Thread: Hossfeld Bender
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Old 01-01-2018, 04:00 PM
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Graham08 Graham08 is offline
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Join Date: May 2006
Location: Denver, NC
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Hossfeld Bender

I just purchased a Hossfeld #2 bender a couple weeks ago to go along with my JD Squared Model 4. There were a few reasons for this, but one of the big ones is a client I do prototypes for keeps supplying drawings of brackets that are challenging to do other ways. As I researched different methods, the Hossfeld came up as an option to do some pretty interesting things with a variety of materials, so I pulled the trigger on the basic #2 bender, the tool set for bar stock, and a 3/4" square tubing die set.

Years ago, when I bought my other bender, the Hossfeld didn't seem like a great bang for the buck to bend tubing. And, if you're only doing tubing, it's probably not the best tool for the job. JD Squared and Pro Tools have taken the basic design that Hossfeld has made for over 80 years and refined it to bend tubing really well. But, the Hossfeld is the Swiss Army knife of benders...it can bend nearly anything that fits inside the frame if you have the correct tooling for it. They are relatively expensive compared to some benders, but the frames and pins are heat treated, and nearly all the tooling is cast iron.

So...here's the basic manual bender secured to my table. Eventually, I want to build a stand for it.



I had square tube tooling installed when this was taken. While I do have some square dies for my other bender, Hossfeld offers a tighter CLR than I can get for the other bender. I bought the smallest die, which is a 2" inside radius (2-3/8" CLR) because this project had some bends specified pretty close to that. The square tooling is different than my other bender. A single center die does a number of sizes, while the backing block and follow die are size specific.

This is an example bend in 3/4" x 0.065" square. There is some distortion, but it's as good or better than my client's production work.



One of the downsides to the Hossfeld tooling is you're not able to get as close to the end, or as close between bends as other benders. Something else interesting is there's an option to drill a hole in the tube and use a retaining pin if you're getting distortion in the bend (slipping and kinking). This is pretty much necessary with the tube I was using, but it worked out OK because I needed to cut off the pieces with drilled holes anyway.

The other tooling I've used so far is for flat stock, in particular the yoke and the "sharp square bending block". Here is what the yoke setup looks like in action:



And the type of part it allows you to do:



The legs of this clevis are over 3" deep, but only 1-5/16" apart. You could do this on a press brake with a tall window punch, but that's not something I have at my disposal. Hossfeld rates the yoke for doing 1/4" x 3" HR flat. This particular part was 1/8" x 2".

The other tool I've used is the sharp square bending block, which is for wider stock than will fit in the yoke. It's essentially the edge of a brake that allows bending flat up to 4-1/2" wide.

Here's one view of it in action (from the back side):



And from the other side:



There are two bending edges on this, one for under 1/4", and one for 1/4" and over.

Here's the part I was making, from 1/8" x 4" flat (before rounding the corners, etc.):



This would be tough in my little press brake because the first leg would contact the punch when bending the second leg. I've done it by bending a "W" shape and straightening it back out, but it's an extra step that can go wrong...

The Hossfeld bender is getting a big thumbs up from me so far. It definitely opens up some different ways of doing things that are really difficult otherwise. I also got some tooling for doing eyes and other bits from bar stock and I'm eagerly looking for an opportunity to try those out...possibly as some ornamental ironwork at some point.

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