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  1. #1
    junior machinist is offline Aluminum
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    Does anyone know where I can anything like this? Been looking at the Pro-Tools website and they are too much money, plus I figure I can build it myself if I can find the plans. Thanks.

  2. #2
    Ferrous Antiquos is offline Titanium
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    Jr,

    We know you're fast on your way to becoming the consummate do-it-yourselfer, but here's some alternatives:

    small diameter tubing like fuel line - auto parts store for bender that looks like a long tight coil spring.

    medium - used electrical conduit bender from a hock-shop or tool rental joint.

    bigger - ask the local muffler shop for a quick custom bend.

    Then of course youse can always go down to the Joisey Shaw for some wet beach sand, then get a bunch of friends, find a tree of suitable diameter (pad it first), and have at it.

    just an idea....

    medium

  3. #3
    junior machinist is offline Aluminum
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    It seems like every project I touch leads me to a new thing to learn. At this point I'll be learning the rest of my life. I figured I could build my own bender like those $1000 jobs they sell at Pro-Tools and JD3. They're just metal right? Some of the stuff i'd have to buy though.

  4. #4
    ee_chris is offline Aluminum
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    Take a look at this:

    http://www.kinzers.com/don/MachineTools/bender/

    Note that I have no personal experience with these plans.

    If I were building a bender (as I plan to *someday*) I would definitely make one able to use Hossfeld #2 dies. I have used a #2 retrofitted with hydraulics for roll cage tubes and it works nicely. There are reputed to be sources for comparable dies cheaper than Hossfeld.

    As a side note, if you're short on space and/or money, you might do well to find a friendly local racecar fabricator and pay by the bend. That way, you get to build your projects, not just tools to build your projects (I should take my own advice ).

    -Chris

  5. #5
    Ferrous Antiquos is offline Titanium
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    Learning for the rest of one's life is a great thing to be looking forward to; unless it's about women, in which case it would be much better to have all known information available up front !!!

    So what are you making this time?

  6. #6
    Dave J is offline Cast Iron
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    Harbor freight sells a knock-off of the Hosfeld. I have one of these It works fairly well, and I have PUSHED it. They go on sale regulary, cheep. they also make 2 models a floor and a bench mount.

    If you need to bend tubing the Hosfeld dies fit this one also, but ! they cost more then the bender.

    Overall a very handy tool for a small cost.
    It wont bend large tubing, but if you need to do that, they (HF) also make a hydraulic one that bends fairly nice too. But it is only for heavier walled tubing (like water pipe sch. 40).

    Dave J

  7. #7
    L Webb is offline Senior Member
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    Hmmmmm, bending tubing eh?
    Sounds like a project that will have a motor in it no doubt.

    As far as the tubing bender, it all depends on the diameter, wall thickness and material type as to which type of bender will work best.

    So what size and type of tubing will it be for?

    Les

  8. #8
    torker is offline Cast Iron
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    I built my own bender over a dozen years ago. I copied it from a picture of a Protools ratchet type bender. It has served me well since I built it and has bent up probably thousands of feet of tubing into rollcages, chassis of all types. I'd do it different if I was to do it over. The problem with mine is that JD or Pro dies won't fit in mine. I didn't get it quite right from the picture. I had the dies made as well. The ones I use the most are made from 13"dia X 3" thick steel plate. That's a big chunk of steel. I would buy or borrow a factory die and build around that. Then if you need a different size die you can buy one instead of having it made or trying to make it your self. The rest of my bender works great...it takes a fair amount of effort to bend heavier wall tubing but it only takes a longer snipe to get it done. Good luck!
    Russ

  9. #9
    Jaymo is offline Aluminum
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    Lindsay publications has a book of plans to build one of these. I've been meaning to get it, but if I bought every book from them that I want, I'd have neither room to store them, nor money left in the wallet.

    www.lindsaybks.com is where you can find it. It's one of the books by David and/or Vince Gingery.

  10. #10
    AAA
    AAA is offline Aluminum
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    I have plans for a JD2 bender in .dxf format (I can convert to something else if you want).
    I only have plans for the beder itself, not the dies.
    Email me at the address below, take out the REMOVE_THIS, and make sure you use "Mike" in the body of the message, so it doesn't get knocked out by my anti spam program.

    aaa@REMOVE_THISsubguns.com

  11. #11
    Benny is offline Aluminum
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    Junior,
    I make bends in tubing from 1" - 2" OD for custom motorcycle parts (handlebars, frames, etc.), and I use the JD2 Model 3 Bender. As far as the structure of the bender, it is simple. Making the dies, however, would be pretty tough if you are not outfitted properly. For the money, the model 3 is about the best buy I have personally found, and you can save a bit more money by making your own stand and handle (those are a piece of cake). If you can round up a lender bender, you might want to take some measurement, so you can make up your own plans. Then, I would say just buy the shoes. Have fun.

