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Discussion Starter #1

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I bought the same plans. I ended up with a JD2 bender. The plans looked fine, just easier to buy the bender. I took the easy way out.
 

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I bought the same plans. I ended up with a JD2 bender. The plans looked fine, just easier to buy the bender. I took the easy way out.
I hear ya on the easy way out. Fabing is work enough with out having to fab the tools too! Problem is I'm a cheep ass! lol:D
 

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I'm looking forward to hearing about your experience with this. I don't know if I'll ever equip my garage with tube bending stuff tho (It's already cramped in there as is).
 

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I've been experimenting with the Harbor Freight roll bender. It requires some modification to beef it up enough to actually bend substantial wall thickness tubing. And I still don't have it perfected... But I honestly haven't bent anything since about a week after I bought it.

Pros:
Super cheap at <$150 after modification
Great bends without kinks
Infinite number of bend radii

Cons:
A serious workout for each bend
Requires a lot of patience...you're looking at about 10-15 minutes for each bend
Must use 1.5" tubing unless you have a die machined
Consistent bends require some proficiency in math
Requires modification to strengthen it

This is actually 1 3/8" .120 wall tubing, so the die squished it a bit... but this is a 180 degree, 10" radius bend.

I then took that bend an put a 7" radius bend in the opposite direction on the same tube. I could have made it 180 degrees if I kept going, but I was quite tired at this point


I also made 1 tube that will eventually be part of my front bumper out of 1.5" .120 wall that I don't have a picture of. But the bends turned out very nice, with deformation only measurable on my micrometer.

Like I said, I'm still working out how to really make it just right. My modifications so far included welding the big wheel to the main shaft and through bolting the dies to the main shaft. The problem now is that the through bolts break with too much torque on the wheel. So next time I pull it out, I think I'm going to try larger, higher grade bolts.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I'm looking forward to hearing about your experience with this. I don't know if I'll ever equip my garage with tube bending stuff tho (It's already cramped in there as is).
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I will keep you posted as I move ahead with this!
 
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