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Benders and Bending Which bender is best? How do you use a bender? How do you calculate bends? Everything Bender related...


Benders and Bending Which bender is best? How do you use a bender? How do you calculate bends? Everything Bender related...

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  #21  
Old 02-02-2006, 08:54 PM
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That is really freekin cool!!!!


If there is ever anything you need, I am only one phone call away.
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  #22  
Old 02-02-2006, 09:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fabcam
That is really freekin cool!!!!


If there is ever anything you need, I am only one phone call away.
Thanks Cris!

How about a nice shiny Bend Tech Pro sticker? I would be happy to attach one to the machine in appreciation of your support! Same goes for any other vendors that would like to contribute to this project.
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Last edited by TheBandit; 02-02-2006 at 09:43 PM.
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  #23  
Old 02-06-2006, 01:23 PM
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After thinking through my hydraulic schematic and investigating the different options for hydraulic plumbing, I decided to invest in the proper tools for making my own hardlines.



It's my understanding that having quality tools is especially important with high pressure tubing. I bought both the flaring and bending tool for about $150 from toolup.com. The flaring tool is a Ridgid model 377. It can make 37 degree flares in both soft and hard tubing. I have read many reviews and tech articles on making hydraulic lines and this tool has come up frequently as a good choice. Hopefully it will produce leak-free flares for use with JIC connections. The tubing bender is a Model 406 and is designed for use with 3/8" OD tubing only. Unlike the brakeline kinkers you can buy at an autoparts store, this bender has properly fit dies just like the full scale tubing bender I am building.

I selected my tubing size of 3/8" based on the expected flow of my power unit. Parker recommends the following maximum fluid velocities for hydraulic lines: pressue lines 20 ft/s, return lines 10 ft/s, suction lines 4 ft/s. Some relatively simple calculations can take you from your expected flow rate to your minimum tubing size using those values.
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  #24  
Old 02-07-2006, 12:27 AM
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UPDATE

Tomorrow I plan to do a lot of touchup and odds & ends type machining. One of the first tasks on my lists will be to remaching the slot on the end of the frame. This is the part that I screwed up after a long day of machining.

I started out by making a patch panel out of the same thickness material.



(below) Next I tacked it in place in four places. Then I did my best with a cutoff wheel to make a groove for welding. I cut into both the patch panel and the square tubing so that the groove went in about the depth of the material.



(below) I made two passes at 140 amp DCEN using 6018. This is after the second pass.





(above) Next I ground down the welds. I suck at getting a flat surface. Hopefully I didn't grind much off the material thickness.

(below) Here's what the inside looked like after welding the other side. I didn't get full penetration throughout, but it was pretty good.



(below) I decided I could probably do a decent job of welding the inside, so I gave it a shot. It wasn't too easy with the electrode getting shorter by the second, but I manage to get an okay bead in there.



Hopefully that patch will hold up okay. Tomorrow I will be extra cautious not to make the same mistake I did the first time around with this piece.
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  #25  
Old 02-07-2006, 09:07 PM
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UPDATE

My 18 units of grad classes are starting to cut into my tube bender time. Today I could only tend to a few odds & ends. I started out working on the frame, remaking that slot that I welded the patch in for. I figured out too late that my drawing was a little screwed up. As a result I machined one side of the slot wrong and will have to patch it again. I feel pretty dumb for making the same mistake twice, but now that I know what's going on it shouldn't happen again.

After that bit of frustration, I decided to deal with some clearance issues. In order to get any cleanup on the plate steel I used for the main die arm web, I had to cut it down a little shorter than I originally intended. This caused a light rub between the main die arm and follower die arm on full extension. So I made some passes on the follower die arm web & encap to rearrange my clearances. This is something I will have to change on my drawings because if I were to make another one of these, I would need to provide for cleanup of unmachined surfaces.

Yesterday I was checking my 3D models and found a little problem. This is what I did about it:



Below you can see what this little relief is for. I originally designed the bender around a smaller set of hydraulic cylinders. At some point I reevaluated the tube bending requirements and decided to go to a larger cylinder. I have not ordered the new size yet and I did not model the new cylinder size until yesterday. I found out I would have a clearance issue here without some releif.



(below) Finally I got back to the main die arm endcap, which still needed it's six mounting provisions drilled and tapped. Here it is being tapped.





(above) I backed out periodically to clean out the chips and blow the hole out with compressed air. I don't like to break the chip very often because the threads don't turn out as nice, so I only pulled out when I had to.

