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Thread: Homemade bender?

  1. #1

    Default Homemade bender?

    I made a bending iron using a charcoal lighter and a piece of 3 inch stainless steel exhaust pipe that I had laying around, it works really good. The problem is the 3 inch pipe seems to be to big, I can't seem to get the right radius on the bends, could anyone tell me what size pipe would be the best to use. I can smash the heating element down to fit into a 2 1/4" ID pipe, or maybe a little less if need be.

    Thinks for all the help you guys.
    Last edited by Sawdust; 11-20-2019 at 05:36 AM.

  2. #2
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    Squash the pipe in a vice into an oval shape and then you will have tighter bends...and it will be a similar shape to a commercial bender.
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  3. #3
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    Squash the pipe if you can. I tried to bend a charcoal lighter once and it just broke on me. 2 1/4" is still too big for ukulele waist bends.
    Now I use a 1" dia steel pipe with a heat gun blowing through it.
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  4. #4
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    I welded a 1" pipe to the inside of a short piece of 2" pipe and squashed a charcoal lighter into the smaller pipe. I have about %' inches of either size to work with. I use a variable light switch to set the temperature. Sorry no pictures.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by ksquine View Post
    Squash the pipe if you can. I tried to bend a charcoal lighter once and it just broke on me. 2 1/4" is still too big for ukulele waist bends.
    Now I use a 1" dia steel pipe with a heat gun blowing through it.
    I assume the pipe is open on the other end, right? Also how long does it take to heat up?

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pat Eaton View Post
    I welded a 1" pipe to the inside of a short piece of 2" pipe and squashed a charcoal lighter into the smaller pipe. I have about %' inches of either size to work with. I use a variable light switch to set the temperature. Sorry no pictures.
    I don't think my charcoal lighter will smash down that small without breaking.

  7. #7
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    Are not the lighters wide in one direction but flatter in the other?


    Quote Originally Posted by Timbuck View Post
    Squash the pipe in a vice into an oval shape and then you will have tighter bends...and it will be a similar shape to a commercial bender.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by printer2 View Post
    Are not the lighters wide in one direction but flatter in the other?
    Yes, I did smash the 3" pipe and it helped a lot, but still seems a little to big.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sawdust View Post
    I assume the pipe is open on the other end, right? Also how long does it take to heat up?
    Yup. There's a hole drilled through the board. It takes around 10 min to heat up on high. Then I turn it down to low while bending. I find its hot enough when one spray from a spray bottle will burst into steam and be dry in under a second. If it sizzles and drips...too cold. If it EXPLODES into steam...too hot.

  10. #10
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    Yes the pipe is open at both ends. If you squash the BBQ lighter slowly and carefully you can get it to bend in and fit. It may crack, but as long as it doesn't completely break it will still work.

    You might consider placing a small dowel or 1/4 rod on the inside at the end while squashing it down. This will assure a decent bend radius and reduce the risk of it braking.

    It may also be easier to bend while hot.

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