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Thread: Bending square tube

  1. #1
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    Bending square tube

    I'm going to try my hand at building the chainup stand posted in this forum. Only problem i'm running into is figuring out how to bend the square tubing. I've thought about heating it up with a torch to bend but am afraid that will kill the tensile strength of the steel and make it vunerable to breaking at a bad time. Was thinking about tryin the sand trick I was taught with a brake line but dont know how hard it's going to be bending the tube by hand. Any suggestions guys?



  2. #2
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    you can do what craftsman do to musical instruments. Trumpets, trombones... etc. They actually fill the brass tubing with water and freeze it. The ice actually takes the pressure of the bend and supports the brass so as not to kink.
    Or... you could just get a tubing bender... ha!
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  3. #3
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    the easiest thing to do is notch the inside if the tubing(take a pie section out of the inside) and bend the tubing and weld back together.
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  4. #4
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    Thanks for the advice. When I get my hands on the 3/4"X1/8" thick tubing I may just be able to bend it by hand.

  5. #5
    I've used these before making handrails. Nice and clean looking when your finished. Just another option.
    http://sharpeproducts.thomasnet.com/...quare-fittings

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by smakdown View Post
    the easiest thing to do is notch the inside if the tubing(take a pie section out of the inside) and bend the tubing and weld back together.
    Exactly........that is the best way or to cut small slots with a band saw and weld back up.
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  7. #7
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    Someone must make a affordable tube bender. There are tons of round tube benders out there but why not square tube?
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  8. #8
    I have a tube bender but would need to order dies to bend sq tube I haven't even used it in 6 years http://www.pro-tools.com/302.htm.
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  9. #9
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    i worked in a weld shop for a number of years and the quickest way i have found is to heat up the inside edge of the bend and take some cold roll stock bent in a 45 and indent the inside of where you want it to curve, then bend it once heated again, it will not kink and you will end up with a bend very similar to what you see on a stand, or many other factory type parts, if i wasnt clear enough pm me, i can better explain.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by araz2114 View Post
    Someone must make a affordable tube bender. There are tons of round tube benders out there but why not square tube?
    I think I seen one on sale in the February Princess Auto Flyer.

    Edit, I just checked, it's for solid metal only.
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  11. #11
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    Easy tubing bending

    I use 1" square tubing that is .080 thick. Very very durable and readily available and like .35 per foot. I buy 25' sticks like 10 at a time. Before I bought a tubing bender I used a peice of 6" round heavy wall tubing that I tack welded to a steel table top and bend the tubing around that it relieves stress so you don't crack it and it takes alot less heat to bend it. If you weld a piece of steel on the 6" round above the 1" Square tubing it will prevent buckling of the material. PM me if you need help I've been a metal fabricator for 10 years.
    Rick

  12. #12
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    Jam one end of the tubing in the ground to clog it up, then fill the tubing with sand, & cap the other end with a piece of innertube, etc. & clamp with a hose clamp. Now you can heat & bend the tubing without it kinking.

  13. #13
    3/4x1/8"??? 1/8 wall thickness??? WAY overkill!

    .060-080 will be just fine (unless you weigh 500lb)

    Filling with sand works, just gotta close off the ends tight... Wood plugs and pack the sand in tight.

    Heating won't kill the strength.

  14. #14
    X2 what Turbo2Pete said; 16 or 18 guage will be more than adequate.

    If you do the fill and freeze technique, then about 1/2 cup of dishwwashing soap per gallon of water makes a huge difference. Without the soap, the ice wants to shatter and leave the bend area in big pieces. With the soap, you get a more frozen / hard-slushy ice that stays in the voids created as the tubing deforms and changes interior profile, and supports the tubing better as it bends.

    If you use the sand fill, plug, and heat method, make sure your sand is extremly dry, or you will get a steam cannon!


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  15. #15
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    heating the area. and bending it then cooling it off REALLY fast will make the metal brittle. but letting it cool down slowly will allow the metal to stay soft.. so cooling it down fast enough but not to fast or to slow.. but in all reality you don't need a ton of heat to bend square stock

  16. #16
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    I have had some luck using a bender I bought from Harbor freight for bending flat stock and solid bar. It came with dies from 1" to 3" but I was taking a machining class a while back and I made one 5" diameter I believe. I didn't think it would work on the tubing, but I took my time and was able to make good bends, but on occasion, I will a piece that will just buckle.

    TC

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by F.C.Hunter View Post
    Thanks for the advice. When I get my hands on the 3/4"X1/8" thick tubing I may just be able to bend it by hand.

    I'm not sure you can bend 1/8" tubing. I have a Screeming Eagle treestand and I'm pretty sure it closer to a 1/16" wall. To bend square tubing, the sides (3 and 6 o'clock sides) are crushed inward and is then bent in a pneumatic or hydraulic press. Sand inside is nice as well as heat, but I'm pretty sure if the sides aren't bent inward it won't bend it without tearing. The top and bottom will stretch sideways but not without both of the sides bent inward - I think . . .
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  18. #18
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    It is really not worth the trouble to try and bend square tube for just one stand. If you are going to build 20+ then look into bending. JMO
    I can cut and weld 2 stands by the time you jack around with trying to bend one by hand

  19. #19
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    Maybe I should have mentioned this before but I'm not doing any crazy bends. I'm just trying to make me a couple of the DIY Chain up stands like these http://www.archerytalk.com/vb/showthread.php?t=819218 I think I've came up with a wait to bend it and get the angles that I need. The reason I choose to use 3/4"X 1/8" is that it makes me fill safer plus i'm a rather big boy 5' 10" 290 .lbs so toteing a 25lb stand isn't gonna hurt my feelings too much. Thanks for all of the great replies guys.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by swampboss View Post
    It is really not worth the trouble to try and bend square tube for just one stand. If you are going to build 20+ then look into bending. JMO
    I can cut and weld 2 stands by the time you jack around with trying to bend one by hand

    Actually, after I got my Screaming Eagle, my brother and I made (4) copies - 45 degree miters and welded . . . still going strong after 15+ years.
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