A number of years back I was watching Reverend Gadget on Discovery channel where he featured a metal bender that he fabricated. Any tool that I can add to the garage will be another tool I can pick from when fabricating. After looking over Gadget’s design, along with some other home-built benders, I came up with this one.

The base and bearing platform were made from 8 inch channel. The rollers were built from 2 inch x .500 inch pipe. I machined the rollers to fit a 1 inch alloy rod as the axle. The rollers were then TIG welded together to make them 1 piece.

I wanted to make the bender fully adjustable in order to facilitate different sizes of metal as well as different radius of bends. The adjustment slots allow for bearing movement. I then made room for a 20 ton hydraulic bottle jack. The jack is way overkill however it’s what I had available.

So far the bender works great. The metal compresses and expands great, no kinking. It actually crushes and forms the rounded corners, you find on square tubing, and makes them perfectly square. I’m unsure how tight a radius I can bend, I haven’t maxed it out yet. I also don’t know how big a tubing it will handle, I’m hoping I will be able to roll at least 2″ light wall square through it.

The only glitch in the whole set up is getting the rollers aligned parallel with one another after adjustment. If they are not aligned the metal tends to walk to one side of the rollers. I plan to adapt some guides in order to help keep the steel centered.

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Comments
  1. [...] I just discovered GordsGarage “Just a guy with a garage”. One of his projects that caught my eye was a slick metal bend roller. Some C-Channel, rollers, bearings and a bottle jack — You have yourself a useful tool for you metal workshop. Check out the full project page HERE. [...]

  2. jorge rojo says:

    Hello, thank you for your website, I want to make a metal bender as you done, is it possible to see more pictures of it to have a better idea how to make it?
    Thank you again.

    • gordsgarage says:

      Hi Jorge, thanks for stopping by to take a look. I’m here to help so if pictures are what you want then pictures are what you will get. Is there something specific you are looking for? I have no design plans that I can offer you, I built the bender off the top of my head. If you have specific questions just ask and I’ll do my best to answer them.

      Gord

      • Clint says:

        Great job on the roller. Ive been using a harbor freight roller with decent results, but I think yours is much more versatile. Do you have a parts list or anything you would mind sharing?

        Thanks, and great site! Glad I found it

        Clint

      • gordsgarage says:

        Hi Clint, thanks for stopping in to take a look. The rollers work great, at least for what I use them for. The only parts I bought for the project were the flange bearings and pillow blocks. All the bearings allowed me to use a 1 inch roller axle. Unfortunately I do not have a parts list or a set of plans to offer. What I can do is try and answer any specific questions you may have. Lots of people have asked me for the same thing you are and so I am trying to devise a plan to address the request. I have been meaning to completely disassemble the contraption in order to throw a coat of paint on it. My current plan is to take better pictures of the disassembled unit and then post them in another blog entry. The only issue is that I have more pressing projects to accomplish first.

        Glad you enjoyed the site. If there are more specific questions I can answer that may help you, and others, please send them my way.

        Gord

  3. Seth says:

    Hi Gord,

    Came across your metal bender and it is great! I also have one of the little ring rollers and always wanted to build one capable of bending inch channel.
    A couple of questions for you:

    What gauge metal are the pillow block bearings resting on?
    It looks like you welded the studs for the pillow block bearings to the sheet so it could rest flat to the channel. Is this true?

    Thanks Gord

    (when I finish my gazebo, I’ll send you a picture)

    • gordsgarage says:

      Hi Seth, the ring rollers are great little tools. I’ve got a pretty cool trellis project brainstormed which the ring roller is going to work great for.

      I will do my best to answer your questions regarding the metal bender. You are correct I did, in fact, weld studs into the thinner metal plates for the pillow blocks to bolt to. The metal plates are what I had laying around, I took a look at them and they look to be .125″ thick. The thickness is not really a factor, you probably would not want to go thinner however thicker is no big deal. The metal plates that have the studs welded to them do not really hold any load, strength is not a huge factor. The plates allow me to adjust the pillow blocks along the top of the channel iron to assist in different radius bends. I have to admit I have never actually used the bending with the 2 lower rollers moved further apart. The rollers have always stayed set on the tightest setting and I always use them there. Perhaps when I bend some heavier tubing I may have to spread them apart.

