Possible to bend conduit into circle?

I sometimes use conduit to make yard ornaments to put lights around for Christmas. I am thinking of making a train but not sure how to make a circular wheel. ANy suggestions?

Reply to
Don
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No mater what you do, one obvious problem is that you end up with short straight sections at the end of each bend.

I haven't tried this, but having bent some emt the conventional way, I believe you could start with a long length of emt conduit and wrap it around a round form. Wrap it like a close wound spring. Then cut off 360 degree sections, force the ends into alignment and weld, braze or whatever. You wouldn't really need to weld. For non- functional wheels you cold just bend it so the ends are in close proximity.

1/2 inch is -way- easier to bend than 3/4 inch. I think you could realistically get two 1 foot dia wheels out of a 10 foot length and one 2 foot diameter wheel. The unused length is what you use as a handle to bend it.

Dick

Reply to
D.B.

Don, I bend hard drawn copper tubing into circles all the time using my 3 roll former. What size of tubing (OD) are you usingm what diameters are you talking about and where are you located? Maybe, just maybe I can help you out. I can do 5/8", 7/8" AND 1-1/8" OD sizes only.

Lane

Reply to
lane

If you are putting the train in the lawn, just put the flat sections of the wheels facing down. That may hide the straight sections.

Reply to
Rileyesi

D.B. wrote: (clip) wrap it around a round form. Wrap it like a close wound spring. Then cut off 360 degree sections,(clip) ^^^^^^^^^^^ If you have trouble making the conduit bend around a form, I believe you could use a hickey, and just keep bending until you have over 360 degrees, and then cut. As D.B. pointed out, you could make up a coil-spring shape, and cut the turns into "lock-washers", and then flatten.

If you are not wedded to the idea of using concuit, you might consider cutting the circles out of plywood. Who will know the difference when the lights are on? To reduce the waste, you could make up each wheel out of three or four sectors.

Reply to
Leo Lichtman

He could stick the straight ends in the ground to hold the display up. As Bill Gates would say, "It's not a bug, it's a feature."

Dick

Reply to
D.B.

How about using PVC plumbing pipe 1/2" and heat with a radiant heater. We make set pieces all the time with PVC and it holds up extremely well outside, is paintable and you can use conventional PVC fittings to make your connections.

We made 40+ hoops slightly smaller than a hula-hoop by heating the entire length and laying around a small steel barrel to get the shape. To heat the entire length we started in the middle and once it was warm enough to bend we simply folded in half and continued folding (not crimping of course) until we heated the entire length. Then we simply wrapped the item around the barrel and let it cool. It took a couple of times to get it right but was really easy and cheap.

The radiant heater I used is our aux shop heater 240 vt about 2ft X 3ft layed on its back. This is the kind you can get at grainger. They make specialty heaters for this but hell I only needed 40 hoops.

Have fun!

Reply to
Pedro

Oops, hit send by mistake the first time. :-)

Instead of conduit have you considered using maybe 3/16" by 1/2" bar? Then you could roll rings any size you want with one of these:

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As for the straight ends someone else mentioned, add an extra few inches to each end to account for the extra and after you've rolled the ring clamp both ends side by side in a chop saw vise, with the ring pointing upward if it's bigger than the saw, and cut both ends together. Remove it and weld it for a near perfect circle.

Or as someone else mentioned bend the extra ends downward and stick them in the ground to hold it in place.

Best Regards, Keith Marshall snipped-for-privacy@progressivelogic.com

"I'm not grown up enough to be so old!"

Reply to
Keith Marshall

40 of them? The swimming pool plumbers use a 2" Dia. flame off a BBQ type gas tank and heat 20' on the ground. You could do them all in no time.

I've seen pool co.s that have to have fittings and no heating cause they feel that sand and rocks will wear out the PVC on the outside of the curves and sharp cornered fittings won't be pelted through. I think on commercial pools that you have to do it only with fittings cause of that kind of reasoning. Any thoughts ?

Reply to
Sunworshiper

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