Benders, who has one and what?

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  • Anyone on here got their own tube bending setup?

    I’d like to be able to make handlebars so I’m thinking there’s got to be some human powered thing out there that doesn’t cost the Earth?

    There’s loads of those plumbers type things on eBay but I dunno how well they’d work. If it’s just for handlebars and not frame tubes I reckon I can get away with something more agricultural as the wall thickness is heavier.

  • Plumbers bend copper, I think you're going to need something pretty substantial for bending steel in the wall thickness you'll be using

  • Yeah, I reckoned that mount/oriented the right way I could pretty much use my, not inconsiderable, body weight to drive the bend though.

  • That looks not half bad.

  • I recall Petor ‘Dear Susan’ saying he fucked up a lot of steel trying to bend the tubes for the Grayson Perry bike that looks like something out of Dr Seuss.

    Don’t you pack it with sand or something?

  • I think that’s one option but hopefully more required for sub 1mm wall thickness frame tubes. I’d be hoping that 1mm+ wall thickness 7/8” of tubing wouldn’t need it.

  • Do you know any industrial electricians?
    They (may) bend a lot of galvanised steel conduit tubing.
    But, crimps on the inner side of the curve don't carry any demerit
    for unstressed conduit secured to a wall or cable tray.

  • I've got loads of metal benders, tube benders and dies. they're handy things to have if you do fabrication of any sort. don't bother with a plumbers tube bender, they're not strong enough.

    get a Hilmor conduit bender as they will bend steel tubing. for handle bars you ideally want 22.2mm (7/8") tubing die. but they're hard to find. you can get 22mm easily enough though. I have a spare to sell if you wanted to go down that route, would need collecting Sussex though as its heavy. otherwise you can pick them up relatively easily online second hand and best for a relatively affordable set up.

    you will get people say they're not good for the job and to get some absurdly priced tube bender but I have only ever made clean bends with them with no kinks.

    Vincent frame BMXs used conduit benders to make their frames and bars back in the 80s, I don't see a problem with it.

    only down side is the dies are fairly large so you can't do tight radius curves but ideal if you want to just put a bit of angle in to something.

    another option, you can get a compact metal bender with tube dies, I think you can get tighter curves on them but starts to get pricey with one of them. but they're handy to have for bending flat bar, etc

  • Yes! This is what I was after, real life experience.

    Do you reckon/know if 22.2mm tube will fit in the 22mm die?

  • And just to check, do you mean like this...


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  • Or the chunkier version..


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  • the stand type, the first one is only really for copper.

    22mm die will not fit 7/8 tube. that .2 of a mm makes all the difference. 100% don't fit, I have tried.

    7/8 dies are out there, they're just hard to find and quite pricey.

  • There’s one on eBay that’s being sold as 7/8”, sixty odd quid which is less than its cost me to get to Sussex to collect yours I’m afraid.

    Maybe I can find a cheap frame with no dies and add the 7/8” die and keep the cost low enough.

  • I need to find a chart or something that tells you what size the formers are, there’s loads on eBay that are just no3, no4.5, no2e.

    One of them is probably 7/8”.

  • what I did was buy a bunch of the frames with the dies, as it works out cheaper and you get loads of different dies to play with.

    but you end up wit loads of frames and doubles of the dies. if any one needs one I have a few for sale.

    I've probably got a 22mm die for sale too as i have a few/

    the cast iron ones may well be imperial, I would be interested to know as I'm still looking for a 7/8 myself and don't fancy paying £70 for one.

    post back on here if you find out what they work out at.

    Tubella are another brand that make these, Record also make them.

  • I used one of these clarke pipe bender to make a roll cage.

  • I haven't been on too many lately because the forum hasn't really been socialising much. Erm, wait ...

  • there's this quite good video by this old tony about bending and benders

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NzXecCoQ­Wgg&ab_channel=ThisOldTony

    you can home-make something like what he has, but looking at how beefy it is you'd be looking at a couple of hundred quid for the steel

  • I have one of these, have used it bend 12/15mm steel tubes no problem. Its nice and compact, comes in a plastic storage box. I bought mine on ebay years ago for cheap. It works, but probs not the best for thin wall tubing...

  • Really? 20 posts in before this? LFGSS y so serious?

  • Haha anvil used to sell a tube bender for framebuilding called mr bender bending rodriguez

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/anvilbikes­/sets/72157623815338653/

    They had a few futurama inspired tool names

  • Ha! That's ace

  • This guy uses bent tubes on almost all of his built.
    http://salamandrecycles.canalblog.com/ar­chives/2020/09/04/38515818.html
    He uses a powder that goes in the tubes ,
    it liquifies at 70°C,
    once cooled down,
    it,s almost solid,
    he then proceed to bend the tubes.
    Heat up again,
    it poors out;
    and keep the stuff for future use.

  • on thinwall tubes you need the tangent to the die (the bit that's being bent) to be fully supported around the circumference of the tube. otherwise it will wrinkle. Those plumbers benders won't do that. Look at how the cobra (and diacro) does it with the follow-bar.

    The type of bender you need really depends on the radius and angle of bend.

    Swarf uses a few machined blocks on bearings in a flypress. as do brompton. This is perfect for minor angle changes. brompton main tube, swarf seat-tubes etc.

    If you have wrinkling issues you can also use cerabend (it's called something else in the states) which works like sand, it's a mixture of bismuth and lead, melt it in, let it freeze then melt it out once done. It works well and allowed us to bend tubes in some press-forms in a vice. BUT that shit is nasty. make sure you're properly masked up for using it. I've heard freezing water into a tube works too, but you will need a HEFTY bender to bend that.

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Benders, who has one and what?

Posted by Avatar for M_V @M_V

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