homemade bending dies.





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  1. #1
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    Default homemade bending dies.

    I tried making a homemade shower out of stainless by welding it up. It is time consuming as I weld badly. I am trying to make a tube bender but dont know the ins and outs and theory of tube bending.

    I have machined a die and a smaller one and it bends steel pipe. On the stainless its harder and not happy with the results.Does anyone do this on a regular basis who can give me some tips.?

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: homemade bending dies.

    The characteristics of the pipe may not lend themselves to clean bends and may kink or ripple on the inside radius.
    Try filling the pipe with fine sand and plugging the ends before bending again.
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    Default Re: homemade bending dies.

    In steel pipe I am getting a clean bend with minimal distortion. I think without using a mandrel bend there will always be minimal wrinkage. I am getting a good bend in steel but stainless I havent tried. Stainless is expensive so I am trying to master my technique first.

    Trying to make a mandrel becomes expensive.I dont think sand will make any difference in my bends.It will be to awkward to pack it tight enough and cap it .I could try making a mandrel for it but true mandrel benders are very expensive.

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    Default Re: homemade bending dies.

    Quote Originally Posted by plunger View Post
    In steel pipe I am getting a clean bend with minimal distortion. I think without using a mandrel bend there will always be minimal wrinkage. I am getting a good bend in steel but stainless I havent tried. Stainless is expensive so I am trying to master my technique first.

    Trying to make a mandrel becomes expensive.I dont think sand will make any difference in my bends.It will be to awkward to pack it tight enough and cap it .I could try making a mandrel for it but true mandrel benders are very expensive.
    You live in Durban. Take a walk around one of the many many boat shops and builders and marine suppliers.

    I had a friend who had a business making formed S/S work for the boating guys. He certainly managed some beautiful look bands and forms in S/S. And that S/S they use on boats is special stuff.
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    Default Re: homemade bending dies.

    Try heating up the pipe to cherry red and then bend
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    Default Re: homemade bending dies.

    Quote Originally Posted by hunter26 View Post
    Try heating up the pipe to cherry red and then bend
    with salty sand inside
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  8. #7
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    Default Re: homemade bending dies.

    It bends plain old steel quite nicely with little deformation.
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  9. #8
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    Default Re: homemade bending dies.

    For tighter bends and thinner wall thickness, you're going to need a mandrel. Looking at your machining work, you'll make this easily. I have a very simple mandrel tube bender that does 25 mm stainless on a 100mm radius. I have not tried it with a smaller radius. The main difference with a mandrel bender and what you have is that you clamp the pipe to the main die and rotate the die, pulling the tube with you.

    But if you only need this for single shower rail, it's best just to shop this out?

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    Default Re: homemade bending dies.

    Quote Originally Posted by plunger View Post
    In steel pipe I am getting a clean bend with minimal distortion. I think without using a mandrel bend there will always be minimal wrinkage. I am getting a good bend in steel but stainless I havent tried. Stainless is expensive so I am trying to master my technique first.

    Trying to make a mandrel becomes expensive.I dont think sand will make any difference in my bends.It will be to awkward to pack it tight enough and cap it .I could try making a mandrel for it but true mandrel benders are very expensive.
    You can also fill the pipe with water and then freeze it (if it's not too long for your freezer). The method is used in bending coper pipes into tight coils by Engineer775 on YouTube.

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    Default Re: homemade bending dies.

    Excuse my ignorance.
    Would it be possible to place an electrician's bending spring inside the 15mm ss pipe to act as a mandrel?

    My experience with stainless pipe, is that it is very thin walled and brittle. Do you heat the pipe first before doing the bend?

    If it is a one off shower stand pipe or similar, why don't you fabricate it in Class 2 copper and chrome plate it afterwards?
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  13. #11
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    Default Re: homemade bending dies.

    Quote Originally Posted by AlexP View Post
    Excuse my ignorance.
    Would it be possible to place an electrician's bending spring inside the 15mm ss pipe to act as a mandrel?

    My experience with stainless pipe, is that it is very thin walled and brittle. Do you heat the pipe first before doing the bend?

    If it is a one off shower stand pipe or similar, why don't you fabricate it in Class 2 copper and chrome plate it afterwards?
    I have made dies for 22mm pipe but class 2 copper is very expensive. It is very time consuming to polish it and take to the south of Durban only to have to go back a week later to fetch it.

    Cobra seem to have a problem making these long enough to fit on a bath. They make one for an exposed shower but its too short at 1,5m .They are also very expensive.
    I have had calls for this but now that I hopefully can make it I probably wont get any more requests.
    As for a spring I dont think you will get it back.

    I could try make a mandrel for this but my die has a large radius and there is no crinkling at all in steel pipe, maybe stainless will but I will try doing one in stainless today.

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  15. #12
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    Default Re: homemade bending dies.

    I have tried it in stainless and its not bad. It does scratch easy though. The bending die leaves a slight mark on the inside of the pipe. If you look at the die you can see the rectangular block is bolted to the round die and I havent lined it up one hundred percent.

    I made a polishing machine from a 1,5kw single phase motor and used some bearings from a pair of swing gates I scored off a job. I polish little items and space is scarce in my workshop so I put it in my radial arm saw base.
    The problem is the polishing wheels are too close to the body to get the pipe polished without scratching the pipe. I am actually scared of this machine I made and must make another one with longer arms so I dont scratch the shower pipe.
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    Default Re: homemade bending dies.

    This is the polisher I am talking about.Click image for larger version. 

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  18. #14
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    Default Re: homemade bending dies.

    Seems like you've won. Well done.

    Just a note on filling with water and then freezing, as far as I know the water has a fairly high soap concentration to make the ice more "flexible". The better thing about ice rather than sand is that the ice expands and pre-pressurizes the tube, so you don't get any collapsing. Brass musical instruments are made the same way.

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  20. #15
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    Default Re: homemade bending dies.

    The great point about an internal spring is that when you pull on it, the diameter shrinks and it loosens. You can also rotate the end of the spring and wind it up, which also decreases the diameter. You should be able to release this.

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  22. #16
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    Default Re: homemade bending dies.

    It is better to bend brass and either Chrome it or antique it

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    Default Re: homemade bending dies.

    Hi Dudley .I agree the old look is nice. The beauty is this die will handle brass od19,05mm or for those imperialists 3/4 inch
    I have made one now for 22mm and 19mm .

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    Default Re: homemade bending dies.

    Nice one plunger!!!
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