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"A" Frame pipe bender/crowner

Old 01-22-2020, 11:58 AM
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Default "A" Frame pipe bender/crowner

Hello people

first post here but have been creeping for a long time.

i am looking to buy a pipe bender/ crowner to be used with aluminum anodized pipe for radar arch/hardtop fabrication.

i would need all the delrin dies and appropriate shoes to bend 1.5" to 2.5" sch. 40 anodized pipe

attached is a picture for reference.

if you know where i can buy one or have one for sale please let me know.

thanks
NF




Old 01-22-2020, 08:51 PM
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Bump.
Old 02-02-2020, 01:16 PM
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Depending on the radius your looking to achieve I assume your looking for a mandrel bender. Stainless or Al tubing?
Old 02-02-2020, 03:18 PM
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Look at JD2 Model 32 benders or a Swag Off-road Hulk Roller. Both have delrin does available.
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Old 02-02-2020, 04:53 PM
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Originally Posted by HalkMarine View Post
Look at JD2 Model 32 benders or a Swag Off-road Hulk Roller. Both have delrin does available.
Neither of those are what the marine fabricators use, also you do not need a mandrel bender for aluminum pipe.

Most marine fabricators use modified conduit benders or a specifically built bender. Etec marine has them in their catalog and they are not cheap

I thought about giving the harborfreight pipe bender a try, the dies would prolly need some grinding and duct tape to prevent them from scratching the pipe but it would be the cheapest option.

Aluminum pipe isn't that hard to bend, you can bend large radius by just man handling around a plywood form. Alot of fabricators have "hip benders" mounted to the floor which are basically two blocks of wood they can jam the pipe between and lean on the pipe to get the desired curve they need.
Old 02-02-2020, 06:53 PM
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I have one of these Greenlee 880 benders that I made Delrin dies for, although I have bent some anodized pipe with it I wouldn't recommend it, it's very difficult to do it without scratching it, with longer pieces it takes 3 people to run it, 2 to handle the pipe and 1 to run the bender.

Edit: this is my bender




Not saying it can't be done but it is a royal PIA, I hate working with anodized aluminum anyway and try to get everything thing powder coated or painted.

Last edited by O.B.1; 02-03-2020 at 03:27 AM.
Old 02-02-2020, 08:13 PM
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Originally Posted by hotwire_marine View Post
Neither of those are what the marine fabricators use, also you do not need a mandrel bender for aluminum pipe.

Most marine fabricators use modified conduit benders or a specifically built bender. Etec marine has them in their catalog and they are not cheap

I thought about giving the harborfreight pipe bender a try, the dies would prolly need some grinding and duct tape to prevent them from scratching the pipe but it would be the cheapest option.

Aluminum pipe isn't that hard to bend, you can bend large radius by just man handling around a plywood form. Alot of fabricators have "hip benders" mounted to the floor which are basically two blocks of wood they can jam the pipe between and lean on the pipe to get the desired curve they need.
I’m wondering why you say that? I use a Model 32 and it works great. Mine has an electric hydraulic pump and with delrin wiper dies and a thin polyurethane film on the bending die, it works excellent for anodized.

”Tuff-brake” is the film I use on my bender and press brake to prevent galling the aluminum.
Old 02-03-2020, 06:56 AM
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I use a Protools bender with a Swag Off-road air over hydronic conversion. Not outrageously expensive and works very well.
Old 02-03-2020, 01:58 PM
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I am a big fan of Rogue Fabrications Bender. Works great across lots of materials. Here is an aluminum folding radar arch I made using the roque fab bender. Wanted it white vs anodized to match the boat.



Old 02-03-2020, 02:06 PM
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As stated above any “one shot” conduit bender will work. You will need delrin follower dies and the ram die needs to be polished to prevent galling of the pipe. A buffer and a rouge wheel work well for the final polish. Every once in awhile you can sand the ram die with 2000 grit if it starts marring the inside radius or the pipe.
Old 02-03-2020, 04:34 PM
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I've had good luck with a Harbor Freight pipe bender for bending aluminum pipe, not tube. The die size is wrong for tube. To prevent scratches, I used a piece of tyvek paper between the die and pipe. I've only bent schedule 10, don't know how it would work on other thicknesses. If I did this every day, I'd want something else but for the occasional fabrication project, it works for me.
Old 02-03-2020, 04:48 PM
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Good to hear that people are having success with JD Squared, Pro Tools, etc without using a mandrel. I have a very old Model 3 that might see some use after all if I decide to modify my top. Anyone have any luck with the HF tube/pipe roller? I have one of those too collecting dust.
Old 02-03-2020, 07:05 PM
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I have a model 32 mandrel bender and a ram bender. The ram bender sucks and the 32 does a great job and is not expensive. Anyone who recommends a ram bender or conduit bender or plywood forms are misguided. Harbor freight pipe roller with delrin dies works good too. Get it and the 32 and be done with it
Old 02-03-2020, 09:57 PM
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The conduit bender is probably a lot cheaper especially when you start getting into multiple
die sizes. The JD2 dies each cost about as much as the whole bender. I can see some advantage if you want tweak bends in the middle of other bends and it looks more portable.

A huge disadvantage is that you can’t control the radius very precisely. The bends won’t have consistent radius and you can’t measure it. Each project will be a one-off that you have to fit up by eye and feel.

With a wrap around die bender, you can always reproduce the same bend and if you take careful notes, you can reproduce the same parts from a drawing over and over. If I design it on CAD, I can pretty well make it exactly the same. I can also bend 190 degrees with my dies.


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