Building a Flat Top Bender - Hot Rod Forum : Hotrodders Bulletin Board
Hotrodders.com -- Hot Rod Forum



Register FAQ Search Today's Posts Unanswered Posts Auto Escrow Insurance Auto Loans
Hot Rod Forum : Hotrodders Bulletin Board > Tech Help> Garage - Tools
User Name
Password
lost password?   |   register now

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
  #1 (permalink)  
Old 03-15-2014, 08:25 PM
STUPID is as STUPID does...
 
Last wiki edit: Crankshaft Coalition Wiki Last photo:
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Stupidville, USA
Posts: 1,710
Wiki Edits: 1

Thanks: 11
Thanked 81 Times in 75 Posts
Building a Flat Top Bender

I purchased a HD bender from SWAG a couple of years ago. It works in my hydraulic press. SWAG also sells what they call a flat top bender that just sits on top of the big bender or it can be used by itself. It's a piece of 5/8" X 6" X 19 1/2" steel plate with a couple of 3/8" x 3" x 19 1/2" plate that bolt to it. The thinner plates are slotted so they can be adjusted in and out. This will allow for much sharper bends in thinner stock then the big bender does. SWAG wants 120 dollars for their bender. It's really simple so I figured I could make one similar for a lot less.
I called my local steel supplier for a quote on a piece of 5/8 plate to make the base for my bender. Uncommon size, didn't have any in stock. Would cost 70 bucks to order it... Hmmm, not very cost effective. I asked about 3/4" and they had plenty of that! A 6" inch wide piece that was plasma cut on one side was 20 bucks! Perfect! I had a 6" wide hunk of 3/8th's in the rack so I took that with me. They sheared the 3/8ths to length and split it down the middle for me and I walked out of the shop with everything for 30 bucks...
Here is the piece of 3/4" set up in the drill press.


After drilling the four corner holes to 27/64th's I clamped the plate up on the fab table for tapping the holes for 1/2-13.

Tapping the holes. I use Tap Magic cutting fluid for all of my drilling and tapping. Makes a HUGE difference. Took about a half hour to tap all four.

All tapped and cleaned up. I ran a chamfering bit into the holes after tapping and cleaned up the plate with a flap disc on the 4" grinder.

Tomorrow I'll work on the two "bend" plates. Getting them set up in the mill and cutting the slots.
Mark

    Advertisement
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
  #2 (permalink)  
Old 03-16-2014, 05:36 AM
Denny's Avatar
34 chevy truck 410 merc power
 
Last photo:
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Loves Park, Ill
Age: 65
Posts: 847
Wiki Edits: 0

Thanks: 107
Thanked 133 Times in 128 Posts
Looking good Mark.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
  #3 (permalink)  
Old 03-16-2014, 04:51 PM
STUPID is as STUPID does...
 
Last wiki edit: Crankshaft Coalition Wiki Last photo:
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Stupidville, USA
Posts: 1,710
Wiki Edits: 1

Thanks: 11
Thanked 81 Times in 75 Posts
Thanks Denny! I wrapped up the bender build today. Didn't turn out "quite" the way I was planning but it will work fine. My little lathe/mill combo wasn't up to the task of milling the slots... I just couldn't keep the plates stable enough to keep the end mill from wandering.
This is my initial attempt at milling the slots. This got ugly real fast... You can see how the mill was trailing off and wandering.

Not good. I gave up and trimmed off the holes. I cut them down and will use them as "washers" to clamp the plate to the base.
After getting everything trimmed and cleaned up.

The washers will work alright for now.



I laid a centerline on the base. It's not really necessary but I'll use it to align the two benders. I can set the width of the plates using a piece of tubing or any thickness stock for that matter.

I'll have to experiment with the gap to determine what works for specific bend angles.
Mocking the benders up. This is the SWAG bender.

With the flat top bender loaded.




