Does anyone know of a tool that will quickly round corners on aluminum sheet/parts?

Maybe something similar to a hand held hole punch but meant to round corners instead. Would be okay if bench mounted, but hand held would be best. Maybe something with changeable dies to allow for different corner sizes too.

I typically just use a file and clean up with a 3M wheel or similar. And this works great for preventing sharp edges, etc. 

That said, it is a bit tedious when making multiple parts that have lots of edges. It is also difficult to get the corners to be "OCD perfect"/match up. For instance, it is hard to get each corner to be the exact same size -- have the same radius profile. 


Don Honabach

Views: 322

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

Hi Don,

The only trick I knew was to use a coin or similar round object of the appropriate radius as a template to scribe a radiused outside corner, then cut it with shears and smooth with a file and 3M wheel.  For inside corners, I use an appropriate diameter bit or uni-bit.

I know what you mean, though - if you try to free-hand radiused corners, it's tough to get them all the same and looks terrible if they're not!



Thanks John...  Appreciate the tips! :-)

A quick search on amazon shows some corner cutting tools for paper. It might be possible to use one of those directly or modify it to do thinner gauges of aluminum.

Thanks Damon. Hadn't considered that and I have a few of those "paper cutters" at home too. Basically lightweight punches.... I'll give it a try and if it works out, I'll let everyone know.  Not a huge amount of hope though, but now I'm curious if nothing else... :-)

Hi Don, Using a 1" wide strip sander from Harbor Freight or other supplier makes this easy. Once you get one, you won't know how you got along without it - does everything short of milling. Best Regards,  Larry Zepp, Zodiac 650B, Fort Wayne

Thanks Larry! :-)

I've got a sanding wheel that does well too and even had good success abusing my 3M polishing wheel for this purpose as well. Ultimately though, it's just hard getting the *exact* same corner sizes all around a piece. It's 100% an OCD thing if you know what I mean! ZAC would say -- "you are not building a space ship -- stop trying to build to NASA standards ...", but I sort of like building spaceships - LOL!

I almost always just use a file now to round the corners -- both inside and out. I'm usually cleaning up the edges with the file any ways, and typically can create nice round corners in 10 to 20 seconds with the file. I'm actually most consistent with this method as the machine methods (sanding wheel, strip, and/or 3M wheel) tends to quickly take too much material away before you've realized what happened. That said -- still not *exact* with any of them :-(

Was just hoping for the perfect "Squeeze and Done Tool"  ... Or said another way, had a lot of corners to round recently and thought there has to be a better way ... :-(


I have seen a 1" hand held belt sander file type tool for taking care of the aluminum edges.Should be available at most tool stores, Harbour Freight , HomeDepot.


New from Zenith:

Zenith Planes For Sale 

Classified listing for buying or selling your Zenith building or flying related stuff...


Weather Maps

Custom Instrument Panels
for your Zenith

Custom instrument panels are now available directly from Zenith Aircraft Company exclusively for Zenith builders and owners. Pre-cut panel, power distribution panel, Approach Fast Stack harnesses, Dynon and Garmin avionics, and more.

Custom Upholstery Kits for your Zenith Aircraft:

Zenith Vinyl Upholstery Kits

Zenith Apparel from EAA:

Zenair Floats

Flying On Your Own Wings:
A Complete Guide to Understanding Light Airplane Design, by Chris Heintz

Builder & Pilot Supplies:

How to videos from

Developed specifically for Zenith builders (by a builder) these videos on DVD are a great help in building your own kit plane by providing practical hands-on construction information. Visit for the latest DVD titles.

Aircraft Insurance:


West Coast USA:

Pro Builder Assistance:


Transition training:

Golden Eagle Aviation

Pianosa Flying Farm

Aircraft Spruce & Specialty for all your building and pilot supplies!

© 2020   Created by Zenith.Aero.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service