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Insight on Tube Bending?

Discussion in '1973-1991 K5 Blazer | Truck | Suburban' started by ZZ4x4, Dec 10, 2001.

  1. ZZ4x4

    ZZ4x4 1/2 ton status

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    Just got 100 ft of 2" OD .134 DOM tubing for the roll cage and bumpers. I can cut the stuff and weld with no problem, but dang if I can make a bend. I have a Harbor Freight bender and it's just kinking the pipe. I've tried using a smaller die which helps, and then filling the tube with sand, and heating with a torch. Still can't bend more than 45 degrees, and even then, the tube begins to flatten. Anyone have a miracle cure besides buying a $$$ hydraulic bender? Thanks, JT
     
  2. jcg

    jcg 1/2 ton status

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    Get a tube bender from JD Squared or Pro-Tools. They cost about $250 and dies are around $200 each. It's a bit of cash but not nearly as much as a full blown hydraulic bender. Are you sure the one you got is a tube bender and not a pipe bender?? Pipe benders are completely useless for tube, the dies are different sizes and the they crush the tube which is probably what your seeing. The benders I mentioned above are the best around for the cost. Lots of fab and race shops use them for building cages, they do a really nice job.

    Joe
    RIT Mini-Baja www.rit.edu/~bajawww
    Team Mudnuts www.mudnuts.org
     
  3. FRIZZLEFRY

    FRIZZLEFRY 1/2 ton status

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    I used .145 wall 2"od water pipe on my front bumper and a Harbor Freight bender .I diddnt have any problems bending up to 90 deg.As long as your using the right die.I dont know what else can be done other than buying a tube bender.I think Grim has more experence than me if I remember right.I think the HF pipe bender is what he used on his stuff.He might have some pointers.

    Some people shouldnt drive anything bigger than their head.<a target="_blank" href=http://community.webshots.com/user/beaterwhang>community.webshots.com/user/beaterwhang</a>
     
  4. marv_springer

    marv_springer 1/2 ton status

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    Believe it or not, I've constructed my whole "FunBuggy" frame with the Harbor Freight bender. Though I kinked the first 20' stick learning how to use it. It's touchier than my first marriage was(!)...., and if you notice there are no bends in the whole thing sharper than 60 degrees.

    http://community.webshots.com/user/marv_springer

    The bends will come out prettier with the hydraulic "tube" bender that was referred to... but it can be done.

    Marv
     
  5. Chris Demartini

    Chris Demartini 1/2 ton status

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    <font color=blue>Your Harbor Freight bender is a pipe bender, not a tube bender. Thats why its kinking your tube. Tube is measure from the outside and pipe is measured from the inside. As stated above, you need a tube bender. JD2 is a good bender and so is Tubeshark (its a little more $)
     
  6. ZZ4x4

    ZZ4x4 1/2 ton status

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    Thanks guys. Looks like the HF bender is a pipe bender because the 2" die is really 2.5" diameter. The 1.5" die fits my 2" tube , and that's what gave better results (but not good results). Anyway, the JD2 bender is very cool but I don't think I can justify buying it for just this one job. I only need a dozen bends. I wonder if anyplace rents 'em. Otherwise I'll just use straight tube and gussetted joints. Thanks for the info. JT
     
  7. FRIZZLEFRY

    FRIZZLEFRY 1/2 ton status

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  8. Michael

    Michael 1/2 ton status

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    That's an awesome buggy Marv!! Really nice work! If you guys haven't checked it out....do.

    Michael[​IMG]
    <a target="_blank" href=http://www.jmartin.net/parker/goose.htm>www.jmartin.net/parker/goose.htm</a>
     
  9. BIGJ

    BIGJ 1/2 ton status Author

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    A JD2 and a 2" 180 degree die will run you about $550. It's not hydrauliic, but you can convert it, and you can get a ton of different dies for it. It's money well spent in the long run, especially if you plan on bending lots of stuff. Plus, no kinked tube.

    BIGJ
     
  10. tyler t.

    tyler t. 1/2 ton status

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    If you are not familiar with how to bend tubing I would not suggest trying out your new skills making a roll cage. Just my 2 cents. There are actually quite a few things that can happen that will basically render your cage useless. IE....kinks, cobra heads etc.. etc.... etc.


    J:(P it's what's for dinner!
     
  11. ZZ4x4

    ZZ4x4 1/2 ton status

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    Yeah, I know what the tubing should look like when it is bent correctly, so I won't use kinked or flattened tubes. Just trying to get it done cheaply. I may just pay a race shop to make the bends , and I'll notch em and weld em. I'm also weighing not using any bends. That helps visibility at the corners anyway. JT
     
  12. tyler t.

    tyler t. 1/2 ton status

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    The thing is that by bending the tubing you actually weaken it in the places where the bends are. The extra length to form the bends actually comes from the walls of the tubing, effectively lowering the wall thickness by various amounts depending on the amount of bend you put in the particular tube. Again just my opinion. If you want them bent I would have a shop do it, but check their work too and make sure there are not any deformities in their bends, I have seen my share of shitty bends from top rated fab shops.

    J:(P it's what's for dinner!
     
  13. chevyracing

    chevyracing 1/2 ton status

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    take it to a muffler shop, they will charge a couple of bucks a bend and it comes out nice. Try to go to one that does mandrel bending.

    John

    Like to go sloppin' 'round in da mud in a rapid fashion....=)

    <a target="_blank" href=http://coloradok5.com/gallery/albun31?&page=1>BLAZER PICS</a>
     

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