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  • Bending Steel Tubing

    I have seen steel tubing in boat T-tops, and in go-karts that is neatly and smoothly bent without flattening the tube in the curve. How does one do that? I have seen tubing bent by the machines at the muffler shops, and there is some reduction in diameter and flattening in the curve. So, how does one do the neat bends?
    __________________________________________________

    Miller Econotig
    Miller 210 MIG
    Craftsman 10" drill press made in 1942
    Forney welding torch
    Goss propane torches, pencil to 400K
    MaxNC CNC mill
    South Bend 9" lathe, 1944
    JET JMD-18 mill
    Atlas benchtop horizontal mill
    and tool box full of antique measuring tools
    "If you don't have it, and you need it, make it."

  • #2
    Use a good set of bending dies. Some are crush dies that distort the tube, some use mandrels inside to keep it smooth...Bob
    Bob Wright

    Spool Gun conversion. How To Do It. Below.
    http://www.millerwelds.com/resources...php?albumid=48

    Comment


    • #3
      So, I should go to a shop that has that equipment and let them do it.

      I'll need 18 90 bends and 12 45 bends in 1-1/2" structural tubing. Not unreasonable to allow 6" on each side beyond the curve zone.

      Picture a go-kart with a roll cage. 16hp Kohler vertical engine and transaxle from a riding lawnmower. Instead of 2-1/2" driving and 8" driven pulleys, 3" to 6" #35 chain sprockets and chain. May make the driving sprocket larger. By changing the driving to driven ratio, one increases the top speed.

      From the $200 riding lawnmower:
      Engine
      Transaxle
      Steering column and wheel
      Front end assembly
      4 wheels and tires, with mounting hardware
      Outside axle bearings for rear shaft
      Clutch/Brake mechanism
      Wiring and starter switch
      Seat
      Pedals

      Engine would hang just beyond rear axle.

      BIG advantage to this setup is REVERSE.
      Last edited by buffumjr; 06-21-2016, 03:06 PM.
      __________________________________________________

      Miller Econotig
      Miller 210 MIG
      Craftsman 10" drill press made in 1942
      Forney welding torch
      Goss propane torches, pencil to 400K
      MaxNC CNC mill
      South Bend 9" lathe, 1944
      JET JMD-18 mill
      Atlas benchtop horizontal mill
      and tool box full of antique measuring tools
      "If you don't have it, and you need it, make it."

      Comment


      • #4
        Hi!
        Look around on craigslist for a decent bender. I got a JD2 model 32 (with a couple dies) for a GREAT price. A bender like that would do just what you need it to do.
        -Steve in DC

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by tubameat View Post
          Hi!
          Look around on craigslist for a decent bender. I got a JD2 model 32 (with a couple dies) for a GREAT price. A bender like that would do just what you need it to do.
          -Steve in DC
          Great! Will do!
          __________________________________________________

          Miller Econotig
          Miller 210 MIG
          Craftsman 10" drill press made in 1942
          Forney welding torch
          Goss propane torches, pencil to 400K
          MaxNC CNC mill
          South Bend 9" lathe, 1944
          JET JMD-18 mill
          Atlas benchtop horizontal mill
          and tool box full of antique measuring tools
          "If you don't have it, and you need it, make it."

          Comment


          • #6
            I just sold my Hossfeld. I like this one for small tubes. http://shopoutfitters.com/ub-5h-bender/ ...Bob
            Bob Wright

            Spool Gun conversion. How To Do It. Below.
            http://www.millerwelds.com/resources...php?albumid=48

            Comment


            • #7
              Hoo boy. Craigslist had some benders. $1,200 and over. The one relief from that was a Horror Fright Tools offering being resold. New, they're $110, and $175. The $110 machine does 1/2 to 2 inch. 12 ton ram. May look into that. It may be a really nice tool to have.

              Was on YouTube. Problem solved ... I think. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZlSnVSrWg0M Use a steel strap across the center of the bend to hold it to the curved channel, and use steel shields on the two roller contact points. He showed some really nice bends.

              I'll try the HF offering, first. If it doesn't work, up on Craigslist it goes.
              Last edited by buffumjr; 06-22-2016, 10:42 AM.
              __________________________________________________

              Miller Econotig
              Miller 210 MIG
              Craftsman 10" drill press made in 1942
              Forney welding torch
              Goss propane torches, pencil to 400K
              MaxNC CNC mill
              South Bend 9" lathe, 1944
              JET JMD-18 mill
              Atlas benchtop horizontal mill
              and tool box full of antique measuring tools
              "If you don't have it, and you need it, make it."

              Comment


              • #8
                I am currently gathering materials for a similar project. However on a bit larger scale. I was looking into a John Deere Gator XUV 825i S4 and quickly decided that I can build my own. I will be using the engine, trans, suspension etc from a Geo Metro. The 1 liter 3 cylinder engine is more than enough to get the buggy moving at a healthy clip. It will only be FWD but I have no plans of off roading it. I just need a buggy that will seat four adults forward facing. Good luck with your project.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I had a '96 GEO Metro 4 cyl/auto. On a good day she would do 100 mph. I put over 100,000 miles on it...Bob
                  Bob Wright

                  Spool Gun conversion. How To Do It. Below.
                  http://www.millerwelds.com/resources...php?albumid=48

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by buffumjr View Post
                    So, I should go to a shop that has that equipment and let them do it.

                    I'll need 18 90 bends and 12 45 bends in 1-1/2" structural tubing. Not unreasonable to allow 6" on each side beyond the curve zone.
                    The key info that was left out is: bend radius. Once you go too small of a bend radius for a particular OD/wall combination, you will end up wrinkling the tube. A 45 bend on a 1' CLR is much, much different than a 45 bend on a 6" CLR. If you keep it reasonable, then it makes things much easier to maintain a good cross-sectional shape.
                    Last edited by OscarJr; 07-14-2016, 09:23 AM.
                    HTP Invertig221 D.V. Water-cooled
                    Eastwood MIG175 w/spoolgun
                    Eastwood Versacut40 Plasma cutter

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Get a JD2 Model 32 from JD2. Nothing beats that bender. Baileigh's may be close but it is also more expensive.
                      enter your site description here

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        A little info on pipe bending. All certified benders use mandrels, referenced earlier, also called balls. These keep your pipe from distorting as the tube is pulled around with the clamp and die. Additional information, bend radius is usually calculated in quantities of diameter. A 2-D bender has a radius of twice the pipe diameter. This is the tightest bend you will find without sand packing. Good Pipe benders are 10,000 and more. We have two at work that we're over $350,000 each.

                        The reason I mention "certified" is that tube frames and chassis have to be inspected and part of that inspection is a cert for the bender.

                        Hope this information is of some help.

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