Metal Sign Brackets - how to bend


New Member
I would like to inquire how to bend 1" to 2" steel to create nice sign brackets that would hang over a sidewalk, etc. Want to form French curves. Does anyone know what type of machine is required and a source for that machine? Is it necessary to heat the steel? Thanks very much for your replys.


New Member
A "BFH" or a "Chopper" tool....LOL!!! Sorry...feelin'

Most metal like that is bent on a very expensive metal rolling machine or a press brake ( were talking $2-7k, plus the experience to run them ). Why don't you just by them from your sign supplier??
A simple bender is all that is required, I think Harbor Freight sells one. The grade of steel and the thickness will dictate if heat is required. I have to ask why you want to manufacture your own. Other than the shipping factor, you can usually get them pre-made fairly cheap. Unless it is a situation or a job that requires "custom", it is by far cheaper to buy than manaufacture.

To get a good price in steel, you need to buy in large quantities, and then there is the time involved.


New Member
Thanks for the replys. I produce nice carved signs and unfortunately, most of the common sign brackets fall into the catagory of the standard look bracket, or are cheaply made. I have a local supplier for the steel. With carved signs, it is nice to "wrap" the steel around the sign for hanging. Thus, I would like to be able to do some of it myself. Again, thanks!
That's different - you are in need of custom brackets. Just remember to charge 'em for it! Over time, as with anything else, you will find newer and more elaborate equipment that will make the process easier and nice - but it will cost. Therefore it is easier to start charging them for it now, rather than later.


New Member
Would you spend $60,000 on a nice sports car only to run it with "cheap" tires?
A custom sign requires a custom bracket, without much concern about cost. Here's a guy that does custom brackets...
Cam Bortz
Finest Kind Signs
Pondside Iron works
256 S. Broad St.
Pawcatuck, Ct. 06379
Unfortunately I don't have his number handy and I don't think he has a website. But, you can see a sample of his brackets here...

Brian - I agree with the point completely. It just was not clear in the initial post. Some people just try and fab everything. In this particular case you would not be able to find something "on the shelf" - at least not without the loss of distinction.


New Member
3/16" mild steel bends at a force of 4.25 ton's per 1 inch width. Yes you can bend up to 1" x 3/16" with a cheepy Harbor Freight bender. And enjoy doing it, it just takes a little longer. The same skills are needed for the cheepy as you need for the big boy. You can be just as skilled as any one in one week or less. A little 40 ton press break sets on a concrete foundation that costs almost as much as the break and you won't have my Edison bill to pay!