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Unread 08-12-2014, 09:55 AM   #1
rjacobs
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Tube bending dies

Our small group had been talking about buying a tube bender to do more of our own fabrication. A guy in our group bought a JD2 Model 32 bender. The discussion is now on which die/dies to buy.

There are so many dies, radius's, pipe diameter, etc... and they are all around $300. The guys think we can get by with 1 die, I dont personally think that is going to happen.

Anybody have any insight into this? This is something new to us and before dropping 300+ dollars on a single die or more on 2 or 3 or 4 dies, I am looking for advice on things.

It looks like you can get 90 degree dies and 180 degree dies. While 180 degrees "sounds" better i.e. it in theory can do more stuff than 90 degree, I am sure there is a disadvantage of only having a 180 degree die.

Tube diameters obviously can vary, but it seems like the 1 5/8" diameter is used a lot and what a lot of the guys have focused on.

One guy says a 7" radius(diameter???) is probably a good in between. I think the tooling has 6 and 8" as well, maybe more options too.

I dont know, thats why I am asking the advice of people who have more experience bending tubing/pipe.

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Unread 08-12-2014, 10:09 AM   #2
RebelRider
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I was in a similar situation when I was buying a bender. I ended up with an 1.75" TUBE die with a 5.5 CLR. 1.75" is a very common size and plenty strong. 1.625" is kind of a bastard size that I would avoid. I have yet to run into a problem where I needed another radius. Are you really wanting to use pipe?
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Unread 08-12-2014, 10:10 AM   #3
rjacobs
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I guess I am using pipe/tube interchangeably.

I think the consensus is we will be using mostly DOM tubing.

I updated the OP to say tube.
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Unread 08-12-2014, 10:22 AM   #4
RebelRider
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What will everyone be building mostly?
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Unread 08-12-2014, 10:29 AM   #5
rjacobs
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I want to say bumper hoops, rock sliders, tire carriers, maybe roll cages or add on bars. Of course everybody has grand plans, which I am guessing 90% of them that are going to chip in on this will never actually use it. I am somebody who most likely wouldnt use it so I am probably NOT putting money into it, but I will help them research it to get something that will work. I am not of the opinion that a single die will "do everything and make me a sandwich" which seems to be the path a few of the guys think they can go, but maybe I am wrong and with the right selection a single die can "do everything". I dont know anything about tube bending, hence the research.
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Unread 08-12-2014, 10:37 AM   #6
RebelRider
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I can't stress enough to go 1.75". Anything under that for functional roll cages is pushing it. As far as radius, you can always make a series of bends with a smaller radius die, but not vice versa. I guess if I were to buy a second die, it'd be a 1" for grab handles and what not.
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Unread 08-12-2014, 10:43 AM   #7
RebelRider
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Btw, I did go ahead and buy the 180 degree die. I've only used the entire thing a couple of times, but I think y'all will be happier with it. I'd bet money most of the group will want stingers......
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Unread 08-12-2014, 10:56 AM   #8
rjacobs
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Can you even do 180 degree bends with the 90 degree die? Do they look like crap(if its even possible)?

Obviously you can do less than 180 with a 180 die.

Seems like a 180 die is possibly the "best" to go with.
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Unread 08-12-2014, 11:03 AM   #9
RebelRider
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I'm sure you can, but you would be able to see the start stop points. I think 180 is the only way to go.
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Unread 08-12-2014, 02:03 PM   #10
dirtdudeaz
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JD makes a good bender. I have a little experience with offroad cars with full tube chassis. We had a JD that we used a lot and it had the air over hydraulic set up with the pedal, it was effortless to bend material. The degree wheel and set up is a little interesting to get used to, but we used a thick piece of welding wire bent at a 90. We ended up having about 3 dies for the various things we worked on. I think we had 1", 1.5", 2".

2" is a little stout probably for main cage parts of jeeps (wouldn't hurt anything but weight though), so I would say 1.75" in it's place. Normally we prefered the tighter radius dies (smaller number), so that we can get the cages tucked nicely. Also, don't mess around with 90* dies; you can always go less than 180*. Benders are expensive, but when used right, with the right tools, produce quality results, so don't skimp! We normally did main structure in 2" and 1.5" for the less critical portions to save money and weight (4130 is expensive!).

So maybe bare minimum would be 1" and 1.75". 1" would be used for light bars, handles, etc... and the 1.75" would be cage, bumpers, winch bars, etc...

I think JD sells the bending software. It comes in handy, although I only used it once for fun. The rest i did was learning and messing up a lot. Supposedly the programs take all the guess work out of the process.
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Unread 08-12-2014, 02:05 PM   #11
rjacobs
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dirtdudeaz: what is your thoughts on the 1.625 stuff? I dont know why my buddies seem dead set on that. I think I am with RebelRider in that it seems like an odd size and why not just stick to 1", 1.5" 1.75", 2", etc... instead of going to a seemingly weird size.

ETA: until RebelRider brought it up I didnt know or think 1.625 stuff would be considered a "weird" size. I have no reason for going bigger or smaller or whatever, it was just what was brought up in the conversation my buddies and I are having. Truth be told, I doubt they have a real compelling reason either for wanting to go with that size.
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Unread 08-12-2014, 02:19 PM   #12
dirtdudeaz
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Good question. It may be a personal preference for them?

In the desert stuff we did I don't remember seeing 1-5/8"; it was mostly 1-3/4" or 2", which I think is spec for most race organizations. I thought I read somewhere that 1-5/8" was a minimum per a racing spec like NHRA (don't quote me though). Personally, I am not sure the savings between the 1/8" less makes a difference in weight; strength is better.

Maybe tubing is cheaper? I am not sure what the plan is for your materials whether it'll be DOM, HREW, chromoly, etc... That could be where they are basing their decisions. Personally I try to be more conservative, so DOM and chromoly, and larger is better (within reason). It may weigh more or be more expensive, but I won't worry down the road in a wreck if the cage will hold up.
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Unread 08-12-2014, 03:08 PM   #13
rjacobs
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I dont know, I dont think any of them have any real experience using one or the other. Good call on it maybe being a spec per some of the rules of going with a slightly larger tube. Im thinking mostly people would be using DOM, I doubt anybody would be building a buggy or anything that would require chromoly or anything like that, but maybe for add on cage components.
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Unread 08-12-2014, 06:08 PM   #14
thantos858
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rjacobs View Post
I dont know, I dont think any of them have any real experience using one or the other. Good call on it maybe being a spec per some of the rules of going with a slightly larger tube. Im thinking mostly people would be using DOM, I doubt anybody would be building a buggy or anything that would require chromoly or anything like that, but maybe for add on cage components.
DOM is plenty strong for probably everything you guys will do unless your wanting to burn money on chromoly. Stick to .120 or greater wall thickness and you'll be fine. The problem with chromoly is if you don't weld it and heat treat it correctly your losing out on strength. http://www.lincolnelectric.com/en-us...ly-detail.aspx has lots of info on it.
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Unread 08-13-2014, 12:38 PM   #15
danielbuck
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rjacobs View Post
I guess I am using pipe/tube interchangeably.

I think the consensus is we will be using mostly DOM tubing.

I updated the OP to say tube.
Tube is for cages, pipe is for plumbing Tube is measured by outside diameter, pipe is measured by inside diameter.

I would probably get the smallest radius die that will work for whatever diameter and thickness of tubing you end up choosing.
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