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Premium Member
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Went through several pages but all I found was a few instructions on how to make your own bender, but none on how to actually USE one.

So I bought a 12tn hydraulic pipe bender and have been trying to learn how to use it today. All I've managed to make so far is a two meter zigzag and found at least five or six ways how to ruin a bend :D

I've tried heating the pipe, I've tried different sized shoes (one is a bit small and the next bigger a bit too big) I've filled the pipe with fine sand, but no matter what I do the bugger always buckles.

The pipe I'm trying to bend is 25mm round furniture pipe, which I'm starting to think is too thin walled to be bent with a non-pulling press bender.

Any tips and tricks will be dearly appreciated.

Does the heathing help and how hot does it have to be? I only have a bottle burner, no oxy/acetylene torch.

How important is it to have a snug fit with the shoe?

Does it matter how fast I pump?

If I get thicker walled pipe should I still fill it with sand? And will sifted sandbox sand do or does it have to be blasting sand?

Etc etc...
 

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str8 stoopid
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914 Posts
Seems to me, heating it with propane would only sweat the metal, wouldn't do anything to help the bend, and doing so with O/A would just make it too soft and weak. What kind of pipe are you trying to bend? Are you trying to bend actual cast iron pipe for plumbing or tubing? (edit: I see you said furniture pipe...what is that exactly? sounds like tubing maybe?) If it's tubing, (such as for frames or roll bars) walls are too thin your shoes are incorectly sized and you'll need to modify your bender. The Fabricator on YouTube has a great video series about this topic.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3n_lf2RHIPs
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ta_c3hMqpgA
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hp7JL-tsPZs

However, given your shoes are the right size and the walls aren't too thin, then it's your speed of operation. Take up the slack then slowly, and deliberately pump and press your pipe watching for kinking and creasing in the pipe.
 

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Remi's Dad
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17,593 Posts
Dont heat it. Most of the problems with non mandrel bending is the pipe or tube coming out of the die and deforming or kinking. If you can get the pipe to stay firmly in the die you are good to go. Just take it slow

Determine whether the dies are for tube or pipe. That can make a big difference in die sizing. Tube is measured in OD and pipe is measure from ID.
 

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Premium Member
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Determine whether the dies are for tube or pipe. That can make a big difference in die sizing. Tube is measured in OD and pipe is measure from ID.
ahaa this was new info for me and also explains why the dies don't match the sizes that are stamped to the sides. So if I modify the 20mm die a little that'll make a snug fit for the 25mm tube I'll most likely be mostly using.
 

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str8 stoopid
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ahaa this was new info for me and also explains why the dies don't match the sizes that are stamped to the sides. So if I modify the 20mm die a little that'll make a snug fit for the 25mm tube I'll most likely be mostly using.
There's a lot of youtube videos and articles out there to modify pipe benders to work with tube. But the best bet is to try to get ahold of a tubing bender.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Basically all I have to do is shave the sides a little so they don't dig into the tube...

...but I guess I rather just go buy some 1" pipe.
 

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Fuck it, let's do it live
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3,993 Posts
Filling with sand, applying heat (even, consistent, red-hot, O/A heat) is a great way to bend tube when you DON'T have a bender.

It sounds like you have the wrong dies for your material. A proper die shouldn't kink it, although the Harbor Freight benders tend to have issues with it anyway.
Don't let your tools determine your engineering. If you've concluded that material A is the proper thing to use, use it and figure out how to work it if you need to. The easiest solution here, I think, would be to go online and order the proper die for what you're bending, and modify it to fit your on your bender if necessary.

Disclaimer: My experience comes from building tube frames, roll cages, steering linkage, and other such things for rock crawling. This is all done with tube. I have never worked with pipe.

Tube is structural. Pipe carries your poop away.
 

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HipsterKillerGarage
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6,484 Posts
The idea that tube is structural and pipe cannot be is an often repeated piece of misinformation...

Material grade used for both can be identical in many cases, which is why you can purchase structural pipe at most steel yards, commonly used for railings, supports, etc.

structural steel pipe

There's nothing wrong with using structural pipe for things and the difference in these cases lies solely with the physical dimensions of the material.

Piping is measured differently than tube and depending on the tube (erw, dom, etc.) the tolerances tighten up.

It certainly sounds like the incorrectly sized material for the tools available. If you need pipe, buy some pipe that will fit your dies. Packing isn't necessary as the dies support the "top and bottom" of the material in relation to the die which is what gets deformed and causes kinking.
 

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lɐʇuǝɯᴉɹǝdx&#4
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I had goood luck using a HF pipe bender to bend the (1") tubes for front end. I used the 1/2" pipe die for my 1" tube. But that tube had a thick wall (12g). I used an undersized die so it would not crimp / flatten along the line of the bend. Instead, the tube actually got squeezed the other way - it is slightly oval in the plane of the bend, with the oval's long axis oriented along the radius of the bend. Looking at the photo below, imagine the tube as being squished down against the table where it bends, that's the type flattening.



Not sure this really helps with thinner pipe, but my point is its probably better if the die is a bit under-sized than oversized.

A tip that I have seen is to clamp the tube in the bending die, and make shoes to keep the rollers from denting the tube. Thread over on Chopcult shows good pics of a die a guy modified that way. http://www.chopcult.com/forum/showthread.php?t=31901
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
As I wrote in my build thread I got fairly good results with folding a towel over the die before bending. It still kinked but not as much. I actually got that same oval result when I experimented with the different dies but before using the undersized die I`d first have to grind the edges a little, they seem a bit rough and are scratching the tube.

I`m fairly confident I can make what I want to do if I just get thicker walled tube/pipe/whatever, the Finnish word for both is the same so don`t really know what to ask for.

Gonna try to visit the scrapyard tomorrow if I get off from work early enough.

Great stuff everyone! This is all very helpful!
 
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HipsterKillerGarage
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A little ovaling at one aspect is normal for most benders (aside from mandrels) because if the dies were made to totally eliminate it the tube would be stuck in the form die. ;)

It's no biggie if there's a little deflection in anything you are doing for our type of bikes.
 
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