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  1. #1
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    Default Steel bending

    I have got some rectangular tubing that I need to bend a tight radius. It is 1x2x.125 Rectangular tube. I need to bend four pieces that are 30 inches long. The image below shows two of the pieces as they will appear finished. Wondering what would be the best way to bend something like this. I would like to do it myself, I did phone some machine shops and they wanted a lot of money. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

    -bend-jpg

  2. #2
    Veteran Member jimgerken's Avatar
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    Default Re: Steel bending

    Cut 45 degree angles, flip and weld up, then grind if desired. IF you actually bent them as shown, the outside surface would be really thin. I assume it could be done with heating it and proper fixture. Cold, I doubt if that tight of a bend can be done in tubing.

  3. #3
    Silver Member GLyford's Avatar
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    Default Re: Steel bending

    Similar idea, if you absolutely need a radius and not a sharp corner: Grind a few slots 1/4 to 1/2" apart, with a bit of a wedge shape leaving the outside of the curve intact. Bend it so that all the slots close up, weld, grind smooth. You might have to regrind a few of the slots to get the bend you want before you weld.

    You could also grind a slot at the start and end of the curve, and remove the inside surface and side walls completely. Bend the outside to a curve you like, then clamp into position. From the scraps, bend the inside surface to match the new curve and weld in place. Trace the arc shape for the sidewall onto a piece of scrap, cut out two pieces (using any of: bandsaw, grinder, torch, plasma, cnc), weld in place. Grind to match.

  4. #4
    Veteran Member CliffordK's Avatar
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    Default Re: Steel bending

    You could try heating a piece and bending it in a vise.
    The radius would likely have a bit of a concave look from side to side, and the sides may be pulled in slightly.

    You might be able to protect the structure of the piece some by shoving a tight fitting solid bar into both ends, but you would have to plan on getting it out once it is stuck. Or, perhaps filling it with sand.

    As mentioned, a sharp right angle bend would likely significantly weaken the tubing.

    jimgerken's plan of cutting out a wedge, bending, and welding would likely give the strongest results as long as you can live with the results.

    You could also build some kind of a die to bend it around, giving you a small inside radius.

    Do you need tubing? Or is a flat bar ok?

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Steel bending

    The tubing walls will collapse or buckle without internal pressure. At a minimum I would fill tube with sand if cold bending. I think the cutting/welding option is the most achievable without expensive tubing bending tools.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Steel bending

    Quote Originally Posted by sdkubota View Post
    The tubing walls will collapse or buckle without internal pressure.
    That is what will happen, guaranteed. Cut and weld.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Steel bending

    All you have to do to keep it from buckling is to displace the metal.

    I bend box tube using a common flat iron worker with a die to hold the box and round barstock I bent to displace the inside diameter, the outside takes care of itself. Put the seam either up or down not on the inside or outside, for best results.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails -img_20130327_165410_569-jpg   -img_20130327_165517_424-jpg  

  8. #8
    Gold Member flyerdan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Steel bending

    If keeping a rounded corner is important, I would suggest filling with dry sand, as previously mentioned, and building a jig with a piece of pipe (or better yet a heavy bolt) sized for the desired radius. Have a top plate to keep the sides from buckling outward and heat it to bend. Have a stop about 2 degrees past 90 to allow springback. Since you're only doing 4, it should give pretty good results and not take forever to knock up the fixture.
    Anxiously awaiting Dr. Savage's return to the airwaves.

  9. #9
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    Default

    fill it with cerrobend and bend it in a press break.
    Dan H.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Steel bending

    I just reread the question and some of the posts. There is the "cut and weld" group and the "bend it" group. Both groups are correct; it just depends what you are trying to do. You refer to a picture, but I don't see one. Maybe this would answer some of my questions.

    1. What do you consider a tight radius?

    2. Which way are you planning to bend the tubing? Will the bend run perpendicular to the 2" dimension or perpendicular to the 1" dimension?

    3. How many degrees does the bend need to be?

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