bending steel or aluminum for light mount

Discussion in 'Do It Yourself (DIY)' started by cpschult, Feb 19, 2018.

  1. cpschult

    cpschult Well-Known Member Build Thread Contributor

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    Has anyone cold forged steel or aluminum to make a diy light bracket?

    I've got access to some stainless steel (3" and 6" wide) that I was thinking about making a diy light bracket to mount an AI hydra and T5s off of. I could always buy a fixture but this material is free :) I would grind edges and paint before use to clean it up. Just curious if anyone had tried/completed this before and if you had any lessons or recommendations.

    This would be for an IM 25 lagoon.

    Thanks!
     
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  2. mfinn

    mfinn likes zoanthids R2R Supporter Photo of the Month Award Partner Member 2019 Build Thread Contributor

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    My son-in-law bent this 2" x 3/8" aluminum flat bar using a bender he made. I would think a heavy vise and torch would do the same for aluminum, but 3" or even 6" SS seems pretty excessive.


    [​IMG]


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  3. Mandelstam

    Mandelstam Well-Known Member

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    I've bent flat bar steel with just a vise and a rubber mallet. It wasn't ss steel though. I would go with aluminum every day of the week before ss steel for this purpose but I understand that you want to make use of it. It can absolutely be done it just takes a bit more work.

    Btw, do you know what quality it is? Some stainless steels aren't very stainless in reality.
     
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  4. 120reefkeeper

    120reefkeeper Reef keeping with Military Precision! R2R Supporter Reef Squad Leader R2R Excellence Award Build Thread Contributor Article Contributor

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    I have made brackets out of SS before just not for that light. A bench vise , hammer , torch , grinder and buffer. Maybe a drill, tap set are needed depending on design. Slowly heat the SS .

    SS transfers heat really well so be careful not to overheat it.
     
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  5. cpschult

    cpschult Well-Known Member Build Thread Contributor

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    That is beautiful! Any idea how he made the bracket to hold the light? It's much more elegant than anything I was planning.

    I don't know the quality. If I had to guess fairly good. It is product left over from some custom manufacturing that was done in our food plant. I don't think a rubber mallet is going to work for cold forging this. Will likely need something a bit heavier. I think I will try heating it and see how malleable that makes it.

    Thank you! Any recommendation for brackets like the first poster? That really looks clean. I also wanted to add a cross piece that I can tie retrofit t5s too. I should have everything on hand to clean it up. Also have a drill and tap set in the shop here.
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2018
  6. mfinn

    mfinn likes zoanthids R2R Supporter Photo of the Month Award Partner Member 2019 Build Thread Contributor

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    The actual bracket itself is a copy of the Ecotech RMS bracket.
    I got a piece of 1/4" plate aluminum and used the RMS slide mount bracket as a pattern.
    I went around to several machine shops in my area to see if they would cut out the basic shape, but the cheapest had a $125 setup fee with a hour shop labor charge after that.
    So I used a jig saw with a metal blade, my belt sander mounted upside down so I could use it as a table sander. Then just a palm sander.
    So the whole mount is all aluminum. It's not totally perfect, but close enough for my backroom tank.

    Hope this gives you some ideas.


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]
     
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  7. cpschult

    cpschult Well-Known Member Build Thread Contributor

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    It looks great!
     
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  8. cpschult

    cpschult Well-Known Member Build Thread Contributor

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    The 3” ss that was set aside ended up being used for a project lol. I started playing with the 6” but decided it was to heavy. Bent a 1” wide piece and will try that. I don’t think it will be quite strong enough so I may do a floating hood of some sort instead. Arggg.
     
  9. NineAndAhalf

    NineAndAhalf Member

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    I'll post pictures tomorrow of the stainless radion bracket I made.
     
  10. cpschult

    cpschult Well-Known Member Build Thread Contributor

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    Did you take pictures? I found a narrower piece I cold forged. Need to get it out of the trunk to measure and drill, hoping it can hold the weight of the 26hd without bending.
     
  11. NineAndAhalf

    NineAndAhalf Member

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    I did, sorry for the late response. I used 3/4" stainless square tubing welded to make the angle. Then used 16ga stainless to cut out and bend to make the xr15 mount. Then welded it to the tubing. On the tank stand side, I welded on a flat plate with holes punched out so it can be screwed to the stand. [​IMG][​IMG]
     
  12. mandi29221

    mandi29221 Active Member

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    My husband did this at work. Bended the metal. Looks great. FB_IMG_1520400455426.jpg
     
  13. mandi29221

    mandi29221 Active Member

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    This is today he fixed the wires. And the hanging wires 20180307_191415.jpg
     
  14. NineAndAhalf

    NineAndAhalf Member

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    I like that. Looks very nice
     
  15. mandi29221

    mandi29221 Active Member

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    I'm very ocd needs to be level and both lights perfectly straight and this is perfect. I'm buying black zip ties tomorrow tho I can't handle the clear/white ones.
     
  16. AdamNC

    AdamNC Lawnmower Blenny says nom nom R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award R2R Secret Santa Build Thread Contributor

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    Any suggestions for a R5-150 light? 27” fixture that has 4 points of contact. I already have the hanging kit from my last Razor light. Wife doesn’t want me to hang from the ceiling and I want to raise it about 2-4” higher than what the legs can do. So I need some easy suggestions from some place like Lowes or HD.
     
  17. cpschult

    cpschult Well-Known Member Build Thread Contributor

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    Looks great! I’m trying to avoid welding. I lacks skills in that area and can’t makw anything clean.

    I could have bent conduit. I did that for an ati fixture I had. I didn’t want this hanging with wires. It is my back up plan if I can’t make this work though.
     
  18. NineAndAhalf

    NineAndAhalf Member

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    Completely understandable. I'm a welder by profession so it's just another day in the office for me. I've strongly considered selling mounts if anyone is interested.
     
  19. Paul B

    Paul B Valuable Member R2R Supporter Reef Spotlight Award Partner Member 2019 Reef Tank 365 Build Thread Contributor Article Contributor

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    I bent the steel for that bridge in the back. But I needed a big vise. :rolleyes:

    [​IMG]
     
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  20. cpschult

    cpschult Well-Known Member Build Thread Contributor

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    The guy who did the 6061.com hydra mounts that were real clean stopped making them. I asked if I could get one custom made and he said he's to busy. Looks like there might be a small market. I imagine the demand is low so probably not worth it.

    I'll take three!!
     
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