View Full Version : Tubing bender
04-30-2009, 05:33 PM
I needed a new handle for my tool cart. Sunday I spotted metal shipping flats at a place that sells jet skis. I stopped and asked about them and was told that they belonged to the first guy to show up with a truck. I have racks to stack lumber in that I built out of some of these I bought from an individual, so it wasn,t long before I was back with the truck. Anyway, I took two pieces of heavy angle and clamped them back to back, put them on the drill press and drilled a line of 1/2 in. holes 1 inch apart. I used old alternator bearings and washers to space the angle just wider than some of the tubing that came with
the flats,set this contraption on the arbor press and pressed out a new handle. I'm going to make a set of dies for different size tubing as i need them.
05-01-2009, 08:15 AM
Pictures are easily uploaded to facebook or photobucket for viewing of others.
I read what you said, but can't visualize what you have built. I am a re-fitter re-user, and love cheap.
I have downloaded plans for the model3 bender frame. THE dies are the expensive part. Saw some nice ones made from plywood by smarter than I people.
THE hossfield bender is similar, can bend flat bar the hard way, angle iron, tube, and bar stock with the proper dies.. finding all the dies is a multi-thousand dollar adventure thou. Wish they were all solid-works drawn and posted.
05-13-2009, 09:23 PM
Took a while to get the pictures. It's just two pieces of angle with matching holes drilled, drill them far enough from the edge to start the tubing off between the side plates. Mine has two rows of holes, trial and error. The bearings I used for rollers were a little too narrow and crushed the backside a little. If I use it much I'll turn out rollers and maybe concave rollers for round tubing. I had a problem crushing the bearing I was using on top too.
05-15-2009, 07:37 AM
I have a pdf of the model 3 bender off a chopper building site if you want it emailed to you. Those have been the norm. I saw a site with plywood dies.. Those are short term use, would wear out much faster than real ones.
The dies are the killing factor, $175-$225 each. If a person could make their own they'd be much better off. I do have a blank a guy gave me but not figured out how to machine it yet to my happiness. I was going to do three 120 degree bending shoes on one blank.
The nice things about a mandrel die is it does not deform the tube and you save all the structural intergrity. THE push dies, I used them on rigid conduit for 25 years. Sometimes you get good results and other times it is the scrap pile. I never have messed up a piece with a mandrel bender due to flattening of the tube.. with conduit, the flattening means a hot-spot on load carrying wire.
A harbor freight style strap bender (sometimes is $59) I have a shoe I made for mine to do 1/2" and 5/8" tube.. it worked great. I can't find it now.. made one for 1".. laid it outside while I was feeling puny for a season, it is so hard a drill bit squeals on it?"???? winter-hardening?? no clue..
05-19-2009, 09:32 AM
Yeah, I'd like to see that, David. Thanks.
05-23-2009, 09:54 PM
Me too! I made a small one for flat stock from looking at them long ago. Hardly ever use it. Pipe bending is more critical and use full. Those dies would take some time. Everyone says they got to be smoooooth! Can just rough them out with a lathe tool and a file.
05-24-2009, 12:51 AM
This is a set of dies I made a few years ago to bend 3/4" square tubing. They are for use on my HF clone #2 bender. You need to be able to loosen the outside plate to get the tubing off because the side force created in the bending process. The are not hardened, but with the little use I give them they will last a long time. I used four 5" X3/8 steel disks.
They were the first project with my lathe.
05-24-2009, 08:32 PM
Do you have a picture of it mounted in your bender?
05-24-2009, 08:57 PM
No I don't but I guess I could. It goes on the center pivot pin where all the rest of the round dies go. I found that3/4" square tubing is about all one wants to bend with out some kind leverage advantage. I
I see your in Oregon, what part?