how do i bend steel tubing at home?

Discussion in 'Motorized Bicycle Welding, Fabrication and Paintin' started by joewlms3, Jul 16, 2009.

  1. joewlms3

    joewlms3 New Member

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    have some tubing i need to bend for my frame build 1 1/8"
    somebody tell me hot to get like a 30-45deg bend pretty small raius without kinking
    plz help
     
  2. DOC BOLM

    DOC BOLM New Member

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    Build a jig from a old car wheel or brake drum,lock it in a vice,heat your tubing cherry red .you can weld one end to the jig.Start bending.Easy as pie.HD P.S.Fill your tube with sand it wont flatten out.
     
    #2 DOC BOLM, Jul 16, 2009
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2009
  3. joewlms3

    joewlms3 New Member

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    dont own a torch but that would sure be a nice addition to my tool kit
    would you be talkin about a little propane job? or a oxy/acetylene rig?

    any other thoughts
     
  4. DOC BOLM

    DOC BOLM New Member

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    On thin wall tube use mapp gas on the small propane rig.HD
     
  5. joewlms3

    joewlms3 New Member

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    excellent! i can probably afford one of those
     
  6. skjjoe

    skjjoe Member

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    fill it with sand first to keep the kinks out.
     
  7. 2door

    2door Moderator
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    And pack the sand very, very tight. Have you thought of trying an electrical conduit bender. They're cheap and available at most hardware, home improvement and electrical supply outlets. 1 1/8" O.D. is close enough to 1" conduit.
    Tom
     
    #7 2door, Jul 16, 2009
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2009
  8. dillon_b12

    dillon_b12 New Member

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    Make sure the sand is super dry before you pack the tubes and don't seal the tube completely. You need to leave a slight leak so that when you heat the tube, the air inside can escape as pressure inside the tube rises from the heat. Wet sand will steam and cause the same problem if you don't allow the tube to breathe.
     
  9. TerrontheSnake

    TerrontheSnake New Member

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    Aha, I was wondering why mine always kinked... I don't have a lot of Exp with tubing yet. LoL I love this place, I was just looking through random threads and learned something new!
     
  10. Junster

    Junster New Member

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    You can also look at Harbor Freight. Their tubing bender is $179
     
  11. BrettMavriK

    BrettMavriK New Member

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    Just be careful here to what looks like a "Tubing Bender" at those places.
    There is a difference between a Tubing Bender and a Pipe Bender.
    Tubing is measured in Outside Diameter, while Pipe is measured in Inside diameter.This means 2" Pipe may have a 2-1/4" OD or better. so, as you can see the dies will not work for Tubing. You can try, but all you'll do is mar and deform the tubing as you try to bend it.
    Another thing to consider is the radius of the dies of a true tubing bender. too large of a radius, and you won't get the bend as tight as you expected.

    More than meets the eye.... =-]'
     
    #11 BrettMavriK, Jul 18, 2009
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2009
  12. joewlms3

    joewlms3 New Member

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    so far the i like the sound of the conduit bender. mostly because i have used a tool like that before at where i used to work work but my job wont let me get to home depot until after aug 18th i hope i dont have to wait that long
    ive sand bent some copper before to make a 2meter j-pole anteanna which didnt work well at all
    if you guys really think it will work well with the heating and sand just let me know. if i go that route i will have to buy some more materials for a jig or if i wanna use the conduit bender i will have to buy that
     
  13. joewlms3

    joewlms3 New Member

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    oh yeah absolutely i was a pipe fitter before i started the job im at now


    dont forget guys

    pipe is measured by nominal ID
    tubing is measured by actual OD
    emt conduit is measured by actual ID
    and that big heavy condiut is measured like pipe
     
  14. Junster

    Junster New Member

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    I don't know if your looking Birddog but to bend tubing at home without the equipment. Try filling the tube with sand. Fill it all the way and use those plumbing test plugs in the ends. then you can use heat and a form made from plywood and if you take your time you can be successful. Don't start a fire.
     
  15. Birddog1148

    Birddog1148 New Member

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    I tried to post a link from a VW forum I frequent on the HF Bender AKA "Kinker" but being new it wouldnt let me. It involved some mods to make the HF unit more tubing friendly as oposed to just pipe, but thanks. drn2 Great smileys by the way!
     
  16. silverbear

    silverbear The Boy Who Never Grew Up

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    I guess this is as good a place to ask as any since it involves bending tubular metal. I'm trying to make a pocket bike expansion chamber fit on my 39 Elgin and had thought to use a section of bicycle handlebar as pipe going from the exhaust manifold to the expansion pipe. The handlebar fits snugly inside the expansion pipe and like the pipe is chromed. Yesterday I tried bending the handlebar by heating it up with a propane torch, but it does not produce enough heat. I know that map gas is hotter and know enough that a whole kit is involved and some money, too. What I want to know is if the map gas cylinder can be used with a regular bernzomatic propane torch? Will it produce more heat than a propane cylinder... is it a safe thing to do... and would the heat be adequate for bending handlebar pipe? Also, would I need to use sand inside to keep it from crimping? Many thanks. I think the question is closely enough related to the theme of the thread to not be a high jack.
    SB
     
  17. Alajoyn

    Alajoyn New Member

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    Maybe this is out of place, but as I recall, I've in the past asked muffler shops as to bending tubing and they always quoted me $1 (one dollar) per bend. Since then my son's millwright shop has their own.

    Wouldn't this be worth a look?

    Robert
     

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