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  #16 (permalink)  
Old 11-02-2012, 03:34 AM
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Re: Making dies and rollers to bend square tubing

I am currently rebuilding a pair of '29 Studebaker ambulance/ paddywagon rear doors and need to make the tops of the doors arched. The vehicle is used for parades and special events and not a concourse show car so I can make the inner doors from steel tubing rather than wood and they will be much stronger and lighter than the near solid wood they now have. I am using the original extrerior door skins, windows, handles, and latches, just on a 1 1/4" tube frame. The doors are arched at the top and thats my problem.
I looked online for the correct rollers for my HF tube ring roller and found what I needed was just a bit pricey and way out of my limits. I stumbled into this site and this fourm and got my problem solved just by looking at the photos you have posted. You guys got me thinking:
I can make my own, so I went out to the shop, did some quick measurements and I can use 2" sch 80 pipe which has just under what the bearing size for the HF tube roller used so I can machine them to fit. Then I will use round flat 1/4" plates and weld them to it in the correct spacing needed after cotting a large enough hole in the center for the 2" pipe.
The drive roll will be done similarly but with a solid bar fitted with a 3/4" hole through it and welded into the 2" pipe. Then do the same round plate trick, drill a few holes for the set screws and they should work just fine...
This concept should work for most any square tubing up to 2"...

Ps: I did run across an outfit that makes weld on wings for the HF Tube Ring Roller so the rollers can be spread appart wider, same outfit that wanted $325 for rollers. The wings aren't cheap either...

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Old 11-02-2012, 09:46 AM
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JRubin,

Hope you can take some pics along the way as you create your bender. I'm sure they could help out a lot of folks as well as spark ideas for improving on these inexpensive bending options.
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Old 11-02-2012, 10:45 AM
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like it..

did heating the stock help , did you even try adding heat?

bookmarking for later..
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Old 11-02-2012, 12:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by E.Furgal View Post
like it..

did heating the stock help , did you even try adding heat?

Not sure if you are directing this question to me...but I'll answer anyway.

No, I don't heat the stock that I am bending. On much heavier stock I have used heat to make bends but not for any of the structural members I use in fabricating bodies. Always worth a try however.
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Old 11-02-2012, 12:38 PM
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thanks
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Old 11-05-2012, 06:59 PM
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Yes and not quite a NO

Sorry guy's I don't have a camera so no photos!

The design did work and I was able to get the parts I needed rolled. I didn't take into account of warpage when I welded on the size plates for the tubing to ride in so the edge of the tubing was gauled. I think the reason they don't offer 1 1/4" square tube dies is because it pushes the roll bender to its limits even on just 16ga tubing.

The sch 80 2" pipe was just enough out of round to offer enough material to create a seat needed for the bearings on 50% of the inner serface to hold them in place.

The drive axle wheel was the biggest hastle making as I had to turn down material to make a filler piece for the 2" pipe, then bore it 53/64" for the drive axle, indexing, drilling, and taping, the 3 set screw holes to the drive axle took some time too.

I'll probably use the rollers only one more time, that being for rebuilding the back end of the truck. I already know the doors hang on the wooden structure and I'm sure that wood isn't in much better shape that the door wood was. So I'll bet I get to rebuild the truck body next when I trial fit the door frames this week.
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