How to Bend Aluminum Trim

How to Bend Aluminum Trim

I’m talking to you today about how to use a metal brake to bend aluminum trim for the exterior of a house. You guys have probably seen trim like this, but may not be sure how it gets made.   If you’re wondering how to do that or how that ever gets done, this will show you how!

Video showing how to bend aluminum trim

Cut the Metal to Width

What I’m going to do first is cut our piece to width. I’ve got the full 24 inch piece here. We’ll show you in a couple minutes how we actually rolled this out and a couple of tricks to roll it out and to cut the length.   

I’ve marked on here three sections. They’re eight inches each, so I got 24 inches. I’m actually using all eight inches. You may use seven inches and then have a little bit of waste at the end or something. You can do it however you want, but I’ve marked this twice with eight inch marks.

I’ve got the first one put in the brake. Now I’m going to cut that. All we use is a utility knife with a sharp blade. We go along and score this a couple of times and it’ll brake right there.

Now we’ll take the handles, bend that up, come back a couple of times and you can see we’ve got a nice, straight edge on that. Now this is our scrap for our next piece.

Bending the Aluminum Trim to Specs

Now let’s go back to the brake and we’ll shape this to what we want.  I want a right angle piece with a hem on one end. I’ll show you how to do a hem. I’m going to mark this first for our dimension. I want three quarters of an inch bent over as a finished top edge for our hem. I’m going to put our hem in first. This is white on both sides, so it doesn’t matter which side I choose. For you, you may be using metal that has a different color on the other side, so remember that you want to be on the right side when you put it in the brake.

All right now since this is going to be a hem, I want to go all the way as far as I can go with that. Now we’ll put it in the brake to flatten it down.

On the video, you can see that I have a hem there.  That’s going to be the top finished edge of this metal. Now I’m going to bend a right angle coming out here, although I’m not going to bend it quite 90 degrees because I’m using this for some deck flashing and I want it to press down for me. I’m going to mark our dimension which is going to be four inches. We’ll put it back in the brake.

Again, I don’t want quite 90 degrees here. I’m going to let that be about 80, 85 degrees. Now that gives me the piece that we’re looking for.  I hope that helps you guys understand a little bit more about bending aluminum trim metal.  If you have questions, let me know in the comments and we can talk about it.  

Tips for you today.  This is called a hand brake.  These come with different size blades or clamps. You can even get wider blades than this that’ll brake a little bit longer of a piece. Imagine you wanted to put a little bit of a bend on the end of your piece like this and maybe make a relief cut. I’m just making this up, so you probably wouldn’t cut it right there. For the purposes of demonstrating this I wanted to just make a relief cut. Let’s say you needed to bend a little 90 there, you can use your hand brake to do that to reshape some things. Additionally, sometimes you can use the hand brake to flatten your hem out. I got a couple areas that are still bulged up on my hem, so I can go along and kinda set my hem nice and tight with these. That’s a good use for those tools. A hand brake. Nice tool to add.

Okay, here’s another tip for you. When you’re rolling out your metal, I always clamp it like this because if you don’t it’ll uncoil on you and you’ll have a big mess. I clamp it then kinda hang onto it with my hands and roll it out. I’ve got a little stick down here. My brake is 10 feet long, so I’m gonna roll out a nine and a half foot piece. Actually, the brake’s a little over 10. You could … I could do a full 10 but I don’t need it for what I’m doing so I’m going nine and a half. Again, just kinda be careful to hang on to your roll. Once you get to where you wanna be, put your clamps back on. Take your snips. I’m just using some snips like this and I cut it right at nine and a half. We’re all set. Ready to mark it and go back in the brake with it.

Prevent Wood Rot Over Garage door!

Prevent Wood Rot Over Garage door!

Don’t let the wood over your garage rot internally when you can do this one simple fix to prevent wood rot over wide openings, like a garage door!

Here’s the Wood Rot Problem we can Prevent

Almost every house I look at has this scenario. Here we have a rotten trim board over a garage opening that doesn’t stand a chance. All the water that hits the siding above lands in the J channel and runs until it finds the seam. This is a recipe for disaster! You will never prevent wood rot this way.  I’ve seen contractors try to caulk the J channel to prevent this, but vinyl expands and contracts way too much to depend on caulk.  Look at this one!

