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Thread: Help with bending metal!

  1. #1
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    Help with bending metal!

    Hi there, I have been working with metal for quite a few years Now. I do a lot of welding not only on some equipement but exhaust for my buddies and what not. I also do some metal art too. It's something I'm really good at. For one of my up and coming pieces though I needed motor parts. I took out the camshaft to a motor except the hard part about this sculpture is that I ACTUALLY HAVE TO BEND THE CAMSHAFT. I know the basics of metal bedding and shaping. I ABSOLUTLY NEED TK BEMD THIS SHAFT AS ONE PIECE, HELP ME OUT! Please help. This can also be a general thread about bending and forming metal of all types 😌

  2. #2
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    Re: Help with bending metal!

    Heat it and bend it - am I missing something?

    Never actually bent a camshaft though.
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  3. #3
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    Re: Help with bending metal!

    When I talked to my mechanic buddies much earlier today they Said though that bc it's hardened steel it can shatter even when dropped. 😕 big risk. My initial though is to turn that sucker white and let it aneel though.

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    Re: Help with bending metal!

    I'd heat it and attempt to bend it but I expect it will break. The issues cam shafts are often chill-cast ductile iron (cast iron) which makes them very hard and long wearing, but they are also brittle. Some cam shafts are forged steel which would likely be less brittle. You won't know until you try it. I'd be interested to see what your building if you do manage to bend them successfully.

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    Re: Help with bending metal!

    jfsanborn

    "I also do some metal art too. It's something I'm really good at".

    A primary axiom when asking for advice - you must reveal everything - aka specs.

    Is the bend: a single kink, a radius, a reducing radius - is it centralized, or encompass the
    entire length?

    Is maintaining OEM cam-lobe profile and polish - a consideration/spec. [> type of heat].

    There are numerious: WW member/lurkers with strong machinist/metallurgical knowledge
    they can cite Rockwell Hardness [off the top of there heads] of every engine-component,
    and can advise on its 'cold forming' potential. Be hopeful they chime-in.


    Opus

  6. #6
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    Re: Help with bending metal!

    Do you beleive that aneeling will work?
    Last edited by jfsanborn; 05-03-2015 at 12:36 AM.

  7. #7
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    Re: Help with bending metal!

    Chances are you won't be able to bend it very far without it breaking. Best bet is to just heat and go for it.

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    Re: Help with bending metal!

    Quote Originally Posted by jfsanborn View Post
    Hi there, I have been working with metal for quite a few years Now. I do a lot of welding not only on some equipement but exhaust for my buddies and what not. I also do some metal art too. It's something I'm really good at. For one of my up and coming pieces though I needed motor parts. I took out the camshaft to a motor except the hard part about this sculpture is that I ACTUALLY HAVE TO BEND THE CAMSHAFT. I know the basics of metal bedding and shaping. I ABSOLUTLY NEED TK BEMD THIS SHAFT AS ONE PIECE, HELP ME OUT! Please help. This can also be a general thread about bending and forming metal of all types ��

    You didnt say how far yew need to bend it,

    But you might make some relief cuts in it first.... then heat/bend it and then weld up the reliefs.

    heck,
    It's "art" right... ?
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    Re: Help with bending metal!

    As forhire said, some cams are cast iron and will not bend. Most US auto cams are iron-no bend. Some import and some industrial engine cams are steel- heat yellow hot and bend as you wish. Look at cam for a forging seam or casting seam, or spark test, or post a good pic so we can see what you are dealing with.
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    Re: Help with bending metal!

    Subscribe!
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  11. #11
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    Re: Help with bending metal!

    Out of a gm 350 small block, I'll post a pick here in just a bit.

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    Re: Help with bending metal!

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  13. #13
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    Re: Help with bending metal!

    Hiw about heat and bend in stages? So heat and bend a little bit ,let it cool, heat it back up the next day and and bend some more? Maybe the reheating will relieve some of the stress created in the bend? Worth a shot right?

  14. #14
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    Re: Help with bending metal!

    Outa luck, that's a cast iron cam. If you heat the whole thing to orange, yellow you may get a slight bow in it.
    Peter
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  15. #15
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    Re: Help with bending metal!

    OOPS, read 350 but didn't look good at pic. It may be a roller cam? If so it may be steel. Spark test it. Long yellow sparks = steel, short orange sparks=iron.
    Peter
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  16. #16
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    Re: Help with bending metal!

    Awesome thanks 😊

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