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Old 12-07-2005, 10:39 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Harbor Freight "horizontal/vertical" pipe bender

There has been quite a bit of talk about using sch. 40 pipe and a HF pipe bender, but the other day I noticed that HF lists the good ol' 12-ton pipe bender and a 12-ton "horizontal/vertical" pipe bender. I don't remember seeing the latter listed previously on their site.

The pictures look basically the same, but the specs do mention 90 degree bends and a longer jack handle with the "horizontal/vertical" version, and it costs about $25 more.

So what's the deal with this "horizontal/vertical" bender?
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Old 12-07-2005, 11:41 AM   #2 (permalink)
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It's got springs on the ram so that it'll return the cylinder when it's postioned vertically is all. Looks at the pictures, you'll see the difference. Not worth the $25 imo. My base model one works just fine, in all positions.
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Old 12-08-2005, 06:13 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I have been looking at the same bender in HF and are they worth a dam? I want to make a xocage for my truck would this do the trick?
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Old 12-08-2005, 06:23 PM   #4 (permalink)
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A post of this nature, after all the discussion previously on Pirate is subject to the ire of the board. But in short, for a non-competition rig, that mainly sees trail use -- the HF pipe bender and schedule 40 black pipe will work.

A good many people have done it, including this poster, with good results. It won't pass tech at a major rock crawling meet, but it will save your bacon on the trail.

Have at it. Oh -- do a simple search for pipe bender and read all the rest of the discussions here at POR.
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Old 12-11-2005, 09:20 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I saw a friend use the Harbor Frieght Bender this weekend. It seemed to be ok to me. I am no pro, but I am going to get me one today.
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Old 12-11-2005, 11:22 AM   #6 (permalink)
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A couple of tricks that I have learned using mine...

1. Cut a piece of larger pipe/tube and use it to sleeve over the roller wheels so they don't dimple the pipe you are bending. This will allow you to make tighter bends very cleanly.

2. Use a magnetic angle finder and a large carpenter's square to figure out bend angles. Know that there is some "spring back" when you bend, so you will have to bend a tad more than you want to count for the spring back. Figure out the first leg, then duplicate that for mirror bends.

3. An engine stand makes an almost perfect attachment point for the bender. Just drill a couple of holes in the flat metal supports on the bender and hang it on there. You can then swivel the bender to almost any angle as you work a bend. It also lets you roll it around as you work, but doesn't affect the bending process because, unlike benders that you have to pull against, the HF bender bends against itself.

4. Bend slowly, and watch where the seam in the pipe goes. There are different opinions about where it should be, but I generally put it on the inside, where it has to bend the least so it doesn't stretch the weld so much. I've never popped one, but why take the chance.

Otherwise, I've found that the bender is great -- and inexpensive -- for general use projects, and for the type of work for general trail rider rigs.
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Old 12-11-2005, 02:04 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I picked one a couple of weeks ago, it is the same as the 12 ton, just the return springs like someone mentioned. I like it. I lay it on it's back when i've got a whole stick of pipe in it so then when i release the pressure it retracts pretty quick. I'm getting ready to build a cage with for my rig, but i'm building a couple of other things first so i can get use to the bends and how it bends at different lengths.
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Old 12-11-2005, 04:52 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Go with the regular model, no need for the spring return. I`ve used my HF bender for many projects and found the only drawback to be not getting a bend much past 90 deg. Glfredrick, thanks for the engine stand idea, that should make positioning much easier.
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Old 12-11-2005, 08:45 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 4x401cj
Go with the regular model, no need for the spring return. I`ve used my HF bender for many projects and found the only drawback to be not getting a bend much past 90 deg. Glfredrick, thanks for the engine stand idea, that should make positioning much easier.
I can't take any credit for that idea... I got if from another earlier Pirate thread about the benders. Someone's almost always innovating something before everyone else... It sure does work good, though.
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Old 12-26-2005, 11:28 AM   #10 (permalink)
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I bought the HF bender and its seems to be ok to me. I have been working on making some tube doors..........so far so good
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Old 12-26-2005, 07:21 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Cool, post some pics up when you're finished, i'm working on the same thing, should be finished tomorrow!
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Old 12-26-2005, 08:54 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glfredrick
A couple of tricks that I have learned using mine...

1. Cut a piece of larger pipe/tube and use it to sleeve over the roller wheels so they don't dimple the pipe you are bending. This will allow you to make tighter bends very cleanly.....
Could you give more detail on this. I have heard of puting tin as a spacer in the dies to accomidate the OD difference between Pipe and tube. I have not heard of your sleave idea but am eager to understand it. Can you take a pic?
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Old 12-27-2005, 05:07 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coachgeo
Could you give more detail on this. I have heard of puting tin as a spacer in the dies to accomidate the OD difference between Pipe and tube. I have not heard of your sleave idea but am eager to understand it. Can you take a pic?
I could do some pics, but it is really simple. I just take a tube sized larger than the OD of the pipe I'm bending, slice off about 6" of it, then split it lengthwise to get two halves. Stick one of the halves under each of the rollers so that your pipe doesn't get the kinks while bending. Instead of rolling on the rollers, the tube will slide inside the sleeves. (In thinking about it, I guess that you could also just stick un-cut pieces of tube over the pipe to do the same thing, except for having to work it on and off the tube as you bent.)

When I looked at more expensive benders, I noticed that the dies were longer, hence distributed the force over a larger section of tube while bending. I just wanted to duplicate that idea cheaply, so I came up with the sleeve idea. It works perfectly, except that you have to stick it in place before each bend. I can now shorten up the radius of the bends instead of having the rollers sit way to the outside of the rack (the recommended fix for "dimples" in the pipe).

