This section is from the book "Cyclopedia Of Architecture, Carpentry, And Building", by James C. et al. Also available from Amazon: Cyclopedia Of Architecture, Carpentry And Building.
One of the most important tools in cornice or architectural sheet-metal working shop is the brake. On those operated by hand, sheets are bent up to 8 feet in one continuous length. In the larger shops, power presses or brakes are used, in which sheets are formed up to 10 feet in length, the press being so constructed that they will form ogees, squares, or acute bends in one operation.
Large 8- or 10-feet squaring shears also form an important addition to the shop, and are operated by foot or power.
When cornices are constructed where the planceer or frieze is very wide, it is usual to put crimped metal in, to avoid the waves and buckles showing in the flat surface; for this purpose the crimping machine is used.
In preparing the iron braces for use in the construction of fireproof cornices, a punching machine and slitting shears are used for cutting the band iron and punching holes in it to admit the bolts. While braces are sometimes bent in a vise, a small machine known as a brace bender is of great value in the shop. In large fireproof building constructions, it is necessary that all doors, window frames, and even sashes be covered with metal, and made in so neat a manner that, when painted and grained, no differences will be apparent to indicate whether the material is wood or metal, the smallest bends down to 1/8 inch being obtained. This, of course, cannot be done on the brakes just mentioned, but is done by means of the draw-bench, which is constructed in lengths up to 20 feet and longer, operated by means of an endless chain, and capable of drawing the sheet metal over any shaped wood mould as tightly as if it were cast in one piece. The smaller tools in the shop are similar to those described in the Instruction Papers on Tinsmithing and Sheet Metal Work, Part I.