Author Topic: metal bender  (Read 4145 times)

Offline jcs0001

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metal bender
« on: September 29, 2015, 06:43:54 PM »
I'm posting this in the "wood" section even though it's for bending metal. 

I'm in need of a number of hooks for storing things - ones that can be screwed to a wall or stud.  Also occassionally need a hook made out of small round bar etc.

Looking in my Shopnotes collection I found a bender that should do the job for this kind of thing.  I have the items on hand to make it so figured it would be today's short term project.  It will likely take a few hours to make the round parts - so maybe a two day part time job.

The bending platform is made of several layers of plywood (3 layers of 3/4 in.) and is a square foot in size.  It calls for 3/4 in. baltic birch but I used some other ply that I had handy with a 1/2 in. baltic birch ply on top.  Thus it's about 1/4 in. thicker than called for.  Gluing all layers except the bottom, after cutting to size on the tablesaw:


And the first three layers are glued up:



Once the glue set I cut the corners off.  That's why I could put a screw in one corner - it's waste so won't show at the end.

The three layers are then glued on to the base which has not had the corners removed.  That way it's easy to clamp to a bench.



From here I need to drill a number of 1/2 inch holes for a couple of pins that will be used to bend things around.  I also need to make a few "wheels" from about 1 in. in diameter to 5 in. in diameter.  They will be used to give smooth bends in metal.  I anticipate that there will be no trouble bending 3/16 x 1in steel or perhaps a little wider and at least 3/16 in. steel rod.

More to follow.

John.

Offline jcs0001

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Re: metal bender
« Reply #1 on: September 29, 2015, 09:46:58 PM »
Marked out and ready for drilling:



John.

Offline SwarfnStuff

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Re: metal bender
« Reply #2 on: September 30, 2015, 03:45:48 AM »
So far so good John, looks like you too subscribe to the, "You can never have too many clamps" fraternity.  :lol: I look forward to the end result.
John B
Converting good metal into swarf sometimes ending up with something useful. ;-)

Offline Lew_Merrick_PE

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Re: metal bender
« Reply #3 on: September 30, 2015, 11:28:58 AM »
There is no such thing as too many clamps!  (Says the man with more than 3600 lbs of clamps.)

Offline jcs0001

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Re: metal bender
« Reply #4 on: September 30, 2015, 09:13:53 PM »
I have a pretty good sized clamp rack that may end up peeling off the wall and recently added to my c clamp collection by purchasing some  from a friend who was downsizing.  I end up using them a lot.  Can never have too many but can't imagine 3600 lb. worth - it would fill my shop :)

I made some progress on the bender and actually bent a couple of hangers today.  Would have got a lot more done except my online banking went offline and because I use linux there is no support.  I expect it's a firefox problem and will have to sort it out soon as I really detest using windows (the computer is dual boot).  Anyway onward:

All the holes drilled and a bit of a bevel put on the entrance of each:


The centre hole needs a nut at the bottom so that a 1/2 in. bolt can screw into it from the top.  I drilled it out a bit undersized for the hex nut and was planning to use my press to force it in but decided to use a bolt from the top to pull it as it would keep the centre line properly oriented to the bolt.  Added a bit of epoxy and pulled it in:







In the photo below you can see the two 1/2 in. pins in place - they go right to the bottom of the jig.  Also two hangers I made from some scrap.  The scrap is about 7/8 in. x 1/8 in. and I had used them as paint stir sticks in the past.  They seemed like willing victims to bending.  The curves are a little less than circular but both pieces are quite close.  It wasn't too onerous to bend them and there were no complaints from the jig.  I was fortunate in that the drill I used was perfect for the 1/2 in. pins.  They slide in with a bit of a push and if the jig is on the top of a flat surface come out with a bit of a "pop".



I need to put finish on this and make up several "wheels" from wood.  They should provide a constant radius to curves and I suppose with a little creativity I can make non round  "wheels" to assist in bending different shapes.

John.

