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Old 03-13-2013, 06:44 AM
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Built a Cheap Ast sheet metal radius bender

I built a simple sheet metal bender out of scraps I had laying around. Necessity being the mother that it is, I had to bend a panel for the van that was just under 39 inches long and the 3-in-1 is too short to do that.
This is the panel. You can see the dashed tangent line at the top. That's where we needed a 1" radius bend.


Using some 3 x 3/8ths plate, a piece of 1x2 tubing and the top tube out of an old swingset I fabbed up a simple bender that will clamp the steel in place and except a piece 48" wide.
Here you can see the 38" panel we bent for the van. It has a short flange on one side and we just clamped it in place and hand bent it (20ga).

You can see the tube here with the bent flange at the top.

Here is the panel set in place. Very nice.

I will get some clearer pics later. Once the sheet was bent I cleaned up the bender and sprayed it gloss orange so I had to wait to let the paint dry.
This is the "top" piece. There are no bolts. It just gets C-Clamped together while I am doing the bend. Quick and easy...

The bottom half. This is a 1 x 2 rect tube welded to the two end plates. The upper half clamps in between to capture the sheet being bent. This guy will clamp to the fab bench or the jig tables.

I spent about an hour making this thing. Do you know how much time it will save trying to clamp steel and round tubing together to make a long bend? A LOT!!!
Mark

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Old 03-13-2013, 08:46 AM
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roller

nice job.. now keeping in mind of pic # 2 n 3. can u take a pic of them laying together at the end to see the way u clamped it..
and how did u get the end result of the radius.. is one pc rotating around the tubing or ??????
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Old 03-13-2013, 09:30 AM
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Very nice, I used a welding bottle once for a radius on the bottom of a door.

Brian
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Old 03-13-2013, 10:24 AM
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Hey Astro,

Not to get off-topic, but where'd you find those wheel tubs? Those are exactly what I'm wanting for my Rambler! On a closer look, it appears they may be stretched stock tubs? Chris Alston used to sell "truck" tubs that had a radiused edge that looked more "finished" than the standard Pittsburgh seam, but I don't see them offered anymore...

Russ
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Old 03-13-2013, 11:15 AM
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Originally Posted by delawarebill View Post
nice job.. now keeping in mind of pic # 2 n 3. can u take a pic of them laying together at the end to see the way u clamped it..
and how did u get the end result of the radius.. is one pc rotating around the tubing or ??????
In pic #2 you can see one of the C-clamps. These clamp the two "beams" together to hold the sheetmetal. I just bend the tin up with my hands, there are no moving pieces in the "bender". It is real simple, I have better pics after I painted it. I'll upload them tonight. This piece was 20ga but it would work with 18ga also. Just take a little more elbow grease.
The other aspect with this thing is I can easily build another top die out of any diameter tubing I need. Black pipe will work for just about any diameter you would need and it is cheap. The bottom 1 x 2 makes for nice square bends also if that is what I need.
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Old 03-13-2013, 11:19 AM
STUPID is as STUPID does...
 
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Originally Posted by S10xGN View Post
Hey Astro,

Not to get off-topic, but where'd you find those wheel tubs? Those are exactly what I'm wanting for my Rambler! On a closer look, it appears they may be stretched stock tubs? Chris Alston used to sell "truck" tubs that had a radiused edge that looked more "finished" than the standard Pittsburgh seam, but I don't see them offered anymore...

Russ
Hey Russ,
I did exactly as you perceived. I cut out the original wheel wells, squared them up and added 18ga sheetmetal to them to get the width I needed. I don't care for the "square corner" race car style tubs so I used the stockers to build what I wanted.
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Old 03-13-2013, 07:08 PM
STUPID is as STUPID does...
 
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Got some better pics of the radius bender tonight. Here it is, assembled, clamped on the welding table.

This is one end of the top "die" if you would. The notch in the end plates clears the 1 x 2 in the lower die and lets the centerline of the tube snuggle up to the edge of the 1 x 2.

A few of the notch with the bender assembled. The round tube is centered directly over the edge of the rectangular tube.

This is a cutoff from the tunnels we made. I clamped it in the bender with a C-Clamp. I'll do a little bending with this so you can see what can be done.

Bending the back edge up, around the top die. This was done by hand.

Bending the front edge down, around the rectangular tube for a sharp corner.

This is pretty cool. I'll get a lot of use out of this dude.

It will be easy to make additional top dies also. Black pipe of any diameter will make excellant dies to bend around.
Get out and build one of these things...
Thanks for looking.
Mark
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