Tube bender questions

Functional Artist

Well-known member
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Toledo, Ohio
I must give you your credit!! You make terrific bends using the pipe bender, what made you quit trying the steel tube and tube bender?
Thanks! see what practice can do :thumbsup:

Frustration :furious2:
Over the years I've gotten used to & developed a technique with my pipe bender, where I could mathematically manipulate the pipe (if that even makes sense) like (50) "pumps" would make ~90* bend (every time) 🙂
I could confidently measure, mark & make multiple bends on (1) piece, like I've done on many of my frames

Like, I would/could make (2) separate but, aligned bends on a piece (like the (2) bends @ the rear of the seat bottom)
...then "turn it" (~90*) to bend it in the middle (top of the rollbar) ta bring 'em together
...& Boom! (1) big, continuous piece all of the way up to the front axle ;)

I found that a tube bender "performs it's duties" in a totally different way, its more difficult ta make "the same bend everytime"
...& even the marking/lay out is totally different too

Keep in mind that the "middle of the bend" will be in the middle of the die
...& so, on a pipe bender you can simply & easily "line up" a mark on your pipe "directly" with the mark on the die
...but, on a tube bender, the mark on the die is kinda "around the corner" so ya gotta "eye it" (which is NOT very accurate I must say)
...& then, tryin' ta make multiple bends "by eye" in (1) piece had my "head a spinnin'" :censored: :surrender:
So, for my sanity, I "took a brake" from that chaos :smiley_omg:
...but will probably "try again" sometime

* If ya "start off" bending tube, with a tube bender
...& not tryin' ta "switch" to a new system
...ya may have better luck than me :cheers2:


"Loose Cannon Creations"
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Jacksonville, Florida
I'd recommend finding an electrician friend or maintenance person who does electrical work or just anyone who has a conduit hand bender like mine linked above. Borrow the appropriate size bender head and the threaded handle, ask for some EMT scraps, and practice stepping on the head and cranking it over, see how you like it. No loss if you still want to use hydraulic dies.
Those bender heads have a great advantage over hydraulic die benders like from H.F. and such. There's a "hook" that grabs the pipe and pulls it over while the pipe lays on the floor, and the hook is where the bend curve begins. This eliminates the tiny point of contact with the die in the middle of a bend that flattens or kinks pipes. Hand benders make the entire length of the bend form in full contact with the head from the starting end to the finishing end, no chance for a kink.
You might be amazed how strong EMT "thinwall" conduit is once it has a bend put in it. Any doubts, insert the next size down of EMT before bending like I've done before and will again. Note: Sand EMT shiny before paint. Prime with self-etching before paint.