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Small tube bender


I want to design a small tube bender. I am not sure of the exact terminology but I believe the style I am looking for is called a ring bender. Basically 3 rollers...  like this:

Sorry for the small picture, it is what I found on the interweb. At most, I will need to bend maybe 3/8" tube. So it doesn't have to be very big. Has anyone built one here? I have seen mcgyver's design and it is very nice. Might be bit of an overkill for me.

Looking for plans or ideas.



Do you just want to make angle bends or circle type bends?

What you showed is a circle bend (ring former).

I can help with the first but not the second.



The 2nd kind is what I am looking for. I was close on the name, ring former!

What I am trying to do is make some graceful (semi anyway) curves for 2 separate projects. 1 is a LED lamp and the other is an outdoor bird feeder.

How big a radius on the bend?  You can find rollers at Horrible Fright for cheap, but they only make fairly large radii (3").  If nothing else, copy the design in a smaller scale.



Head to the hobby shop and look for the spring tube benders, or the auto supply stores for the hydraulic line benders, or Home Despot in the plumbing dept there are a number of different types, if nothing else you can get an idea of the working principals of the differing types.

All version do requires some practice at making graceful bends, curves or arcs. As with the hickey benders for electrical conduit. Practice, practice.

You can always try the old instrument makers stand by of water with some dish soap plug both ends and freeze the tube if it will fit in your freezer. This one or using table salt crystals paced in to a sealed tube all require some practice.

Or if there is nothing that will be flowing thru the inside, you can try some wax bees wax  melted and poured in it. Or use some chasing/repousee pitch and then melt it out after wards.

The most important thing is to anneal the tubing before you star bending. Most short sections of tubing is extruded or drawn thru dies which work harden the material. And if you do multiple bends it will work re-harden it.


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