      I hope this helps. I like specific questions like yours, they are much easier to answer. If I can help with anything else just let me know. BTW I woudl love to see your gazebo once complete. The thing that frustrates me about building mine is that I learn a lot throughout the process but since I will probably never build another one I will never get a second chance to improve on it. :)

      Gord

  4. Seth says:

    Thanks For getting back to me so soon. The gazebo will take a while. Like you, I have an endless list of projects! First I need to build the base over the next couple of weeks. Then your metal bender to build the gazebo. I will probably build a modified version of the Lincoln Romantic Gazebo. Do a search on the Lincoln romantic gazebo and you can see pictures and plans for it. Too bad you do not live closer to me. We could help each other with our projects :-)

    Thanks again

    Seth

    • gordsgarage says:

      I took a look at the gazebo you’re workling on. Looks like great project. The metal bender should work fairly well for some of those bends. Keep me posted on the progress.

      Gord

  5. charles says:

    Hi, I have look at the metal roller you made and would like to make one for myself just like yours. I just have some questions though.. 1) What is the dimension of the side plate you used would be interested to know what the length and width of it? ….2) What is the length of the base of the 10-inch channel? Really appreciate your feedback on this one. Thank you so much….

    • gordsgarage says:

      Hi Charles, the dimensions of the side plate that I used for the vertical adjustment roller is 12″ x 4″ with 5″ adjustable slots cut into it. The plate was .375″ thick. The size channel that I used is 8 “. Something that I woiuld do differently if I was to build a second one is I would not make as much adjustment on the horizontal axis. I have yet to actually spread the rollers further apart and all the bends I have done so far have been done with all three rollers places together as close as possible. I appreciate the specific questions, if you have anymore just ask. Good luck with the build, pass the improvements that you make my way.

      Gord

  6. semmac - Poland says:

    Great project. Just like jorge rojo may I asked you for more pictures? Just like you I am a “handyman” (hope this is good translation), and that kind of bender would be really useful in my workshop/ garrage. Pipe bender that I own now is useful but not enough.

    • gordsgarage says:

      Thanks for stopping by and checking out the bender. Yes there has been mutliple people asking for more information. If people can tell me what, specifically, they are looking for then my time would be better used when I take pictures and compile more information. Giving a step by step is much to time consuming at this point in time.

      I plan on disassembling it to clean it up and paint it at some point. I am unsure when that time will be. If I ever perform the task I will be sure to take many more pictures of the disassembled parts.

      Thanks! Gord

  7. George Stuart-Vail says:

    So, shall we do a CAD drawing of it? AutoCAD or Solidworks even?
    It’s what I do.

    Pictures are great and worth a thousand, but a good blueprint is worth about 10 pictures.

    If given details,I could do plans for free. The benefit for me is that I’d be that much closer to building one of my own.

    • gordsgarage says:

      Hi George, AutoCAD the metal bender? I am intrigued. I too have AutoCAD skills however they are extremely limited and fully self taught. I forced myself to learn 2D modelling in preperation for a plasma CNC table I eventually want to build.

      I agree with you that a proper CAD drawing of the bender would be great. My thoughts are as follows;

      -I personally have no need for the drawing as I have already built one
      -I do, however, have a great interest in supplying people a set of plans that they can build one from
      -I am also interested in revamping it slightly to make improvements based off my past experience
      -It would be great to brainstorm some different ideas with others. The bender was built using a lathe to machine some of the parts. It would be great to come up with a solution that would allow others to build one without the need for a lathe. Not sure if this is possible.
      -If we decided to do this you would have my full cooperation. All I ask for is that the plans can be made available on my blog free of charge. I would, of course, give you full credit for your work.
      -The main focus of the project would be to help out all those DIY metal workers to help them with their projects. I would not expect, nor want, anyone to profit financially from any of this.

      Thanks for the offer.

      What are you thoughts? Plus what do you need from me?
      Thanks!
      Gord

  8. George Stuart-Vail says:

    Hi Gord,
    Sorry for the delay. I’ve a lot going on the moment.

    Yes I agree on all points. My intent would be for plans to be available and actually posted on your blog free of charge. And I too would not expect to profit financially from this. I do hope, though, that you wouldn’t mind my linking to your blog on some of my favorite websites and forums(metalworking, motorcycle building, and sculpting).

    My thoughts are that it would be best to draw up plans for a revised model based on your experience, and post them as PDFs. I’m currently trying to find and download a free or low-cost PDF editor-one that doesn’t crash my machine-to help me to create a secure document produced from AutoCAD.

    I think all that I would need from you is descriptions of some of the parts, and maybe the suppliers, and dimensions of some of the more intricate parts which you’ve created. One of the great things about these CAD programs is that they can put out a bill of materials list to immediately show what is needed and one can then do a cost analysis based upon their resources. It’s often a good starting point.

    We may also need some suggestions from people about how to make the rollers or dies without access to a lathe. I’ve never used a ring roller so I don’t really know how smooth and precise they need to be. But I did see something recently that I’d like to show you… Where someone smoothed their own tubes on a drill press… I’ll have to see if I can dig that out.
    Okay back to work now.

