While perusing my bundle of shopnotes magazine (I'm not affiliated with them at all) I noticed a non hydraulic bender for bending heavier steel rod and flat bar - compared to the bender that I posted here recently.
A couple of months ago a friend, cleaning out his shop, gave me a hydraulic press frame along with a 12 ton hydraulic jack. At the time I asked if anyone had any ideas of jigs or tools I could make to make it more useful.
Another feature of my shop is that I have the tools and can silver solder small items. However I do not weld and thus must find other means to make things.
The shop notes design used a 5/8 in. threaded rod on each side of the die and form along with a long nut on each to create the pressure to bend steel items. Since I have the press I decided to modify the plans to use my press.
The design is quite simple - it involves a solid block of hardwood top and bottom along with cutouts to accept a piece of 2 x 2 in. (3/16 in. thick) angle iron. Thus the top angle with the point facing down is pushed into the bottom angle with the point also facing down. The wood merley supports the angle.
I started with a large chunk of 2 in. purple heart.
It was cut to oversize and laminated as it wasn't thick enough.
First mistake was leaving the lower block in the sun with a bunch of clamps but not leaving it long enough. As I was doing the final cutting to shape it began to delaminate. The glue inside the joint was still relatively soft so I was able to add more glue and poke it well into the joint with a thin blade. It was then clamped (again) and left overnight.
Two blocks glued up:
Second mistake - using purple heart. I had forgotten how brittle it can be in a jointer. The two blocks have some chipped out areas where the jointer did not cut smoothly. I used a very small depth of cut and moved the wood slowly but it still chipped out.
Third mistake - I drilled the two 5/8 holes in each end of the upper block, then clamped it to the lower block and used the existing holes to guide the drill (in the drill press) to drill the holes in the bottom block. Somehow or other the holes didn't match up necessitating drilling 3/4 in. holes in the upper block.
On a brighter note the local metal shop had angle iron in the size I needed. I'm disappointed in the final appearance of the jig however it should not effect the ability to bend metal so in that respect it is a success. It will be interesting to see how it holds up to the hydraulic press.
I did some metal work this afternoon and turned down a round of steel to fit into the short pipe I had made for the press some time ago. This will be mounted to the top of the top block along with a piece of steel plate to better distribute force when pressing.
Top piece finished and drying in the sun:
I'll add a few photos of the finished product in use - likely tomorrow as I want the finish to dry overnight.