Here is a pic. You can see the sleeves if you look closely at the roller.
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Old 12-27-2005, 03:47 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Here is my problem that I have hit tonight. I have 1.75 tube at something like .0239 or close to it. The HF bender is flattening and crinkling my tube.... it did great on the 1 inch. Seeing how there is no exact die to fit a 1/3/4 I tried the 2' the 1/1/2 and the 1/1/4 all did the same thing so I am really dissapointed now....... I will keep it to do small stuff but I dont know what eles to try any ideas......
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Old 12-27-2005, 03:50 PM   #15 (permalink)
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What diameter tube should I be using........the metal shop guy said what he gave me what the same stuff everyone is using to make cages? I give up I am going to build a wooden cage...........
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Old 12-27-2005, 04:58 PM   #16 (permalink)
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You need to use PIPE not tube. 1-1/4" sched 40 pipe is around 1.66" OD & 1-1/2" is around 1.9" O.D.

Pipe is much cheaper than tube but do a search on the board to see the differences & make oyur own opinion.
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Old 12-27-2005, 05:14 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Toonces75
Here is my problem that I have hit tonight. I have 1.75 tube at something like .0239 or close to it. The HF bender is flattening and crinkling my tube.... it did great on the 1 inch. Seeing how there is no exact die to fit a 1/3/4 I tried the 2' the 1/1/2 and the 1/1/4 all did the same thing so I am really dissapointed now....... I will keep it to do small stuff but I dont know what eles to try any ideas......
From what I read you have to use the 2" die and shim it with tin or ??till it snugly fits your 1/34 tube and snugly fits inside the 2" die.

orrrrr.. you take your dies down to the place where you can buy tube and you find one strong enough for a cage AND fits snugly inside one of your dies. I think there is ONE that fits exact. A search in this board will come up with it. Last time I saw the thead with this info it was NOT in this forum. Maybe in general 4x4? Someone might pop in and let us know.
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Old 12-27-2005, 05:21 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glfredrick
I could do some pics, but it is really simple. I just take a tube sized larger than the OD of the pipe I'm bending, slice off about 6" of it, then split it lengthwise to get two halves. ...When I looked at more expensive benders, I noticed that the dies were longer, ...

Here is a pic. You can see the sleeves if you look closely at the roller.
Thanks for the pic. I was not clear if you were doing as pictured or if you were putting 1/2 a piece of tube on the roller to increase it's circumfrence. The pic explains it.

What have you found to be the best way too split the piece lengthwise?
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Old 12-27-2005, 05:35 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sixty
You need to use PIPE not tube. ...
My understanding, and I could be wrong is that there is one TUBE size that is extremely close to one of the pipe sizes. Because of this it works well with this bender.
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Old 12-27-2005, 05:39 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Toonces75
What diameter tube should I be using........the metal shop guy said what he gave me what the same stuff everyone is using to make cages? ........
Everyone else is not cheap shits like us and use a normal tube bender you gota find that magic OD and ID tube that fits the pipe dies. Or modify your dies.
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Old 12-27-2005, 05:54 PM   #21 (permalink)
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I did some searching and came up with below quotes

. just go to the metal yard and buy 1.90 x .134 wall tubing. It will work fine in the 1 1/2" pipe die
. I thread the inside of the tubing with a pipe tap then fill it with water.
. I have heard to use sand.
. Difference (between tube bender and pipe bender) is primarily the size of the dies. I've found that you can take a piece of sheet metal about the length and width of the die and wrap it around the tube where you want your bend. Then make the bend slowly. The force of the bender will form the sheet metal into a little shim that takes the slack out of the die. It will also stay in the die and you can make multiple bends...This helps quite a bit. A tubing bender is still easier to use but this will make your bender useable
. My dad bought on of these a while back, all it would do was kink stuff. The more we looked at it we noticed the dies didn't fit the pipe very well. So we heated them with a "rosebud" tip on the torch and beat them into shape. Cleaned them up with the grinder where they swelled a little from hitting them and now it works great.
1) Go Slow, if you try to pump them up fast they kink everytime
2) After the pipe tightens against the rollers 1 stroke of the ram is about 1 degree.
3) Be sure you aren't trying to bend too tight of a radius

These are all from this thread
http://www.pirate4x4.com/forum/showt...pe+bender+tube
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Old 12-27-2005, 06:15 PM   #22 (permalink)
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to make it work for tube you get a die smaller than the actual tube that your gonna be ebdning, than you grind out the die until the 1 3/4 tube fits tight in it. You should be able to get close to a 90* angle out of it. I did this on mine and built my whole interior roll cage and bedcage and engine cage with it.
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Old 12-27-2005, 07:55 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coachgeo
Thanks for the pic. I was not clear if you were doing as pictured or if you were putting 1/2 a piece of tube on the roller to increase it's circumfrence. The pic explains it.

What have you found to be the best way too split the piece lengthwise?
I used a chop saw.

I tried bending thin-walled tube once and had the same flattening problem. No problems bending pipe, however. It just smokes right around.
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Old 12-27-2005, 09:53 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Making your own dies.

here is something I wrote sometime back.

"What about having some hardass tube bent by a pro in a curve that is equivilant curve and cup to a die you want. Cut the thing lengthwise in half. Weld one half to the underside of the other half to increase the strength. Now you have something equivialant in shape to the part of a die that cups the tube as you bend.

Now weld a plate on each side with some other gusseting. Another words, build a hollow die. Curved side is made up of the bent tube you cut lenghtwise to form the convex shape.

Drill holes where neccissary and tada..... home made die.

Will this work? or does my description totaly confuse you?
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Old 12-28-2005, 05:35 AM   #25 (permalink)
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I see what you are saying and i guess that would work if you could get it all lined up and squared. But why not buy pipe instead of tubing??
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