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Matt Clara
10-27-2009, 02:54 AM
I've been looking around for a pipe for bending. I like the looks of the aluminum pipe LMI sells for this purpose, but they want $50 for it. I searched the web for an alternate source and found these guys: www.MetalsDepot.com

I sent them an email with a link to the LMI page and asked how much they wanted for the same pipe. $8.97, plus $10 shipping. That's quite a markup LMI has going there.

thistle3585
10-27-2009, 05:24 AM
I've been looking around for a pipe for bending. I like the looks of the aluminum pipe LMI sells for this purpose, but they want $50 for it. I searched the web for an alternate source and found these guys: www.MetalsDepot.com

I sent them an email with a link to the LMI page and asked how much they wanted for the same pipe. $8.97, plus $10 shipping. That's quite a markup LMI has going there.

True, its a bigger markup but that is the nature of retail business. What comes with the markup is the knowledge base that metaldepot can't provide. You should be able to buy the exact same tube for a couple bucks a pound at a local scrapyard.

Matt Clara
10-27-2009, 05:36 AM
True, its a bigger markup but that is the nature of retail business. What comes with the markup is the knowledge base that metaldepot can't provide. You should be able to buy the exact same tube for a couple bucks a pound at a local scrapyard.

I'm not buying that. A knowledge base does not justify a 555% markup for a foot of aluminum pipe. In fact, their markup is probably significantly more than that, as I bought just a single foot, where they would be buying much more than that at a time, and most likely cutting them to length themselves.

JT_Ukes
10-27-2009, 05:57 AM
looking at the LMI site, the $50 pipe has the ends closed and ventiliated and has a fin welded on it to help with slippage in the vice.. it's not just a pipe.

Not saying it's a huge markup... just that it's not justa length of pipe. (that is 25 bucks) :)

JT

thistle3585
10-27-2009, 06:08 AM
The $47.95 tube offered by LMI has a welded fin on it. The $27.95 pipe at LMI has a thicker wall then the 1/8" at metalsdepot which you quoted. If you were to compare the same pipe at metalsdepot, item# T321280, then you'd find that it is $31.80 for a two foot piece which is the minimum length that you can buy in that size. You have to compare apples to apples. Again, go to your local scrapyard and buy it based on weight they will cut it to length for you.

dave g
10-27-2009, 06:10 AM
Here's my bender, by the way:

http://www.wsukes.com/temp/bender.jpg

Yes, I know the welds are ugly. 3" dia 16 ga steel tube with angle brackets for clamping on the edge of the bench. Ceramic lamp base (not plastic!). After tiring of having to sand the rust off it before each use I wrapped the tube in thin sheet aluminum. It's got a 100 watt bulb in it (incandescent, of course). Gets hot enough to make water sizzle.

Matt Clara
10-27-2009, 10:15 AM
The $47.95 tube offered by LMI has a welded fin on it. The $27.95 pipe at LMI has a thicker wall then the 1/8" at metalsdepot which you quoted. If you were to compare the same pipe at metalsdepot, item# T321280, then you'd find that it is $31.80 for a two foot piece which is the minimum length that you can buy in that size. You have to compare apples to apples. Again, go to your local scrapyard and buy it based on weight they will cut it to length for you.

My mistake--I must have missed the fin and cap in the text and was operating from the picture next to it instead. I still maintain they have a heck of a mark up going on on that item.

erich@muttcrew.net
10-27-2009, 10:21 AM
Here's my bender, by the way:
It's got a 100 watt bulb in it (incandescent, of course). Gets hot enough to make water sizzle.

Looks good. Too bad we can't get incandescent bulbs in Europe any more. :(

Timbuck
10-27-2009, 11:06 AM
Looks good. Too bad we can't get incandescent bulbs in Europe any more. :(
Use Halogen bulbs ..They really throw the heat out...and they are cheap.

I'll put some Pic's on next week showing how to make one.

Doc_J
10-27-2009, 05:09 PM
You can get pipe, fittings, and heat trace to wind on the inside at McMaster-Carr (http://www.mcmaster.com/#aluminum-pipe/=49065w) . They pretty much have everything.

koalohapaul
10-27-2009, 08:22 PM
If you have a hardware store or metal shop any where in the vicinity, I would suggest starting from there. Our pipe is nothing more than a 1-1/2" standard aluminum pipe length. It's about 7" wide, welded to an aluminum corner bracket, and screwed into an angle iron mount. Heat is provided via propane torch on the inside.

Philstix
10-28-2009, 07:26 PM
Even the previous post is slightly more complicated than you need. I use a standard aluminum pipe I got at Boeing surplus held in my bench vise, with a propane torch aimed into one end and an old jar lid with holes punched into it as a baffle jammed into the other end. It is hot enough to bend when water sprinkled onto the pipe bounces off. If it gets too hot I just turn off the propane torch. An electric bending iron would be nice but is certainly not necessary.

Matt Clara
10-29-2009, 12:35 AM
Even the previous post is slightly more complicated than you need. I use a standard aluminum pipe I got at Boeing surplus held in my bench vise, with a propane torch aimed into one end and an old jar lid with holes punched into it as a baffle jammed into the other end. It is hot enough to bend when water sprinkled onto the pipe bounces off. If it gets too hot I just turn off the propane torch. An electric bending iron would be nice but is certainly not necessary.

That's a good tip about the jar lid--I was wondering how I was going to cap whatever pipe I bought. I'm gonna check out the metal salvage place here in Lansing, and if they don't have what I want, I'm gonna order that one from the metals depot.