Metal Bender/Scroll bender

I have been shopping for quite a while now for a metal bender and a scroll bender.
I'm ready to buy a pedestal mounted bender.
In 1982, I bought a Hossfeld vise mounted scroll bender with three wheels and the attachments for $185. Now, it is close to $600.
OTOH, I bought a pedestal bender from "Breakdown Industries" for $150, and never used it. The new ones look just like it, and are priced about the same.
I can't justify this purchase of the scroll bender. On that one, I paid for it in one job. It would take longer this time to amortize the cost.
So, I am looking for a cheaper scroll bender. And I will need a bender, too.
I have been looking at the 2020 benders, and the like.
http://www.shopoutfitters.com/2020CompactBender.html
Yet, when I look a little further, I find the likes of:
http://www.toolsplus1.com/compactbend.htm
which looks a lot like the same thing, yet light years away from each other in price.
Is there that much difference in quality, materials or workmanship?
I tend to overbuy, but I just don't like spending $600 when I can get the same for a lot less. Heck, I could buy the bender and the scroll maker for less than $600 and have enough for an evening at the Cottontail Ranch.
For anyone out there who does bending, who has experience with this sort of things, I would appreciate some help.
I am going to bend:
1/8" thick by 1/2" wide scrolls
1/4" MAX, but 90 % of the time, probably 1/8" thick flat bar up to 2" wide
round and square bar, but only 3/8" and smaller.
Lots of small decorative bends for component pieces. Rarely if ever anything substantial in cross section. (as in greater than 1/2 square inch)
Help appreciated. I think I have it narrowed down to the cheaper one, but want to make sure I'm not missing something obvious before I press the plastic.
Steve
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On Thu, 16 Feb 2006 16:22:24 -0800, "Steve B"

Why doncha make one? That would be cheap. And then it could be custom. And made in America. ERS
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Because I value my time more than that. I would rather pay $250 and have it delivered than dicking around with it for a week or more.
When I work, I charge minimum of $25 per hour. A week of my time would be $1400.
Steve
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On Thu, 16 Feb 2006 18:25:22 -0800, with neither quill nor qualm,

So go spend under $170 and get both at HF. http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/displayitem.taf?Itemnumber1980 $140 bender (or their compact bench bender is on sale for $40 now.) 5/16x1-1/4" or 1/4x2" flat stock, 5/8" round or square rod max.
http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/Displayitem.taf?itemnumber6621 $27 scroll attachment for same. 3/16x1" flat stock max.
Build your own heavy-duty attachments for larger stock.
- - Let Exxon send their own troops - ------------------------------------------------------- http://diversify.com Comprehensive Website Programming
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On Thu, 16 Feb 2006 18:25:22 -0800, "Steve B"

Steve...check out the $59 benders at harbor freight. They are identical to mine
Gunner
"A prudent man foresees the difficulties ahead and prepares for them; the simpleton goes blindly on and suffers the consequences." - Proverbs 22:3
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Bought the $99 one at HF yesterday, and it was on sale for $59. The one that has the longer pedestal was $159, so I will just mount this shortie to a piece of plate on a pipe concreted in the ground. I also got the $29 scroll bender. Didn't notice the picket twister, as another poster pointed out to me today.
I am anxious to concrete in a post, mount the bender, make up some items, and start ringing the cash register. Plus work on some honeydews around here, which seem to spring up like stray cats.
After looking at benders that looked exactly the same for up to $600, I decided to give this one a whirl. I'm only going to be bending 1/8" most of the time. So, if it dies, I just repair it, or chuck it and get another. I could go through many of them at $88 before I reach that $600 pricetag. Oh, I forgot, the scroll bender was another $100 from the expensive website, so $700 divided by $88 is right at eight complete setups I would have to wear out before I spent the $589 they want at Shop Outfitters. The picture looks identical to what I have from HF.
Hell, a Hossfeld vise mount scroll bender I bought for $175 in 1980 is $600 now. Sorry, I ain't gonna go there. I could buy 20 of the $29 models for $600. If I was setting up shop, and was going to use this every day and let the shop monkeys at it, a complete Hossfeld bending system would be cost effective.
I like good tools, and splurge on some things. Like my NexGen/Huntsman 951P hood/lens combo. But for some other things, good enough is good enough.
People can bitch all they want, but there's a lot of old HF tools kicking around. Lots have made it to the landfill, too.
Steve
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Steve The HF scroll bender I bought does have a flat spot when scrolling. When I have time after I move I will put it on the sanding table to round out the flat spot... Check yours out. I read they are known for that.
Don D.
wrote

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You're definitely missing something! :-D The 2nd one you provided a link to is identical to the one Harbor Freight sells, often on sale for $50 - $65 depending on which model you get. They also sell the scroll bender.
Currently that version is not on sale and is $139.99 but it's often on sale for half price. They have another one that looks the same but is $10 less for some unknown reason.
The scroll attachment is $25.99.
http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/displayitem.taf?Itemnumber1980
http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/displayitem.taf?Itemnumber8470
http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/Displayitem.taf?itemnumber6621
And last but hardly least they sell a picket twister for it:
http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/displayitem.taf?Itemnumber6620
They also have a bench mount version that's on sale for $49.99.
http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/displayitem.taf?ItemnumberD094
It has all the same dies. I have the 31980 but it was a waste because I built my own stand that goes over a square stake I set in concrete outside of my garage. If you can do something like that $50 is a good price!
Tractor Supply and Northern Tool & Equipment sell the same bender but I don't believe they carry the scroll or picket attachments.
As for quality... I haven't used the Shop Outfitters' version but I'm sure it's far superior in quality. A few years ago they were selling one that looks just like the cheaper ones and in fact theirs may be the one that the Chinese originally copied for the cheap ones but they now have the newer design which I'm sure is quite a bit better quality. They also offer a torque multiplier and tubing dies which would be really nice to have.
The Harbor Freight version works pretty well but I've noticed a couple of minor quirks that might be a problem for someone using it quite a bit more than I. The first problem is that the pins are a little too soft. I mistook a piece of 5/16" x 2" flat bar for 1/4" and realized my mistake when the pins started to bend. They were fairly easy to straighten with a hammer and I haven't had any more trouble but I was still surprised at how soft they were. Another much more important problem is that I'm fairly sure it's not entirely square although it could just be a problem with my technique. :-)
The only other thing I know of that could be a problem for you is that the scroller is a 2-piece unit and the 2 pieces don't mate exactly right so you get a slight bend at one point in the scroll. It's minor and easy to straighten with a quick tap of the hammer but if you have a lot to do it would get really really annoying! A bit of careful filing would probably solve this problem but I haven't used it enough to try.
I don't have the picket twister so I can't comment on it.
At any rate, for the price of the Harbor Freight bender (when it's on sale) it's not too much of a gamble to give it a try and I've never regretted buying mine..
Best Regards, Keith Marshall snipped-for-privacy@progressivelogic.com
"I'm not grown up enough to be so old!"

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Contact Shopoutfitters and ask if they have any returns available. They used to be manufactured about a mile from where I worked. I visiited their distribution center once and picked up a return for about $200. That was their old style.
The person I talked with said he thought it was bought for one job, then returned.
--
J Miller
"Steve B" < snipped-for-privacy@zydeco.net> wrote in message
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