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  #1  
Old 02-09-2020, 03:50 PM
MrCrankyface MrCrankyface is offline
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Default Tube bender rig

I need a tube bender for a tiny job so figured I'd overbuild it and use it for all sorts of things in the future.
Should be a great opportunity to practice fabricating.

Whipped this up after googling around for inspiration.
The bottom die/mandel/whateveritis will be cut on the lathe or 3D-printed depending on what I'm trying to bend, for copper/aluminium, 3D prints will be plenty strong.
The die in the pic is tiny since I want a small-ish radius for this job, for "normal" jobs they'll be bigger.
With interchangeable dies I should be able to bend square, round tubing and maybe smaller flat bar.
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Cutting whatever I have lying around the shop to size.
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Quite a lot of time spent trying to make this with g-code but it's all part of the learning experience.
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"MAIN" will be welded together with the smaller strip above, going to be a challenge to keep the warp down.
SEC used to be those really rusty pieces, did a horrible job flattening these in the mill, my setup was all wrong but now I know what not to do next time.
By being lazy, I made it take tons more time than it would've taken to do it "the right way".
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Another half-success/half-fail part, this will be the handle/lever at the top in the first pics.
At least the tube came out alright.
The side-plates had quite oval circles due to the mill having worn screws and the backlash compensation not being able to compensate enough, trying to fix this I managed to mess the part up even more with the boring head ... Too high feed and a line of code that I missed that made it move sideways, almost needed a change of underwear afterwards...
It will all be welded together so at least I can hide my mistakes.
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  #2  
Old 02-11-2020, 02:08 AM
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GWIZ GWIZ is offline
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One style bender is never enough.
here is one of the better ones but fixed size.
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  #3  
Old 02-11-2020, 09:38 AM
MrCrankyface MrCrankyface is offline
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One tool of anything is never enough.
I have a few of those actually!
For smaller(15mm and less) copper piping or similar, very handy to use.
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  #4  
Old 02-17-2020, 03:48 PM
MrCrankyface MrCrankyface is offline
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Managed to cut all the parts out on the CNC, learning tons doing it.
Last 2 pieces I cut, took 25% of the time of the first single one I did...
I sanded off and plastered in a ton of toolmarks and other uneven surfaces like where I welded the middle pair etc.
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I had a major brainmelt here.
The holes in the handle part(smaller part to the left on pic) are too big, were supposed to be 12mm but for some reason I made them closer to 24..
Ended up drilling the holes up to 26mm since they weren't perfectly circular and then making a 2-part bushing thing.
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It all goes together like this and the smaller part will get a longer handle attached to it eventually.
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I'm hoping this will work ...
The smaller pipe/bushing is a slight press-fit into the lever part, this should hopefully keep the thicker bushing locked into place and make sure stuff doesn't fall apart.
If I can't get a good enough press-fit I will probably end up using some kind of loctite.
Once fully pressed, it will be flush with the surface.
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  #5  
Old 02-18-2020, 03:16 PM
MrCrankyface MrCrankyface is offline
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Managed to finish off the lever/"rack" today.
I wanted the handle to be easily removeable so it has a loose slidefit.
Also pressed a collar onto the handle(the part that goes off-screen) to give it a good stop.
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I wanted to try something so I cut the tube up and hammered it into oblivion to make the end close up.(the one that had a blue strip in previous pic).
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Finally managed to get a good-ish weld on this thick stuff, probably my best weld so far!
You can also clearly see how I missed my tolerances when lathing that smaller piece. :grin:
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Finished handle/lever/rack assembly!
I've hung it up for paint now and applying some zinc before painting them.
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  #6  
Old 02-19-2020, 02:18 AM
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Nice idea for vise jaw covers.
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  #7  
Old 02-22-2020, 01:45 PM
MrCrankyface MrCrankyface is offline
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Thanks! It's just some aluminium sheet stock I bent and hammered over the jaws. Next time I'm going to use a bit less overlap .. They can be a complete pain to get on and off if you don't get them aligned perfectly.

I think I have all the parts now. The two frames are assembled and the rack/handle is disassembled for paint.
Needless to say, I had a few cans of red over from a previous project ...

Just need to wait for the paint to dry completely then I should be ready for final assembly and to give it a try!

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  #8  
Old 02-22-2020, 07:31 PM
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Default Tube bender rig

Gotta say, a coat of paint sure makes it look good! It should do what you’ve looking for.


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Last edited by toprecycler; 02-23-2020 at 07:38 AM.
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  #9  
Old 02-24-2020, 02:26 AM
MrCrankyface MrCrankyface is offline
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Indeed, I loathe painting but it makes such a difference for the final product.

I gave it a first test-run during the weekend and at the same time realized I forgot to include any way to mount the thing ...
Had to clamp it across two bolt heads since I didn't want to mess up the paint the first I did.
First tests resulted in quite deformed pipes.
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Tracked down the culprit to the mandrel, the sideways bent outwards under the force of the pipe, allowing it to widen and flatten.
Reprinted a much wider one which also extends out forward more for easier locking down of whatever you're bending.
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Also added this mount so I can hold it in the vice, I could replace this with something that lets me bolt it to the worktable as well for bending thicker pieces.
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Here you can see the lock tab and new hinge pivot pin.
I suspect the lock tab is another possibly issue, sometimes you can see the pipe slipping and it's usually at that point it flattens the bend.
I have another design ready but haven't had time to make it.
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Being a bit careful and not bending above 70* gives you pretty good bends!
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For pipes these smalls you can almost bend it with 1 hand on the arm itself. Using the handle and extension, one finger is enough.
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  #10  
Old 02-25-2020, 05:14 AM
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GWIZ GWIZ is offline
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looks good.
Until you clamped it in the vise I did not realize how large the bender is.
What type of plastic are you using?


Our members are getting slow no one said anything about you leaving the chuck key in the lathe chuck.
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