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  #16 (permalink)  
Old 11-25-2007, 07:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Twisted Minis
A plasma cutter is another recent tool I really like. It really opened up the possibilities for me as far as brackets go. I picked one up for $400 shipped from Parker Metalworking Products.
TM,

Could you do a separate review of the plasma cutter once you've given it a good workout? That sounds like a reasonable price...and if it's a good tool, might well be worth the investment.

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  #17 (permalink)  
Old 11-25-2007, 12:28 PM
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Well so far I am really happy with it, and I have had it for a few months, and put it through a lot. If you call them, and get the specs for the air and ask about cutting techniques it cuts a lot better, and consumables last longer. If you do a search, there is actually probably a 40 pages thread on them on the Pirate4x4 forum.
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  #18 (permalink)  
Old 11-26-2007, 09:56 AM
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Just out of curiousity, are you involved with Formula SAE? This sounds like the kind of stuff I might have been craving in my days of building tubular frames. Are you thinking hole saw with the drill press so you can fishmouth tubing?

You can do a lot with a 4.5" angle grinder with a metal cutting wheel. If you're going to need a tubing bender, the plans you can buy that the other guys are talking about are the best way to go.

Consider not just the cost, but where you're going to put this stuff... I have a wife and 2 kids and a 2 car garage with 2 project cars in it, no basement. If I'd picked up all the equipment I would've liked to get, I'd have wound up with no place for them or 1 less car space. All the big equipment I have is a compressor and a 110v Miller MIG welder...

Of course, back in the FSAE days I did everything on a Bridgeport mill, and some day when we move into a bigger house I'll need when I inherit all the stuff my dad has I'd like to get one.
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  #19 (permalink)  
Old 11-26-2007, 10:43 AM
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It seems to me like someones missing the boat here-I am in the market for a square tubing bender, and was excited about the Speedway unit until I saw that it only does round tubing-

The design of the Speedway unit is perfect for me-I will not do a lot of bending, but I have bending to do, so the JD2 or 3 are out (I don't want to mount them into my concrete floor as I won't be using it on a consistent basis and want ot keep al of the floor space I can)-

I really like the one by Twisted Mini's, but don't have the time to build it (very nice Twisted Minis!)-

The market must be small on square tube bending (by Hobbiests)-
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Old 11-26-2007, 11:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 35WINDOW
It seems to me like someones missing the boat here-I am in the market for a square tubing bender, and was excited about the Speedway unit until I saw that it only does round tubing-

The design of the Speedway unit is perfect for me-I will not do a lot of bending, but I have bending to do, so the JD2 or 3 are out (I don't want to mount them into my concrete floor as I won't be using it on a consistent basis and want ot keep al of the floor space I can)-

I really like the one by Twisted Mini's, but don't have the time to build it (very nice Twisted Minis!)-

The market must be small on square tube bending (by Hobbiests)-

There are square tube dies available for the bender I built.
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  #21 (permalink)  
Old 11-26-2007, 11:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Twisted Minis
There are square tube dies available for the bender I built.

Care to get into the Tube Bender business?
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  #22 (permalink)  
Old 11-26-2007, 12:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Twisted Minis
Here is the thread on the bender I built.
How To: Tubing Bender

Its got a mild step by step. I only had a 1" die at first, but recently got a 1.5" die, and I am impressed with the results. The first thing I did was bend a 180 for a crossmember I was working on.


It makes a very smooth bend, you just need to use a little bit of lube on the guiding die. Companies that make benders sell it, but I just use WD40. It works fine, and isn't consumed as quickly.



Drill Press. I like Deltas. I am looking at getting a full height Delta soon, because the one I have now is just outdated. Look to spend between $300-500 on one, and you can find them on Craigslist at times.



Bandsaw. Personally, I like DoAll, and Kalamazoo. But those are both expensive units, especially new. We had some at the machine shop at school and I was simply impressed. The next thing I would buy, is a JET. It is probably the nicest of the import horizontal saws, and is around $400.


Another thing to look into is a chop saw. I just got one, and I love it. I don't use my band saw as much anymore. Its just a lot faster. I use it to make miter cuts on box tubing. I also use a carbide tipped blade from Bullet Industries. It resembles the blade for a dry cut saw, but can handle the 3000 RPMs of a standard chop saw. It cuts very fast and very clean, and last about as long as 4-6 abrasive blades if not abused.

A plasma cutter is another recent tool I really like. It really opened up the possibilities for me as far as brackets go. I picked one up for $400 shipped from Parker Metalworking Products.

Thanks TM, I will most definitely try and build one of them for myself. What kind of equipment did you need to do the build?
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  #23 (permalink)  
Old 11-26-2007, 12:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 35WINDOW
...I am in the market for a square tubing bender...
35Window, don't know if you saw this but I made my own square tubing dies for my Harbor Freight cheapo pipe bender. Works pretty darn good for a shadetree fix, particularly if you're not doing a ton of bending and don't want to tie up a lot of cash. Check out the info here http://www.hotrodders.com/forum/jour...ge=5&reverse=1 and then here http://www.hotrodders.com/forum/jour...ge=5&reverse=1

Here's the die in the bender and then the first 90 degree bend I did. I've used it a whole bunch on the sedan/delivery build and have been quite happy with the results.