Offline vtsteam

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Re: metal bender
« Reply #5 on: September 30, 2015, 09:26:54 PM »
Nice project. I'm watching this one!  :coffee:
I love it when a Plan B comes together!
Steve
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Offline jcs0001

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Re: metal bender
« Reply #6 on: October 01, 2015, 09:14:00 PM »
vtsteam - hope it's not a disappointment :D

Progress today.  The "recipe" called for several round forms (wheels) - 1, 1 1/2, 2,3,4 and 5 in. in diameter.  I located a piece of hardwood that I had laminated some time ago.  It's quite consistent and hard as a brick so should be good.

Cut rounds on the bandsaw - except for the 5 in. round as there was insufficient width to the block.



Turned them on my metal lathe using a steel cutting hss bit - worked well and kept the sides very parallel.  Mandrel made out of a 1/2 in. bolt with the head removed.  Washers keep the blank away from the chuck so I can reach to the end of the blank without conflict:



One of the bigger ones about to get rounded in the lathe:



I had previously drilled them with a 1/2 in. bit.

And the forms complete and with finish:



I'll leave the finish to harden for at least overnight then try some bending.  Doubt I'll need the 5 in. form but I can easily make it if it is ever needed.

Just a hint regarding finishing - I had used this years ago but forgot.  Often I finishing small projects with oil based varathane and use a throw away cheap bristle brush.  I buy them at Lee Valley by the dozen.  Anyway I don't like the waste so recalled that if you wrap the brush in a plastic bag (part of a grocery bag works) and put it in the freezer it will stay soft for at least a day or two.  I put this one in the freezer last night and used it twice today - will see how long it lasts before hardening.

John.


Offline vtsteam

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Re: metal bender
« Reply #7 on: October 02, 2015, 12:34:33 PM »
I do the wrap in plastic bag or aluminum foil trick all the time, but have to admit I've never put the in the freezer. I wonder how long they will last that way?

My other trick mentioned elsewhere here, with oil based paints is to use a small amount of vegetable oil to mix with the leftover paint on the brush (after wiping the excess off on newspaper). Then a squirt of just common dish soap will emulsify the oil/paint mix. I rub that together to make sure all the bristles are coated. Then just water rinse cleans the brush, just like acrylic latex. I get bright clean brushes, and have used only household food grade materials, not smelly, unhealthy, and expensive solvents.


BTW, that looks pretty nice! I'd think it was a wooden game board of some sort, if I didn't know otherwise.  :beer:
I love it when a Plan B comes together!
Steve
www.sredmond.com

Offline jcs0001

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Re: metal bender
« Reply #8 on: October 02, 2015, 03:53:46 PM »
vtsteam:

Thanks for the further info re: brushes.  It was really bugging me to get one use out of them even if they are inexpensive.  With most projects one has to wait till the top dries before doing the bottom so 2 brushes end up being used.  Will try your solution as I also don't like having to buy and use thinners etc.  We have an environmental fee (before taxes are added) and it can really mount up and I really hate waste.

Onward.  The finish is dry enough to bend metal.  I was missing a hook from one end of a rubber strap so found some scrap (0.185 in diameter round steel) and using the 1 in. diameter form managed to bend it into a decent hook.  The smaller close hook on the other end was bent between two pins and then closed a bit in the vice.





With that success under my belt I went looking for victims to "bend out of shape".  First was a piece of 5/16 steel round bar.  It was bent around the 3 in. diameter form.  It was a good pull to bend it but the jig did not complain at all.  I flattened the top portion (hook side and opposite) with a file and drilled a couple of holes. 

Next was a piece of 3/8 in. square bar stock (steel).  It was also bent around the 3 in. form.  Again it was a good pull but no problems with the jig.

In the interest of experimenting and contributing to our collective knowledge I pursuaded my better half to allow for the purchase of a length of flatbar out of our budget.  (I jest as my wife is very tolerant of my hobbies).  Decided that 3/4 in. x 1/8 in. flatbar would work well so bought 20 feet.

Once home I cut a piece long enough for two hooks and bent one end around the 2 in. form and the other end around the 3 in. form.  The piece was then cut in half and the ends cleaned up.  Two holes were drilled in the upper portion and voila, two very useful hooks were made.

A photo of the bends done so far:



Top left outside is the 5/16 round bar hook, inside it is one shown yesterday (7/8 in. x 1/8 in).  Top right is the 3/8 in. square bar, bottom left is the 3/4 in. x 1/8 in. bent around the 2 in. form and to the right of that is the 3/4 in. x 1/8 in. flatbar bent around the 3 in. form.  The piece on the bottom right is the .185 in round bar made into an S hook.