Tomorrow I will work some more on the frame and hopefully I will have some steel later in the week for making a cart.
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  #26  
Old 02-08-2006, 10:36 AM
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All looks good, except I would have either beveled the patch panel and then welded. OR I would have TIG'd the entire thing using a small amount of filler. If I were you I would still go back and TIG it from the inside as best as possible so you get good penetration. Just my .02. All looks really good though.
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  #27  
Old 02-08-2006, 03:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jackalope
All looks good, except I would have either beveled the patch panel and then welded. OR I would have TIG'd the entire thing using a small amount of filler. If I were you I would still go back and TIG it from the inside as best as possible so you get good penetration. Just my .02. All looks really good though.
Thanks jackalope. I attempted to bevel the mating parts before welding using a cutoff wheel. It's not the best bevel, but it gave me a good groove for welding in. As for TIG, that's a great idea, but I don't have much pedal time and I don't think I could make a very good pass on it.
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  #28  
Old 02-09-2006, 01:31 AM
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Got some stuff in today. What the heck are these things for?



SPECIAL THANKS TO LUMEX, INC. FOR DONATING THE 7-SEGMENT DISPLAY
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  #29  
Old 02-10-2006, 03:50 PM
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Just wondering about welding inside those tubes for the patch panel. Do you need to grind off the welds for clearance? If so that would be a hard area to get access too, to grind off those welds.
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  #30  
Old 02-10-2006, 03:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 87xjco
Just wondering about welding inside those tubes for the patch panel. Do you need to grind off the welds for clearance? If so that would be a hard area to get access too, to grind off those welds.
Luckily, no. I can leave them where they are at and they shouldn't affect much.

UPDATE

Over the last week I did some rethinking and redesigning of the bender cart. I decided I really liked the height of the bender the way it was clamped to my workbench, so I took some measurements and went to work.

Here's what the redesigned cart looks like:



As you can see, I got rid of the bent corners and went with a more trapezoidal design. The upper shelf area will be for storage while the lower shelf area will be enclosed and house the hydraulics & controller. There will fixed casters at the die end and swivel, locking casters at the back end.

Today I got a start cutting the pieces. After a few cuts I really needed a new chopsaw blade! This one's had it...



After a run to the store for a couple new blades, I got back to work and used up all the materials I had purchased. This is about 30ft of tubing, two different sizes. I expect the finished car to weigh in around 100lbs.



I am going to pick up some more tubing later today and hopefully have more done this weekend.

Does anyone have tips for keeping everything square? I figured I would tack all the lower stuff together first, then work my way up, laying out planer parts and tacking them together before erecting them on previous pieces. I have some 90 degree magnets (two cheapies and two good ones) that should help.

Any tips and feedback is appreciated!
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  #31  
Old 02-13-2006, 12:52 AM
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UPDATE

I only had a few hours this weekend to work more on the cart, but I am happy with how far I got. First I welded up the lower section.



Below: What the heck is this thing? Well, it's a piece of plywood with some lines drawn on it and some finishing nails of course!



Below: So this little "jig" worked out just fine. I used some clamps here and there to keep the metal flat on the wood, then tacked each piece working inside outward. Then I flipped the piece over and clamped it back down into the same "jig". Working inside out again, I tacked each connection. It turned out great! There was definitely warpage, but by flipping and tacking in the same order, the final tacked piece was very planar.





Above: I made two parts using the same jig. As you can see they turned out identical.

Below: Here are the two parts I made loosely held to the bottom. All the cross pieces are already cut, so it's only a matter of time before I have this together.



Unfortunately I have a pile of homework to work on, so I wont have this finished until later in the week. Wish me luck!
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  #32  
Old 02-13-2006, 06:35 PM
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UPDATE

Holy cow am I sick and tired of welding and grinding! I spent about 4 hours today working on the cart. Much of that was spent welding the two uprights and grinding some areas smooth. I wish I took more in progress pictures, but I don't have much to show.





Above: Here is one of the uprights full welded and ground smooth. My welds weren't THAT bad, but I wanted this thing to look one-piece, so I took a good amount of time with the angle grinder to smooth things over.

Below: After a lot of strange fixturing using clamps and scrap supports, I got the assembly tacked together. I used a large carpenter's square frequently both for keeping things square and to check my work. I only had to break one of my tacks free to restraighten a part, which took a little coaxing using a ratchet strap to straighten out. Nothing was too far off, I just wanted it as straight as possible.