  12. #12
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    Ries is offline Diamond
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    This brings up an interesting topic- when does it make sense to make your own tools?
    Now some people say always, and others say never.
    But some things are easy to make, and some things are easy to make wrong, and hard to make right.
    And some stuff you can buy a cheezy chinese version of for less than the raw materials cost here.
    Sometimes its a learning experience- and required by lack of dough.
    I have heard of old guys who say- I aint got much time left, and I want to spend it making things, rather than fiddling with tools.
    And sometimes it is so much cheaper to buy a big old tool used or at auction for pennies on the dollar, rather then spend time and money making one.
    A lot depends on usage- I use a hossfeld bender every day, often to the maximum of its capacity. I would not be happy with a homemade hossfeld, unless I spent way more time making it than it was worth- the commercial models, from hossfeld, american bender, and jd2, are all made from a better alloy of steel than A36, precision drilled, usually on a cnc mill, then heat treated, and the dies are made in wide variety of ways- some are sand cast, then machined, some are cnc machined, and some are even handforged- I know of a blacksmith in Wisconsin who forges certain parts for American Bender.
    Now you dont need this level of quality if you are gonna use it once a month for 10 minutes- so for lots of people a harbor freight knockoff is just fine.
    But I have had mine for about 25 years now, slowly buying and making dies as I need them, and for me interchangeability with hossfeld standards is essential. The original patents have expired, so all three companies make dies that interchange. Hossfeld has the widest selection of dies for structural shapes- T's, angles, square and rectangular tubing, rail caps, etc. JD2 is mostly for auto related, so they are strongest in round tubing dies, while American Bender, started by ex-hossfeld employees, is using modern CNC technology to make a cheaper version than hossfeld, and cherrypicking the most popular dies.
    If I was gonna build a quick and dirty bender, I would make it fit hossfeld dies, which means 4" tall and 3/4" hole size, basically. That gives you the maximum flexibility to use storebought dies.
    And they have already worked out a couple of thousand different ways to bend things, so it makes sense to use their headstart, rather than try to reinvent the wheel.
    I also would buy the hossfeld manual- I think it costs 15 bucks now from hossfeld, and it shows a million ways to bend stuff you never woulda thought of on your own.
    Also remember there are several other types of tube bender that might be better for your particular job- a mandrel bender like a muffler shop uses- which is not worth building yourself unless you need a LOT of parts bent. 3 roll type benders, like old buffalo angle rolls- there are plans on the internet to make these yourself as well, crank style. Or a hydraulic ram bender like they use to bend electrical conduit- a 3 point bend, with two rolls and half circle die. Harbor Freight and Northern Hydraulic sell these cheap.

  13. #13
    junior machinist is offline Aluminum
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    Thanks for all the information. I'm just starting to build a go kart for our next door neighbor. Well, really he is 2 doors down. I wanted to make as much of it as I could out of tubing. I think the most of it would be 1-1/2" and some up to 1-3/4" of .120. I didn't think you could use those pipe benders that Harbour Freight sells.

  14. #14
    torker is offline Cast Iron
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    Junior...holy smoke that is heavy tubing for a go cart! I used to build off road go carts and used mostly 1"OD .065 wall HERW tubing. I build chassis for 2000 hp mud rails and do use 1 3/4" OD .120 wall for the roll cage section only. The rest of the chassis is usually 1 5/8" .120 wall or 1 1/2" .095 wall with 1" .095 for diagonals etc. I have 1 1/2" and 1 3/4" dies for my bender and they are very heavy, large dies. You need a pretty skookum lathe to turn these. They first turned the plate down to the 13" dia, then turned out the 1 1/2" die section and then cut it in half and turned the 1 3/4" section (interupted cut and counterweighted so it didn't tip the lathe over LOL!) I would make my own 1" dies if I had the time but the big heavy ones...I leave that to the bigger machines and pay, pay, pay!!!
    Russ

  15. #15
    junior machinist is offline Aluminum
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    I didn't think it was that far out of line, but his mom said she could get free tubing that size from where she works. I think she is a secratary at a steel shop or something that only does tubing.

  16. #16
    adammil1 is offline Titanium
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    Junior,

    This sounds like one of the projects that my friends and I have in the makes right now. The problem that we've got to now is that we have no arc welder. But this problem will solve its self soon enough as I'm now working at a place that will let me use theirs. It is a great deal. I work 10hr days and then have a week day off and can use anymachine not in use.

    One problem with tube bending is that you'll have it collapsing in on its self if you don't do it right. One thing I've heard for low volume bending is to fill it with sand and weld two end caps on the ends. Be careful to drill a pin hole in one as the sand has moisture in it, which when hot will =steam which will=bomb. Then maybe you could bend it around something. I'd try heating it first with my aceteylene torch. But My suggestion thou is if building a go-cart, invest in a arc welder, you'll have far more need for it. Then if you can get some sort of cut off saw. Either abrasive, or a horizontal bandsaw works real nice too. I got mine a used wells for $100. You don't need anything too fancy here. This will allow you to cut angles. Rather then serious bending, I think you'll do best with fabricating and welding. Save your money, an arc welder is really what you'll need. Be careful when getting a welder. They sell 115volt versions but speaking from experience on our project they don't get any penetration. You'll want one with 220. Go to the town dump, and get a ride-on lawn mower or two. You can scorunge these for necessiary parts. Maybe even a motor! Another plus to have is try to get an endmill the dia of the tubing. This is handy as you can run it right into the tube giving it a radius to weld it when butting up tubing in a "T" formation.

    Good luck,

    Adam

  17. #17
    torker is offline Cast Iron
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    Adam...you made me grin....scrounging at the dump...I spent hours and hours doing just that as a kid. Got lots of cool parts for carts etc.FREE!!!
    Junior...You really have to watch the weight when you are building low hp carts. a light cart will let you get away with a cheaper centrifical style clutch. These hit their limit real quick when trying to pull weight uphill. Then you need to go to a more expensive, complicated clutch setup. If your mom works at a tubing place she should be able to get you a spec sheet that will tell you how much per foot different tubing sizes weigh. Do a rough drawing of your planned cart and figure how much tubing you need. then figure the weight of say 1" .095 or .120 wall compared to the 1 3/4" .120 wall. Add it up and you'll see a big difference in weight. Uhhhmm... and ya... I learned this the hard way! My first cart couldn't get out of it's own way without burning up a clutch.

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