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Old 04-20-2007, 08:51 PM
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Making dies and rollers to bend square tubing

I just made this center die and rollers so that I can bend square 1" tubing with my Harbor Freight pipe bender. The die and rollers are not for making sharp or tight bends but rather to keep the tubing straight and true in the bender when I use it to put large diameter bends or long gentle curves into the tubing when I do body construction. However, I think with a couple of tweaks (like a larger diameter piece of tubing on the center die) this design could be adapted to making tighter bends. I'm going to see how this setup works and then try building some additional dies to see just how tight a bend I can create before kinking. There are more pictures and description of the fabrication in my Cboy-Two Journal http://www.hotrodders.com/forum/jour...quare%20tubing

Typical HF Bender



Original Die and Rollers - made only for round stock - won't keep square stock straight in the bender



My Fabricated Center Die for 1X stock



My Fabricated Top Rollers for 1x stock



New Die and Rollers in the Bender


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Old 04-20-2007, 10:56 PM
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Saw that in your journal. Great idea... as usual. Can't wait to see how it works.
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Old 04-21-2007, 08:03 AM
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can you show us some bends, the ones I have seen have a rod welded to the inside and crush the inside part of the bend. Thanks ED
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Old 04-21-2007, 08:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ed ke6bnl
can you show us some bends, the ones I have seen have a rod welded to the inside and crush the inside part of the bend.
Will do Ed, I have to be doing a lot of bending over the next few days/weeks for the body I have under construction so I'll take a slew of pictures.

Also, you are quite right about welding a rod into the center die to indent the inside face of the curve. I didn't do that for this particular die because my purpose in fabricating the die was to do long sweeping bends as shown in the pics below rather than tight curves or 90 degree corners etc. For these long gentle curves I actually felt the crush rod might be more detrimental than helpful.

I WILL have a need for these tighter bends not too far down the road on this build so I'll be fabbing another die or two which will incorporate the steel rod concept you suggested.



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Old 04-21-2007, 11:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ed ke6bnl
can you show us some bends, the ones I have seen have a rod welded to the inside and crush the inside part of the bend. Thanks ED

Looks good as you say for that purpose it is doing a fine job, I have one of the Harbor Freight cheapy bender for flat and rod which I like a lot also the bender like you have so this is helpful I also have the Hossfeld bender for round tube and pipe and lot of other uses. I want to add the cush rod in the cheopo HF bender, the bender I use the most for small brackets and smaller rod bending. Keep up the good work ED
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Old 01-02-2009, 11:50 AM
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Nice roll bending application!
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Old 01-02-2009, 01:25 PM
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Thanks for digging up this old thread. Since originally posting it I have created some additional dies and rollers. The details can be found here in my journal beginning with entry #306 and following.

Here are a few pictures of the improved die and some resulting bends.

I sliced off a 1" wide section of 6" diameter pipe as the basis for my die to bend curves with 3" radius.



I then welded 1x2 rectangular tube on each side to hold the curve.



1/4" steel rod is then welded in the middle of the curve. This in-dents the tubing during bending and helps prevent kinking.



Here's the die in the bender.



And a couple shots of some bends. Note the in-dent made on the inside of the curve by the 1/4" steel rod and also note that the top (outside of the curve) automatically in-dents as the curve is made and the metal stretches (shown in the second photo below).





I did a ton of bending for the sedan delivery project with this die and it worked out pretty well. Be aware, when doing 90 degree bends or greater, the sides of the square tubing will also buldge out a bit and become wedged between the 1x2 tubing supports on each side. On occasion I have to bang the tubing out of the die with a hammer.
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Old 01-02-2009, 04:01 PM
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Very nice!
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Old 01-02-2009, 05:39 PM
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Very nice!
I'm not so sure about "nice"...but inexpensive, yes.
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Old 01-11-2009, 07:59 AM
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I got to love the ingenuity of hot rodders!

I made some "gentle" curves similiar to yours in 1" sq. tubing and 1" channel some years back.. I made a simple 3 roll bender with 2 idler rollers very similiar to yours. I used a rim from a wheelbarrow for the drive roller in the center position. the rim had guides welded to it to center the tubing. By varying the depth of the drive roller in relation to the idlers I was able to achieve beautiful curves .

btw, I was building hand rails no hotrods,lol.
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Old 01-11-2009, 09:38 AM
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Thank you, cboy, for this very helpful thread. I have been pondering what to do about the square tube bending problem, and now I see the light. I need to make inner bracing fo a '32 Chev and it will now be much easier.
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Old 01-11-2009, 02:19 PM
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I like the ingenuity of the Hot Rodders also....That said, when bending any type tubing, square or round, I need to know that my bends will be uniform and tight, bend after bend. The Harbor Freight Pipe bender is fine for some bending maneuvers, but if you really want great bends, that repeat, try this bender. It's the Model 4 Hydraulic Bender, I purchased a couple years ago. And if you want to save money, you can also use it manually, and scratch the Hydraulics. I can bend up to 2-1/2" round tubing and currently I have the dies for :
Square Tubing
3/4"
1"
1-1/2"

