Bending Copper tubing??

Discussion in 'Tips and Tricks' started by Jeff02, Mar 11, 2009.

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  1. Mar 11, 2009 #1

    Jeff02

    Jeff02

    Jeff02

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    Would you be so kind as to show me what you use to bend small Die copper tubing(1/8-3/32), would like to try and build something for myself.

    Thanks, Jeff
     
  2. Mar 11, 2009 #2

    machinist dave

    machinist dave

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    i've been successful with filling the tube with a soft medium. plug both ends and fill with sand. i'v also filled tubes with solder and once its shaped melt it back out.worked every time. good luck
     
  3. Mar 11, 2009 #3

    GailInNM

    GailInNM

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    Jeff,
    The most important tool is a torch. Copper work hardens rapidly and must be annealed well and often. The smaller the radius of the bend, the more times it must be annealed. If you are trying to make small radius bends of less than 3 or 4 times the diameter of the tube, you will have to anneal several times. If you are trying to make very small radius bends, then a rod with a groove turned in it that as only slightly wider than the diameter of the tube and as deep as the tube diameter is one way to keep it from collapsing. It is best if the groove has a round bottom, but I seldom do it. Mostly I just cut with a parting tool. You will still need to anneal the tube. It takes little practice, but you will "feel" the tube start to work harden and know you have to anneal it again.

    To anneal, heat the tube to a dull red, and then let it cool. You can dip it in water to cool faster if you are in a hurry, but that has no affect on the annealing. After all the bending is done, the oxides that form on the surface of the copper can be removed by dipping in a pickling solution. Lots of different ideas on what to use for pickling and it has been discussed a lot on this forum. I use a 5 percent sulphuric acid as a personal preference, but lots of others use citric acid or a commercial pickle preparation.

    Let us know what size tube and what kind of bend and some of us may be able to be more specific in our recommendations.

    Gail in NM,USA
     
  4. Mar 11, 2009 #4

    mklotz

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    One of these...

    http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/displayitem.taf?Itemnumber=3755

    Occasionally my local HF has available a similar miniature version that accepts tubing diameters smaller than 1/4". I couldn't find it on their website but I didn't spend much time looking.

    Gail beat me to it but I'll reiterate that annealing is the real key to clean bends.
     
  5. Mar 11, 2009 #5

    Tin Falcon

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  6. Mar 11, 2009 #6

    bentprop

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  7. Mar 11, 2009 #7

    steamer

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    Marv,

    I have one of those, it works quite well.

    Dave
     
  8. Mar 12, 2009 #8

    tel

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    Annealing, patience (lots of it) and fingers.
     
  9. Mar 12, 2009 #9

    gbritnell

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  10. Mar 12, 2009 #10

    mklotz

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    Tin:

    Yes, that's the one. I use it more than the big one.

    gbritnell:

    I remember that thread! Beautiful work. If I bent a lot of tubing, I'd invest the time to build a copy of yours.
     
  11. Mar 12, 2009 #11

    deere_x475guy

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  12. Mar 12, 2009 #12

    old-biker-uk

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    That's the way to do it.......
    [​IMG]
    Of course, nobody can see the pipes once the cladding is on.
    Mark
     
  13. Mar 12, 2009 #13

    Jeff02

    Jeff02

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    Thanks "Deere_X475" That,s what I was looking for.
     
  14. Mar 12, 2009 #14

    deere_x475guy

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    Your welcome Jeff, I have given credit to the original designer in that thread. McGuyver went all out on the one he built. Mine is just a quick knock off of his very professional looking tool.

    Edit:
    I just seen gbritnell post and looked at his bender. I think it would be worth a serious look by you also. He did a very nice job on that bender and it looks like it will do anything the one I built will do unless I am missing something.

    Nice job gbritnell.
     
  15. Mar 12, 2009 #15

    Jeff02

    Jeff02

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    Ooops! Missed that one, it is a very well built bender also. I will consider both.

    Thanks again for your help!!!!!
     
  16. Mar 13, 2010 #16

    jirik92

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    All bender devices are a little bit complicated. I so one idea on japenese web and use it now. Simply make grow at same diameter as pile, heat up pipe (and cool down too ;D) and incurve it.

    [​IMG]
     
  17. May 26, 2010 #17

    krv3000

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    hi fill the bun one end of pipe up then fill with water then stand it up in a freezer once the water has frosen you can bend the pipe
     
  18. Jun 1, 2010 #18
    i dunno abbout anyone else but my preffered method of bending any tubeing is to anneale the hell out of it then plug one end fill the tube with a 50 50 solution of fairy liquid and water then freeze it overnight the mixture will solidify but be elastic enough not to crush in the tube when bending but not brittle enough to rip the sidewall when bending and the beauty of the fairy ice is it melts out verry cleanly and quick
    now even hands that do pipeing can feel soft as your face with mild green fairy liquid
     
  19. Jun 1, 2010 #19

    Noitoen

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    Minute 3:00 on this video shows just that.[ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G5LqrMcq1QE]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G5LqrMcq1QE[/ame]
     

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