View Full Version : poor mans square tubing bender

02-21-2005, 06:36 PM
I've been needing to bend a lot of square tubing lately. Got sick of trying to heat and bend it over a form.

Had a lot of rusty steel left over from the old swimming pool. The bending mandrel is just a piece of schedule 40 pipe, 3 1/2" OD with flat plates on the side. It doesn't take nearly 20 tons, and I would be afraid of having to use that much, I'd shear all the bolts off I'm sure.

Oh yah, a couple pics of the shop too...never posted em here. Now nobody has the excuse "it's too messy" to avoid posting pictures of their shop or machines!


02-21-2005, 06:59 PM
what? no pictures of bent tubes? how well does the beast work?

02-21-2005, 07:08 PM
Third picture is bent tubes...they were bent to about 30 degrees (as in the included angle would be 150 degrees). I decided to cut them to see how the wall thickness faired. Seemed to be OK.

Seems to work pretty decent...a heck of a lot easier than my old method.

Still have to add stops, so I can make the same bend over and over again.


[This message has been edited by snowman (edited 02-21-2005).]

charlie coghill
02-21-2005, 07:09 PM
Snowman do you have to bend the radius inter wall before bending the radius? I had a project some years ago and had to cut and weld the radius to get it right.
You have started cleanning as the broom is there.

02-21-2005, 07:13 PM
The broom is there...the inlaws get after me once in a while http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//smile.gif (we are living with them til we move in six months...saving money for the house) I usually like to keep a clean shop, mostly out of respect, but it got away from me this weekend. Had lots of family over this weekend, and the garage was a place to escape for a few hours...just never was able to escape long enough to clean.

As far as bending before...I dont understand your question. I put a straight piece of pipe in, run the ram up, take a finish bent piece of pipe out. (have to beat the bending die off the pipe as the bottom of the bend tries to squat some, hence the reason for the walls)


02-21-2005, 07:43 PM
Is that a 14" south bend? Gary P. Hansen

02-21-2005, 07:49 PM
leblonde regal so the nameplate says, but it is a 14"...

doesn't really look like the other leblondes i have seen though...looks much more like a south bend!

paid 500 bucks for it...had racoons living in it I think! Gotta repair some of the gears and crap so it's saleable, then I'll upgrade.


02-21-2005, 08:18 PM
Snowman, I also have plans that I'm going to need to bend a bunch of 3/4 square tubing. I built a die to fit in my #2 Clone bender.
I bought eight 3/8 X 5" cut offs on E-bay and turned the inside ones to bend a 2" radius.

I had to make it come apart just to release the tubing after the bend is made. The tubing wants to bulge outwards when bent.
I only had a 1 foot section of tubing for a trial run. Got more on the way. It appears to work.

[This message has been edited by lugnut (edited 02-21-2005).]

02-21-2005, 08:21 PM

your floor even looks clean

looks pretty darn nice!


02-21-2005, 10:16 PM
Snowman,I can still see floor! http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif You will have to go out and find more crap to catch up with me,it ain't messy till you need monkey bars to "walk" across the shop http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif

02-22-2005, 02:32 AM
That is a beautiful bend! Very nice...

If you make your dies similar to Mels you will have those pretty bends too - the dies make all the difference. The Hydraulic jack is the best way to bend the thicker tubing like you are doing. We used a similar unit for 2-4 inch conduit.

02-22-2005, 02:49 AM
if you cut slots down the centers of the sides, bend, then weld up the slots, the sides won't bulge out like that

G.A. Ewen
02-22-2005, 08:35 AM
"I had to make it come apart just to release the tubing after the bend is made. The tubing wants to bulge outwards when bent."

Mel, do you think that cutting a slight taper on both of the inside surfaces of the die would solve the problem?

02-22-2005, 12:22 PM
Thrud, thanks for the complement, it means a lot coming from you!
G.A.E. after making the bend shown in the photos I have taken about a 1/16th off the insides of the two outside disks and the bent piece fits a little better in the die. (I still don’t have any more tubing for another try) I got the idea of the split design from reading the description of ShopOutfitters dies. I hope to use the two outside disks which are 3/8 X 5 “ diameter, with a ¼ X 5 ½ disk between them and 6” disks on the outside to bend 1” tubing. I think 1 “ is the max that could be bent without some sort of hydraulic assist.
Thanks Mel

02-22-2005, 08:21 PM
I'll build new dies when I have the time.

As it is, I'm trying to get 26 hours of crap done in a 24 hour day (as I sit and type http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//wink.gif

I really like Mel's dies...I'll probably go with something like that once I scavenge some material...before I build a new die though, I have to make a 20 ton press for making ceramic tiles. Another project that I promised someone months ago, simply haven't had time to go to scrapyards to scavenge material.

If only I had an unlimited budget...but then, why would I be building things to make money?


charlie coghill
02-22-2005, 09:28 PM
Snowman Sorry about not phrasing the question right. What I was refering to would be the inside of the radius as in the second and last picture of Mel's post.

02-27-2005, 08:06 PM
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by G.A. Ewen:
"I had to make it come apart just to release the tubing after the bend is made. The tubing wants to bulge outwards when bent."

Mel, do you think that cutting a slight taper on both of the inside surfaces of the die would solve the problem?</font>

G.A.E. I finale got some 3/4 sq tubing and tried the dies with some taper on the inside of the dies like you suggested. The added space allows the tubing to bulge too much. The inside of the dies needs to be 3/4 inch to keep the sides of the bend from bulging and collapsing the tube. Im learning, just might take awhile. But thanks for the suggestion. Mel