A Quick U-Bracket
© Frank Ford 2009; Photos by FF


Simple U-brackets like this one are really easy to make, so I knock 'em out as I need them:

Last time I had access to a sheet metal shear, I cut some scrap 18 and 14 gauge galvanized steel into strips, in random widths from 1/2" to 3/4". When it comes time to make a U-bracket, I snip off appropriate lengths.


First I rummage around and find a hunk of steel rod that's the right diameter to make my U-bracket - this one will be a restraint for a power cord, and to make it a tight fit, so I choose a piece of steel just a tad smaller in diameter:


Then, I lay my strap material (1/2" wide 14 gauge) across the vise jaws, and open the jaws to a little more than the diameter of the steel rod plus twice the thickness of the steel strip:



I hold the steel bar over the center of the jaw opening:


And smack it with a hammer:



And again:




As I hit the bar, pretty soon it goes deep enough in the jaws that I hit the steel strip, starting to fold it over the vise jaw:


A couple more taps, and I have nice creased ends:



Pretty neat, I think:



For this application I'll need to open the "U" a bit more to make it easy to go over the cord:

It will close up tight when I pinch it over th ecord with pliers and screw it down. All I have left to do is to drill a couple of holes and screw it to the wall.


Here's the little U-bracket doing its job:




Back to Machining Index