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  #1  
Old 04-22-2007, 06:50 PM
jim jim is offline
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best way to heat and bend round stock

hey guys I need all the help on this one...I'm shaping faces out of round stock and animals and human figures as well with round stock, just making a frame of what will be covered up later with farm equipment parts and junk yard finds as well...But I am tired of bending the round stock with pure muscles and wanted to know the best way to heat a part that i need to bend like forming the chin or forehead...ya i can do it with an anvil and vise but i've seen pictures of guys bending round stock around rocks so tightly and was woundering how they heat up the metal to bend easier....i use 1/8'',1/4'' to a 1/2'' stock..and sometimes flat stock as well...

so whats a cheap easy way...I know a tourch and rose bud would cost me about 600 with the tank lease and tourch...so any clues would be much appreciated...

Thanks jim.
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  #2  
Old 04-22-2007, 07:06 PM
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jOe~ jOe~ is offline
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Re: best way to heat and bend round stock

Check this out. They go on sale all the time for around $50.
http://www.harborfreightusa.com/usa/...bCategoryName=

jOe~
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  #3  
Old 04-22-2007, 07:07 PM
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Aaron Schroeder Aaron Schroeder is offline
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Re: best way to heat and bend round stock

What I do and it works like a charm everytime, is I grab a living room couch and haul it onto the frontlawn, pore gasoline on it and pitch a lit match onto it from a few feet away. Stick in metal, heat and bend. At least that's how we do it at Ohio Sate. Actually, just fire up the grill ( Charcoal ) or build a fire ( bigger works better ) and have some hotdogs and smorz while you're at it. Get a fan blowing on it to speed up the process and keep some water handy in case it gets out of control. It lacks the glamore of a torch and propane forge but it'll get the job done.
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  #4  
Old 04-22-2007, 07:08 PM
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Re: best way to heat and bend round stock

Hi Jim,
Not wishing to sound rude or stupid etc ,plus not knowing your shop setup , are you able to get your stock cut and marked ready to go , then just light a fire outside, or a propane B B Q....just a thought.
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  #5  
Old 04-22-2007, 07:12 PM
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Re: best way to heat and bend round stock

I use one of those Benders they work well. depends on the $$$ as allways.
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  #6  
Old 04-22-2007, 07:31 PM
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Re: best way to heat and bend round stock

Cheapest way out is the muscles and the big well mounted vise, but you can max them out with a cheater bar , shouldn't be a problem at all. the longer the pipe the stronger the pull. For sharp bends use a good fitting cheater very close to the vise.

This piece is composed od 1/2 and 5/8 mostly. No torch was used. Very hard corners can be fabricated instead of bent.
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  #7  
Old 04-22-2007, 08:50 PM
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Re: best way to heat and bend round stock

They surely have farm sales and auctions in Minnesota! You can buy a used oxy/cetelyne set up ( sometimes including tanks) at farm auctions or garage auctions for well less than $6oo . Sams Club has reasonable/useable torch kits as well and tank rental won't be that much if you get small tanks. The well grounded vice is a must as Evaldart mentioned and using a pipe for leverage works with/without the help of heat. Yankee ingenuity!!!
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  #8  
Old 04-22-2007, 09:44 PM
jim jim is offline
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Re: best way to heat and bend round stock

Tired iron, Thanks, i do use a cheater bar to help bend and a 110 lb anvil that holes in to bend as well..ya we have farm auctions almost everyday of the year but i like buying new when i comes to stuff that can go BOOM- BOOM- BOOM.....

Evaldart.. Ya I do use all of that, I guess I'm being a baby! I was trying to muscle 1'' bar and I got shin splints in my forearms...I just see all this great work from the metal guys and I just thought you guys had a trick to bending..
I guess its elbow grease....That is a great pic of your work any more pics.. Do you have a web-site???

schroeder..The last time I lit anything on fire outside I burned about 50 acres of land in Pennsylvania and my dad wasnt to happy...Ohio!!! ah man I hope your not a Browns fan?

Joe..Great tip, thanks....I've been thinking about one for some time,not a bad price..


me by the sea.. Hey whats Cardigan Bay like? Thats might be one stop on my next big trip overseas..