  9. George Stuart-Vail says:

    Well, this is what I was thinking of to clean up your rollers, but I’m not sure that it’s adequate.

    http://choppercompendium.com/ccforum/viewtopic.php?f=29&t=55&sid=ef39ce03e69d046c0d275ada025808ae

    we live by trial and error don’t we.

  10. Gordon Hargest says:

    Hi there,your page looks like a great one!!! Im wondering if your bender could be adapted to roll 30×8 flat bar,not on the 30 dimension but on the 8!! I have a project to fabricate a railing for a neighbours wall that is built in a radius as apposed to a straight one. I have an idea that if i fabricate the rollers with plates welded to them to act as guides to keep the steel upright and stop it wondering,i could then adapt your bender to use. I would appriciate your views on it.

    Many thanks Gordon

    • gordsgarage says:

      Hi Gordon, thakns for stopping by. Yes I think the bender could be adapted to your application. The first question that comes to mind is how thick is the flat bar? I am completely guessing however I would think anything thicker then 3/16″ may be pushing it. As soon as you add that much width (8″) the amount of metal that needs to bend adds up quick. The second issue that I would consider if I was going to bend 8″ flat would be the rigidity of the rollers. The rollers need to span 8″ and not flex in the middle. My rollers are built with a 1″ solid axle with a 2″ (.500″ wall thickness) pipe as the roller. Again, in my uneducated opinion, I would suspect that my roller configuration would be able to handle the forces over an 8″ span. Third think to consider is how tight the radius is that is required. This is not as much as a factor and if all you need is a slight bend, again, I think it is all possible.
      Hope this helps. Good luck with the project!
      Thanks!
      Gord

  11. Russ Kaye says:

    Rather than trying to bend 8 inches I would suggest you buy a flat plate large enough to cut your radius out of and save the headaches.

    Russ K

    • gordsgarage says:

      Hi Russ, I may have misunderstood what Gordon was trying to accomplish. I was under the impression he wanted to roll 8″ wide flat bar or sheet. I am not sure I follow you on how he would accomplish this by cutting a radius out of sheet. What I am missing here?
      Thanks!
      Gord

  12. Russ Kaye says:

    Hi Gord,

    From his description it sounds like he wants to make a base plate for a railing on a radiused wall 30 in long by 8 in wide by an unspecified thickness bent to the radius in the 8 in direction since he mentions wanting to keep the steel upright as it bends. It would be more practical for him to get a plate wider than the 8 in and cut the radius rather than trying to bend 8 in. Unless I misunderstood and he simply wants to curve a plate 30 in long by 8 in wide by the thickness in the easy direction. The easy direction being like putting the plate flat down with a 4×4 at each end of the 30 in length and stepping in the middle causing a bend as opposed to what it sounds like he wants to do putting the plate edge up and stepping in the middle trying to make it bend down.

    Regards, Russ K

    • gordsgarage says:

      Hey Russ, I get it now. If this is the case then there is no way the bender is going to work (for many reasons). I would agree with you that cutting it out of a sheet would be the best way to go. Gordon hasn’t clarrified any of this, perhaps we will never know.

      Thanks!
      Gord

  13. semmac-poland says:

    Hi, it is me again :). I have collected most of the materials I will need to build that kind of bender. Because I am planning to modify your construction I have one question about your experience:
    when the rollers are not straight (not in one line) – does the bended material slide slant (not sure if this is a correct expression) – slide to the border of the roller like that: “\”?? Is this possible to move it straight again with a hand during process (without stopping the process)?

    • gordsgarage says:

      Glad to hear you are making progress. Yes, you are correct, when the rollers are not aligned parallel to one another the work tends to walk its way over to one side. If you have not put too much of a load on the bend then it can be worked back staight into the center of the rollers by hand during the bending. However sometimes the pressure does need to be relieved and the work re-centered. Hope this helps.
      Thanks!
      Gord

  14. Keith Kenner says:

    Before I say anything else….I am a fan and admire your work,shop and creativity! I find your bender to be really cool, simple in design and highly functional. In the blog you mentioned that the channel was 10″ wide. In one of the posts you said that it is 8 ” wide. I spent a good portion of this morning chasing down some 10 ” stock. Before I go any further, Could you please clarify that little detail for me?

