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.