No announcement yet.

homebrew die bender (pix)

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • homebrew die bender (pix)

    as promised, here is a picture or two of the
    homebrew die bender. "dies" are still blank here, plan to turn in some common profiles (mostly for square tubing).

    simple and straightforward. does the job. (for me)

    certain tubing, however, still buckles. perhaps i'm being too optimistic. anyone know what the min (cold) bending radius might be for, say, a 30mm (2mm wall) tube?

    all three of the dies rotate.. maybe one should be stationary? or maybe i need to hold the tail end of the tubing? so it can't "slip" in the dies? (and buckle)

    at any rate, here are the pix.. any comments/improvements welcomed as always.


    picture1: making quick work of some angle iron (35mmX35mmX3mm) .. the "handle" is turned down so the cheater bar (1.5 meter pipe) fits snug.

    picture2: 40mmX8mm flat stock

    picture3: overhead shot, with the dies taken out. big dies, big pins, big holes, big power. ("big" being relative, of course)

    i plan on making a stand for this, as you can see i currently hold it in my vice. but the angle iron gave the vice stand a run for its money. i could hardly believe my eyes as i watched the Ibeam under the vice twist and spring back.

  • #2
    Looks good! Best stand for these is a steel pipe 12" diameter set into the concrete (4-6' down) floor, filled with concrete and capped with 1" plate. Tne you can get gorillas to help bend stuff!


    • #3
      Nice job! It sure looks a lot better than the "Heat and Beat" method I usually use.
      Did you surface harden the dies?


      • #4
        12" pipe, full of concrete, 6' deep!
        holy smokes. there goes the bolt'n-it-to-the-wall idea. thrud, that'd be a good
        tool to form (flatten) some tubing with.
        .. wonder how much sheetmetal 1 billet
        will win me. anyone know a friendly gorilla?

        polski: nope, no hardening.. they're as-turned.

        speaking of which, anyone have good experience with 1045 steel? i think thats
        what this is. does it work harden?
        (i take some pretty hard cuts)
        does it take a temper? is it something
        i can do myself?



        • #5

          You have some really good ideas and thanks for sharing them on this site.

          Too bad this site doesn't have a special category for topics like this. I think many people have cleaver ideas like yours but for some reason just keep it to themselves. Sure would like a way to get people to offer their ideas like you did.

          If there was a special category it would be interesting reading and also allows people to easily find the suggestions. The problem with posting such items in the General category is that they get lost in time.

          Oh well.....probably will never happen.


          [This message has been edited by Mike Burdick (edited 10-09-2003).]


          • #6
            KH - Nice looking bender. I bet that thing weighs 30Kg. I've got a smaller (lighter) version I use to bend automotive weatherstip and window trim at various radii. I also use it for making seat frames.

            The trick for square tubing is to have a channel on the main die and a raised radius (half-round) at the bottom of the channel. This "shrinks" the inside flat and helps keep the tube from crushing or kinking. I bend 1 and 1 1/2" Sq. tube at 90-120* on a 2" radius die.

            I've got a job comming up where I need a 2" radius, 180* bend in 3/8 x 2 HR. These (2) will be rear bumper brackets for a 31 Ford. I'm not sure how I'm going to do that yet. I may just use one of my dies and "push" it between the rails of my press. Either that or I'll have to build one like yours!


            • #7
              can you run that by me again.. about
              the channel and the raised radius? i'm
              having trouble picturing what you mean.

              i only need a channel in the "middle" die?
              the other one (leader or follower) can be flat?

              which side am i shrinking on the square tube -- the side on the inside radius?

              spell it out for me and i'll have at them on the lathe first thing tomorrow.



              • #8
                Here are a couple of benders I built, not as nice as Knucklehead's, but alternate ways of doing things for completely different purposes.



                [This message has been edited by Wes1 (edited 10-10-2003).]

                [This message has been edited by Wes1 (edited 10-10-2003).]
                Weston Bye - Author, The Mechatronist column, Digital Machinist magazine
                ~Practitioner of the Electromechanical Arts~


                • #9
                  Knuclehead,man are you busy!Nice unit!
                  I just need one more tool,just one!


                  • #10
                    I don't have a pic so here's a scribble of what the dies look like. The two outer dies are flat. The main die bolts together. When I need to change for the pipe, tube, trim or weatherstrip size, I just change out the center part of the main die. It saved a lot of machining and stock. I have about 10 "inserts" for the main die.

                    The half-round at the bottom is actually about 40% of the tube size. The channel keeps the tubing from bulging out. I left about .030 clearance on the tube to die.

                    Anyone that's ever put new drip rails on 30's Ford knows the value of a radius bender.

                    [This message has been edited by CCWKen (edited 10-11-2003).]


                    • #11
                      wes -- i think DrRob described something similar in another thread..with a kurt vice under a mill?

                      i really like the idea in pic#2.. i'm guessing the tubing gets locked in place between the large die and the handle? and is "pulled" through? i like this 'positive lock' idea.. with my bender, i'm never really quite sure which end will slide and which will feed through.. i always leave a little extra on both ends, then cut out the piece i need.

                      CCWken -- (counterclockwise ken? -- i dont know if thats what your nickname means, but thats how i always read it -- all your benders work counterclockwise? hah)

                      GREAT idea with the interchangeable die. i was racking my brain trying to figure out a way to keep from making 100,000 different dies. here goes another saturday!

                      weirdsci & mburdick: thanks. my shop hasnt been open long (about 10 months).. outfitting the shop to accomodate different work has been priority one. since i spend more money than i make, it has to go toward equipment i cant make (ie welders, etc).

                      i'm at this in-between stage where just enough people know i'm around for me to make a living.. but not enough yet to fry my brain. one day (seems like soon) i probably wont have the time to 'play' like this.

                      then again, most people dont define making shop equipment like tube benders as 'play'



                      • #12
                        LOL... Sometimes I think I'm running backwards. No, the CCW stands for Custom Car Works.