Round tubing
1"
1-1/2"
1-3/4"

While yes this bender and it's dies are more expensive then the HF unit, it is a wonderful bender that allows me to make a host of items, and allows for multiple repeatable bends. I also use the bending program Bend Tech, which has to be the greatest advance in bending since the bender it self. I would recommend that simple program for anyone bending Tubing, no matter the bender they use, it quickly works-up the correct bending position, degree and arrangement, with several fast reference most used bends, like Roll Bar Main Hoops, Down Bars, Door Bars, Drive Shaft Loops and so forth. The really nice feature of this bending program, is after entering the bend data, it will produce an animated bend cycle, of the bend your about to make, showing you the bend sequence, bend angle and position of each bend needed, it turns out what looks like a small movie, and strats with the correct length of material and ends with the bent part. This is very nice and allows you to pre-view the process before you ever commit a single piece of tubing. You can also print out the complete bend process, so when you move to the bender, you have all the bends, and positions there with you. I especially like the section that tells you exactly the length of material you need to make the bends you programed. This keeps you from wasting material or coming up short, both allow you to work faster, smarter and more efficiently with out the waste. Something we all can appreciate.

While I didn't plan for this post, the only pictures I had available that represented some bent metal work, were the following. I recently bent up a roll cage for a '33 ford sedan out of 1020DOM 1-3/4 round tubing. The side frame shot was a funny project that needed some 1-1/2" and 1" square tubing bent. And the other shoots are a '33-34 frame and it's cross-members.
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Old 01-12-2009, 08:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yknot
I like the ingenuity of the Hot Rodders also....That said, when bending any type tubing, square or round, I need to know that my bends will be uniform and tight, bend after bend. The Harbor Freight Pipe bender is fine for some bending maneuvers, but if you really want great bends, that repeat, try this bender. It's the Model 4 Hydraulic Bender, I purchased a couple years ago. And if you want to save money, you can also use it manually, and scratch the Hydraulics. I can bend up to 2-1/2" round tubing and currently I have the dies for :
Square Tubing
3/4"
1"
1-1/2"

Round tubing
1"
1-1/2"
1-3/4"

While yes this bender and it's dies are more expensive then the HF unit, it is a wonderful bender that allows me to make a host of items, and allows for multiple repeatable bends. I also use the bending program Bend Tech, which has to be the greatest advance in bending since the bender it self. I would recommend that simple program for anyone bending Tubing, no matter the bender they use, it quickly works-up the correct bending position, degree and arrangement, with several fast reference most used bends, like Roll Bar Main Hoops, Down Bars, Door Bars, Drive Shaft Loops and so forth. The really nice feature of this bending program, is after entering the bend data, it will produce an animated bend cycle, of the bend your about to make, showing you the bend sequence, bend angle and position of each bend needed, it turns out what looks like a small movie, and strats with the correct length of material and ends with the bent part. This is very nice and allows you to pre-view the process before you ever commit a single piece of tubing. You can also print out the complete bend process, so when you move to the bender, you have all the bends, and positions there with you. I especially like the section that tells you exactly the length of material you need to make the bends you programed. This keeps you from wasting material or coming up short, both allow you to work faster, smarter and more efficiently with out the waste. Something we all can appreciate.

While I didn't plan for this post, the only pictures I had available that represented some bent metal work, were the following. I recently bent up a roll cage for a '33 ford sedan out of 1020DOM 1-3/4 round tubing. The side frame shot was a funny project that needed some 1-1/2" and 1" square tubing bent. And the other shoots are a '33-34 frame and it's cross-members.

X2

Bend Tech makes your life easier.

Not sure the Model 4 bender can be used without hydraulics though.
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Old 01-21-2009, 06:38 PM
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Don't forget the notching templates. You can print templates that wrap around the tube. Very nice in places where several tubes come together. These will save hours on any tube-work.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BAILEIGH
X2

Bend Tech makes your life easier.

Not sure the Model 4 bender can be used without hydraulics though.
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Old 01-22-2009, 07:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yknot
I like the ingenuity of the Hot Rodders also....That said, when bending any type tubing, square or round, I need to know that my bends will be uniform and tight, bend after bend. The Harbor Freight Pipe bender is fine for some bending maneuvers, but if you really want great bends, that repeat, try this bender.
[...]
You seem slightly confused -- the thread is not about what bender to buy; it's about "Making dies and rollers to bend square tubing". Perhaps you could share details of dies and rollers you've made. There is already a big surplus in "buy this brand!" discussions. Those never impress me as much as the "here's how to build" ones.
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