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Thread: tube bender

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    5

    Default tube bender

    I am wanting to make a tube bender. I have a small 9x19 lathe that I can use to turn the tube rollers, but my question, how to cut the tube diameter from the raw stock? I've seen the radius turning tools that you can buy/make, but these are for turning ball radius or external radius, I don't think they work for an internal radius like what the tube rollers would need. Anyone have any experience making these? I could really use the advise.

    Thanks,
    Cody

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Salem ,Ohio
    Posts
    3,892

    Cool

    I have a ball turner/radius maker that i built for my SB 10" lathe. I can do up to 3" dia b a l l s and a nice 3" groove in plate but my lathe is way too small to do the larger OD dies. What size tube are you planning to bend?...Bob
    Plans here>>> http://groups.yahoo.com/group/southbend10k/
    Last edited by aametalmaster; 02-13-2008 at 06:36 PM.
    Bob Wright, Grandson of Tee Nee Boat Trailer Founder
    Metal Master Fab Salem, Oh 44460
    Birthplace of the Silver & Deming Drill
    1999 MM185 w/185 Spoolgun,1986 Thunderbolt AC/DC
    Spool Gun conversion. How To Do It. Below.
    http://www.millerwelds.com/resources...php?albumid=48

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    132

    Default

    I tried to find a link for a tool that could this but couldn't.

    Basically a guy tool a piece of drill rod the same diameter of the tube he wanted to bend, faced it in his lathe and then cut a lip into it, relieved the edge, and then parted it off. It was maybe 1/2 thick.

    Then he mounted this in his lathe tool holder, flat, and voila, a form tool the exact radius he needed for his project.

    You'd probably have to take out the majority of the material with conventional lathe tools, but this would get you there.

    He heat treated it too, IIRC.

    Good luck,

    James

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    5

    Default

    I would mostly be doing 1 1/2" and smaller, but may occasionally do up to 2".
    So you are saying that your radius tool could do that? I was worried about not being able to get it deep enough into the work before the back side would hit. If that would work, I would get one. I might try the drill rod approach as well, but not sure how easy it will be to find it that big. Sounds like a good approach. Thank you for the replies.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    132

    Default

    $22 for 1 foot of 1 1/2" dia drill rod from McMaster-Carr. They have up to 2"

    -James

    Edit: Found the site:

    http://www.frets.com/FRETSPages/Mach...bigbender.html

    Great site
    Last edited by jamscal; 02-14-2008 at 06:00 AM. Reason: new info

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    5

    Default

    Thanks James,
    I checked that link out, and that seems to be the cheapest and quickest way for me to try first. Also, thanks for the lead on where to get the drill rod. I'll have to post some pics once I finish it.
    Cody
    Thank you both for your suggestions!!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    near rochester NY
    Posts
    9,881

    Default

    metal lathes are soooo cool.
    thanks for the help
    ......or..........
    hope i helped

    feel free to shoot me an e-mail direct i have time to chat. james@newyorkmetalart.com
    summer is here, plant a tree. if you don't have space or time to plant one sponsor some one else to plant one for you. a tree is an investment in our planet, help it out.
    JAMES

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Salem ,Ohio
    Posts
    3,892

    Cool

    [QUOTE=forstonc;26099]I would mostly be doing 1 1/2" and smaller, but may occasionally do up to 2".
    QUOTE]

    I don't think your 9" lathe can swing a big enough blank to make a 2" tube die as well as have enough power to hog a piece of drill rod into a groove. Maybe with a bigger lathe but not a 9". Plus isn't the rule of thumb 6 time's the tube dia for the die diameter so a 2" die will be cut from a 12" blank. Just my thoughts. I make vee groove pulleys all the time and just hogging the bit straight in takes some power. I found little cuts are faster thats why radius tools work so well. Keep us posted...Bob
    Bob Wright, Grandson of Tee Nee Boat Trailer Founder
    Metal Master Fab Salem, Oh 44460
    Birthplace of the Silver & Deming Drill
    1999 MM185 w/185 Spoolgun,1986 Thunderbolt AC/DC
    Spool Gun conversion. How To Do It. Below.
    http://www.millerwelds.com/resources...php?albumid=48

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    132

    Default

    He may have trouble with the large dies, but making a tool per the website out of drill rod will be no trouble at all.

    I think a 1 1/2 tube will need a 4 1/2 bend radius at least....that's the 9" right there, so, yea, that might be a problem.

    I was thinking about trying to make dies out out of 1/4 plate. I was thinking I could plasma cut circles out and sandwich them together. The inner circles would be smaller than the outside, to roughly approximate the inside radius. Then, my plan goes, I could weld them together, chuck them up into the lathe, and finish them out.

    Just a thought.

    -James

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    5

    Default

    Oh. I did not know about the rule of thumb, 6 times tube diameter. Well, I guess that shoots that idea, until I can come up with another idea. What about setting one up like a ring roller, you know, with 3 dies in sort of a pyramid? And if that kinks it, maybe even using 6 die, 2 at each point of the pyramid to sandwich it? Just some thoughts going out here. This way my bend radius could be 3 times or even more, but the dies would'nt have to be as big, only 3 or 4 inches. Any thoughts on this?

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