Ring Roller/rolling Bender




This jig allows me to make rings out of round or square bar, or even flat bar if needed.

It uses the classic pyramid rolling bender setup but allows for thicker stock bending than the harbour freight basic machine. Idea for this concept, that features a quick release mechanism, comes from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XTIzU_ITvhg so all credit to him.

Improvements on the original concept above include a guiding base for the bar to prevent it from twisting when rolling as well as adjustable guiding blocks to prevent the bar from sliding up the rollers. It also features a more compact base and a wheel to roll much easier than a simple (yet effective) 90 degree pipe.

The key points of this build are

- A sturdy base, or VERY sturdy depending on the material thickness to bend. Mine is made of Jarrah wood reinforced with angled steel. Go for steel if required.

- 2 solid and strong rollers. Mine come from (I suspect) some automotive parts. Original concept is designed using casters so that's another way to go. Some people make their own, but I don't have the tools and skill to make rollers that would be straight and balanced enough.

- Thick pipe of 2 diameters that can be slid into each other. In my case, the bigger diameter pipe I used was too thin and so I had to reinforce it by welding an extra layer. 4mm thickness or more is best.

You will also need some threaded bar and matching nuts, and a jack for ease of use, then some other parts for the rotating pipe and the base.

The stuff I build requires me to make ring of round and square bar of 10 or 12mm. Before making this roller, I used a different jig that was way too ineffective. Now, I can easily make all diameters of rings, as small as 12cm.

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Step 1: Plan Your Work

Get your parts

- Rollers

- Base material (wood/metal)

- Threaded bar + nuts

- pipe

- wheel (for ease of use, can be substituted with a single bar)

Make a plan, draw, measure what needs be, have a clear picture of what you are about to build

The wheel is a really nice addition to the this jig. You can build one, or salvage one (like I did) from an old chair.

Step 2: Build the Parts

Start with the base, weld the bushings to the threaded bars, add the rollers, prepare the wheel and back plate.

The threaded bars need to move freely in their guiding holes. I opted to have the rollers in a fixed position.

At that stage, I was using a simple threaded bar with handle to apply pressure at the back. I replaced this with a jack later on, as was the plan all long.

Step 3: Complete the Assembly and Test

Try with some stock and notice what parts need to be adjusted.

At that stage, I had managed to make a decent ring already but the pressure system was inadequate and the bar needed extra guiding when rolling.

Step 4: Improve on the Build

Major improvements that I applied then included the jack and guides above the rollers.

Later on I reinforced the base with steel to prevent the rollers from bending to the side (not pictured yet).

I also had to reinforce the bushings and the jack support at the base.

Rolling 12mm square bar is really tough for a wood assembly so if I were to do it again, I would most certainly design the base in metal. That being said, with the improvements and reinforced parts, it does an excellent job.

Step 5: Final Words

This rolling bender does a great job once adjusted properly and with a bit of practice. It must be clamped on a sturdy bench for best results.

Pressure should be applied gradually, starting small. The jack must used carefully, as it applies more pressure for the same amount of turns as it expands (mostly due to its design to, well, lift a car). Using it quarters of turns or less has proven to be good practice.

The bar will have the flat ends as expected for pyramid roller. This can be mitigated by pre-bending the ends. I prefer over-rolling so that the flat ends are crossed, then I cut off both ends and weld on the rounded ends.

There will be some twisting involved and the ring is not (or rarely) a perfect circle. Providing more guiding and support for the bar as it is rolled helps a great deal, and a hammer fixes a lot of issues. I also tend to re-roll a welded ring to help perfect the curvature where needed.

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    10 Discussions


    2 years ago

    Nicely done and explained @maluco........however was wondering what was the distance between the two horizontal rollers ???

    Thanks and Regards , Amit


    3 years ago

    Good instructable. Your welds on the wheel axle looked a little cold and ropey try lifting the amps by 5 amp increments. Also that was galvanised pipe, dangerous to weld because of fumes, pre-grind the surface and ventilate the fumes.

    Where in Oz are you?

    4 replies

    Reply 3 years ago

    Cheers !

    The welds had to be cold, was stick welding metal a bit too thin. I did try to go a bit higher but it was just burning through. I blame the gear, but the worker is in need of improvement as well.
    Yep the pipe was galvanized, and I did grind it in and out the best I could. AM well aware of galvie Flu. Shop was ventilated and I was using a mask too.
    Place is QLD, Brisvegas ~!


    Reply 3 years ago

    Yeah, welding anything with gal in it sucks, I even set off the fire alarm at work one time due to the fumes coming off a gal handrail hitting a smoke detector.

    Check out Hare and Forbes Machineryhouse, I bought a metal planetary ring roller from them for just under $100 to suit 3 mm x 25 mm or 5 mm round, but it could possibly be made to work a little harder or provide donor parts to make a larger unit. As for me Im in Melbourne.


    Reply 3 years ago

    Classic. Fire alarm are useful but a bit too happy at times.

    Yeah I know of hafco - went there a few times. Their roller is a harbour freight type, much limited in capacity. I roll 10mm square with mine. The hafco one wouldn't work for that. They do have a number of toys I drool on though.


    Reply 3 years ago

    Yes very many drool worthy tools. BYO bib


    4 years ago

    This is a cool project. I like your choice of rollers. Used bearings always come in handy for tools like these. Especially ones that are beefy like that. Yours resemble some timing belt tensioner bearings I've seen. I can't quite tell if they have a mounting flange that's built in from your pictures. Other than that the only other ones I've seen like that come out of a rear trailing arm of a front wheel drive car but they wouldn't have a mounting flange in the middle....either way it's giving me inspiration for another idea. Thanks for posting!

    1 reply

    Reply 4 years ago

    Cheers ! Yeah, they are flanged, which makes it easy to mount on the side. You could be right, tensioning maybe, but they are REALLY beefy, Made in Japan, very precise and quality feeling. Straight out an auto mechanics parts bin. Have fun with your own project and good luck !

    malucoFikjast Scott

    Reply 4 years ago

    Idea is not mine, youtube has a ton of these. This one is my take on it. Was quite daunting at first and I was very doubtful it would work, but it does ! Cost of the parts is much less than the cheapest harbour freight roller that can only bend up to 6mm bar.