Thanks to all for the advise.

jim
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  #9  
Old 04-23-2007, 06:40 AM
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Re: best way to heat and bend round stock

Jim, yeah just bite the bullet and get yerself some tanks and torches. They will change your life.

evaldart.com
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  #10  
Old 04-23-2007, 09:26 AM
EJB EJB is offline
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Re: best way to heat and bend round stock

A good, cheap torch set up is a propane/air torch. Used a lot for burning weeds, heating asphalt and applying patinas. Available at most welding shops, farm supply, discount tool centers. I think Harbor Frieght has one for around $20. Add your own propane tank ($20) and you're in biz. Propane is cheaper than oxy/acetelyne and can be used for the BBQ between projects. Can work the metal hot or anneal to white hot and let cool before bending. When it work hardens, heat it again and have at it!
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  #11  
Old 04-23-2007, 11:14 AM
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Re: best way to heat and bend round stock

Hi Jim,
Bit early for the Dolphins, porpoise are about,mackerel moving in, First rain and fog for 6 weeks.All calm and peaceful on the land.

It`s the middle of nowhere Love it!

Good Luck with what you do.
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  #12  
Old 04-23-2007, 01:42 PM
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Re: best way to heat and bend round stock

the rule in my shop is-
Never bend anything hot you can do cold.
I have a big rosebud, and two propane forges. But I never use em unless its really necessary- and, for the last 25 years, my tool of choice first time around is the hossfeld bender.

Once you get one, you will never look back.

Those cheeseball harbor freight benders are a joke compared to a real hossfeld.
Hossfelds are made in the USA- in Winona Minnesota, for well over 50 years. Built like a tank, they will outlive you.
Hundreds of dies are available, to bend any shape of metal you can imagine.

New, about $800 with basic dies, and worth every penny.
http://www.hossfeldbender.com/

American Bender makes a clone- the patents have expired on the original-
http://www.americanbender.com/

I bend up to 1" round, stainless, cold on one every day, and in very complicated shapes. With stops for length and degree of bend, you can bend 100 of the same part- or you can freehand bend any shape you can think of.
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  #13  
Old 04-23-2007, 01:54 PM
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Re: best way to heat and bend round stock

Ries, you bend 1" solid stainless on that thing?! Either it really works or you're the strongest man in the pacific northwest. I had the harbor-frieght version ten years ago and broke it immediately. Guess you get what you pay for. I'm lookin into it now, this could extend my sculpture career significantly. Thanks.

My question might be about the look of the bends...do they retain the even-ness of the machine or can they be nade to look organic?
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  #14  
Old 04-23-2007, 06:34 PM
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Re: best way to heat and bend round stock

The harbor freight thing is a joke.
What happened was a company in Wyoming copied the hossfeld. They failed to understand some basic principles, so their bender doesnt work very well, and they foolishly decided to make it incompatible with hossfeld dies.
Then, the chinese copied the Wyoming company.

So the chinese copies are sort of like the game of telephone, or maybe building an airplane after hearing one described to you over the phone- they have some visual similarity, but no real working one.

A real hossfeld will bend stuff as small as welding rod, and stuff as big as 4" wide flat bar. I bend 1/2" and 3/4" stainless freehand daily with it. I go up to 1" before I do it hot- and the hossfeld works quite well at bending hot metal, accurately and just enough.
I built a driveshaft loop for my tractor a while ago out of 1" x 4" flat bar, bent into a 5" diameter U shape, hot on the hossfeld. One pull.
I am not a bodybuilder. The hossfeld is designed to use leverage- it has a 4 foot and 8 foot extension handle, and with the 8 footer I can easily bend 2" schedule 40 pipe, or 1 1/2" round bar.

go to my website- virtually everything is bent with the hossfeld. Miles of stainless in 3/8" 1/2" 5/8" and 3/4" round. Flat bar the hard way. Angle iron. Pipe. Square tubing.

I bend freehand all the time, where I bend quite complicated shapes, organic as all get out, to match drawings.

I will try to dig up some pics of trick stuff- but at www.riesniemi.com there are lots of pics of hossfeld bent stuff.
All the parts of this boot were hossfeld bent- the circles are all 3/8" round, the arrows 1/2", and the frame is mostly 3/4".
The soles are 1/2" x 2" flat bar, bent the hard way (hot) and the easy way (cold).
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  #15  
Old 04-23-2007, 06:50 PM
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Re: best way to heat and bend round stock

Ries, man I'm sold. Next sizable project comes my way that things goes under the "materials" column. It just jumped ahead of everything on the wish list. The new Delta bandsaw will have to wait.

Oh, how do you mount it and how much room do you need around it?

Last edited by evaldart : 04-23-2007 at 07:01 PM.
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  #16  
Old 04-23-2007, 09:57 PM
jim jim is offline
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Re: best way to heat and bend round stock

Evaldart, ya! I just might cough up the cash! I just had to replace a cutoff gas saw..Never meet your buddy for a beer and leave tools in the bed of your truck...that hurts the pocket!


