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Old 10-09-2012, 04:03 PM   #1
DiabloADV OP
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Pipe/Tube bending

So, I'm going to take on the challenge of making a custom subframe for my '70 airhead. I've got the welding part down reasonably well...been practicing and getting critique from a neighbor that knows about such stuff.

Next up is figuring out how I'm going to bend the pipe stock. I know that a proper shop has expensive bending machines, with the right mandrels and so forth. But what does the cheap home hacker garage have?

What's the pennytech way of getting some basic bends into these pipes? For example, a 180* bend for the back end of the subframe...

Home built rig? Cheap Harborfreight options...?
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Old 10-09-2012, 04:39 PM   #2
sailah
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It might be cheaper to just buy the mandrel bends from Columbia River or similar. You'll get perfect bends and you can cut to make the right angles. Downside is that you pay a premium for the bends and you probably end up overbuying since you don't want to run out right in the middle of the project.

I recognized that I would have a real use for the bender so I bought a JD2 bender and converted it to full hydro. It makes perfect bends, and with some practice and the degree wheel, I can make repeatable bends accurate to about a half a degree. To get what I have minus the hydro is close to $750 and that's only one die.

If you are in an area with offroaders, you might just go ahead and buy a bender with the dies you want and then sell it. You won't lose much if anything.

I've seen plenty of people lured in by the HF siren song and their pipe kinker, it's an exercise in frustration. Bending thin wall tubing requires the walls of the tubing to be supported throughout the bend which is why the dies are so expensive.

You can frig around with bending around a form with heat etc, but if you can spare $500-1000 for the time you will be working on your project, I'd look on pirate4x4 or clist and buy the bender then sell it when you are done.

If you are anywhere near Pittsburgh, you can bend to your hearts delight on my bender
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Old 10-09-2012, 05:19 PM   #3
DiabloADV OP
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Good tips...thanks...

Anybody familiar with this tool, or similar...?

http://metal.baileighindustrial.com/...-bender-rdb-25
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1970 R60/5

'91 Bill Holland Steel w/Dura Ace[/SIZE]
'01 Z3 3.0 Coupe. The Clownshoe.
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Old 10-09-2012, 06:49 PM   #4
KeithinSC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DiabloADV View Post
Good tips...thanks...

Anybody familiar with this tool, or similar...?

http://metal.baileighindustrial.com/...-bender-rdb-25
I've got that same unit. Painted a different color, got it from Woodward Fab. Works nice on small OD. I made a few pannier racks with it using 3/8" and 1/2". Gotta have it clamped in something SECURELY mounted to the floor. You really have to tug on it. Did a few practice bends on some larger stuff. I cheated and heated up the tubing with my torch to make it more bendy

I've never used a compound unit like the RBD-10, but for 1" and larger I would think it is needed.

http://www.woodwardfab.com/woodward_...e_bend%205.htm
dies are extra$$$
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Old 10-09-2012, 07:03 PM   #5
Toysrme
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sailah View Post
It might be cheaper to just buy the mandrel bends from Columbia River or similar. You'll get perfect bends and you can cut to make the right angles. Downside is that you pay a premium for the bends and you probably end up overbuying since you don't want to run out right in the middle of the project.

I recognized that I would have a real use for the bender so I bought a JD2 bender and converted it to full hydro. It makes perfect bends, and with some practice and the degree wheel, I can make repeatable bends accurate to about a half a degree. To get what I have minus the hydro is close to $750 and that's only one die.

If you are in an area with offroaders, you might just go ahead and buy a bender with the dies you want and then sell it. You won't lose much if anything.

I've seen plenty of people lured in by the HF siren song and their pipe kinker, it's an exercise in frustration. Bending thin wall tubing requires the walls of the tubing to be supported throughout the bend which is why the dies are so expensive.

You can frig around with bending around a form with heat etc, but if you can spare $500-1000 for the time you will be working on your project, I'd look on pirate4x4 or clist and buy the bender then sell it when you are done.

