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Discussion Starter #1
Title states it but for more details.

I am looking at doing some decorative railing with 1/2" solid square stock. I'm looking at ~4" CLR. Basically, I'm going to have a LOT of 180 degree bends. By a lot, I'm thinking in excess of 100 of them.

Initially, I was thinking a bender like JD squared, Rogue Fab, etc since I could use them for other metal work. But it appears that it would be a bit of time for each bend.

Is there a better and more efficient tool for this type work? Price is somewhat an issue but I'll pay for a good quality tool.

Or is there a better method? Maybe create a bending "die" for a press? I've got the usual HF 20 ton handy :homer:
 

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Just to possibly learn something, you could maybe go to some local railing and custom gate welding type hole in the wall welding shop and see what method they use. Enquire, talk with them, see if they have a good method for bending. Those guys work and use those types of equipment and or have develooped some of their own cool home made methods for bending decrative stuff like this. There're are tons of little welding shops all over the area just like this in my town and surounding areas. There're machines for this type of specific bending but you're talking big dollars. Buy used to start with.

Or, use your own knogin and develope yourown method and get to work. I prefer the latter, I'm a builder and would prefer to build myown machine of some kind. One of the simplest lessons and rules of physics (coming from a high school drop out lol! :flipoff2:) is: Leverage is your friend. Thats a saysing I always say. "Remember, Leverage is your friend". I tell my son that all the time to burn it into his brain. You can move mountains with leverage, so a 1/2 bar of square steel rod should be easy to form into whatever you desire.

You need only a few basic items to come up with something. A pivotable device that accepts the material needing to be bent. A leverage arm to bend the steel with. Another simple rule to remember is, THICKER MATERIAL OF THE SAME TYPE WILL ALWAYS BEND THINNER MATERIAL. So whatever you design, just use heavier dute items and stock as the pivoting system and suports. Now it's your imagination thats the only thing left to contend with. Do you have a problem, or a solution? What are you going to do? Bust out the graph paper and pencil if you need to, whatever it takes. Succeed.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
1TON73K5,

Two good points.

On the first, that is something I love doing... just not a lot of time right now. I got to sit at a shop and watch gears being made(setup, tooling, etc).

On the second, I definitely have no issue coming up with my own ideas... I did an NP203 gear reduction box in front of an SM465 a few years ago :eek:

I just don't want to reinvent the wheel if someone has an idea... for example, there is already a die for a press that exists. I've got a little while before I need to.
 

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Discussion Starter #5

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The Diacro benders are sweet....

Otherwise the press setups with rollers that bend u-bolts are super mega awesome, always wanted to figure out how to build one
 

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The HF bar and rod bender with a shop made die (3.5" dia circle) will do it just fine. I'd not want to bend these in a hydraulic press

A hossfeld would be the quality bender to use, but nothing wrong with the hf for this job.

You can use a jd2 just about as easy, making your own dies and not using the ratchet action...just pulling them by hand. I've done it in the past.

I have a jd2 model 3 and also a Shop Outfitters bender 20/20(which the HF is a copy of) with a ton of dies.

1/2" is very easy to bend by hand.

Pic of parts bent on the Shop Outfitters. Rod is 5/8 round. All done by hand.


 

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Build your own bender. If you are doing a bunch of repeat bends it will make life suck much less.

I picture something like this. Just take your rods cut off to length and drop the end into the slot. Maybe put a stop in there so that you get the same repeatable tail every time.



Will make a bend that looks similar to this...



Just build it on the corner of a heavy table and put a long lever off of it so you have enough torque. Here is one that I built for 3/8" rod.















I make about 1000 bends like that a year...
 

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Discussion Starter #10
jamscal, the HF thing looks tempting and probably the easiest.

billybob_81067, thank you for all the pictures. Basically looks like a manual version of PAToyota machine.
 
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