You can see where the hydraulic power unit is going to reside. I will box off that half of the bottom shelf and leave the other half of that shelve open. Part of the upper shelf (near the rear) will be housing the other hydraulic components. I will keep you posted as I make brackets and get things situated.

I still have to finish weld the whole thing and start working on casters & bracketry, but it's nice to see it looking like something!

The cart weighs a hair over 80 lbs the way it sits
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  #33  
Old 02-15-2006, 01:40 AM
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UPDATE

Today I spent a whole bunch of time continuing work on the cart. I started off by finish welding all the jonits. Boy was that a pain! I had that thing upside-down, sideways, and longways trying to get my head in between tubes so I could get a good visual while still maintaining access to weld. It took a long time, but the resulting cart is now bordering on bombproof.

Next up on the agenda - mount the main bender frame. I made these two mounting plates which I tack welded to the cart.



Then I transferred the hole locations to the main frame, which I drilled and tapped to accept some socket cap screws. Tapping by hand at home with a cheapy Crapsman tap sucks. Using a standard allen wrench to install long socket cap screws that are surrounded by intersecting tubes also sucks. Today I purchased an allen headed socket set to make assembly a whole lot easier.



Next up I cut some flat strap....



To make mounting plates for the casters.



After a little work on the drill press I tacked the mounting plates to the cart. Then I tacked bolts to the casters and installed nuts above and below the mounting plates. This will provide about 1/2" of adjustment for leveling the cart. I hate this configuration because it is weaker and will be cumbersome to adjust. If anyone has a better idea please let me know now before it gets fully welded.



It was a really long day and I decided to call it quits after getting the swiveling casters mounted. I clamped the fixed casters on with some C-clamps so I could roll it around and get a feel for the height. I am very happy with the proportions. I can't wait to get the bender assembly on top of it!

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Last edited by TheBandit; 02-15-2006 at 01:53 AM.
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  #34  
Old 02-15-2006, 03:45 AM
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You could make a set of 3" shoulder bolts maybe 1/2" dia then 3/8" thread to mount to each corner of casters, two 2" tall blocks with matching holes for the bolts to slide thru that weld to each side of the bottom box tube frame (2 bolts each side of box tube) then make a weldment that goes thru the center of box at center of caster assembly with an 'adjusting bolt' (maybe 3/4-16) with a tee handle and a jam nut with a single rod handle. The shoulder bolts will hold caster but the weight sits on the adjusting bolt [riding on top plate of caster thru box tube] this gives you 1" adjustment [without tools] do the same in each corner. That way when you move to where you want to bend at. you'd lock casters and adjust the machines level. makes for easy set-up each time you move. and having the machine level makes life easier.

Note: all dementions are subject to change depending on your configuration, this is just a concept, not a proven design
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  #35  
Old 02-16-2006, 07:52 PM
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MrBi11, while that sounds like it would work fine, it's a lot more involved than I want to get. I do appreciate the thought you put into it. It sounds like a solid design, despite your grey small print disclaimer.

Right now I am thinking about bolting the casters up into a fixed position, then adding some extendable feet to adjust it to level. The mechanism I would like to find is like what is on a chop saw for clamping the workpiece. On my chop saw, you can flip the nut to one side and the clamp will freely slide. Then when you flip the nut to the other side, the clamp and nut are engaged so that you can tighten and loosen the clamp. I think this would be really cool for leveling the cart. You could slide the feet down freely to the ground, flip the nut, and adjust your level. Then when you are done, you loosen the feet a little, flip the nut, and pull the feet up out of the way.

If anyone knows where I can find the nut mechanism, please let me know. I'm not sure what it's called. McMaster sells plenty of great leveling feet that I could use, but I would want the nut mechansism so I can easily retract the feet when I want to move the cart around.
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  #36  
Old 02-16-2006, 07:58 PM
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That would be a really nice way, my bender has 10" pneumatic tires, so I was just putting 'outriggers' to level. I was thiking just a block under each screw when leveled, and toss blocks into stand when moving.
Another Idea I just thought of while posting is 'outriggers' [thats what made me think of it] that swing up or down on a pivot bolt and is held in place by pinning into posistion. So they'd swing down, put in pins, then adjust.
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  #37  
Old 02-21-2006, 01:35 AM
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I will keep you posted as I work out a levelling solution. That is probably going to added after I have tested the machine for functionality.

UPDATE

I am pretty slow at fabricating. I guess it's because I'm still new to this whole thing. When you consider the extent of my fabrication experience is a rear box tube bumper, square tube sliders, and a Chevy spring swap, you might wonder what the heck I was thinking getting into this project.

