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  • Bender and bentwork

    One of the projects I have built in the last month is a bender. This is similar in principle to a Hossfeld but with a somewhat different design. I have never even used a bender before but I see no reason to let that stop me. It has worked out rather well.

    The main "chassis" is a 12" x 12" x 15 chunk of scrap H-beam that was laying about in a friend's junk pile for the last few decades. It took quite a while to clean up. Sched 40 legs make it into a stand with feet that can drop over rails to secure it or it may be bolted down to anchors.



    Parts are hot rolled steel with the scale removed. Bender pins are 1040 steel heat treated and drawn to spring temper. The right angle bending die is mild steel case hardened. The smaller rolling dies are 1040, hardened. The square bending shoes are mild steel. The big round die is nylatron.

    I still have a lot more dies to make and will whip them up as the need arises.



    The table has a hole circle for bending stops every 15 degrees and is marked every 5 degrees. The BFH standing beside the bender is for bending thick work such as the sample on the table.



    The reason for building this device is to do some decorative iron work. My first ever bending project and also first ever decorative iron work is this gate. It's a pet gate to keep the beardog in the mud room when she is wet and/or muddy. It replaces the junky plywood half door we have had for about 20 years.

    Free software for calculating bolt circles and similar: Click Here

  • #2
    Beautiful work, Evan - both the bender and the gate.

    Could you send me a six-pack of those drugs you are taking?
    Regards, Marv

    Home Shop Freeware - Tools for People Who Build Things
    http://www.myvirtualnetwork.com/mklotz

    Location: LA, CA, USA

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    • #3
      Very, very nice work Evan.
      Have fun with all that bending and not a bad back in site!!
      pETER
      I have tools I don't know how to use!!

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      • #4
        Artistry in metal -

        Now, that is, without a doubt, true artistry in metal...and the gate looks fantastic, too!!

        That is, flat-out, the best use of a piece of castoff H-beam I've ever seen...outstanding work, all around.

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        • #5
          very nice job Evan
          in Toronto Ontario - where are you?

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          • #6
            And dig the knobs on the end of those pins. :-)
            ...lew...

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            • #7
              Originally posted by mklotz
              Beautiful work, Evan - both the bender and the gate.

              Could you send me a six-pack of those drugs you are taking?
              I think the drug may be known as "speed"

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              • #8
                that baby looks stout enough to bend railroad track !! Really nice job Evan.
                - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
                Thank you to our families of soldiers, many of whom have given so much more then the rest of us for the Freedom we enjoy.

                It is true, there is nothing free about freedom, don't be so quick to give it away.

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                • #9
                  Your basic concept and execution is great- quite elegant.

                  However, it looks as if you copied some of your bending principles from the shop outfitters/ harbor freight benders, rather than a true hossfeld.

                  For some reason, when shop outfitters copied the hossfeld, the omitted several of the features that make a hossfeld work so well.

                  One is the clamping/versus rolling dies.

                  On your bender, you have a round die on the center pin, a round die fixed on the frame, and a square die on the swinging arm. This is backwards from the way hossfeld does it, and they do it the way they do it for a reason.

                  They use a square die fixed on the frame. Then, the dies they put on the center pin are not round, but teardrop shaped, with the flat part bearing against the square die fixed on the frame. The round die goes on the swinging arm.
                  This means the stock gets held in place between the two flat dies, and the round die on the swinging arm spins as it bends, allowing the bend to take place with material on the swinging arm. This way, you can use fixed length stops on the frame, and get repeatable bends every time.

                  Shop outfitters, and subsequently the chinese, skipped this because it was easier to make round dies instead of teardrops.

                  The other thing they did is make fancy ball ends on their pins- this looks cool, but ignores the fact that the top of the frame is as useful for bending as inside the frame- in fact I would say I bend more on top of the frame than inside. Especially for things like round bar.
                  I would suggest making another set of pins that are extra long, one center pin, and one for the fixed frame and one for the swinging frame. The swinging frame pin needs to have a small bump, or weld bead, to keep it from dropping thru the hole. This enables you to bend complicated shapes up top, with lots of reverse bends or other features that would hit the frame if put inside.
                  Then, you will want to copy the hossfeld die that is adjustable for tension on top- like this- using 3" pieces of different diameter pipe, you can wind circles, or springs, in many sizes- this is 3/8" round, and about 3" pipe, but all kinds of tricks are possible with this style of die.
                  The hossfeld people really thought long and hard about their benders, and there is a lot more to them than those silly chinese have copied so far.


                  Here is a teardrop die- this is one I made, for a 4" radius circle, by welding up pieces of 1/4" plate. Hossfeld sells them from 1 1/2" diameter up to about 9".
                  Last edited by Ries; 05-08-2007, 07:23 PM.

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                  • #10
                    Thanks for the hints Ries. As I said, I haven't used a bender before. However, I am not having any trouble getting repeatable bends. It draws the material from the part that sticks past center and I can use stops on the hole circle to get very repeatable bends and sizes. It depends upon the square pulling dies having more friction than the rolling dies. For that reason I have ground the surface of the square dies with a coarse finish. Seems to work.

                    I have considered bending on top as well. No problem with the pins dropping through as the bottom holes are blind.

                    My next project which I have just started is a picket twister. I have all the materials including some parts to make an obscenely overbuilt headstock.

                    Thanks for the nice comments guys. I have just installed the gate and it looks like a great grate. Has anybody noticed the theme of the gate? My wife saw it immediately.
                    Free software for calculating bolt circles and similar: Click Here

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                    • #11
                      Looks grate Evan!

                      Hearts in all but 3 blocks...
                      Russ
                      Master Floor Sweeper

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                      • #12
                        I think the drug may be known as "speed"
                        Nope, it's better. It's a dopamine agonist.
                        Free software for calculating bolt circles and similar: Click Here

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                        • #13
                          Could be hearts, but for some reason my thoughts drifted towards female anatomy, might be wrong there to.
                          James
                          Last edited by J. Randall; 05-09-2007, 01:58 AM.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Evan
                            Has anybody noticed the theme of the gate? My wife saw it immediately.
                            I wasn't gonna say anything! It's very Martha Stewart but I'll let you plead that the hearts inspiration came from muzzle loaders cause that's the kind of guy I am!
                            - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
                            Thank you to our families of soldiers, many of whom have given so much more then the rest of us for the Freedom we enjoy.

                            It is true, there is nothing free about freedom, don't be so quick to give it away.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Could be hearts, but for some reason my thoughts drifted towards female anatomy, might be wrong there to.
                              Have you ever noticed that a lot of ornamental ironwork is rather, umm, "suggestive"? Often lots of long pointy things with heads on them when the gate is guarding something, but usually a lot of soft curves when it represents a portal that may be opened to satisfy some desire.

                              I didn't want it to look like a portcullis. It was designed to be a part of the house and to appeal to my wife.

                              However, If I ever build a gate for the driveway it will have plenty of long pointy things with heads...
                              Free software for calculating bolt circles and similar: Click Here

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