    • gordsgarage says:

      Hi Keith, thanks for the kind words and stopping by the site. You are absolutely correct about the conflicting information. I’m kicking myself for the mix up, I try and be accurate and consistant with my information. I have since gone back and corrected the post, thanks for letting me know. The channel is in fact 8 inches wide (I just ran out to the garage and double checked it). I think the width is good since it allows me to bend 4″ flat bar if need be however one could easily pull off 6″ wide if they don’t mind the smaller capacity.
      Thanks!
      Gord

  15. Sonny Smith says:

    Gord,

    I ordered the pillow block bearings and the flange bearings this afternoon to make a bender. Can you provide the lengths of the 3 pieces of 8 inch channel, and the wall thickness you used. I am thinkng about using 6 inch channel, ( I have some 6 inch on myscrap pile ) do you forsee any problems using 6 inch channel, other than less width bending capacity?

    Also, I cannot see clearly how you mounted the hinge. Are the two pieces of channel butted up, and the pipe for the hinge welded on top?

    I am going to turn down 2 inch round stock to 1 inch on the pillow block ends for the rollers.

    Is there anything under the piece of channel where the top of the jack pushes on it like a swivel pad?

    Thanks for all your efforts to post and share your designs. I have been looking for a simple, while functional bender design for a while.

    Later,

    Sonny Smith

    • gordsgarage says:

      Hi Sonny, glad to hear you’ve got things rolling towards getting a bender built. In response to your questions…

      1. I will get you the dimensions you requested tonight and post another reply
      2. I do not forsee any issues using 6 inch channel other then, like you said, it will limit the width. No big deal, my 8 inch is a bit too wide.
      3. The hinges are in fact welded to the two pieces of channel. Since the hinge needs to handle the force of the bend the attachment method needs to be strong. I left a slight gap between the top 2 channel sections in order to allow room to TIG weld the hinge from both the top and the bottom. I believe the hinge pin I used was a 1 inch diameter.
      4. As far as a jack pad goes…it’s on my list of this to comlete yet. Initially I was going to build a swivel pad however it was one of those items that never found completion. As it sits now the jack just rests on the underside. Yes there is a risk that the jack may kick out however it hasn’t happened yet. Should I ever get around to building a pad it will no longer be swivel or complicated. I would just take a 2 inch cross section of pipe, cut in in half so it is the shape of a half moon and then weld it onto the underside to give the head of the jack ram something to push against. Make sense?

      I’ll post specs later
      Thanks!
      Gord

      • Sonny Smith says:

        Gord,

        Good tip on welding the hinge top and bottom, I am all about making things plenty strong the first time. I have 1 inch round stock, but when fabricating hinges, I always have trouble finding the pieces of pipe and solid stock that fit together nicely, and that will make a quality hinge. How do you find the matching pieces, do I just need to go by a pipe schedule chart for ID demensions? Problem is I don’t want to buy a 20 or 24 foot stick of pipe for an 8 inch hinge. Life is tough.

        I like the half moon stop idea for the top of the jack, seems simple, and workable. I may go anal, and build the swivel anyway, it depends on how pressed for time I am when that decision comes up.

        Since you have used your bender a few times, are there any changes you would make in the design?

        I will need to bend 16 gauge 2 inch square tubing from time to time, have you tried that? I am wondering how far apart the outside rollers will have to be for that application. My bends would be long sweeping curves on approx 16 ft lengths of tubing, to make the curved tops of driveway gates.

        Thanks again,

        Sonny Smith

      • gordsgarage says:

        Hey Sonny, here is some more information;
        -The length of channel I used was a 33″ section for the base. The 2 top sections where each 16″ long.
        -My 2 horizontally adjustable rollers are 11″ on center at the tightest position and aprox. 24″ OC when adjusted all the way out
        -If you are bending metal with a fairly tight arc the jack will run out of height. What you need to do is lower the jack all the way and then drop your vertical adjustment roller down into the valley of the bent metal. This way you can continue with the bend as you have “reset” you jack. Get it?
        -The 8 inch channel is .500″ thick, I would say that was a bit overkill
        -As far as the female side of the hinge goes you could always use some Schedule 40 1″ gas pipe which has an inside diameter of 1.049″. You can probably pick up a 12″ section for cheap at most home improvement or plumbing stores. My suggestion would be to build a bit of slop into the hinge pin fittment. Too much precision is difficult to work with especially when you start putting lots of heat to it when welding, things like to warp and then bind. This style bender works fine with a bit of looseness built in.
        -As far as changes go…yes I would make a few. It would take me awhile to outline them all and how I would do it however in a nut shell I may not have built it quite as heavy duty as I did. I would also spend some time coming up with a system to better adjust the rollers so they stay parallel with one another. When the rollers aren’t in line with one another the rolled metal tends to walk to one side which means readjusting needs to take place.
        -I haven’t tried bending 2x2x.065 wall tubing yet. I suspect you may be limited by how tight a bend you want. If it is just a graudual sweeping arc then I suspect it would work fine. If I performed that bend on my bender I would space my two outer rollers as far apart as possible.

