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Bending jig ideas

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I want a bending jig, but the ones I've found on ebay are a bit pricey. (or out of my budget at least!)
One seller has a buy it now for $150.00, but the disc sizes are smaller, (I like the option of having the larger sizes if needed) the other has discs up to 6" but bidding reaches well over $200.00 which seems crazy high.

Any suggestions on what could be used for the steel discs so I can  make one myself?
I searched the web, but nothing seems to fit the bill...
Any ideas?  I thought of maybe using assorted pulleys but thought it would mark up the stock. What else could be used?

I use the cone or horn when making regular hooks and stuff, but I've found myself needing to make several of the same thing for a project, and I never seem to be able to replicate them as exactly as I'd like, so having a jig would really help.

(I have a bit of OCD, I'm my own worst enemy!)


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If you have a welder and some scrap stock, all that's left to making jigs is your imagination.

Welding them onto angle iron makes them easy to hold in the vise.  Round, s-shape, curves, whatever..... forge your desired shape and then weld it to some angle iron.  

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These Ideas are great!

If I use the pipe slices Ken mentioned, and Black Frogs angle iron idea, I could easily make all the sizes I'd need!

I could have a pin welded onto a small piece of angle iron as well so I could slide it closer or further to the pipe pieces as needed for thicker or thinner stock!

Funny, I got so tied up on how to make this to work on the bench, I never thought of the vise. I was seriously going to drill all sorts of holes to hold all the pins and things, when this answer is not only a perfect solution, but much easier.
Guess this is one of those forest through the trees things.

I knew asking you guys was a good idea!

Edited by JimsShip
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I used my cutting torch and a circle cutter back when I turned a lot of circles. I started used the center punch mark for the circle burner, drilled a 1/2" hole and inserted a bolt and nut so I could put it in my drill press and cleaned it up at slowest speed with a file. The finish pivot pin was as I recall 5/8.

My circle dies fit on a pin in a steel plate on the bench. I was bending mostly light stock but it worked fine on some heavier the few times I needed to bend heavier. I'm thinking the heaviest was 3/8" x 1" for a gate.

Frosty The Lucky.

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Greetings Jim,

I have posted this simple bending tool before but thought you might find it of interest..   Just angles with a welded end of a 1/2 in socket extension and the other a simple fulcrum pin...   A useful tool for those junk sockets and flea market finds..  Have fun...

Forge on and make beautiful things


bender 1.jpg

bender 2.jpg

bender 3.jpg

bender 4.jpg

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I've been using something similar to Jim's socket bender for years, and it works a treat if you don't need to go beyond the largest socket you have.

For bigger circles, the sections of pipe welded onto angle iron is the way to go.  I use a fork or vise grips to hold one end to the pipe while making the bend, but you could also try using a moveable peg much like is done with the socket bender.

The biggest issue I have with the pipe sections is finding a pipe that's the right size.  You can get a lot of little pipe at the home stores, but finding stuff that's 3", 4", 5", 6", etc, has proven rather impossible for me.  If you do run into a supply of the larger sizes, I'd be happy to talk trade for some slices!  :D

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Impact sockets come in 1/4-1" drive, and this is a good use for some of the "off shore" no name brands.

pipe and large pulleys certainly work as well but it is hard to beet Mr. Cooks set up for 6" and smaller. (Some large sockets for axle nuts and such are simply a pipe forged to fit the nut and a pice of flat punched and welded inplace. The sliding angle takes the place of the spiral drilled circle.

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If you have a wooden stump, put a rod down the prichel hole and another rod down the hardie hole. Tap them into the wooden stump and cut them about 2 inches above the top of the anvil. You now have a bending fork on your anvil.

Cut 2 inch slices from every size pipe you can find. Put the smallest size on the hardie rod and keep adding (nesting) additional sizes until you get to the size you need. Dog against the prichel rod and bend against the hardie nesting for smooth and repeatable bends. You can use a vise grip to clamp the bending stock if the dog wants to slip.

Edited by Glenn
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If you want to make a bunch of the same bends(think production line for identical S-hooks), I've seen a piece of pipe welded to one of the jaws of a vise grip. Use the jaws clamped to hold the stock then wrap the steel around the pipe. Quick, easy, and portable, but good for only a fixed size of bend and probably for lighter stock.

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  • 9 months later...

Yes I know this is an old post but want to add to it.

I use an old 1/2" drive socket set. Fabricated a base plate with various spaced square 1/2" holes and bingo. Bending jig that fits in my vice.

And before health and safety jump on my back the sockets were chrome vanadium coated but it has carefully been burned off all sockets. 

Works a treat with the variety of sizes!

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