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Handy Metal Bender

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  • Handy Metal Bender

    About a year ago I began looking for a metal bender. Looked everywhere for design ideas, Hossfeld, Diacro, Shop Outfitters, etc. These dang things are expensive. So, I decided to spend about 10 times the equivalent cost in my time designing and fabricating my own bender. The design criteria:
    - needs to be tough enough to bend 5/16 x 2 bar
    - but have tooling to bend smaller precision pieces
    - needs to mount in the receiver tube on the welding table & rotate in all directions horizontal and vertical (see adapter)
    - have flexibility to adapt to most any bending requirement

    This project was probably one of the more challenging I've done recently. The arms are precision drilled on my Mill allowing a tight fit for the pins and adapter saddles I use for tooling above the arms. The adapter saddles provide a base for an infinite variety of tooling to fit a project. The pins are hardened 1141 steel. Some of the dies are cold roll steel, some hardened. The noses of the tools are case hardened with Casenite. In many ways the tooling has been a design-as-I-go, machined and welded to fit. I'm now trying to figure out how to make a scroll attachment. There is more to this than the photos show. So, if anyone wants more photos, let me know.
    Attached Files

  • #2
    Awesome. I'd sweep shop floors and scrub toilets for a month just to hang around there and absorb your knowledge.

    Comment


    • #3
      Very nice !

      Have you made any dies for round or square tubing?

      Mark

      Comment


      • #4
        Mark:
        No, I've not made any tubing dies yet. But, I have some square tubing dies that go on a Shop Outfitter Ring Roller, and I've adapted these dies to fit the bender. I've not yet tried bending tubing with these dies. In fact I'm going to have to review some Hossfeld bender literature to see exactly how I use the dies to keep from kinking the side walls. I don't know this for sure, but I'm guessing this bender would bend up to say 1/2 square tubing OK, depending on wall thickness and material type. Beyond that I'm not sure. The bender is a bit smaller than a standard commercial Hossfeld machine. The size was driven by the material I had on hand in the shop.

        Comment


        • #5
          Slick design. It is nice to be able to bend material on the top of the machine to allow for removing the material more easily.

          I looked into building a bender for a while... even had what I thought was a good design, but finally just sprung for a Hossfeld when the time came. It's no precision tool, but it works great with the proper diligence. My di-acro #2 is pretty slick, but it has it's limits.

          Making your own dies, however, can be a HUGE plus. The finials on the pins is a nice touch of class. Your bracket for locating the bending nose is great, too. Well thought out, but very simple. Do you have any trouble with it slipping on heavier material?

          I've bent 1" x .120 wall square tubing on my Hossfeld... you'd probably be surprised what you can do on your machine. I'm sure you'll do the homework and see what radii work for what material. Heck, just put a longer lever on it!

          Again, great work. Thanks for sharing.

          Comment


          • #6
            MTBob,
            Not sure what section of Montana you are in, but if you ever get down to the Gillette, WY area give me a shout. I have the square tube bending dies on my Hossfeld for you to check out for design and operation.

            Comment


            • #7
              WyoRoy: Thanks for the invite, I just may do that one of these days. That's quite a shop inventory you've got listed there. Let's stay in touch.
              Bob

              Comment


              • #8
                You're welcome to come over any time. I work nights, so around most days if you notify me ahead of time.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Ugh...Here we go again!!!!!!!!!

                  Originally posted by MTBob View Post
                  About a year ago I began looking for a metal bender. Looked everywhere for design ideas, Hossfeld, Diacro, Shop Outfitters, etc. These dang things are expensive. So, I decided to spend about 10 times the equivalent cost in my time designing and fabricating my own bender. The design criteria:
                  - needs to be tough enough to bend 5/16 x 2 bar
                  - but have tooling to bend smaller precision pieces
                  - needs to mount in the receiver tube on the welding table & rotate in all directions horizontal and vertical (see adapter)
                  - have flexibility to adapt to most any bending requirement

                  This project was probably one of the more challenging I've done recently. The arms are precision drilled on my Mill allowing a tight fit for the pins and adapter saddles I use for tooling above the arms. The adapter saddles provide a base for an infinite variety of tooling to fit a project. The pins are hardened 1141 steel. Some of the dies are cold roll steel, some hardened. The noses of the tools are case hardened with Casenite. In many ways the tooling has been a design-as-I-go, machined and welded to fit. I'm now trying to figure out how to make a scroll attachment. There is more to this than the photos show. So, if anyone wants more photos, let me know.
                  HALLLLOOOOO!!!!!!!!! MORE PHOTOS PLEASE!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Bert: here is a Photobucket link to a bunch more bender photos:

                    http://gs103.photobucket.com/groups/m149/DLCJJ2ERDM/

                    Bob

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      thanks for the link!!!!!!!!!!!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Harbor freight makes a bender that can do most of what yours does, they sell for about $ 100.00 and you may save yourself from making some dies.

                        The little bender that I have is a gem for the price, I use it all the time.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I looked at the HF bender, you're right it is similar... cause I stole the general design from them. But hey considering the time it took me to make this thing my equivalent rate is somewhere around 13 cents/hour. As it turned out by the time I realized this project was taking way too much time, it was too late to turn back. I guess I'm kinda bullheaded, if I can, I'd rather make a tool than buy one.
                          While my design copies many of the HF / Hossfeld bender designs, I think the one difference is the above the arm saddles and tooling that I've built - mostly for smaller thinner stuff. If I bend heavy material, I need to bend between the arms.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            MTBob,
                            What I appreciate most about your design is that you've mated designs from both the Hossfeld and the Diacro benders into one unit.

                            Comment

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