Is there a relatively inexpensive, but effective, tube bender available to help me construct a roll cage? Is there another methed of bending w/o the use of a machine or other apparatus? Thanks for the input, even if it's to tell me to just write a check for a completed cage; I just like to make stuff! :-) Vic
Tubing benders are all going to have their expense in the dies.
I can find plans and designs all day long, but I always run into a problem with the dies.
The dies are almost always $150 to $250 bucks per size set.
Find a cheap way to make a die, and your problem is 99% solved.
I assume that since the Chineese can make everything from toothpicks to cars for 60% less than everyone else, and they have as of yet not produced a tubing bender with 1", 11/4" 11/2"...and so on die sizes, that there must be more to manufacturing the dies than meets the eye.
I have a HF metal bender, and am in the process of making dies out of hardwood for 5/8" and 1" tubing, but I am at a loss for what to do with the bigger size tube.
The JD2 bender seems to be the most reasonable deal. The Model 3 and a die set (I seem to remember needing only one die set when I helped a guy build a cage in one of my cars) should run about $450-$500.
Seems to me that Harbor Freight has two different sizes of tubing benders with dies in the 1 to 2 inch range; a 12 ton and a 16 ton. I haven't tried one myself. I use a Hossfeld #2, that came with lots of dies, $350 at an auction, 10 years ago
On 7 Feb 2006 19:08:37 -0800, with neither quill nor qualm, "a6016" quickly quoth:
Well, Ian on Xtreme 4x4 (Spike, 10am PST, Sat/Sunday) showed an O/A setup, then heated and bent a piece of pipe around a spare brake rotor which he had C-clamped to a bench. An extra C-clamp was the stop. It was for a fender/bumper brace for the Cheap Jeep project.
That's fairly inexpensive. ;)
Find a local muffler shop who has the type of tubing you need and have him bend it for you fairly cheaply. You can weld on the mounting plates, etc. and finish building it yourself.
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