Sheet Metal Shop Tutorials

Basic Tutorials

Spot Welder

Spot welder is used to weld sheet metal together. If used correctly, the spot welder should not leave huge spots on your part. However, if welded for too long, it can leave a hole in your part. Here are some tips in using the machine.

  • To use the spot welder bring the lever down and flip the small switch (underneath the hand trigger).
  • Use the hand trigger over the foot press. It allows for an easier control over the length of time you weld. (Try out both on a scrap piece of metal and see which one better suits your need)
  • File the tips lightly if spot welds are not nice and round.
  • Practice welding on a piece of scrap metal first to get a feel for the timing.
  • Do Not spot weld galvanized or zinc coated metals.

Horizontal Bandsaw

Horizontal bandsaw allows us to cut hard material by using the force of gravity, resulting in a safer and cleaner working environment.

  • Keep 3 teeth in the material at all times
  • Place your part in the orientation that is least likely to move
  • Make sure that the cutting fluid is as close to what's being cut as possible. Use the two knobs at the top to adjust the tube position
  • Add fluid to the bottom when it's low but do not overfill


Shears are used in cutting sheet metals. Here are some tips in using the machine.

How to use the machine:

  • Turn the large, round, red, switch to the "On" position.
  • Press the green "Start" button.
  • Press firmly down on the red petal with your foot to cut.
  • Press the red "Stop" button.
  • Turn the machine off when you're finished (NOT the circuit breaker)


  • 16 gauge sheet metal is the thickest piece that can be cut
  • Align your part against the shears edges and/or the stop before cutting to achieve desired dimension
  • Please do not turn off the circuit breaker

Advanced Tutorials

Metal Bender

Instructions for changing different settings of the metal bender. If you have not done this before, ask a proctor to help you.


Tightness of the Clamp

  1. Loosen nuts and lock jam bolts (labeled 1 in the picture) with 7/8" wrench.
  2. Clamp down on a scrap metal that is the same material as the one you'll use.
  3. Adjust the lock jam bolts so that the metal won't slide. When you're adjusting the bolt on the right side, you should have your metal piece clamped down on the right edge, and when you're adjusting the bolt on the left, you should have your metal piece on the left edge.
  4. Unclamp the metal and twist the bolts about 1/8 - 1/4 more of a turn.
  5. Tighten jam nuts.
  6. Check that the lever clamps down on the metal (it shouldn't be hard to move) without making a strong mark on the metal.
  7. Use the wrench to tighten the bolts (use the circular side and pull towards yourself if possible).

Bending Angle

  1. For this adjustment you need: the silver pin stored in the bottom tray of the table. (And shop squares from the main shop if your desired angle is 90)
  2. Clamp a piece of scrap metal in place
  3. Place pins at an angle that is less than the amount desired (sometimes if this angle is too different from the desired angle, it may work better to place the pin at an angle that is slightly greater than the amount desired)
  4. Bend the scrap metal and compare the angle to an object that has your desired angle (for 90, the shop squares).
  5. Adjust bolts in the front (labeled 2 in the picture) to increase the bend angle.
  6. Bend the metal again and repeat the process until desired angle is reached.
  7. Lock in the nuts with 9/16" wrench.
  8. Check the angle with a fresh piece of scrap metal to make sure you have reached your desired angle.

*Don't bend the same piece over and over again, especially if you have already bent it more than the desired angle. The springiness of the metal changes and plastic deformation starts to occur at some point, which will give you the wrong bending angle in the end.

Bend Radius (for tool tray)

  1. Take two pieces of scrap metal pieces and put them in front of the metal bender's teeth (these should be clamped down).
  2. Adjust the nuts and bolts (labeled 3 in the picture) so that you can see the bend line.
  3. Lock in the nuts with 1/2" wrench (usually dangling on the side)
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