athos76, Hi there, I notice you mentioned plate instead of tubing, is this true? If so is the bend you want going to be a smooth rounded bend or crisp bend right to the angle you desire?
If you want a crisp angle I have a great way to shape it, if you want a rounded bend, not much I can tell you.
I have a press of which can bend up to 1/2" to a 90 degree with no problem. But the are times I want control the bend and it's angle more precisely. Recently in my build thread I made some spring top plates, the one that the ends are turned up a bit. I chose this method and they turned out great. Yesterday I wanted 1/8" plate that was 4" wide to have about 30 degree bends, I chose this method also. I used a 3" inch cut off wheel to make the cross cut about 3/4 deep, then by hand, bent the plate back for my desired angle. Then welded to fill the cut and ground it smooth. If this helps, great, if not, perhaps it's an idea for the future.
Both sides bent with the angle thingy to check for accuaracy between both sides.
Fill the groove with Mig welding.
Grind it smooth. I use a 4 1/2" grinder with the flap discs.
Why not have a metal supply shop do the radius bend for you? Vernon Steel (my local supplier does it all of the time for a nominal fee ($20 or so).
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That's one method I was going to try out. My local DIY shop has a nice 60 ton press and some scrap steel I can use to brace it. I just need to find some pipe large enough to use.
Hmmm.. I may have to mess with this idea myself. I'm thinking cut the pieces on the plasma table. Instead of a large piece of DOM, maybe cut a few round disks with slot in them for strips of flat stock.. similar to making a beer keg out of strips of wood. A 20 ton (or even 12 ton) press should be plenty strong to make a large radius bend in material up to 3/16". Might be an easy way for me to do corner armor.
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I'll tell you what I use, but beware it probably isn't the safest way, and it is certainly a miss use of equipment. I bought one of those cheap harbor freight pipe benders for $80 with one of there 20% off coupons. As a pipe bender, it sucks, but I use the 3/4 in. die, place a 4 in. piece of 3/4 in square tube in it with the edge up. I then place the flat plate cross ways thru the bender. I place a couple of c-clamps at the top of the bender to add a little strength, and bend away. I have bent up to 1/4 x 4 in plate into a 90% angle this way. It beats the way I used to do it by a long shot, I used to clamp the plate to my work bench, heat it with my torch, and bear down on it with long crescent wrench handle. I'll post up pics of anyone is interested. PS. I really like the press picture from pirate, I'll have to make one of those, it's probably much safer.
Well, I acquired some 6 1/2" pipe and used a 75 ton press to bend the corners. The radius is a little too tight, so I'll have to heat it up and flex it out some. One corner bent about an inch from where I wanted it to, so I'll have to work on that a little more. The bending was real easy and the width of the jaws on the press were almost perfect spacing.