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Poor Mans Tool For Shaping Light Flat Steel And Round Rod

metal bending metal forming

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#1 29 Chev ONLINE  

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Posted March 30, 2016 - 07:13 PM

Thought I would post a homemade tool that I use in a bench vise to bend and shape lighter flat steel and round rod.  It is a piece of 1" X 1/8" wall square tubing about 8" long with a piece of 1" x 1/8" tubing welded on one end and a rectangular slot 2" x 3/4"  made from 3 pieces of 1" x 1/8" flat steel welded together at the other end.  I have bent up to 1/2" round steel rod and 1-1/2" x 1/8" flat steel using it and bending the metal by hand.  If you want a sharp bend or are near the end of the metal you can use a pair of vise grips or a pipe wrench to form the bend.  If you want a sharp bend you can use a second pair of vise grips on the opposite end to hold the metal so that pressure is applied directly where the metal contacts the tool.  I use a drawing of the shape I am trying to match comparing the piece I am forming as I shape it and if I bend the metal too far it can be bent back the other way using the same method and applying opposite pressure to straighten it a little.  Attached are pictures of what it looks like and a couple of items I have used it to bend.  Hope it helps someone.   

Attached Thumbnails

  • 1 End With Rectangular Opening For Bending Flat Steel.jpg
  • 2 Bending 1.5 Flat Steel.jpg
  • 3 U Shape Bent.jpg
  • 4 Using Vise Grips For Tight Bend.jpg
  • 5 Finished Metal Guard Shape.jpg
  • 6 Other End For Shaping Round Stock.jpg
  • 7 Rod Shaped Using Tool.jpg

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#2 Texas Deere and Horse OFFLINE  

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Posted March 30, 2016 - 07:20 PM

That is a very handy home made tool for sure. I have a couple pieces of steel around the shop to do things like that also.


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#3 ducky OFFLINE  

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Posted March 30, 2016 - 07:23 PM

Man, Now I have another project.

Thanks!


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#4 Auburn David OFFLINE  

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Posted March 30, 2016 - 07:31 PM

Thats nice!


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#5 MFDAC ONLINE  

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Posted March 30, 2016 - 07:47 PM

Going to have to build these tools too!

 

DAC


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#6 CRFarnsworth OFFLINE  

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Posted March 30, 2016 - 07:54 PM

Yep,  Now I gotta have one.    Thanks.      Rick


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#7 KennyP ONLINE  

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Posted March 30, 2016 - 08:05 PM

First of all, you need a good, well mounted vise to do this! Mine is not!


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#8 Sawdust OFFLINE  

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Posted March 30, 2016 - 08:40 PM

Nice idea. I have used my Reese hitch on the truck or car to bend similar to this. I had a couple of jigs in mind to slip into the hitch for a larger radius.
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#9 HANKG ONLINE  

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Posted March 30, 2016 - 08:45 PM

Nice move good idea.


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#10 KC9KAS OFFLINE  

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Posted March 31, 2016 - 04:03 AM

Very nice idea!

I too have used the hitch on my truck for bending things, not to mention my shins!


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#11 CanadianHobbyFarmer ONLINE  

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Posted March 31, 2016 - 08:26 AM

I have used the truck hitch as a bender as well. It worked great for the ladder rack I made from 3/4" steel pipe. It would not have worked for something like the flatbar that 29Chev bent into a horseshoe shape (replacement belt guide for a Bolens tube frame?). I guess I will end up making a bender like that as well for odd projects.

 

Jim


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#12 HDWildBill OFFLINE  

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Posted March 31, 2016 - 10:51 AM

This is a great idea.  Looks like I will also have a new project.  For those of us that have a hard time getting a complete picture in our mind could you please post a pic of just the complete tool?  Thanks


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#13 29 Chev ONLINE  

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Posted March 31, 2016 - 03:55 PM

Thanks for the kind words.

 

Pictures of the tool as requested - nothing fancy just some left over metal I had laying around - please excuse the less than perfect welding job.  I see the actual tubing length I used was 6" and not 8" as I stated in the original post but the length is flexible.  This could also be attached to a piece of square tubing that could be mounted in a trailer hitch receiver or some other secure method rather than a bench vise - I would suggest having it at chest height so you are not bent over while bending the material.  The biggest thing I have found is to have an opening that allows for you to remove the piece you are bending once it is bent.  If I was doing it again I would probably make the slot about 1" wide to allow the vise grips jaws to fit in the opening better when the metal needs to be clamped.

Attached Thumbnails

  • 1 Steel Bending Jig.jpg
  • 2 Steel Bending Jig.jpg
  • 3 STeel Bending Jig.jpg
  • 4 Length.jpg
  • 5 WIdth Of Tubing.jpg
  • 6 Length Of Slot.jpg
  • 7 Width Of Slot.jpg

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#14 HDWildBill OFFLINE  

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Posted March 31, 2016 - 04:37 PM

Thanks, Now I have a clear picture(s) to understand what I need to do. :thumbs:


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#15 chieffan ONLINE  

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Posted April 06, 2016 - 07:11 AM

Works better for me too.  Now I have something to practice with my new wire welder on.  Just alight duty unit for up to 1/4" material.  anything heavier I crank up the old Lincoln.


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