How to Use a Metal Brake to Cover Brick Molding

10' metal brake

10' sheet metal brake needed for project
10' sheet metal brake needed for project

instructions for window and door trim


Ok, so you want to make the brick molding on your house or a house you are working on maintenance free by cover it with aluminum trim coil. People in the siding business have been doing this for years and the process is not as hard as it may seem.

If you work for a window and door company and have a metal brake, this will help you make your work look a lot more professional than just “box bending” the brick molding. They do make a tool to put the crease in the metal for brick molding, but if you have different styles of molding on a house, know how to make the bends, will allow for more variances in depths and widths.

For this illustration I will be using a 10’ brake (yeah it’s old, I’ve been using this one for 15yrs) and Pebble stone clay PVC coated trim coil. And I will make the bends for a standard brick molding 1” thick by 2” wide against vinyl siding with J trim. If this sounds a little complicated, don’t worry it’s not, just remember, standard brick molding against vinyl siding .

1. We will measure the window and door openings to calculate the amount of coil to brake at one time. We can only brake a maximum of 10’ on this style brake, or 120” inches if you prefer. So when we calculate the measurements, cut the length to cover as much as possible with as little waste as possible. Most doors are going to require an 84” piece of coil to cover. Theses will also do, two 36” window tops or other openings if you have left over strips.

2. Now, we measure and mark the trim coil into 4” strips Using a razor knife, score the metal and use the brake to bend up and brake the metal into individual pieces.

3. Once you have the strips, lay a strip on the brake, face down, (if you close the brake the metal will rest on the braking band) and using your tape make a mark at ¾” and 2 ¾” on both ends of the back of the metal.

4. Now line the two ¾” marks up on the brake edge and pull up making a 45 degree bend.

5. Ok, this part is a little tricky. Open the brake and remove the metal until the bent edge lines up with the brake bending edge. Pull up and bend the metal about 15 degree and release.

6. Remove the metal, spin around and place face up with the 45 degree bend in the down position, locate the 15degree bend on the brake edge and lock the brake. Pull up until you match the previous bend. THIS WILL MAKE THE METAL APPEAR FLAT AGAIN.

7. Remove metal, turn over and locate the 2 ¾” mark, lock the break on mark and bend this time slightly beyond 45 degrees, this will create a “tension bend” this helps the metal stay tight on the brick molding until the nails are installed.

When you install the metal on the molding do the sides first, over cut the sides so that the top will cover and the installation will be weather resistant. Try to only nail in the sides of the metal, if you must nail thru the front, pre-drill the nail hole with a 3/16” bit to avoid dimples. Once the sides are on, measure the top, using a speed square, mark and make a mitered cut on each corner to cover the ends. Repeat this on all openings, caulk and you're done!

On this project we changed the color of all the windows and trim. This required taking a piece of the metal to the paint store and have a gallon of exterior paint mixed. We used semi gloss, this helps to blend the metal and paint, gloss seems to give too much shine against metal in some applications, especially dealing in darker colors. White works out ok. See the finished pictures below for results you can expect when done properly.

Good luck, if you have any questions drop me a line and I will answer as many questions as I can with pictures and examples.

If you are in the Metro Atlanta area and would like to have your windows and doors done for you contact me for pricing and color availability at rcenterprises at live.com and I will get with as soon as possible.

measure metal to lenth

score and brake metal to width

marking the brake points

line up with brake edge

look at top of the picture where the bend lines up with the brake edge, this is the first 15degree bend point.
look at top of the picture where the bend lines up with the brake edge, this is the first 15degree bend point.

15 degree

2 3/4 mark/ line up and bend over 45%

bend to bend final measurement 2 1/8 inch

measure and cut sides first

be sure to run sides all the way to the top of the top brick molding, notch the sides to allow to pass by.
be sure to run sides all the way to the top of the top brick molding, notch the sides to allow to pass by.

install on brick molding

gently work metal onto molding, allowing metal to go between brick molding and window J molding.
gently work metal onto molding, allowing metal to go between brick molding and window J molding.

tension bend allow metal to stay on

this metal has no nails at all, the tension bend allows the metal to stay on until all pieces are in place. Then can be nailed thru the screen side.
this metal has no nails at all, the tension bend allows the metal to stay on until all pieces are in place. Then can be nailed thru the screen side.

miter top to pass over sides

miter cuts look better, if you have have to you can box cut the tops, but make sure you go edge to edge and your cuts are square
miter cuts look better, if you have have to you can box cut the tops, but make sure you go edge to edge and your cuts are square

finished product with paint change

finished single windows
finished single windows

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Comments 2 comments

handymanbill profile image

handymanbill 4 years ago from western pennsylvania

Great Explanation on how to do this. Great Hub.


R.Cochran profile image

R.Cochran 4 years ago from Dahlonega, GA Author

Thanks handymanbill, I tried to be as thorough as possible, sometimes it gets hard to capture some items on film.

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