Introduction: Bend Metal Without Expensive Tools
Check out this super two-person trike my partner and I are offering on Kickstarter! I'll be bending the metal using a jig just like the one in this 'ible.
I'm a big fan of Atomic Zombie's builds. Except I like curved lines once in a while. I don't have access to a pipe bender, but I really wanted to introduce some curves to our latest project. Here's how you too can bend metal without any fancy equipment.
Step 1: Determine the Yield Strength of the Metal
I buy steel tube in 20 feet sections. I surreptitiously push on the section to determine if I can bend it. I can feel the tubing start to give, and by sighting along the tube I can see how much the tube has bent. I predicted that I needed about 3 feet of leverage to bend the thin wall square tube I found. In other words, I needed to ensure that I always had at least an extra 3 feet of tubing to use as a lever to push on when trying to bend it.
I'd guess that the thicker walled, 1-1/2 inch tubing that Atomic Zombie likes to use would need about 5 or 6 feet of leverage.
Step 2: Cut a Jig
I wanted to make a few curves of various diameters, so I created a jig with a variable curve. I cut a 2x6 and saved the cut-off to use as a brace for the clamps.
Step 3: Cold Bend It!
Step 4: Matching the Work to a Template
As you can see,even in primitive conditions expert results are possible!