        Hope this helps
        Gord

      • Sonny Smith says:

        Gord,

        Thanks for your time and efforts. I picked up about a 6 foot piece of 8 inch X 1/4 in channel yesterday, I believe that will be plenty strong enough, and alot lighter to move around. I will get that part cut out, and cleaned up today.

        Bearings should be in today or tomorrow.

        Got the jack reset details. I may try to make the 11 inch spread dimension less, that will allow a tighter bend, don’t know if that will be possible until the pillow blocks get in, and I can mock it up.

        I have about 200 feet of Sched 40 X 1 inch black iron pipe, don’t know why I didn’t think of that. Most hinges I make are of a smaller diameter than 1 inch.

        I know getting the rollers parallel will be a problem, I will just have to work with it, and when I get a setup that is correct, I will scribe lines in the channel as a reference. The only other alternative I can think of is to have the slots milled out, and I will not do that, at least not this time.

        You have saved me much time and brain power, thanks again for sharing your knowledge.

        I will take some pictures, and try to document my progress. I am scheduled for Rotator Cuff surgery in 3 weeks, so I will become a one armed bandit for at least two months, I am going to go absolutely stir crazy. I hope I will have this finished before the surgery. As you know, sometimes other things wind up taking priority over your own very important personal projects.

        Later,

        Sonny

      • gordsgarage says:

        Hey Sonny, sounds like you have a fairly good handle on the rollers already. The most time consuming parts are always the planning and the collecting of materials. A project well planned is a project half done.

        You mentioned the 11 inch spread. The pillow block bearings are what limited my spread, 11 inches were as close as I could get the rollers based on the pillow block sizes.

        Good luck with the surgery, hopefully you will come back stronger. I can’t relate to your physcial pain but I can certainly empathize with your 2 month down time.

        Keep me posted on the progress, would love to see your finished progress. Let me know if I can help ith anything else.

        Gord

  16. George Stuart-Vail says:

    “getting the rollers parallel will be a problem”

    Who left the Dogs out?

    Are the rollers not remaining true because of slop in the adjustments slots for the horizontal adjustment plates?

    What if, instead of slots, it was built with through holes held to tight enough tolerances to maintain alignment of the entire plate and roller? This would spare the need for milling the slots also. but would it be adjustable enough?

    I’ve taken the liberty of loading some screenshots of designs to my photobucket page and linking it here – if I can – to better describe what I mean.

    http://s37.photobucket.com/albums/e86/justincaise/Tool%20Designs/

    Or perhaps the slop, if slop is the issue, could be taken up with small tube spacers (or jackets) around the slot/ajdustment plate bolts.Just brainstorming here. I still think it is an awesome design as built.

    By the way, Gord, I emailed you a while back – still interested in doing 2D drawings.

    And for simpliciy and clarification I’ve compiled all pertainent info into one paragraph as sort of a recap or summary. Hopefully we don’t loose the formatting.

    Slowly rereading through your posts, I can see that you stated;

    •1 inch axles in your pillow blocks, sleeved by TIG welded 2” OD pipe/tube with .5” wall thickness,

    •2 horizontally adjustable rollers are 11″ on center at the tightest position and approx. 24″ OC when adjusted all the way out

    •Need a system to better adjust the rollers so they stay parallel with one another, to prevent the rolled metal from walking to one side.

    •.125 thick steel plate,

    •8 inch channel =.500″ thick (a bit overkill) the length of channel I used was a 33″ section for the base. The 2 top sections where each 16″ long.,

    •a bottle jack with 18 tons more power than you probably need,

    •Side plates for the vertical adjustment roller are .375″ thick 12″ x 4″ with 5″ adjustable slots cut into it.

    •The hinges are welded to the two pieces of channel – welds needs to be strong. I left a slight gap between the top 2 channel sections to TIG weld the hinge from both the top and the bottom. For the female side of the hinge you could use some Schedule 40 1″ gas pipe which has an inside diameter of 1.049″, cheap at most home improvement or plumbing stores. The hinge pin is 1 inch diameter. My suggestion – build a bit of slop into the hinge pin fitment. When welding, things like to warp and then bind.

    •The jack just rests on the underside. To build a jack pad I would just take a 2 inch cross section of pipe, cut in half so it is the shape of a half moon and then weld it onto the underside to give the head of the jack ram something to push against.

    •If you are bending metal with a fairly tight arc the jack will run out of height. Lower the jack all the way, drop your vertical adjustment roller down into the valley of the bent metal to “reset” your jack.

