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Old 04-28-2009, 06:03 PM   #1
rlodian
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Default DIY stainless tubing bender

I needed one approx. 90 degree bend in a length of 12mm stainless that I will use as a rotating racking arm. I've never been shy about buying tools, but for just one bend I decided to try build rather than buy. After a little research I built the jig shown in the photos.





I took a scrap piece of hardwood, cut the radius with a bandsaw, then formed the groove with a hand file. The entire process took about 20 min. If you look at a commercial bender this is a hardware equivalent of the mandrel. The groove needs to be a snug fit the same size as the tube to keep the pipe from crimping during the bend. Common advice is to fill the tube with sand to help it keeps its shape. I didn't have any fine sand on hand and was somewhat concerned about pitting the inside of the tube. Instead I packed the tube with semolina pasta flour. This may not have been necessary. I just wedged the jig in the vise, no clamping pressure, then did the bend by hand. I couldn't be happier with the results. There is a slight tapering around the bend, but no wrinkles and no flattening.

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Old 04-28-2009, 06:52 PM   #2
SHvanBommel
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Wow... I've been wondering if its worth it to buy a bender for all those 90's in copper but now that i see this... it might be even easier...

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Old 04-28-2009, 07:10 PM   #3
LooyvilleLarry
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Will sugar work? Nice job on this. I have some of the very same stuff to use as a pickup tube and a racking arm.

How are you planning on constructing the racking arm?

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Old 04-28-2009, 08:22 PM   #4
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sugar or freeze some water in there. (that's how they make musical instruments...)

B

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Old 04-28-2009, 10:14 PM   #5
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or sand works as well.

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