There are a few things that can be done to clean up the appearance of the hooks.  Dipping them in liquid insulation (plastic dip) is one option as are painting them. 

The jig will be very handy for any number of small metal items.  It does not take up much room and I found the pins were nicely spaced so that there always seemed to be a suitable pair of holes to use depending upon the thickness of the piece to be bent.

The 3/4 in. x 1/8 in. stock is excellent for bending and I doubt that there would be problems with 1 in. x 1/8 in.  There are limits however and I figure the 3/8 in. square stock is pretty close to that.

I've only scratched the surface as far as making things with this.  It would be easy enough to make two piece decorative shelf brackets, handles for chests, L brackets for reinforcing corners of chests,  etc. etc.  A bit of practice would allow for some really decorative pieces.

I hope this is of some use.  In case anyone wishes to get the plans they were in ShopNotes volume 12, no. 69.

http://www.shopnotes.com/


John.

Offline vtsteam

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Re: metal bender
« Reply #9 on: October 03, 2015, 10:54:08 AM »
Excellent results!!!!!! That's a very nice tool you've made, elegant in simplicity and cost, and looks :thumbup: :thumbup: :thumbup: :clap:

The brush cleaning trick with salad oil and dish detergent works best on oil based enamel paints. I think I have also been successful with polyurethane varnishes, but can't remember for sure. It \works best when you will be putting your brushes away for a long time. When it's just a short time, ie. hours between coats, I use the aluminum foil method. Then when done with the project, I do the oil and soap method.

The oil and soap method only works with fresh paint that hasn't dried. If the paint gets too thick and nearly hard in the brush, I sometimes do use a small bit of thinner first to liquefy it, then finish up with oil and soap for a clean brush ready to put away.

I think even cheap brushes get better with use. The loose bristles stop appearing and the ends feather some. I actually like inexpensive Chinese bristle brushes.

Again, great project!

ps dish soap also works on clothes! Many times when I've had oil paint drip on something cloth that's important and washable, I quickly rub into the spot some dish soap. It emulsifies the paint, and prevents it from staining the fibers permanently, or drying. If you do this with thinners, it will only spread the spot and make a bigger one before drying. With dish soap rubbed in, you just launder the piece normally and the spot is washed out completely. Again you have to catch it immediately, before the paint dries. This has saved many a potential "domestic tragedy" for me, and even made me a hero at times......on a very local basis!
I love it when a Plan B comes together!
Steve
www.sredmond.com

Offline RussellT

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Re: metal bender
« Reply #10 on: October 03, 2015, 01:04:44 PM »
Looks a useful tool and nicely made. :clap: :clap:

While we're drifting off into cleaning paintbrushes I think the simplest way to preserve a brush to use again is put it a container of water.  If it's oil paint it stops it evaporating and the water can be removed with a good shake.  If it's water based it stops it drying and you just shake off the excess water and you're good to go.  The drawback with this method is that if you leave the brushes long enough the metal can go rusty and stain your paint - even though the bristles are still soft enough to use.  (DAMHIKT). :doh:

Russell

Offline jcs0001

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Re: metal bender - digressing to paint brush preservation
« Reply #11 on: October 06, 2015, 10:46:03 PM »
RussellT and Vtsteam:

I took my brush out of the freezer twice yesterday and it was still quite flexible and worked well.  I'm pretty sure it's important to wrap it closely in plastic so that the air doesn't get at it.  So it's been used about 5 or 6 times and I first used that brush on the 31 Sept 2015 - in the freezer about 6 days or so and still useable.

I hadn't heard of submerging them in water - the brushes I have take little time to rust so I'm not sure it would work for very long.  However if one was using the same oil based finish I wonder if submerging the bristles in vegetable oil would work.  I expect the fancy expensive olive oil may be better :D

Offline RussellT

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Re: metal bender
« Reply #12 on: October 08, 2015, 05:55:25 AM »
I don't think vegetable oil would work as well.  The important thing with oil paints and water seems to be that they don't mix at all and so they separate with a shake.  I would have thought that vegetable oil might mix with the paint - and it's more expensive than water. :D

Russell