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Old 06-16-2006, 08:36 PM
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bending aluminum

I picked up a couple billit aluminum peep mirrors for my truck, the problem is that there is not enough adjustment in the mirrors to be functional.

Can i heat up the arms and tweek them a bit without destroying them?

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Old 06-16-2006, 09:18 PM
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Bend them cold, heat will mess them up and make it so you can't polish them. It takes the temper out and makes the aluminum gummy.
Put some wood or lead sheet in your vise and whatever you use to grab the other end to bend it so you don't mar your part up. When the aluminum starts to look ripply, (stretch marks), stop bending. Things get a little weird from there and you could break or tear it. I would guess that you could go 30 degrees or so before you wreck the finish beyond repair, depends on the cross section shape and bend radius.

If you mar it up or just need to get the stretch marks out sand them with progressively finer sandpaper until you get to 600 then polish or just rub it with a scotchbrite pad until you get a satin finish
Hope this helps, mikey
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Old 06-16-2006, 09:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by powerrodsmike
Bend them cold, heat will mess them up and make it so you can't polish them. It takes the temper out and makes the aluminum gummy.
Put some wood or lead sheet in your vise and whatever you use to grab the other end to bend it so you don't mar your part up. When the aluminum starts to look ripply, (stretch marks), stop bending. Things get a little weird from there and you could break or tear it. I would guess that you could go 30 degrees or so before you wreck the finish beyond repair, depends on the cross section shape and bend radius.

If you mar it up or just need to get the stretch marks out sand them with progressively finer sandpaper until you get to 600 then polish or just rub it with a scotchbrite pad until you get a satin finish
Hope this helps, mikey
I differ in opinion here! heating the aluminum is the only way to be sure you don't stress it heating anneals the aluminum and allows it to bend. When you see those little stress marks it is too late those are fractures in the aluminum! Heating it should not affect the ability to polish it back up just remember aluminum is not like steel you will not see any color change when it turns red it is mush! Just get a little help and heat and bend together there are heat sticks you can also use to determine the heat but I just heat a little then try and bend heat a little more if needed. Just my opinion!
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Old 06-16-2006, 10:18 PM
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I was just sharing the things I've learned from my experience.

I never tried to heat a small billet part like a mirror to bend it. I bent them cold.
Sometimes those billet parts have a clear coating on them. Heat will surely mess that up.

I have welded aluminum and had it get gummy around the welded area. That made it hard to polish.

I think 500-900F is the proper temp to make it easier to bend 6061.
I don't think I have ever seen aluminum turn red when heated.

Now stea has 2 ways to try
And I have something new to try
Mikey
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Last edited by powerrodsmike; 06-17-2006 at 12:37 AM.
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Old 06-17-2006, 08:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by powerrodsmike
I was just sharing the things I've learned from my experience.

I never tried to heat a small billet part like a mirror to bend it. I bent them cold.
Sometimes those billet parts have a clear coating on them. Heat will surely mess that up.

I have welded aluminum and had it get gummy around the welded area. That made it hard to polish.

I think 500-900F is the proper temp to make it easier to bend 6061.
I don't think I have ever seen aluminum turn red when heated.

Now stea has 2 ways to try
And I have something new to try
Mikey
A suggestion about welding aluminum is to also pre heat the aluminum with a torch before welding the hotter you can get with out melting the better looking weld you will get. The aluminum will start to glow just before it falls apart! just my way tho!
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Old 06-17-2006, 11:31 AM
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just a little bit of heat did the trick. THANKS
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