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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
    MTBob
    ____________________________
    MM 251 w/Spool gun
    MM 135
    Evolution Cut Off saw
    Logan Lathe
    Clausing Mill
    Walker Turner Drill Press

  • #2
    Awesome. I'd sweep shop floors and scrub toilets for a month just to hang around there and absorb your knowledge.
    MillerMatic 140 Auto-Set

    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.
        MTBob
        ____________________________
        MM 251 w/Spool gun
        MM 135
        Evolution Cut Off saw
        Logan Lathe
        Clausing Mill
        Walker Turner Drill Press

        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.
          Maxstar 200DX
          Maxstar 300DX
          Dynasty 200DX
          Passport
          Spectrum 701
          LMSW-52 spot welder

          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.
            Miller 251...sold the spoolgun to DiverBill.
            Miller DialArc 250
            Lincoln PrecisionTig 275
            Hypertherm 900 plasma cutter
            Bridgeport "J" head mill...tooled up
            Jet 14 X 40 lathe...ditto
            South Bend 9" lathe...yeah, got the change gears too
            Logan 7" shaper
            Ellis 3000 band saw
            Hossfeld bender w/shopbuilt hyd.
            Victor Journeyman torch and gauges
            3 Gerstner boxes of mostly Starrett tools
            Lots of dust bunnies
            Too small of a shop at 40 X 59.

            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
              MTBob
              ____________________________
              MM 251 w/Spool gun
              MM 135
              Evolution Cut Off saw
              Logan Lathe
              Clausing Mill
              Walker Turner Drill Press

              Comment


              • #8
                You're welcome to come over any time. I work nights, so around most days if you notify me ahead of time.
                Miller 251...sold the spoolgun to DiverBill.
                Miller DialArc 250
                Lincoln PrecisionTig 275
                Hypertherm 900 plasma cutter
                Bridgeport "J" head mill...tooled up
                Jet 14 X 40 lathe...ditto
                South Bend 9" lathe...yeah, got the change gears too
                Logan 7" shaper
                Ellis 3000 band saw
                Hossfeld bender w/shopbuilt hyd.
                Victor Journeyman torch and gauges
                3 Gerstner boxes of mostly Starrett tools
                Lots of dust bunnies
                Too small of a shop at 40 X 59.

                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!!!!!!!!!!!!!
                  I'm not late...
                  I'm just on Hawaiian Time

                  Comment


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

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

                    Bob
                    MTBob
                    ____________________________
                    MM 251 w/Spool gun
                    MM 135
                    Evolution Cut Off saw
                    Logan Lathe
                    Clausing Mill
                    Walker Turner Drill Press

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      thanks for the link!!!!!!!!!!!
                      I'm not late...
                      I'm just on Hawaiian Time

                      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.
                          MTBob
                          ____________________________
                          MM 251 w/Spool gun
                          MM 135
                          Evolution Cut Off saw
                          Logan Lathe
                          Clausing Mill
                          Walker Turner Drill Press

                          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.
                            Miller 251...sold the spoolgun to DiverBill.
                            Miller DialArc 250
                            Lincoln PrecisionTig 275
                            Hypertherm 900 plasma cutter
                            Bridgeport "J" head mill...tooled up
                            Jet 14 X 40 lathe...ditto
                            South Bend 9" lathe...yeah, got the change gears too
                            Logan 7" shaper
                            Ellis 3000 band saw
                            Hossfeld bender w/shopbuilt hyd.
                            Victor Journeyman torch and gauges
                            3 Gerstner boxes of mostly Starrett tools
                            Lots of dust bunnies
                            Too small of a shop at 40 X 59.

                            Comment

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