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Can I bend 6061, 1/2" dia by hand?

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  • Can I bend 6061, 1/2" dia by hand?

    Round 6061 aluminum rod, 3 feet long, 6" clamped in vise, remaining 2 1/2 feet bent over at a 20 to 30 degree angle. No accuracy required, just eyeball close. Will it bend? Iv'e bent plenty of steel like this with no problems. I just don't have the aluminum rods to play with yet. At the bend area will it look ugly? Any tips? Help me please, this is for the wife's 30th anniversary present.
    I will post pictures when it's done.
    Thanks,
    Ted

  • #2
    How sharp of a bend?
    Gene

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    • #3
      I think the answer depends on the temper state. IIRC 6061-T6 will want to break. 6061-T6 will bend better if annealed.

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      • #4
        I just need to put a 20 to 30 deg bend. How hot to anneal it?
        Thanks.

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        • #5
          depends on the radius but id give it a shot.
          if in doubt, find a 6" peice of scrap, stick 3" in a vise and bend the rest using a hammer or a tube as a cheater bar.
          Play Brutal Nature, Black Moons free to play highly realistic voxel sandbox game.

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          • #6
            It depends. Did you eat your Wheaties this morning? Have you been working out? Did you just come off of a week long drunk? (I know, there's one in every crowd!)
            "The truth is incontrovertible, malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it, but in the end; there it is." Winston Churchill

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            • #7
              Originally posted by mototed
              How hot to anneal it?
              Blacken the bend area of the rod by coating it with Carbon, from a pure Acetylene flame, or a candle. Heat the area until the Carbon JUST goes away. It will be annealed. Be careful, the annealing temp is fairly close to the melt temp.

              DJ

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              • #8
                Originally posted by ckelloug
                I think the answer depends on the temper state. IIRC 6061-T6 will want to break. 6061-T6 will bend better if annealed.
                Seriously?

                It's a 30 degree bend.

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                • #9
                  Yup,the T-6 will break.Had that experience last fall bending aluminum handles for a job.Cut all may blanks,stuck them in the heat treat oven at 600F for an hour,came out nice and soft and bent nicely.

                  Those bends where 90* on an 1-1/4" centerline radius.He might get 30*,but I would look for surface cracks.
                  I just need one more tool,just one!

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                  • #10
                    Stick it in the vice between two pieces of plywood and bend it. It won't break. (or crack)
                    Free software for calculating bolt circles and similar: Click Here

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                    • #11
                      Can you get it in T-3? Seems a lot easier than tempering it yourself, although I think you could get 30 degree' out of it no problem.
                      \"I see\" said the blind man, as he picked up his hammer and saw.

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                      • #12
                        Orange peel effect was evident when i tried too small a radius with some 1/2", i then went up a notch and made the radius around 6" and the surface was good, minimal springback with annealed [ was m temper over here] TF temper was springy and annoying, ended up using a pipe bender of the plumbers variety [hilmoor] that worked really well as the 1/2" former was just right.
                        Did have to wrap with masking tape to minimise damage though
                        regards
                        mark

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                        • #13
                          You can anneal it also without carbon from a oxy torch.

                          Just use a felt tip marker. draw a line near the bend.
                          Heat with a propane or Mapp torch, and when the ink starts to dissappear, you are annealed

                          Please note the bend will not return to full strength for 30 days
                          Rich

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                          • #14
                            For a soft radius borrow a conduit bender.

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                            • #15
                              Thanks for the replies. I'll go ahead and order the rod and give it a try.

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