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Metal bracket with bent arm

This is supposed to be flat, but got bent in a move. Because it is bent, it will no longer hold the trey properly. I have seen to use a torch, but the best I have is a candle lighter.

I have very little experience with things like this. I also have very limited tools, basically pliers, hammer, blow dryer, and I was thinking maybe the oven?

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  • 9
    forget the use of heat, you don't have enough of it ... gently use the pliers ...
    – jsotola
    Aug 6 at 20:44
  • 2
    Your local garage can probably help.
    – crip659
    Aug 6 at 20:55
  • 1
    Making enough heat to bend steel with heat requires oxygen + a specialty gas like acetylene or MAPP. Heat is not the way to go unless you have that kit, plus it will burn off the finish and you will need to repaint it or it will rust. Aug 7 at 23:12
  • 2
    @Criggie Depends on the definition of straight: if it's only gone a few degrees, it would probably straighten OK even in Al (if it's bent 90° it would possibly have already broken). But it looks like a construction that would be steel, with those welds
    – Chris H
    Aug 8 at 10:03
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    Kind of looks like the weld might have broken. Can you add a photo from the right-hand side? Aug 8 at 13:35

3 Answers 3

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Bend it back

Here is how you could do it. Find a flat stone or brick. Use it to pinch the bent part against flat ground. Stand on the stone or have a helper stand on it.

The part on the handle will be sticking up. Gently push it down so it too is flat against the ground.

This will be more gentle and not mar the metal with hammer strikes.

diagram

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  • 39
    +1 for the artwork alone....
    – gnicko
    Aug 7 at 0:36
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    You might need to put it on the edge of a step rather than flat; you're going to have to bend it very slightly past flat for it to come out flat.
    – Tetsujin
    Aug 7 at 8:28
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    @Julie to get the part perfectly straight you may need to overbend it by a couple of degrees, metals/alloys hav a tendency to "return" just a bit after bending. Put a spacer between the flange and the floor, directly beneath the brick. 2mm (1/8 inch) should do it.
    – Jpe61
    Aug 7 at 14:18
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    @jpe61 - totally agree with that. The other thing about a spacer is that it will prevent the metal from being scratched by the brick. A piece of paper or fabric on top of the ground and then a folded piece of cardboard between brick and metal would work.
    – Willk
    Aug 7 at 16:48
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    "Your foot" made me laugh. A lot. The fancy leather cowboy boot makes it even better. Aug 8 at 23:38
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Find a paver stone or brick high enough to put it on it

Put it on it and hammer it straight cold, not heat.

Try hammering from both sides

If you have one of those tiny hammer, it will not work.

Now to another possible problem. That is a design flaw. The large screw hole has left only two narrow stripes, weakening the construction. Now that is bend, bending it back might lead to failure (broken off piece)

4

I have successfully resolved this kind of problem by using an adjustable spanner or crescent wrench. Tighten the spanner as much as posible and use it to grab the bent metal strip. The long handle will give plenty of leverage.

You can even cover the spanner jaws with electrical tape or duct tape to protect the piece's finish.

Another option is this: It looks like there is an eyelet to bolt this piece. You can use this eyelet and the largest bolt that fits to secure the piece against a wooden plank or some lage-ish scrap of wood. Bolt it upside down (The piece would look like an "L". The _ would be the metal strip and the | would be what appears to be square tubing) such that you can stand on top of the plank, then use the hammer to un-bend by hitting outwards the vertical part of the "L". Again, you can use thick tape or cloth either on the piece or the hammer to diminish damage to the paint.

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  • This looks like a drawer slide that mounts underneath a desk. Another advantage of using the eyelet to straighten it is that this is essentially the same as how the piece is normally mounted. If it's straight against your test board, it'll be straight when mounted.
    – bta
    Aug 10 at 0:00

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