Well don't worry; I wonder too

Today I got a few things checked off my list. I made a mount for the hydraulic control valve and a mount for the power unit. everything is just tacked into place for now. I don't expect things to move, but you never know what kinda room the rest of the components might require.







The control valve location is the result of a lot of head scratching, walking around, and mockups. I clamped that thing in about every position I could imagine, trying to figure out what I liked the most. I finally settled on putting it down here, where it will eventually be covered by sheet metal. Standing next to the bender, it's very comfortable to pick up and push down on the knob. I think it is going to look pretty slick when it's all paneled in.

In addition to mounting the control valve and power unit, I finally worked out the fixed caster mounting. The bolt pattern on the fixed casters were a little narrow, so couldn't just strattle the tubing the way I did for the swivelling casters. Instead I ended up putting one bolt per side through the frame, keeping the casters as far forward as reasonable.

I wanted to check out some clearances and find out how hard it would be to roll the thing around, so I bolted up some of the bender assembly and pushed it around the garage. To my satisfaction, it rolls around just fine and isn't the least bit tipsy, even with the bender arms fully extended (I picked up and pushed down in a few places to see if it wanted to tip).









The controller design is still going full throttle behind the scenes and my professor would like me to demonstrate the controller in TWO WEEKS. That means I will have to have the hydraulics plumbed and working, so look forward to a RUSH of progress in that area.
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  #38  
Old 02-24-2006, 01:57 AM
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UPDATE

There have been a lot of odds and ends being tended to that are really hard to see unless you are working with the bender in person. Some are hardly worth mentioning or taking pictures of, but here are a few that I thought I'd share.

First, I made the rear cylinder mount, which will be welded in as part of the main bender frame. I made this using a manual mill (like all the other parts). After making the two holes with the part in a vice, I measured where I wanted my angled cuts to be and scribed lines onto the surface. I clamped the piece to the mill table and lined it up by eye so that the mill would cut alone the line. Then I slot cut through the piece making quite a few passes. Finally I cleaned it up and rounded the corners using a vertical belt sander.



I used the same method to cut an angle into the lower part of the main die arm, except I slot cut a little further out so I could make some cleanup passes and avoid the belt sander. You can see it at the bottom right of this picture.



I am still waiting for my hydraulic plumbing parts to arrive along with a couple valves, so I decided to start tackling the electrical aspect. Some of this is permanent and some temporary. I am trying to get the bender ready for a demo week after next, so I am going to shortcut a few things that I wont have time or money for until later.

For a power cord, I bought a 25 foot 12 gauge extension cord and disected the end. This should be plenty big and it will match the bright ass yellow I plan to paint some parts of the bender. I mounted a metal single gang box next to the control valve, where it should be easy to access for a switch. For now I am using a 20 amp switch that you could get an any home improvement center, but I really want to find a start/stop button type switch like most machines have. I'm not sure where to buy one, so if anyone has any ideas or knows what they are called, please let me know!



I ran some temporary wiring in the flavor of Romex from the switch to the power unit. I would like to thank Cebby for his excellent bender writeup, which had info on wiring this particular motor. After testing things out with my multimeter first, I did a quick on/off jog on the switch to see if things were working. The hydraulic power unit got so excited, it peed itself.



There is still a lot to be done. Above I mentioned that I bought a junction box for housing the PLC. Here it is. This box fits the PLC almost perfectly with about an inch all the way around for room to wire. It's not totally weathertight, but I imagine it will get the job done if I can't find something better. I am not sure yet if I want to mount it for the demo. I may just put all the controller stuff on a piece of particle board for the demonstration.



That's pretty much all I have for now. Tomorrow I am getting some electronics, so hopefully I can get a display working and have a functioning controlling by next week. I also expect to get the hydraulic fittings mid next week. Hopefully by week after next, I will have all the hydraulics and electronics working well enough for a demonstration of the controller. Then I will get back to work on the hardware so I can actually bend something!
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  #39  
Old 02-24-2006, 01:26 PM
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The Bandit, I have been following this thread from the start. Super nice job, but I have come to the conclusion, I don't like you all that much. Envy gets the better of me.
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  #40  
Old 02-24-2006, 02:29 PM
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Nice work! I've been following the thread since the get go, looks like you'll have no problem bending a single thing. I have noticed one thing though, the way you have your dies set up, It seams like you'll be a little limited in rotating the tubing during multiple bends?
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