Water damage over garage door

The Solution to Prevent Wood Rot

Let’s look at a more dependable solution to prevent wood rot…metal flashing!  By adding a Z flashing, as it is commonly referred to, this rotting can effectively be prevented. The repair involves removing the siding above the trim board and installing the flashing against the sheathing. Nail it high to avoid penetrations low on the metal where the water will be. You can also set it in a bead of caulk to be sure that no water gets behind it.

“Z” Flashing
You can bend your own if you have a metal brake or buy the pre-bent version shown here. I found this at our local home center. Bending your own, ensures that the horizontal distance between the two bends matches exactly to the horizontal protruding distance of you wood trim.

If you need to use more than one length over your trim board, then lap the seam and use a good urethane caulk to seal the joint. When the rain comes rolling down your siding now your wood will be protected from its greatest threat… water!

For more learning, our monthly checklists and our free eBook on being a more productive DIYer, visit

I truly hope that these posts help you to make your home a more peaceful and enjoyable place for your family!

Handyman Bruce

“Bringing your family home!”

How To Convert A Grill to Natural Gas

How To Convert A Grill to Natural Gas

All right. Today, we’re going to talk about a gas barbecue pit. This barbecue pit here came as a propane, and we’re converting it to natural gas and hooking it up for you. We’re going to show you how all that works. We’re going to give you an intro into how that works. So you get a little more insight into what the steps are involved, and if you want more information let me know, and we could do a more in-depth blog post or video on that sometime.

The first thing we did was we ordered a conversion kit for this barbecue pit. Now this is a charbroil. I want you to know too that we did find out that all barbecue kits are not convertible. Keep that in mind too, you want to check that out ahead of time. But we bought a conversion kit that has this hose over here. We’ve taken our gas line, we rerouted it over here. You can see that’s got copper silver soldered together with the safety shutoff there. You always want to have that safety shutoff ideally so if anything happens, you can go over there and shut that gas off right away.

So, we’ve done all that. Now, what I wanted to show you guys today, get a little tip to you for, is how to deal with the orifices. Now the orifices are different for natural gas than they are for propane. This is an orifice wrench, and these are the orifices right here. I’m going to show it to you. See that right there in my hand. That screws in there. You can see it’s got a little hole in there that the gas comes out. What we’ve done is we’ve got the right sized orifices for our barbecue pit, now I’m going to show you how to put those in.

All right, I’ve put the orifice in the wrench, and we’re going to go back in here. I don’t know if you’ll be able to see all this or not, but inside here where the burner came out, there’s a little hole. We’re going to stick it in there. We’re going to screw that into that receiving threaded fitting.

Okay, we’ve got it tightened into there, so now I’m going to insert the burners. Put them back. Now this is a, like I said, it’s a charbroiled, they’re not all the same, so yours might go in a little differently. But you insert it over the orifice, and then fit it down onto there. This one has little clips that go in the back, back here, that hold it in place. All right, so we’re going to lay everything back in, and then we’ll show you how it all works.

All right, we’ve got everything put back together, now we’re going to light it. Okay, it is lit. It’s going to be hard to see with the sun shining here, but let’s see if we can close it. There you can see the flame. So, what I’m doing here is I’m looking at the flame quality. That’s on high. Now let’s change that down to low. Now you can see we’ve got a lower flame. I think we’re looking pretty good there.

There’s an adjustment on these where you can turn this little jet here that will allow more or less air to mix with it. If you open that, it’ll kind of play with the flame. Again, with the sun shining, it’s hard to see, but if you do this at night, in the evening when it’s dark, or your kind of close the lid down, look at it, you can see what you need for your flame adjustment. I’ve done that for each one.

I’m going to say we’re going to light those. Now we should have them all lit. See if you can see that. Yeah, looks like they’re all going pretty well here. I’ve checked them all on low as well, so they’re working fine. That’s going to be a wrap on that. We’re going to put the grills back in, and ready for some hamburgers.

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