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  1. #1

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

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Portland, OR
    Posts
    189

    Default

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

  3. #3

    Default

    Very nice !

    Have you made any dies for round or square tubing?

    Mark

  4. #4

    Default

    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

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    San Diego
    Posts
    375

    Default

    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

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    WY...armpit of U.S.A.
    Posts
    659

    Default

    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.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Oahu, Hawaii
    Posts
    2,469

    Default Ugh...Here we go again!!!!!!!!!

    Quote 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

  8. #8

    Default

    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

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Oahu, Hawaii
    Posts
    2,469

    Default

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

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Milan Michigan
    Posts
    1,691

    Default

    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.

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