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HF Pipe Bender (happy ending)

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  • HF Pipe Bender (happy ending)

    I just made my first bends with my brand-new 12 ton Central Hydraulics bender. You know the one:

    Using 3/4" pipe, I made some 90° bends, and man was I pissed. Those aren't rust marks, it is orange paint off the die:
    Brand new, 3/4" sch 10 from the Big Store. I figured I'd get the Chinese stuff to use with my Chinese bender. The results were as shown. That is beautiful. I don't understand all the talk about mandrel benders, who needs one with such nice results as this.

    Anyway, here is the next attempt. Can you see why it is OK?
    That's right, it's American pipe. Dang! i usually don't badmouth import stuff, you usually get what you pay for. But this stuff sure as heck won't ever be used on any more gas, or other piping, that I ever do. Son of a you know what!
    So no, I am not badmouthing my Harbor Freight bender, it does exactly what I expected from it.

  • #2
    Tomorrow I'll measure the wall thickness of the American pipe vs. the soon to be richest country in the world's pipe.
    How can they legally be different, if they are? They both say schedule 10 on them. I can't believe that the pipe would collapse like that if it had the same wall thickness, no matter how inferior the steel is.


    • #3
      If you measure it, I'll bet the Chicom stuff is thinner even if it's supposed to be the same size.


      • #4
        They say to fill the pipe with sand to prevent collapse when doing 90° bends. I haven't tried it yet...but may need to soon.

        '06 Trailblazer 302
        '06 12RC feeder
        Super S-32P feeder

        HH210 & DP3035 spool gun
        Esab Multimaster 260
        Esab Heliarc 252 AC/DC


        • #5
          Maybe thin wall tubing on a non-mandrel bender, but you should not need to on pipe, as evidenced by my second photo.


          • #6
            Hi Spotsineyes,
            When a pipe bends like that it is usually because the outside pipe diameter is smaller than the die. The pipe should only just fit into the die.
            With a vernier check the ouside diameter of the Chinese pipe and compare with the US made pipe.
            May be the Chinese pipe is a metric size that got mixed up or their quality assurance on OD is poor.
            To cut down on wear or to use less force grease the pipe first before bending.

            Good luck
            Grip it and Rip it


            • #7
              I got a bender like that to bend some fairly thickwall tube with seam, maybe 3/4" O.D., nationality unknown, to make a new handlebar and a protective cage for a plate compactor. Using the mandrel that fit, the bends came out well, but the rollers on the HF bender always left the small divots either side of the bend, as seen in your first picture. For that job the divots were a cosmetic defect of no consequence, but I don't like 'em. I'm thinking of replacing those "this-size fits-all" rollers with pairs of pivoting slides made on a milling machine with grooves sized to fit common pipe sizes. Or is there a better way?
              Last edited by seattle smitty; 08-07-2010, 01:08 PM.


              • #8
                That sounds like a good idea to me. It's too late, I'll get those comparison measurements tomorrow.


                • #9
                  To prevent little dents from "this-size fits-all" rollers. Just put a half round tubing whit thiker wall over tubing you are bending. This will spread the load evenly and will not make any dents.