Ries, I was just in winona ( St Mary's university ) That is on my things to get list. Very impressive work Ries!


Ejb, I might just do that, thanks.

Mebythesea..it seems like a great place to visit. what is the best time of year
weather wise to visit wales?
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  #17  
Old 04-23-2007, 10:03 PM
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Re: best way to heat and bend round stock

Here is my hosssfeld, bolted to a square stand that is bolted to the floor.
You need enough room in front and to the right to swing the handle.
Also shown pulling a spring/series of circles from 3/8" round. And using a piece of scrap pipe to make radius bends.
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  #18  
Old 04-24-2007, 10:43 AM
ironman ironman is offline
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Re: best way to heat and bend round stock

Hi Ries, I've been coveting a hossfeld bender for a while now. I have my eye on a hydraulic one but haven't bought one yet because of the expense.
I noticed that yours isn't hydraulic. Do you just heat the steel that would normally be too heavy to be bent without the hydraulics?
Those dies can get expensive.
Do you know if that American bender is any good?
Thanks for your input.
Have a great day,
Jeff
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  #19  
Old 04-24-2007, 11:15 AM
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Re: best way to heat and bend round stock

Yeah Ries is right. The Harbor Freight is a joke compare to the real thing. However, Jim's original question was something cheap for round 1/8, 1/4 to 1/2". You won't break the HF on the small round stuff up to 1/2". Flat stock is more limited. I'd stop at 1/4". If you're finding yourself using muscle on it, you've reached its limits and it will break. I can't see having to use an expensive machine or heat on such thin stock.

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  #20  
Old 04-24-2007, 12:46 PM
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Re: best way to heat and bend round stock

American bender is just as good as hossfeld. I have met and talked with the guys who run it, and they are more modern than hossfeld, using CnC equipment, and their benders are quite good. They just make a few dies, however, compared to the thousands hossfeld makes.

I find no problem not having hydraulics- the vast majority of stuff I do on the bender is freehand, and the tactile feedback is essential. For instance, after forging a 12' piece of 3/4" round bar with a texture, I need to straighten it- this requires tens of tiny bends, each by eye and hand- bend a tiny bit, slide and rotate, bend again.

The only time the hydraulics would really come in handy is repetitive bending of schedule 40 pipe, especially 2" and bigger- that can take some muscles. So if you are going into the full time pipe railing business, then yeah, hydraulics might make sense.
But for an artist, I really think the money would be better spent on more dies.
An angle iron flange in master die, with a set of radius dies, allows you to bend precise, repeatable circles or curves in flat bar, round bar, square bar, square tubing, and more. This is cheaper than hydraulics, and something you would use far more.

I do bend stuff hot on the hossfeld- but rarely. Sometimes for reallly tight bends, especially in stainless. And on REALLY big stock. But if the radius isnt too tight, even big stuff can be bent cold.
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  #21  
Old 04-24-2007, 01:09 PM
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Re: best way to heat and bend round stock

I for one appreciate your input here, the idea of pretzelizing heavy stock without destroying your body too much is of paramount importance. But I'm stubborn. I used to draw out 1" square by hand for years before I finally broke down and bought a power hammer (ofcourse now 2" is a breeze). And so it will be with this thing. I will be able to work heavier stock, cold, with less physical effort - all the while retaining the manual look and specific attention that hydraulics are not capable of.

What does a good starter set consist of? It costs about a grand right?
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  #22  
Old 04-24-2007, 01:36 PM
jim jim is offline
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Re: best way to heat and bend round stock

Thanks for all the great post!

Jim
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  #23  
Old 04-24-2007, 02:31 PM
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Re: best way to heat and bend round stock

A hossfeld with basic tooling is $800
An american with slightly more tooling is $887

After that, you can build tooling, or buy as much as you want.

If anyone gets serious and decides to order one, email me and let me know what kind of stuff you bend, sizes and shapes, and I can tell you what tooling you would want additionally, in what order.

Some is easy to build yourself, others are worth buying from hossfeld, as they have room after room of wooden patterns for cast iron tooling.
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  #24  
Old 04-24-2007, 04:16 PM
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Re: best way to heat and bend round stock

Any time is good,the weather suits it`s self!! it does get crowded in summer,but there are still off track places to be found .
Been a mild winter,warm spring, the summers we call hot (not like yours!) Fall is usually the best...
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  #25  
Old 04-24-2007, 06:13 PM
ironman ironman is offline
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Re: best way to heat and bend round stock

Hi Ries, thanks for the advice.
Have a great day,
Jeff
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