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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was thinking about picking up a Tube Bender soon. Any recommendations on which one to get? How bout places to purchase?

TIA!

John
 

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I was thinking about picking up a Tube Bender soon. Any recommendations on which one to get? How bout places to purchase?

TIA!

John
What's your budget? Are you wanting manual or hydraulic? Horizontal or vertical?

Join pirate and check their vendors section in the tools & supplies sub-forum. Tricktools.com and a few other vendors have decent sales and usually offer discounts to pirate members.

Another route is to build your own bender. gottrikes.com sells plans for I think $20-$25 and people who have built ones from his plans seem very satisfied. With his plans you can utilze either protools or jd2 dies. Linky
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
What's your budget? Are you wanting manual or hydraulic? Horizontal or vertical?

Join pirate and check their vendors section in the tools & supplies sub-forum. Tricktools.com and a few other vendors have decent sales and usually offer discounts to pirate members.

Another route is to build your own bender. gottrikes.com sells plans for I think $20-$25 and people who have built ones from his plans seem very satisfied. With his plans you can utilze either protools or jd2 dies. Linky
I am not sure of the budget. I definately don't want to spend $1000 for one.

Regarding Manual or Hydraulic - it depends on the ease of the manual bender. If the manual has good leverage and can bend without having a 400lb guy pushing it that would be good! :D

I prbably would go vertical. I know Harbor Frieght has some horitzontal hydraulic ones for like $200 - however I think the vertical would be better.
 

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I think with benders, as with most things, you get what you pay for. Although inexpensive, I've heard enough negative things about the harbor freight benders (kinking in particular... or having to take various steps to avoid kinking) that I personally wouldn't purchase one, but you may feel differently.

I've done bends with a JD2 manual bender. It was a bit of a workout for my then skinny self, but once you get used to it it's not that bad.
 

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I have a ProTools 105HD. I like it better than the JD2 for several reasons. The degree ring is engraved and very heavy duty, and includes a stop which will stop the bender at your desired angle. The HD model also has beefier arms than the standard JD2. As far as bending goes, manual benders are as difficult as the handle you have on them. Don't buy the standard handle and just use a piece of tubing that is long enough for you to bend with easily.

Harbor Freight benders are for Pipe, and are not that great. They will perform simple bends, but other than that they are junk.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Yeah, I meant I *WOULDN'T8 buy a HB bender. That's why I was asking here. I know $1000 could be easily had when buying dies, however that is for a complete set up. I just didn't want to look at any that were $1000 without the dies.

Just like a breaker bar, leverage is where it's at. I don't have any experience with any benders, however I think that rule goes for anything that needs some uuummppphhhh.

I checked out tricktools.com and like what they had. I will keep an ear out and an eye peeled.

John
 

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I paid around $720 for a Pro-Tools 105HD, a 1.75 6" clr, 240* die, stand, and degree ring.
 

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Check on Dezertrangers. There are 3 listed in the tools section right now as we speak. The best deals you'll ever find on a bender. Almost all are JDsquared, model3. That's what I have, and I like it. And you can bend about anything in it if you just pull hard on the handle....
 

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just buy the bender, and the dies you need, you can make a stand, and handle. The degree ring is a POS in my opinion. Your better off to spend that money on a bend protractor, even though they only go to 90*, anything past that a measuring tape will tell you the rest, then you know its correct. You will also want to buy or make a tube clamp to stick a angle finder on when doing bends in muliple planes (get a good digital one as the regular ol' angle finders arnt worth a shit. I know i have checked two i had sitting around to my digital angle finder and a level and it was 2-3* off) I have a degree ring for a pro-tools 105hd if you want it. you can have it for 1/2 of what ever it cost if you want.
 

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I got the gottrikes plans off ebay. Very well done plans. Mine is about 90% complete. Ive heard some had problems with the tube being angled upward when completed so Im just waiting to buy a die so I can mock it up and finish it. I also got the air hydraulic jack for it too. I like the vertical setup better than horizontal.
 

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I had a JD squared manual bender and it worked quite well. X2 on the longer lever, makes it all easier. I upgraded to the hydraulic assist and it made a world of difference. But that upgrade is probably not in your budget right now. I would not use this bender for production use without the hydraulic upgrade, unless you want to look like Arnold. Die sets will run you $200+.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Great information guys! Thanks a bunch! It definately gives me options and avenues to look into! I am green to this bending thing, however feel an incredible urge to begin making a front and rear bumper. I just hope what thoughts I have in my mind will materialize and not look like some half assed red neck cow pusher! ;)

John
 

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ive been looking at the jd squared model 3. does anyone ever have any problems with kinks. or any other problems with manual benders
 

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ive been looking at the jd squared model 3. does anyone ever have any problems with kinks. or any other problems with manual benders
Only issues you will have are with thin wall tubing; the die chart will tell you what thickness each die radius can cleanly bend. I have done some very thin wall material with no problems on the bigger radius dies.
 

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Read the bender comparison on the Offroad Fabrication Network forum.

If you're renting, you're gonna have to find a place to set a manual bender...specifically a place to sink four concrete anchors and bolt the sucker to the floor...and hope your landlord doesn't see it, or patch over them later when you move out.

Rather than dick with all that, I got a JMR bender with a ratchet-driven gearbox...it was on sale for a good price through Trick Tools, IIRC around 700-800$ for the bender and gearbox. Compared to the 105HD, it was a great buy...no need for an anchored position, so I can move it around the garage, no power or noise of a pump for hydro, portable enough to take to a buddy's place, and it'll bend 2"OD 0.25" wall 4130 if you get their dies. The 105HD dies fit that bender, and that's what I'm using for now.


(That one. It is the tits...and it was on sale too, cheap...)

I would get either the 105HD or the JMR, personally...the JMR worked out better for me since it didn't want a floor anchor and I don't have a need for hydro.

If you can do the floor anchor deal, you can get a 105HD and a die for about 700-800$. You'll only really need one die at first, get a 1.75" OD and rather than use smaller tube where strength isn't needed (like hanging fiberglass), use a thinner wall.

You can turn any of these benders sideways, if you're building the stand. There is no reason I couldn't flip my JMR 90*...but I have a low ceiling in the garage.

Make or buy a plane of bend bracket, and get a level with a good magnet on the base.
 

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good info. i can anchor to the the ground but if i could avoid it then it would make it alot easier. ill check into that website and see what else they have. i do like the ones from jd squared. i like the one you said you got. ill look into that. again thanks for the advice
 

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build your own. can be done for a little more than 1k and you'll have something that's better that what you could have bought for 1k.
 

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To repeat what a lot guys have already said, my JD2 manual bender works great, I have the degree ring but haven't really used it.
 
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