an old bandaid type of repairman like I was.

Bill, I've been waiting to see how you came out with your brake. Seeing as how you were overwhelmed with comments & encouragment I thought I'd ping your thread to see if I could revive your interest in posting it.
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Old 10-09-2019, 02:30 AM
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arizonian arizonian is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cutter View Post
I can't imagine how the unit survived without a filter for 20 years. Around here that that coil would have long ago clogged to the point of freezing into a block of ice & shutting down. Of course, newer units now have airflow detectors that prevent them from running with clogged or missing filters.

That aluminum tape will teach you that duct tape is poorly named. In fact, it can be successfully used on almost anything else better than on duct work while the aluminum tape is excellent for both dry and even damp metal or foil ducting. Indispensable stuff for an old bandaid type of repairman like I was.

Bill, I've been waiting to see how you came out with your brake. Seeing as how you were overwhelmed with comments & encouragment I thought I'd ping your thread to see if I could revive your interest in posting it.
Thanks for the ping, Rod. I should have posted an update earlier.

The lack of a filter and abundant dog hair doesn't matter much when you rely on swamp for the majority of your cooling. The AC was used in the first year we moved in and the elect. bills were sky high. However, it will be a change this winter to see how much warmer the house will be since it uses the same fan. We have blown cellulose between the rafters since and we will put the AC to the test next summer.

Pic 6 & 7: Torch beveling the clamp. I didn't feel like running over to Dad's and setting up the mill for this.

Pic 8: Clamp ground reasonably straight with a few dings.

Pic 9 & 10: Bending up the transition. Now I understand why cams are used to raise and lower the clamp. It's a PIA to cinch down the top clamp with bolts to make even a minor bend. I also crowned the clamp 1/16" while welding to make sure the center of the piece is held tight. Also, the ends of the flanges were straightened out to allow entry into the brake and then reformed with a hammer and dolly.
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Bill in sunny Tucson

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  #5  
Old 10-09-2019, 02:38 AM
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Here are a few shots of the semi-finished duct on the floor and then installed. Before I installed it, i put a manual damper in to close off the furnace from the cooler during the summer months. I also had to rework the furnace venting.
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Bill in sunny Tucson

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  #6  
Old 10-09-2019, 03:35 AM
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That transition came out looking good, Bill.
I tried to talk myself into building some sort of brake a few years ago, chickened out because I didn't figure I'd use it enough to justify it. Then I happened into a hydraulic press for $125 & rigged it to do a little bending. Haven't turned it on for 3 or 4 years.
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Old 10-09-2019, 11:10 AM
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Looks very nice. Can you add the cam locks now?
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  #8  
Old 10-09-2019, 03:49 PM
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arizonian arizonian is offline
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Originally Posted by milomilo View Post
Looks very nice. Can you add the cam locks now?
Thanks. That's on the drawing board, have to figure out how to set it up with a hinge and what to use for cams.
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I believe in gun control.

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  #9  
Old 10-09-2019, 07:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arizonian View Post
Thanks. That's on the drawing board, have to figure out how to set it up with a hinge and what to use for cams.
How much clamping force do you need?
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  #10  
Old 10-09-2019, 08:24 PM
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arizonian arizonian is offline
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How much clamping force do you need?
Not real sure in actual lbs/in^2 or total lbs, but I'm thinking something along the lines of a Vise-Grip over-center clamp with adjustment built in to vary the sheet thickness. Not too excessive.
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