If you are anywhere near Pittsburgh, you can bend to your hearts delight on my bender
everything this guy said is on the money

sand bending sucks & IMO if you can afford a project, you can afford some mandrels!
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Old 10-09-2012, 07:57 PM   #6
Smopho
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Fill the tube with builders sand when you bend it to keep it from collapsing. Tack weld a metal slug from an electrical junction box punchout over the tube end to hold the sand in until you're done bending.
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Old 10-09-2012, 09:38 PM   #7
victor441
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Sand bending with heat from a torch can work OK if you can't justify the $$$ for a proper bender for hobby work ( I can't), I made the rack below with it on my first try....next time I'll weld a nut on one end of the tube and use a bolt to compress the sand after each bend, from what I've read this is necessary as the steel stretches on each...my first bend was best and the rest had some minor flattening. One trick I learned from the web is to make a template from wire (I used some from a coathanger) so the bend angles are the same. LOts of good info on the web and there is an interesting thread here at http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=697787
And if you try it the sand MUST be baked first, if it is damp a violent steam explosion is possible. The accuracy will not be equal to what a quality bender can produce but is good enough for what I do...


victor441 screwed with this post 10-09-2012 at 09:48 PM
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Old 10-09-2012, 10:31 PM   #8
zeRax
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i bend so much freakin tube it is redonkulus.


bend up what you want it to be out of a sturdy bit of wire, ask a hydraulics shop what the thinnest wall tubing of x size they are happy to bend. take it in your material and a box of beer and get their tubey to bend it.


no worries if you lived here :)


or buy a cheap as multi die rotary hand bender piece of junk and just use that
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Old 10-09-2012, 10:43 PM   #9
TUCKERS
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What he said.

For a one off or two project I'd just pay someone else to bend it...and I was a pipe fitter for 6 years!
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Old 10-10-2012, 05:39 AM   #10
rd1900
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One tip if you are going to use a manual bender - as someone else said, it takes some force and needs to be mounted somewhere sturdy. With some 2" square tube, you can fab a bender stand that fits into a receiver hitch on a truck. This is plenty sturdy, and a lot easier and less permanent than bolting it into a concrete floor.
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Old 10-10-2012, 07:27 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rd1900 View Post
One tip if you are going to use a manual bender - as someone else said, it takes some force and needs to be mounted somewhere sturdy. With some 2" square tube, you can fab a bender stand that fits into a receiver hitch on a truck. This is plenty sturdy, and a lot easier and less permanent than bolting it into a concrete floor.
Excellent idea!
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1974 R90/6 w/1050 kit. Motor only. Seeking a frame.
1970 R60/5

'91 Bill Holland Steel w/Dura Ace[/SIZE]
'01 Z3 3.0 Coupe. The Clownshoe.
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Old 10-10-2012, 08:46 PM   #12
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I use a HF with dies a friend gave me. You can find dies on ebay and a HF bender for $50.00.
I use grease each bend and pull the handle slow and steady.



And just for fun

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Old 10-11-2012, 08:01 AM   #13
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For bending small OD tubing (under 1/2), I've used pullies as dies . . . . . lay the tube below the jaws of your vise, place the pulley on top of the tube, close the vise onto the pulley, and bend away . . . .

Granted, the radius is limited to teh OD of the pully, and finding a pully that is grooved to accept the tubing size you want to bend might not be a one-trip-to-the-hardware-store deal, but, for very occasional work, it suits . . . . .
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Old 10-11-2012, 08:14 AM   #14
DiabloADV OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Toyanvil View Post
I use a HF with dies a friend gave me. You can find dies on ebay and a HF bender for $50.00.
I use grease each bend and pull the handle slow and steady.
Wow! Nice looking work.
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1974 R90/6 w/1050 kit. Motor only. Seeking a frame.
1970 R60/5

'91 Bill Holland Steel w/Dura Ace[/SIZE]
'01 Z3 3.0 Coupe. The Clownshoe.
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Old 10-13-2012, 03:12 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Toyanvil View Post
I use a HF with dies a friend gave me. You can find dies on ebay and a HF bender for $50.00.
I use grease each bend and pull the handle slow and steady.

I see dies for sale, but they're for the JD2 benders. Will they work on other brands of benchtop benders (like Northern Tool or HF?).
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1974 R90/6 w/1050 kit. Motor only. Seeking a frame.
1970 R60/5

'91 Bill Holland Steel w/Dura Ace[/SIZE]
'01 Z3 3.0 Coupe. The Clownshoe.
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