  17. Keith Kenner says:

    Hey Gord,

    Been watching your post. I liked George Stuart’s idea of indexing the pillow block plates wth segmented holes in the channel. I went a step further; I had the machinest press 3/8 dowel pins into the pillow block plates for a quick change set up. Then drill holes .005 larger than the dowel pins i inch on center in the channels. Hope this works. The machinest is supposed to be done with it next week.

    • gordsgarage says:

      Hey Keith, yes I agree with modification. Anything that will help keep the rollers parallel is certainly a step in the right direction. Nice touch getting pins pressed in. I have been curious what others have been doing as far as the rollers go. I like how I built mine however I would never have been able to do it without a lathe. Mind if I asked what you used for rollers? I would love to see pictures of your finished bender.

      Thanks!
      Gord

      • Keith Kenner says:

        Mornin,I bought a piece of 2″ cold roll steel. The machinist is going to deck the channel and the backs of the pillow block plates to assure a good flat working surface. I am rounding up the paltes and nuts and bolts this week. I am going to use 82 degree bolts for the pillow block bolts as not to warp the plate with a puddle weld.

        Keith

      • gordsgarage says:

        Hey Keith, sounds like you’re going pro with it all, awesome! Ensuring a high level of precision by decking the channel and pillow blocks makes me wonder what you have in mind for a hinge? What’s the plan to ensure the two upper channel sections will remain parallel with one another with the same amount of tolerance you have built into the channel and pillow blocks?

        Gord

  18. Keith Kenner says:

    Hi Gord,Probably a close tolorance hinge with tabs to weld to the channel. That’s the best I can come up with…..got any ideas? ;-)

    Keith

    • gordsgarage says:

      Hey Keith, if I was to build the bender over again I think I would bearing the hinge and hide it on the underside of the top channel sections. I drew out a very very very rough sketch of how I would do it. Did I mention it was a rough sketch? It’s way quicker for me to pencil it out than rather then try to explain it. You can view it in PDF format here. The basic idea is that there would be a couple of hinge pin support plates welded to the underside of the channel section that doesn’t pivot (the channel opposite the bottle jack channel) Then on the bottle jack side weld on bearing supports and press a couple of bearings in. A hinge pin can then get slid all the way through and secured in place by a couple of set screws located on the hinge pin plates. I have no idea if I am explaining this so that it is comprehensible. Look at the picture I try and decipher what I am yakking about. Anyway…the advantage to this design is A. super clean look with no hinge on the top side, B. Very little, and maybe even no, play in the hinge mechanism, C. Relatively easy to drill and line the hinge axis up so the result would be no binding and super smooth action, D. (and most importantly) would look super cool! Ask for clarification if you need it.
      Something I neglected to draw in the PDF sketch was the clearance slots that would need to be cut in the top of the bottle jack channel in order to allow for hinge pin plate clearance. (Yeah I know, I cluttered this one up pretty good)

      Thanks!
      Gord

      • Keith Kenner says:

        You should see some of my drawings…When I first sit down to draw; out comes the ruler and the finest point that I have. precise measurements from a control line, after about the 3rd or 4 hr, the pencil is dull and so is the one drain cell that I have left. Been playing dodge ball with that one for a bit.

        I had an idea the other day about the ability to roll round stock with the same rollers. I am having the machinist cut a 1/2 inch cove into the rollers on one end and a 1/4 inch v block on the other end to roll smaller solid and square stock the hard way as well.

        I pressed the alignment pins into place leaving approx 1/8 indent to puddle weld and grind ( same trick you used on the pillow block bolts) I like the idea of using a motor and fwd/rev switch. That will come later. For now I plan to use the first piece the machine makes to be a large turning wheel. With the indexed hole and pin system, there will be no need for tools to reset the span of bend and the channel retains most of the integrity.

      • gordsgarage says:

        Hi Keith, sounds like you and I have some traits in common. On certain projects I take much joy in the drawing and planning portion. I used to draw my plans by hand on 1/4″ drafting paper until I forced myself to learn AutoCAD. I like sitting, thinking, drawing, and planning for hours as I mull ideas over in my head. Now I typically just “mull” at 2:00 am every morning when I can’t sleep. :)

        Good idea cutting the grooves into the rollers to bend round stock. I have other tools for bending up to 3/8″ round however sometimes I want to go bigger. I have bent up to 5/8″ round on my homemade bender however I need to be careful to ensure it rolls through the bender straight. Having grooves cut would help that.

        I am glad to see people are improving on my design. There are so many different, and better, ways of building it. Maybe someday I’ll do a re-do.

        Post pics sometime.

        Thanks!
        Gord

  19. Stefan says:

    Have you considered just using a bit of vehicle axle (from a wreckers) very limited flex, you can then get bearing as required from your local parts shop? The Axles take a bit of cutting but hey.. I have seen a system were they have additional support rollers under load rollers for sheet metal bending.

