View Full Version : How to bend 1/4" round bar into circles?

Forrest Summers
11-14-2004, 08:21 PM
Guys, I need to find the proper way to bend 1/4" round bar into 8-12" circles. I am currently just heating it, and bending it around a template.

There has to be a proper way to do this.

thanks in advance,

11-14-2004, 08:25 PM

Ring rolling, look it up in the search function up there in the top right..

Pretty nifty.. Lots of home made rollers here too.


11-14-2004, 08:30 PM
Yep, ring roller. Kind of trial and error until you get the right size and indexed. After that, you can whip 'em out in less than a minute.

Paul Alciatore
11-14-2004, 08:43 PM
My Grizzly 3-In-1 sheet metal machine has a 1/4" groove in the rollers for bending rod. I haven't tried that but it makes nice rounds from galvanized sheet metal.

Paul A.

Forrest Summers
11-14-2004, 09:17 PM
Thanks guys, I've been searching the net for similar terms....but didn't think of ring roller.

Thanks again,

11-15-2004, 01:41 PM
I have made something like 10,000 circles from round bar in the last 20 years or so. Doesnt make me an expert, but I have made a lot of mistakes, which must qualify me for something.
There are a bunch of ways to skin this cat.
As stated, most sheet metal rolls have grooves for small round bar. 1/4" is pretty big for a hand crank roll, but it could be done. I have a big powered sheet roll that will do 1/4" easily, and sometimes I use that.
Next up is a hand crank ring roller- most of the commercial ones are designed for flat bar, so you might have to make a die, but check out :

Then you could use a powered ring roll- I have a big one from these guys, and it is a joy to use, but costs big bucks:

And another way to do it is to use a hossfeld bender with the angle iron dies, which will give you repeatable fixed radius circles from about 6" diameter up to 6', bigger with a little creativity. I use the hossfeld everyday for something or other, but I used to make a line of bar stools where we made the circles that your foot rests on with the hossfeld, out of 1/2" round. We must have made a couple thousand that way. The advantage is lower cost- a hossfeld tooled to do this will run about $1500- thats more than a dinky hand crank ring roller, but the capacity is much more-and the larger power ring rolls are much more money.
I can pull circles out of solid round and square up to at least 1 1/4", Square tube up to 2", angle, channel, t, pipe, and flat bar the hard way or the easy way.
And the hossfeld can be used for a hundred other things as well.
My powered angle rolls cost about 7 grand- and for 20 lengths of 2" angle, they cant be beat. But the hossfeld, with a 6" die, will pull a 6" circle right off the bat- no dialing in, no tweaking. And you can put a curve in the middle of a long straight piece, which is harder to do with hand or power rolls. A lot of people are scared of hossfeld benders, but they are really just an erector set of leverage, and you can do a lot of cool stuff with one.

11-15-2004, 07:41 PM
I have one of Harbor Freight's planetary ring rollers, cost about $50 and is not a bad unit for what it cost. Item 36790-2VGA It will roll flat bar and rod.

scott m
11-15-2004, 10:00 PM
Forrest, you could build something similar to this:


With a radius attachment on your lathe you could make "dies" for round stock on the rollers or use as is. There is a bit of 1/2 round there in view on the table that I rolled on this contraption and that's 5/8" solid square in the rollers and it bent easily. Top roller is fixed and frame and two bottom rollers are lifted with a small hyd jack. Good luck. Scott.

[This message has been edited by scott m (edited 11-15-2004).]