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  #24 (permalink)  
Old 11-26-2007, 01:20 PM
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cboy,

I watched with interest when you made your Bender and thought it was an excellent, low-cost Tool. My problem (and it is MY problem) is that I only get Saturday's to work on my project and I want to the entire day to get something done, not make Tools, so, I am looking for an alternative.

I wish someone would make a Die for the Harbor Freight unit-at this point it looks like I may have to spend $6-900.00 (or more) to get less than 15 Bends-kinda spendy!

I have researched having a local Ornamental Fence Company make them (they aren't interested-don't Hot Rodders get any respect?), and, what if I make a mistake in my calculations?

There is a guy on Ebay that makes Dies, but they are made for the Hossfeld type-I just e-mailed him so we will see what I get back-it just seems like there are few ready made options under $1000.00-
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  #25 (permalink)  
Old 11-26-2007, 02:15 PM
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I have had dies made and made some special tools and it is time consuming to do that..

I have one of the small harbor frieght bench benders which I made a sq tubing die for..bit primative but works for smaller size tubing..

It is your money or your time..

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  #26 (permalink)  
Old 11-26-2007, 06:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 35WINDOW
I wish someone would make a Die for the Harbor Freight unit-at this point it looks like I may have to spend $6-900.00 (or more) to get less than 15 Bends-kinda spendy!
Well, if you have, or want to buy, a HF pipe bender, I'd rustle up a die for ya. You'd have to spring for the shipping, however. Dang things are HEAVY.
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  #27 (permalink)  
Old 11-26-2007, 07:05 PM
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cBoy,That's a good set up you have there.Been wanting to do that for a long time now.Great job!!
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  #28 (permalink)  
Old 11-26-2007, 08:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 71gtx
Thanks TM, I will most definitely try and build one of them for myself. What kind of equipment did you need to do the build?
You could do it with a drill press and an angle grinder if you're patient. I used a Mill and a band saw.
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  #29 (permalink)  
Old 11-27-2007, 09:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cboy
Well, if you have, or want to buy, a HF pipe bender, I'd rustle up a die for ya. You'd have to spring for the shipping, however. Dang things are HEAVY.

cboy,

I really, really appreciate your generosity-thank you very much for the offer-I just might take you up on it-

As I said yesterday, I sent an e-mail to a guy who offers Dies for Hossfeld Bender-

this is it:

http://cgi.ebay.com/Hossfeld-type-1i...QQcmdZViewItem

Here is his reply:

"If you had a good solid type of bench you could mount the harbor freight bender model 44094-0vga to. That should bend your tube with the dies the way I have them made now. If you go with the pro tools bender that will take some modification to my type of die, although it should be able to be done.Thanks for your interest."

Nice guy-here is the Harbor Freight unit he is suggesting:

http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/pho...4099/44094.gif

I am under the impression from everyone here that this Bender is a POS-cboy, I think this is the unit you are suggesting?

http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/cta...emnumber=35336

I think I may take another go at this gentleman and see if he can build it, as I want to see cboy's progress on his build-I will report back when I get more info-
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  #30 (permalink)  
Old 11-27-2007, 09:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 35WINDOW
I am under the impression from everyone here that this Bender is a POS-cboy, I think this is the unit you are suggesting?
http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/cta...emnumber=35336
I have never used the TUBE bender in your first link so can not comment specifically on its quality. The second link is, indeed, the HF PIPE bender I have.

If the fellow you are emailing is able to supply dies for the HF pipe bender at a reasonable cost you might want to try one out. I'd be happy to whip one up for you but his might be more effective and easier to use. I should point out that due to my design (to keep everything solid and aligned) the tighter you make the bend, the more likely the tubing is to get wedged into the die. This is because the tube "bulges" slightly on the sides as it is being bent (the metal has to have SOMEWHERE to go). I've found that on 90 degree bends (plus or minus 10 degrees) the tube can be easily tapped out of the die. However, Ive never tried a 180 degree bend, so can't vouch for how easy it would be to get the tubing out of the die once it has bulged that much.

While I am satisfied with my HF bender and homemade dies, if I had it to do over again I think I would opt for building a unit like Twisted Minis'. In fact, I am seriously thinking about building one for my next project - and the projects to hopefully come after that. TM doesn't have a fortune tied up in it and he does some fantastic bends. And because it is air powered/hydraulic, he's not getting a hernia pulling his bends. But then if you are quite certain that your bending days will be over once you do these 15 or so, then it might not make too much sense to build it or have it built. (Although, I would think it could be sold on ebay after you are done with it so that you would come out ahead of trying to convert over a HF pipe bender.)

Anyhow, just PM me if you decide to go the HF route and you want me to build the die.
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Last edited by cboy; 11-27-2007 at 10:04 AM.
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