    I have a project coming up where I will need to bend 50mm tubing and angle (aluminium) 4 to 6mm wall, this is to 11′ radius and 76.5″ radius. Because of the technique I will draw a template to measure the final bend radius.

    I am also building a 2500mm wide bender and possibly may have to do same width for a former to take Aluminium 4 to 6mm sheet.

    • gordsgarage says:

      Hey Stefan, never thought of using an axle, with some creativity I am sure they can be made to work. The axles typically only have 1 surface machined on them for a bearing to ride. This is not an issue if you have access to a lathe as more surfaces could be machined for more bearings. Good idea though, gives me something to ponder.

      Sounds like you have a bit of work lined up. What are your plans for bending the tubing? Have you got the equipment to ensure you don’t crush the walls? 2500mm bender? That’s cool! The flex factor will be huge on that one. :)

      Thanks!
      Gord

      • Stefan says:

        Wasn’t going to use the machined end, the other end is already spline d and axles are almost perfectly straight thus no needs for a keyway for the handle to attach to, also using the diff head and gearing would be able to either drive two shafts at once or alternatively add a pulley to attach a forward/reverse electric motor (belt drive) and have one lying around. You can get old agitator washing machines with motors which have forward/reverse at your local refuse station (people throw away rather than repair).

        The guides will be built up from aluminium stock to fit over the shafts and increase dimension (if doing by hand or would take forever to form a 6m long piece of box section). I don’t have a mill but do have a lathe and am trying to figure out a keyway system for that bit if I do build up the pressure surface (if you get what i mean).

        the project is to build a yacht based upon glass/ply design but build in aluminium. much cheaper.

      • gordsgarage says:

        Hi Stefan, sounds like you have it figured out. I like the idea of using the axle side gear splines as the drive. I ended up welding a socket onto mine to drive it, the spline should work well. I am curious as to how you are going to tie the diff. into the whole assembly, you’ll have to send some pictures my way once you have some progress, I would love to see your set up.

        Awesome sounding project to build a yacht. I assume that glass/ply is what we, over here, call fiberglass? Over here fiberglass is much cheaper then aluminum, I’m suprised to hear that it’s not the same in your neck of the woods.

        Keep me posted on the project.
        Thanks!
        Gord

      • Stefan says:

        What you call a fiberglass boat is usually layers of either single thickness ply bonded then layers of fiberglass over the top, or 1/2 inch to 1″ ply again with fiberglass over the top, the cost of marine ply coupled with a minimum of 3mm fiberglass then working to a smooth finish with a gel coat overlay. the cost of 2.4m x 1.2m marine ply 20mm is around $125 – $145 and thats before you glass. the glass chemicals aren’t that cheap either to cover the same area. Marine ali for the same sheet but 4mm thick is around $200 retail. the only additional cost is the Argon and wire. still works out at between 50% and 75% of the cost of glass/ply and a fraction of the weight and time.

        to affix the shafts offcuts (will stay with you 10″ width) i intend to create a welded lip at on end, drive on bearing, Tig into place (tack only) other end is pretty much the same except the bearing will slide on so that can put in former plates and guides (for box section/tube/angle). That was the idea anyway as most the work i will be doing will have same wall thickness. The sizes will be 50mm angle and 25x50mm box at 3 to 4mm wall. the radius for the plans are 11′ for AMA’s and a small section at 76″ radius for the main hull. Anyone with bright ideas are welcome to offer them

      • gordsgarage says:

        Hey Stefan, sounds like you have done your homework. A job well planned is a job half done so it sounds as though you must be aproximately 60% complete. :)
        Send some pictures my way once you get your bender together, I love to see what others have come up with. I wish you much progress with your project.

        Thanks!
        Gord

  20. [...] that require such processing of metal. The construction was inspired by project described at: LINK. To check how to create a smaller device, see: . Those two projects can be combined. Result is [...]

  21. Hope says:

    This is a wonderful piece of equipment that I can use to build this bed frame I want. Thanks!

  22. Karen Garcia says:

    How much would you sell your metal bender for?

  23. Karen Garcia says:

    Aww… Quick questions, what is the size and thickness of the metal rollers? Exactly how did you make them? Or can you make and sell me just the rollers for the metal bender?

    • gordsgarage says:

      Hi Karen, the rollers were made from 2″ x .500″ seamless pipe. The axles were machined from 1.000″ solid round alloy. The axles were then slid into the rollers and TIG welded to make them all one piece. I am unable to build, or supply, you the rollers. Sorry.

