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Advice on Bending small bars/rods

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Bristol_Rob

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Hi all,

I'm looking to put bends (up to 90 degrees) on steel rods to hang tools on - some will be heavy. On a custom tool wall.

I'm thinking of 6, 8 or 10mm rods

I've never bent steel before and I'm looking for a recommendation of a manual tool to do the bending for me.

It would be nice if the bends were repeatable in some way.

Thoughts 🤔

Many thanks
 

profchris

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Vice plus a nice stout bit of iron pipe. Lever the rod over until the pipe hits the vice, slide pipe back to fit the vice, continue bend. Check for 90 degrees with a square.
 

Bm101

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As ProfChris says. I bent a few threaded rods to use as cooking irons to rest a pan on over a fire a couple of months back. 2 second job in my case, on the way out of the house to go camping. Was not concerned about any degree of accuracy, even so it's remakably easy to get a decent bend in a vice. If you have a length og copper pipe that will work on small diameter rod or just bend by hand from the bottom of the bend.
 

Sandyn

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I do a lot of metalwork and I use Metal Craft equipment, but if you are just wanting to bend a few rods, it would be a VERY expensive solution, but I can bend up to 20mm round and it's repeatable.
Universal Metal Bender - The MC732 XL5+ Power Bender

Otherwise, I would just use a big vice and pipe, as profchris suggests, I would also use a hammer at the vice to finish the bend and get it tight

If you measure the bend point from one end and mark it. It should be repeatable. If you want to tune the length, then add a bit extra, then cut all of them to the same length once bent.
 

gregmcateer

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Not sure what thickness of solid rod it could do, but a plumbers pipe bender MIGHT work. Repeatable with a little care.
About 20-30 quid. If you know a plumber they might let you try on theirs before committing the dosh
 

AES

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Agree with most of the above, except that personally I wouldn't bother with heat if you're sure it's "just" MS. Also, no brake pipe bender that I've ever seen (for use on cars) would bend a 10 mm solid MS rod. Maybe a truck version? Dunno.

I did some 10 mm MS rod bending a while ago (approx 90 degrees but WITH a bend radius) and it DEFINITELY needs a long lever (nice piece of scrap wood will do, nothing fancy). AND the vice needs to be securely bolted to the bench (AND the bench to the floor/wall)!

Also I don't think plumber's bending springs will do the job either - they're for bending copper tube, a considerably softer proposition than MS rod!

Finally, it will help, especially on the 8 and 10 mm rod, to try and bend with SLIGHT radius, NOT a sharp 90 degrees. The way to do this is to trap a short piece of rod off cut in the vice against the rod to be bent and "fixed" on the jaw TOWARDS which you'll be bending. Setting that up can be a bit of a 3-handed job, so fiddling with a bit of self-adhesive tape or similar to trap the "jaw protector off cut" in the right place will help a lot.

NO metals appreciate being bent into a a SHARP 90 degree bend, and will often fail during or after bending as a result (agreed, unlikely with MS, but still possible). So anything along the above lines that you can do to "soften" the sharp bend radius is definitely worth while.

Since you want repeatability I'd suggest chalk marks on the bench top and vice, plus clear position marks on the rods to be bent, and on the "wooden?) bending lever/s.

The tip about leaving the rod "tails" over length and cutting off after bending is an excellent idea and is "standard practice" in some shops - mine included.

HTH
 

Jameshow

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I'd suggest a 18mm plywood former.
Heat up the steel and bend round the former to give repeatable corners.

Cheers James
 
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Spectric

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Just had a thought, I brought a range of hooks etc from Screwfix and have used them to hang up in my shed all the gardening tools including a Mantis rotavator.
 

Bristol_Rob

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Lots of great ideas. I do have a decent record vice so trial & error there is doable.

I want to tap one end and then screw that into an insert in an 18 mm ply tool wall panel.

The other ends will be bent to suit the tool - so all a bit different. I was just trying to avoid them looking different in shape and 'off'

The 90 degree bend I mentioned would have a nice sweep to them - no sharp 90s needed/wanted
 
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Ted 1947

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Hi all,

I'm looking to put bends (up to 90 degrees) on steel rods to hang tools on - some will be heavy. On a custom tool wall.

I'm thinking of 6, 8 or 10mm rods

I've never bent steel before and I'm looking for a recommendation of a manual tool to do the bending for me.

It would be nice if the bends were repeatable in some way.

Thoughts 🤔

Many thanks
 

Ted 1947

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The best tool available that would give you consistent results is a hydraulic pipe bender! Maybe expensive to buy, however try your local hire shop.
I used one of these during my mechanical engineering days. Fantastic tool, should have kept it
 

Robbo60

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When doing wrought iron work at school MANY years ago, when we wanted a 90 bend on a piece of bar (normally square) we used to create an "Upset" which was basically a bulge on what was going to be the outside of the bend. When you bend the outside has a greater radius than the inside so doing this meant the profile of the bar was maintained (google wrought iron work upset)
 

Barlow

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Whenever I want an accurate and sharp ( can be any angle ) bend in metal bar or rod I use a hacksaw to saw three quarters way through at the point of the bend which allows me to then bend by hand to the required angle. I then fill in the exposed ‘V’ shape in the metal with weld and angle grind it to shape. It works brilliantly but of course you do need a welder.
 

Richard_C

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6 & 8mm certainly OK in vice, 10mm needs a bit more oomph (its not 1.25x more than 8, its 1.6x cross section area).

Plan your work, don't cut into lengths first, put the short arm into vice, use full length of bar to pull your bend, then cut it off and repeat. That way you have a long lever for as long as possible. It's not precision work. A small cut or file nick on the inside of the bend will help it bend where you want. You will need hammer assistance when your bar gets short.

I get some quite complex multiple bends in aluminium flat (albeit easier than steel) for garden sculptures by using pegs in a workmate and using same technique horizontally: keep it long, make first bend, move pegs, make next bend (which might be the other way or a curve or ...) , and on and on.
 

Illy

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I'd endorse Metalcraft tools as well, you will find yourself making all sorts of other things. I've had loads of fun with it, well worth the relatively modest investment. Alternatively a Clarke Compact Bench Mounted Parts Bender from Machine Mart would do it, less tha £100.
 

Sandyn

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I'd endorse Metalcraft tools as well, you will find yourself making all sorts of other things. I've had loads of fun with it, well worth the relatively modest investment. Alternatively a Clarke Compact Bench Mounted Parts Bender from Machine Mart would do it, less tha £100.
Metalcraft (J & C R Wood Limited) are a brilliant company. Traditional good old fashioned British manufacturing. Their equipment is built to last and for parts which will wear out (punches), you can easily get spares. I got the XL workshop as a retirement present from myself :) It has been one of the best investments I have ever made. I use the XL bender all the time for various projects. It is a very versatile tool, you can bent round, flat, square and angle iron, you can roll solid and tube. I fabricated a length of angle iron into a 6" collar for a woodburner. I have made countless angle mounting brackets for hanging baskets, but really heavy duty. Garden ornaments, scrolls in 12mm round steel, twists and dozens of different supports for flowers in the garden. Their equipment is not cheap, but when you see how sturdy and well made it is, you can see why. They do sometimes have sales and ex demo, so worth keeping a lookout, I looked around at all the alternatives and for me, this was the best option. I think it gives me everything I will ever need and will last longer than me! They sell all the different bit of equipment individually, so you can select tools which you need for a particular project.
 
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