I want to make a bender for bending flat stock into circles. I want three wide rollers to do the bending. I will bend cold. I plan on making something similar to Ernie's bender with the steering wheel on the drive wheel. I want the rollers to be about 8" wide (flat) and about 2" diameter. Ok, all that said, I have a couple of problems.
Problem one: I planned on using scrap hydraulic rams as the rollers but have no lathe and do not have a method of turning the ends down small enough to fit bearings. Does anyone have any suggestions on how to do this without taking it to a machine shop?
Second question: I would like to use 1.5" bearings but they are 85 dollars at Enco and some places are close in price. I need six of them. How far would be feasible to turn the rollers down and still have a bender capable of bending 3.16" flat stock (not on edge)? If I can go down to about3/4" the bearings get a LOT cheaper.
As always the help and advise will be appreciated.