This will work okay for now. I have a few ideas to try if I make another one. I have plans to pick up a "real" mill. a co-worker has a "frankenmill" he wants to sell. I have looked at it and committed to buy it. THAT would let me do some of this machining I am unable to do now.
Mark
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
The Following User Says Thank You to astroracer For This Useful Post:
Denny (03-16-2014)
  #4 (permalink)  
Old 03-17-2014, 08:49 AM
Registered User
 

Last journal entry: Machining Fuel Rail Stock/Fit Up
Last photo:
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Connecticut
Posts: 141
Wiki Edits: 0

Thanks: 2
Thanked 16 Times in 14 Posts
Did you lock the opposite axis on the table when milling the slots. I.E. when cutting slots on the X axis you need to lock thy Y axis. Also did you drill starter holes for your slots. Making a plunge cut with an end mill especially on small mill drill machines will dance around. Did you use a center cutting mill on this ? I have a heaver machine (Brideport) and I usually drill and slightly smaller hole then my end mill for cutting slots. Then I plunge the existing hole(depth depends on thickness of material). Make my slot, stop and come back to the hole, then plunge a little more. The slightly smaller diameter hole than the end mill makes the slot very uniform and does not have an egg shape where you drilled the initial hole. I made a video on slotting.
Youtube username: tjsnordic. There are many many techniques for slotting. I do what works for me.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
  #5 (permalink)  
Old 03-17-2014, 09:31 AM
STUPID is as STUPID does...
 
Last wiki edit: Crankshaft Coalition Wiki Last photo:
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Stupidville, USA
Posts: 1,710
Wiki Edits: 1

Thanks: 11
Thanked 81 Times in 75 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by TJSBBC View Post
Did you lock the opposite axis on the table when milling the slots. I.E. when cutting slots on the X axis you need to lock thy Y axis. Also did you drill starter holes for your slots. Making a plunge cut with an end mill especially on small mill drill machines will dance around. Did you use a center cutting mill on this ? I have a heaver machine (Brideport) and I usually drill and slightly smaller hole then my end mill for cutting slots. Then I plunge the existing hole(depth depends on thickness of material). Make my slot, stop and come back to the hole, then plunge a little more. The slightly smaller diameter hole than the end mill makes the slot very uniform and does not have an egg shape where you drilled the initial hole. I made a video on slotting.
Youtube username: tjsnordic. There are many many techniques for slotting. I do what works for me.
Thanks for responding. Yea, I did all of the "normal" things to set up for milling slots. Drilled holes (you can see them in the pic), locked the Y and even tried taking .005 cuts. I'll get a pic of the set up today, then I think it will be clear. The "mill" portion of the machine swings around on a swivel head and I had to raise the plates on square tubing to get them to working level. I just couldn't get them stable enough to prevent chatter and that is what killed the process...
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
  #6 (permalink)  
Old 03-17-2014, 12:33 PM
Registered User
 

Last journal entry: Machining Fuel Rail Stock/Fit Up
Last photo:
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Connecticut
Posts: 141
Wiki Edits: 0

Thanks: 2
Thanked 16 Times in 14 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by astroracer View Post
Thanks for responding. Yea, I did all of the "normal" things to set up for milling slots. Drilled holes (you can see them in the pic), locked the Y and even tried taking .005 cuts. I'll get a pic of the set up today, then I think it will be clear. The "mill" portion of the machine swings around on a swivel head and I had to raise the plates on square tubing to get them to working level. I just couldn't get them stable enough to prevent chatter and that is what killed the process...

Never had the opportunity to use an overseas combo machine. Canít say that I would want to either. I guess am lucky to have a Bridgeport Mill w/DRO in my home shop. I also do all my drilling and tapping on my mill. Everything comes out nice a straight as well. The set up you are making is interesting. I know once I get my CNC plasma table finished and running I am going to make a set of these for myself. I know I can make these on my mill but I just want to play with my new CNC plasma table.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

Recent Garage - Tools posts with photos

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Hot Rod Forum : Hotrodders Bulletin Board forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name (usually not your first and last name), your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
If you do not want to register, fill this field only and the name will be used as user name for your post.
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.




Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Flat top recommendation 75chev4x4 Engine 9 05-30-2011 02:57 PM
best books for building a flat head 37ford4dr Engine 2 11-12-2005 06:15 PM
Flat top pistons Silentlion_69 Engine 13 03-25-2005 07:26 AM
Building a flat 302 ?? Warm_Spit Engine 3 08-16-2003 10:32 PM
building flat bed leroy Body - Exterior 3 04-01-2003 03:30 AM


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 08:29 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.6.0 PL2
Copyright Hotrodders.com 1999 - 2012. All Rights Reserved.