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  1. #1
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    Default 6061 T6 Aluminum Bending

    OK so I bought this really nice bender (JD2 model 3) and some 1 inch and 1 and 1/2inch dies and plan on bending and welding some 6061 T6 aluminum tube into some really cool stuff (four wheeler racks, boat rails etc.) I live in Alaska and got a price quote on some 1 inch tube 1/8th inch wall, and some 1 1/2 inch tube 3/16ths inch wall, that I think is fair. I have to buy about 600 bucks worth to come out on the deal though, so my question is, is this a good material for general construction and bending purposes? I see alot of stuff for four wheelers is made from it and some pretty tight bends? Should I go for it? I heard and read, 6061 T6 doesnt like to bend but I really dont believe that because of all the stuff made out of it. I love welding it just never bent it. Thanks for any input.
    Last edited by 11b; 01-21-2009 at 10:59 AM.

  2. #2
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    Arnold, MD
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    It can be bent but will require pre-heating - it won't bend cold more than a few degrees without breaking. 6063 bends easier. If you want the strength of 6061 (~30%) you could use 6063 sch40 pipe instead of tube. Not sure if this would be an exact match, but 6063 shc40 pipe is plenty strong enough for what you reference.
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2005
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    Quote Originally Posted by metalfab View Post
    ..you could use 6063 sch40 pipe instead of tube.
    Nope, OP has tube dies.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by 11b View Post
    ... and plan on bending and welding some 6061 T6 aluminum tube into some really cool stuff....
    Just a reminder, any welding or heating (to bend) renders the area T0 (soft).

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
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    wisconsin
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    You could anneal/quench it to make it easier to bend, and it will gradually harden back up to some point in a few days depending on exactly how you go about it. Keep it on ice to keep it soft for longer. Pick up an enginering handbook on aluminum work published by Alcoa, they are easy to find used on ebay.
    -Aaron
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  6. #6
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by 11b View Post
    OK so I bought this really nice bender (JD2 model 3) and some 1 inch and 1 and 1/2inch dies and plan on bending and welding some 6061 T6 aluminum tube into some really cool stuff (four wheeler racks, boat rails etc.) I live in Alaska and got a price quote on some 1 inch tube 1/8th inch wall, and some 1 1/2 inch tube 3/16ths inch wall, that I think is fair. I have to buy about 600 bucks worth to come out on the deal though, so my question is, is this a good material for general construction and bending purposes? I see alot of stuff for four wheelers is made from it and some pretty tight bends? Should I go for it? I heard and read, 6061 T6 doesnt like to bend but I really dont believe that because of all the stuff made out of it. I love welding it just never bent it. Thanks for any input.
    I have the same bender and use it to bend both sch. 40 1 1/2" and 1" pipe.
    Don't buy T-6 because it will bend a few degrees and then just break all of a sudden. Trust me I KNOW
    I need to look and see what I bought last but I believe it was 6063 T-4 and it bent beautiful I am making swim platforms on offshore performance boats with it. Call your supplier and have them put you in touch with someone who is familiar with their inventory and then try a small quantity first.
    You will absolutely hate having to heat everthing to bend it. It's simply a huge waste of time and money. Just get the correct stuff to begin with and you will be much happier.

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  7. #7
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    Default

    Wow, OK, I am glad I didnt buy or order it yet! So 6063 T4 is the answer? What about some 5052? And thanks for the help gentelmen
    Last edited by 11b; 01-21-2009 at 10:53 PM.

  8. #8
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    Guam
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    5086 is nice bending and strong. I broke more then one peice of 6061 trying to figure an easy way to bend that stuff.

  9. #9
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    Ok so what would be best for 4 wheeler bumpers and boat railings, we have 5052,5086,and 6063 T4?

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by 11b View Post
    Ok so what would be best for 4 wheeler bumpers and boat railings, we have 5052,5086,and 6063 T4?
    You need to see what you can actually obtain. As far as I know you cannot easily find tube or pipe made of 5000 series.
    Ask more questions of your supplier because you will have to do that no matter what. Try to get a sheet from them or something like a website and then go from there. Then we can help you.
    The temper/heat treat is very important. I would imagine your location is going to limit you without a good bit of research on your part.

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