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Old 05-09-2006, 10:50 AM
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compact bench bender

Hi Guys -

Has anyone used this bender from Harbor Freight?

http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/cta...emnumber=44094

It can do up to 5/8" solid round stock. My question, would it do tube/pipe as well or would it kink as the radius was formed?

Any help is appreciated!

Joe
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Old 05-09-2006, 11:01 AM
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That thing is great for what it is designed for..making and bending brackets and varius widgetry out of solid stock..Tubing it will not do..you will need the ones from protool or jd squared for tubing..Sorry been there done that..

Sam
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Old 05-09-2006, 11:19 AM
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OMT -

thanks for the quick response... What about this one?

http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/cta...emnumber=32888

I'm building a rack for the 4 wheeler. While I've looked at the JD2's and 3's, I can't justify that kind of coin when I have to put a floor in the Impala

thanks for the help!
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Old 05-09-2006, 01:21 PM
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Sorry the dies in that thing work for pipe but not tubing... you can if you wish fill the tubes with dry sand heat them in a forge and then bend them..kinda hard to do it that way and takes practice to get a smooth bend..

Tubing bending takes dies specially for that purpose and I myself had to bite it and buy a tubing bender to do my car..

Sam
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Old 05-09-2006, 08:27 PM
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There is a guy on ebay that sells tube bending dies for the unit from HF. I'm thinking about trying it myself. He has dies for 1" and 1 1/4" but they cost $179 and look like they are made of aluminum. Check it out by searching "tube benders".

Oljoedog
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Old 05-10-2006, 06:35 AM
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Thanks for the help guys. I'm going to stay away from the HF stuff. Might have to bite the bullet....

Joe
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Old 05-10-2006, 08:16 AM
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It has been pointed out in a number of past threads but bears repeating here...there is a difference between a "pipe bender" and a "tube bender" and I guess what you'd call a "metal bender" (for flat stock). Unfortunately, they are each meant to do their own separate job and they are not really interchangeable...at least not without some fairly expensive bending dies.

Pipe benders are meant to fit traditional pipe stock sizes. And tube benders fit traditional tubing sizes. And they are not the same O.D. Also, thin wall tubing bends differently and kinks more easily (at least I think so) than thick wall pipe.

OMT is correct that with proper heating, filling with sand, and good hand/eye coordination, you MIGHT be able to get a pretty good bend in thin wall tubing...but it takes practice and you may end up wrecking more stock than the cost of getting a decent tube bender to begin with.

As an alternative, if you don't have a lot of bends to do, you can take your tubing to a good muffler shop to be bent. They have automated hydraulic machines that make pretty decent looking bends. Even better, find a shop with a mandrel bender.
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