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Thread: force needed to bend 1/4 inch stock

  1. #1
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    force needed to bend 1/4 inch stock

    Hi,
    I need to bend some 90 degree bends in 1/4" stock, 1.5" wide. The stock is 3 feet long, and the bend will be a foot from one end. The radius does not need to be very tight; could be as big as 6 inches, although a little tighter would look better. I'm hoping to be able to heat the stock to red hot with a propane weed burner, insert the one-foot end into a jig that I will stand on, and then manually pull the two-foot long arm up to 90 degrees. So the question is, will a two-foot lever arm provide enough leverage to bend this stock?
    Thanks for any insight!
    Lewis

  2. #2
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    Re: force needed to bend 1/4 inch stock

    You should be able to bend it quite easily if you heat it till it's red. If you have a vise, that would work fine as well as a jig.

  3. #3
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    Re: force needed to bend 1/4 inch stock

    I could be wrong but I am not sure a propane weed burner will get it red hot. The flame may be too spread out. Since i have an oxy-acetylene rig I haven't tried to use my weed burner to heat and form metal.
    You should be able to bend this in several ways without even heating it. Do you have a vise you can clamp it in? If so clamp it then start the bend with the two foot section by hand and then hit it with a hammer.
    Do you have an edge of a piece of fixed machinery you can slide it under and do the same?
    Use something like a fixed part of a trailer and slip the piece into and start bending.
    Do you have a receiver on the back of a truck the piece can slip into?
    etc, etc, etc
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  4. #4
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    Re: force needed to bend 1/4 inch stock

    You need a hydraulic press for this job.10 ton will work.Make some V blocks from 3 inch angle stock welded up.Many fine vises are broken by hammering to bend metal.A hydraulic press costs less than a good vise.

  5. #5
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    Re: force needed to bend 1/4 inch stock

    Easiest way , score a line with a cutting wheel on the outside of the bend, about halfway through. Make your bend a weld up the cut.

  6. #6
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    Re: force needed to bend 1/4 inch stock

    If you want to heat it, back it up with some brick or block or something that will reflect the heat or prevent excessive air currents. If nothing else, lay the back down in some dry sand or kitty litter and blast the heat on the front side.
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  7. #7
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    Re: force needed to bend 1/4 inch stock

    I have a hyd tubing bender I converted from manual. I needed to bend flat stock as well. I just make some simple pin dies. Bends nice and tight in about 4 seconds. To the OP, post your location. Others maybe near you and can assist. This is what the WW community is all about. Helping others.
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  8. #8
    Advan Guest

    Re: force needed to bend 1/4 inch stock

    I had to convert from metric, and this probably isn't perfect, but It show about 400N (or 90 lbs) to bend 1.5"X.25" stock 2' from the "die" And that is cold.


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  9. #9
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    Re: force needed to bend 1/4 inch stock

    This is a homemade one I ran across a couple of years ago. I made one up and can cold bend up to 1/4" stock (bar or square, never did round) but better if you heat the 1/4" or larger. The photos are ones I got from the source (don't remember where), so they leave a little to be desired. It shows some bar stock being clamped in the device. You clamp the stock to the L-shaped piece, then clamp the L-shaped piece in the vise. Crank on the handle to bend the stock around to whatever angle you wish. The long L-shaped piece on the end clamps in your shop vise. Some folks could just cut out the L-shaped piece. If you wish, I can photograph the one I made and see if I can get more detail.

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  10. #10
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    Re: force needed to bend 1/4 inch stock

    Thanks for all the replies! Quite a range of approaches. I have never tried to cold-bend such heavy stock, so I assumed I would have to heat it. Given the 90# calculation, I'll try it cold first.

  11. #11
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    Re: force needed to bend 1/4 inch stock

    Only 1 1/2" wide with a 2' lever....? You will be fine cold. Clamp it up in a vise and use a piece of 2" sq. tube over the flat bar as a cheater. This will keep the bend near the vise instead of a big arc.
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