How to bend 1/8" plate for waterwheel buckets?

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I am gearing up for building a 14' metal overshot waterwheel {Fitz
replica}, but am quite befuddled about how to bend the buckets.  I
would like to use 1/8" plate but don't know how bend anything that
thick with home shop tools.  Each bucket starts as 1/8" plate 30"
wide by 19-3/16" tall; about a 3-7/16" up from the bottom end is a
90 degree bend forming the "heel" of the bucket. From the 90 degree
bend up to the top is a curve of about 20" radius.  Since I am
beginning this project without much experience or knowledge of
metalworking, I will appreciate any help provided.

zukecanoe


Re: How to bend 1/8" plate for waterwheel buckets?

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The easiest way, is if you know someone with an iron worker (machine).
You can roll the plate.  You will need a BIG bender for the 90░ angle.



--
Anthony

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Re: How to bend 1/8" plate for waterwheel buckets?
Anthony,

I was thinking of cut/weld for the 90 degree bend... the large arc
curve... well, "iron worker" you say, is that a BIG slip roll machine?

zukecanoe


Re: How to bend 1/8" plate for waterwheel buckets?
I am guessing that you will need around twenty of these buckets?  Many steel
suppliers will custom cut and form sheet to customer's requirements.  With
the correct equipment there would be less than a quarter hour per piece cut
and folded.  I would seriously look into getting a quote on supplying the
items complete.  The 3 inch straight section would make things easy with
rolling since it would be a single travel through the rolls before doing the
ninety.
Randy

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Re: How to bend 1/8" plate for waterwheel buckets?
I thought about this, and decided that this was actually pretty
difficult to do.  1/8 inch is pretty thick, and not easy to work with. I
usually work with material about 0.043 inches thick, much thinner, and I
could make these in my shop out of that material, but not easily.  I
have a few thousand dollars of metalworking tools in my shop, and I
don't see a practical way for me to make these out of 1/8" plate, even
though I work with metal a lot.  You said that you had little experience
with metalworking; take the advice of people that have that experience.

I suggest that you take Randy's advice to go to a fab shop and have them
make this for you.  Any shop with heavy duty slip forming equipment
could do this quickly and efficiently, and inexpensively.  Focus on the
wooden parts of the waterwheel, which I suspect you know how to make.

Richard


zukecanoe wrote:
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Re: How to bend 1/8" plate for waterwheel buckets?
Richard Ferguson wrote:
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Maybe get a blacksmith to forge them?
Ken

Re: How to bend 1/8" plate for waterwheel buckets?
Ken,

I might have to... Thanks.


Re: How to bend 1/8" plate for waterwheel buckets?
A few questions.  How many do you need to make?  Are the bends across
the 19 inch direction or the 30 inch direction?  Do you want to do it
yourself or do it the quickest most economical way?

                                                                Dan


Re: How to bend 1/8" plate for waterwheel buckets?
Dan,

I need 40, the bend is across the 30" direction, and of course, I want
to do it myself and the quickest most economical way ;+).  It sure
sounds like I will need to farm this out, at this point.


dcaster@krl.org wrote:
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Re: How to bend 1/8" plate for waterwheel buckets?
It would be a lot easier if the bend was across the 19 inch direction,
but I think you could still do it.  Having a couple of helpers would be
good.

If you get a couple of pieces of 4 by 4 angle and either a oxy/acet
torch or a weed burner ( or both kinds of torches ).  Clamp the steel
in a vise with the angle as wide vise jaws and add C-clamps along the
angle.  Heat along the bend line.  Wear hearing protection and beat it
with a two to four lb hammer.  With that long a bend, you will have to
bend it part way and work your way down the angle.  Reheat and do it
again.

You can probably build yourself a roller to put in the gentle bend.
Probably better to do that first.  If you build yourself a roller,
don't put the two rolls on the one side very close together.


   Dan


Re: How to bend 1/8" plate for waterwheel buckets?
Dan,

Thanks,

I assume I will need to roll it hot, no?   weed burner?, do you think
that has enough heat for my task


Re: How to bend 1/8" plate for waterwheel buckets?
I wouldn't think you needed to roll it hot.  A 20 inch radius or 40
inch diameter is not  that big of a bend.  Also you can run the sheet
through the roller more than once.

For heat you need both fairly high temperature and a lot of BTU's.  A
weed burner will give a lot of btu's and will be hot enough.  But if
you can get some help and have one person with a weed burner  and
another with a oxy/acet torch.......  You can get the sheet hot with
the weed burner and then use the oxy/acet to get the place where it
needs to bend red hot in pretty much in a line.right by the angle.
Without using the weedburner first, it would take a lot of time with
the oxy/acet torch and cost a lot of gas.

Harbor Freight has a decent weedburner for about $15 when on sale.

Where are you located?


       Dan


Re: How to bend 1/8" plate for waterwheel buckets?
wrote:

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If you're gonna go with the weed burner suggestion you can use water
to curve the steel. Heat an area evenly, across the sheet and when hot
spray water on it. It will curl toward the water. This is how the legs
on the Space Needle in Seattle were bent. It's also how the plates at
the bow of large ships are bent. At least sometimes. I saw it being
done Lockheed shipyard years ago.
ERS

Re: How to bend 1/8" plate for waterwheel buckets?
Cool,

Sounds difficult to control though... seems like it would curl like a
leaf

zukecanoe


Re: How to bend 1/8" plate for waterwheel buckets?
wrote:

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Well, if you're talking about flame bending, it's really controllable.
And not that difficult. Sometimes autobody guys use the method to
shrink bodywork that has dents so deep the metal is really streched.
The metal doesn't even need to be red hot.
ERS

Re: How to bend 1/8" plate for waterwheel buckets?
Dan,

I'm in Southern Vermont

zukecanoe


Re: How to bend 1/8" plate for waterwheel buckets?

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Can you cut the curved section out of an existing tank, pipe, drum, etc. of
the proper dimension then weld on the flat section?

Tom



Re: How to bend 1/8" plate for waterwheel buckets?
Oh yes, you can use an arc welder with a carbon torch instead of the
oxy/acet for that concentrated high heat.


    Dan


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