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I need a quick and easy bending jig

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  • I need a quick and easy bending jig

    I am making a toolbox which contains trays. The trays will be lifted out by handles that drop into the sides when not in use. Think inverted U for the handle, and 2 holes in the side, one for each leg of the U.

    The last time I tried bending a few things, everything I made was a different size. Annoying.

    The trays have to hold maybe 5 pounds each, so I was thinking the handles could be 3/16" mild steel, or whatever the Big Box store sells. I only need about 6 of them, and I would guestimate the legs would be about 2" long, and the connecting part 3" maybe. The size isn't real critical.

    I would like the bends in the U to be pretty sharp. I don't have a torch but I suppose I can get a disposable one if necessary.

    I want the jig to be as low-rent as possible so I don't get in the build-a-tool-to-build-a-tool-to-build-a-tool trap and never complete anything. That's my superpower.

  • #2
    Bench vise, hammer (2 lb), wood board (2 x 4 x 6").

    Whap, whap, whap, done.
    Paul A.
    SE Texas

    And if you look REAL close at an analog signal,
    You will find that it has discrete steps.


    • #3
      What Paul said, cut a board to the size you want the inside of your trays to be and pound away.. Well you get the idea.

      I would rather have tools that I never use, than not have a tool I need.
      Oregon Coast


      • #4
        How about McMaster-Carr #1568A71? $5.73 ea



        • #5
          If you don't like hammers, how big is your vise (jaws)
          Get a piece of 1/8 " or 1/4" inch pipe.
          Set the rod in the vise about 2 inches (whatever) and then feed the pipe onto the rod and when the pipe hits the vise, bend it 90 degrees.
          Set the bent portion in the jaws ( say 4") and do it again.
          You will get nice sharp controlled bends and the vise jaws (width) holding the handle part for you will make every handle the same size
          Green Bay, WI


          • #6
            A simple plate with holes drilled and tapped for bolts to screw into for the bend locations. 3/16 requires no heat. You could probably use wood and screws. Unless you have a vise that the jaws are narrow enough for the width handle you want to make. Just cut each piece to finished length, clamp in vise and wack each leg into a 90 bend. Ten minutes and done.
            Location: The Black Forest in Germany

            How to become a millionaire: Start out with 10 million and take up machining as a hobby!


            • #7
              I'm low-tech and tried the 'smack it with a hammer' approach. I don't know what my problem was before, but this simply worked fine. I made 6 handles in no time, and they are all somewhat similar :-D

              My previous failure involved trying to bend 1/4" rod into an oval shape. That's what traumatized me.

              Thanks all for the help!

              Here's a pic of my handles


              • #8
                Nicely done!
                WI/IL border, USA


                • #9
                  Tony, they look like they came off a CNC bending machine. Good job.
                  Location: The Black Forest in Germany

                  How to become a millionaire: Start out with 10 million and take up machining as a hobby!