      Gord

  24. John says:

    Hi Gord thank you very much for showing us your marvellous pieces. My question to you about the metal bender “Bent out of shape” is, Can you tell me the exact measure of the Y support unit for the ball bearings? a serial number and the brand name would be awesome to know. I have decided to built one myself and yours look the best of the best. Thank you very much again.
    John

    • gordsgarage says:

      Hi John, I am a bit unclear as to what you are looking for. Are you interested in more information regarding the flanges that the ball bearings sit in? The bearings are referred to as both pillow blocks and flange bearings. They are both a fairly standard item and there are many suppliers. The bearings I used accomodate a 1″ axle. There are no serial numbers or brand names on the bearings I used, I suspect they are a fairly cheap Chinese brand. I just Googled the bearings and found pillow blocks and flange bearings. I am unsure where you are located and therefore I can not suggest a supplier however these types of bearings are not hard to source. Let me know if I have misunderstood your question. Hope this helps.

      Thanks!
      Gord

  25. John says:

    Thanks a lot, that links are what I was looking for, thank you

  26. Eli Dedeke says:

    Could you please leave me a material list and the instruction on how to make this that would be great. Please email me elidedeke97@gmail.com

    • gordsgarage says:

      Hi Eli, Sorry but I do not have a materials list or instructions for the build. I fabricated the unit off the top of my head. If you spend sometime reading through all the comments alot of questions have already been answered.

      Thanks!
      Gord

  27. Eli Dedeke says:

    Could you email pictures to me of all around the projects sides top bottom etc?

  28. fred says:

    j ai construit ma machine par rapport a votre video j ai mis un rapporteur sur le cote verrin comme ca j ai toujours le meme angle de cintrage cela m a pris deux semaine de preparation mai je fais du bon travail en out cas merci pour la video

    • gordsgarage says:

      Heureux que vous étiez en mesure de faire une cintreuse de votre choix. J’espère que vous avez pu apporter quelques améliorations. Bâtiment heureux!

      Merci!
      Gord

  29. frederic says:

    viens devoir votre commentaire et déjà effectue des chapeaux de gemdarmes de +- 1500mm de long entubes de 30x15x2 mm et sont bien merci beaucoup

  30. Vladimir says:

    hi Gord,

    I made my own bender a while back and haven’t had a chance to say thanks. I could not have done it without looking at yours dozens of times.
    Fairly new to metal working and I did not think I could make the hinge work correctly so I changed the design a bit.
    The rollers were machined out of solid 2” steel.
    Here’s a link to mine, I believe the steel that I bent is 3/8 inch.
    https://picasaweb.google.com/101590181772039628656/Stuff?noredirect=1#5901678311028794738

    Glad to see you’re posting again!
    Vladimir

    • gordsgarage says:

      Looks fantastic Vladimir! Super clean job and nicely done. There are so many ways to change up my design, looks like you came up with a great plan. Thanks for sending me the link.

      Happy bending!
      Gord

  31. Robert says:

    Gord,

    Could you tell me how you cut your track slots?

    What is the length of the bender?

    Did you thread the back steel for the lock bolts or put a nut on the inside to hold them?

    What did you make your hinge from?

    Thank you for your inspiration,

    Robert

    • gordsgarage says:

      Hi Robert, sorry for the delay. The track slot ends were first drilled and then the lengths were cut using a plasma torch. I am not sure the length but I suspect it is right around 24 inches. I used nuts on the inside of the frame, still been meaning to weld them on. I machined the hinge on my lathe. Good luck!

      Thanks!
      Gord

  32. frederic says:

    bonjour a tous j ai fabrique la cintreuse avec du materiel de réemploi je n ai qu acheté les roulements et le cric 20 tonnes et et fait faire les rouleaux en inox le reste decoupage soudure a ete fait par mes soins premiers essais concluant j arrive a cintrer du tube rectangulaire de 30 par 20 en un diametre de 500 mm

  33. Tom says:

    I have one that uses a small bottle jack…same config. Except
    I used no pillow block bearing, just passed a bolt thru angle with grease.
    It rolls 1×2″ c channel and 1×2 16 gauge tubing. I have heavy washers to
    Contain the 2″ stock. I will re build with bearings when I have time. My takes
    Longer handle, but does the job of a 1500$ roller.

    • gordsgarage says:

      Hi Tom, the great thing about the bender design is that it can be modified so many different ways. Using washers to keep things lined up is a good idea.

      Thanks!
      Gord

      • fred says:

        oui on peut la modifier il suffit de fabriquer des bagues de +-20mm de large et de 15mm d epaisseur avec 2vis de pression (vis pointeau)qui sont orientee a 2 tiers qui viennent glisser dans les rouleaux et l on peut cintrer des plats de max 50×10 sur chant avec un grand diametre +-1200 je les ai fait fabriquer et cela marche tres bien

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