Bending an anodised bracket

Ubergeekian

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I need to fit brackets for tiller pilot and wind vane to my nice new tiller. The tiller pilot one is a standard 80mm stand-off and I was lucky to acquire one very cheaply from a chandlers odds'n'sods box yesterday. One of these:
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However, because the new tiller is a little curvier in the middle than the previous one I would have to bend the upper section down by about 30 degrees or so to keep the ball connection in the same orientation and in the same place.

The bracket is anodised, so I would either have to (a) put up with some cracks in the anodising or (b) repair some cracks in the anodising or (c) do something else. I have some stainless strip in stock for (c), but obviously sticking an existing bracket in a vice and bending it is going to take a few seconds against rather longer for making a complete new bracket.

Advice welcomed, as ever.
 

earlybird

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I would bend it and put up with the cracks.
In odd spare moments over the next few years, you can make a stainless version, and have it ready for when the ally one breaks due to corrosion.
 

ianat182

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Would reversing the brackets orientation alter its working position for you, if so you'd only need to drill one extra hole for the other end fixing and perhaps enlarge the existing fixing hole to take the spigot ,or drill in a new location on the bracket. Either way the anodising will be safe and a dab of varnish on any bare hole should stop corrosion.

My bracket is fixed beneath the curved tiller, but there's no reason it couldn't be mounted on top and still work properly.

ianat182
 

Ubergeekian

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Would reversing the brackets orientation alter its working position for you, if so you'd only need to drill one extra hole for the other end fixing and perhaps enlarge the existing fixing hole to take the spigot ,or drill in a new location on the bracket. Either way the anodising will be safe and a dab of varnish on any bare hole should stop corrosion.

Alas not. The tiller starts horizontal and low and then does a double curve to be horizontal and higher up. The new bend takes a bit longer to get there than the old one, so while the old tiller bracket dangles from the upper level section, the new one takes its time and the bracket has to fix to the sloping-up section between the curves. With the bracket bent it will actually be quite neat and the new ball will be almost exactly where the old one is
 

doug748

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I did mine with no problem, but not as much as 30 deg. You will probably have to flatten both bends to position the pin properly. I used a vice to press the bend out.
I would use heat to soften the existing bend. Put white soap on it and when it turns black stop, and let it cool. Take care you could melt it.
If it looks crummy give it a lick of paint.
 

B&M

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If you want to bend Aluminium without cracking then you should anneal it before hand. This is done by smearing the area to be bent with tablet soap and heating it until the soap goes black, do not overheat. The bending process should work harden the Ali.
 
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