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Rams head/ Tow Hitch Project Question


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Good morning all - so my brothers initials are RAM, he drives a Dodge Ram, every username he has uses RAM in some way so naturally for Christmas I made him a rams head. I left it unfinished though so he could decide what he wanted it to actually be. We came up with bending the untouched bar stock the head is on to wrap around his tow hitch so that the Ram kind of stares at the car behind him. I don’t know how to calculate how much length of the 1/2” square stock the Ram is on that I would need to wrap up around the 2”x2” hitch though. Simple math would say I need 8 inches but won’t the bends affect this? Right now I have about 8 inches after the bend directly under the head so I can just draw it out if I need more. And then the bends/corners themselves - I’ve seen people put what I would call a “kink” in the corner before bending (usually i see it in dinner triangles) but basically use some kind of fuller to thin out the place of the bend. I guess it’s to make a tighter bend? Adding some pictures so you guys can get a better idea of what I’m going for but I’d really like to know how others would approach this as I’m still basically brand new in this. Thanks. 
 

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Unfortunately 8" isn't enough to wrap a 2 x 2 sq. You're forgetting the thickness of the stock you're bending. "exact:rolleyes:" is measured at the center of the stock. Wrapping 1/2" stock means you need to calculate 2 1/4" x 2 1/4" =  9."

B U T that doesn't take into account the bends themselves if you wrap it faithfully around the corners of the tubing you need to calculate it as a circle of that radius. There are 4 corners so they all add up to ONE circle, of that radius. Again the radius of the tubing PLUS 1/2 the stock's thickness. Let's call it 1/8"r + 1/4" stock thickness for a circle 1/2" dia. x 3.1416 for 0.78" allowance for the corners. 

I do this kind of thing by using more than I'll need and trimming to fit. It sure beats doing the arithmetic and finding out it's not quite right. Nothing is exact after all. Getting this kind of thing right has been a bane of mine since metal shop 1. Dad did it in his head and got it right every time.

Frosty The Lucky.

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Ok so maybe I draw it out to 10 or 10.5 and cut of what I don’t need. Then I have some room to play with. Thanks. 
Any suggestion on that way of bending I so eloquently described and drew? The reason that gets in my head is because I don’t have a vise...yes I know but I’m saving for a good one...but I’m just looking for any tips on how to get nicer sharper bends at the anvil. 

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I'm sure guys who do it all the time will speak up but this is how I do it. First I have trouble with precise multiple bends like you want to do because you're upsetting the stock into the corner. I make the bend, heat the corner and stand it on my anvil with one end facing up and upset into the corner. This drives the stock in filling the curved inner bend surface. Then I refine the corner and shape over the far edge of my anvil, the face and body on mine are square. Check yours. I refine the width on the face.

Other methods involve upsetting before you bend. I've heard tell of doing it similar to what you describe but haven't seen it done so can't opine. 

Frosty The Lucky.

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C clamp and heat

As the corners are rounded don’t worry about upsetting the corners and your on the right track going long and curing to length (that’s how most of us do it) use the draw bar as an anvil/form after your initial bend over the side of your anvil and squaring it up (drive down on the head to help form the corner) a slight radius won’t hurt in this application. Another option is simply to drill a hole top to bottom, Fuller and round up to fit and rivit. 

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So it turns out I only had about 6 inches under the head so I had much more drawing out to do than I thought but that wasn’t too big of a deal. I went to 10.5” and I’ve got plenty. I went with the “kinks” for the first three bends which worked surprisingly well but I had no room to do that with the last two. I was going to put the kinks for those in ahead of time before I did the third bend and lost the needed space but I didn’t think I’d get them in the right spot that way. I had to stop here - it was just too cold and I was going to start rushing. So now I need to decide if I cut off enough to make the end meet the outside corner of the first bend or if I want to angle that last straight piece behind the head a little and go all the way across the top and over the right top corner for a second time. Considering that just because that final bend would give me a chance to tighten it up even more. 
 

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