PDA

View Full Version : Harbor Freight Tube Bender



JeepTherapy
January 23rd, 2006, 09:49 PM
Anyone know anything about the hydraulic tube benders from Harbor Freight? The local store has one on sale for $65.99, normally around $100. They say it will bend up to 2 1/2" tubing. I am looking for something to bend some tubing with so I can build a cage and possibly rear flatbed for my truck.

Colt
January 23rd, 2006, 09:53 PM
the hb benders are for pipe and not tubing.

pipe = inner diam
tubing = outer diam

or the other way around I never remember
I have seen cages built with the hb bender, but I am leery

Jeffro600
January 23rd, 2006, 10:00 PM
the hb benders are for pipe and not tubing.

X2....it will kink actual tubing

Rimmer
January 23rd, 2006, 11:17 PM
Borrowed one from work...

Works fine on the small tubing, like I did on the front of my Zuki, but will not bend
anything larger than maybe an inch to an inch and a half without kinking.

http://www.colorado4x4.org/vbb/showthread.php?t=49525

I wouldn't use it on anything larger than this, but for this size tubing it worked just
fine, and at a fraction of the price of a die that small.

I have heard of people using tricks such as filling the tube with sand etc... but I
wouldn't trust my life to a cage made using that bender.

Even on the small tube that I bent with it, I had to be careful not to kink it, and bend it slowly.

twistedcherokee
January 24th, 2006, 01:48 AM
If you modify the die's they work up to about 80*. I used one for my bumper on my XJ and to build this go kart for my grandson.
http://i27.photobucket.com/albums/c158/twistedcherokee/100_0009.jpg

Toby

Jeffro600
January 24th, 2006, 05:57 PM
Never ever use it for a cage, YOU WILL DIE!!!!!!!!!!! You can make some bumpers, but thats IT!!!!

:lmao: :lmao:

Are you being serious? If so, seak help! :lmao:

Seriously....just because you use a particular bender does not constitute you dying. Ive seen good bends made with the harbor freight one....ive also seen it mangle and kink alot of high dollar tubing. People have success by filling the tube with sand, then making the bends.

Would i use one to make a cage? HELL NO...it would take 3 days from forever and would possibly waste too much material. Would i trust a cage made with one? Sure, as long as it was structurally designed properly and made out of tubing that would withstand the impact.

al24
January 24th, 2006, 07:05 PM
From another forum.



I've used the HF bender to do 3 cages now,using either HREW .120 wall tubing,not pipe. like others have said,use something between the pipe and rollers to prevent kinks there,i slide a larger piece of thicker walled pipe over the tube so the rollers can do their thing. i do get some kinking and flattening of the bends,good advice on making the tubing fit snuggly,ill hafta look into that.

the other thing i did to make my life easier while using it was to build a stand that spins like an engine stand and has holes for a pin to keep the bender straight up,or 45* left or right. it works real well-id have never been able to bend this hoop in one piece without it:


i used it and a HF notcher to build all of the follwing:

my scout II frame buggy(the biggest project):

before any sheet metal:

http://www.colorado4x4.org/gallery/files/6/8/8/0000.0000cage.jpg





i wont try and convince anyone it works as well as a real bender,but it gets the job done. we just add some extra bracing to make up for the lack of perfect,kink-free bends
__________________

Steve
January 24th, 2006, 07:33 PM
I've deleted lots of posts here, and edited a couple more. DUJEEPGEEK, enough with the personal insults or you can take a timeout from the board. The rest of you, take your arguments to PMs and don't post here unless you have something of value to add. :rolleyes:

Jeffro600
January 24th, 2006, 07:40 PM
Sorry steve! We got a little carried away! :D

Camp
January 25th, 2006, 07:29 AM
Guys, I am in no way an advocate of using a HF bender to build a cage but, I do know that is what was used to build the cage in this thread I put up a while ago.

http://www.colorado4x4.org/vbb/showthread.php?t=2946

I don't know if the link in that thread is working back to Pirate because Pirate is down right now so, I can't check the link. If it doesn't work, you can always go search the Gen 4x section for threads started by me and it will come up pretty quick.

By the way, use gussets no mater what bender or tubing material you use. Feel free to browse the pictures in our team site, of the buggy, and you will notice that we use a gusset on nearly every junction or bend in one way or another.

Jeffro600
January 25th, 2006, 12:21 PM
Guys, I am in no way an advocate of using a HF bender to build a cage but, I do know that is what was used to build the cage in this thread I put up a while ago.

http://www.colorado4x4.org/vbb/showthread.php?t=2946

I looked and searched a couple times and couldnt find any references to the HF bender in the CO4x4 post or the one on pirate... :shrug:

Maybe im lookin at the wrong thread... :P

Camp
January 25th, 2006, 12:25 PM
I looked and searched a couple times and couldnt find any references to the HF bender in the CO4x4 post or the one on pirate... :shrug:

Maybe im lookin at the wrong thread... :P

I didn't say there was reference to it, I just stated that I know that cage was built with one. Those are my buddies from college and I was around when most of that cage was built. Not specifically on site but, I know what bender they owned and used.

I was merely pointing out that a Harbor Freight Cage saved them in a nasty roll.

By the way, this is partially directed at some of the posts that have been deleted, since I can still see them all :D

Jeffro600
January 25th, 2006, 12:29 PM
But look at the cliff they fell off of...

http://www.pirate4x4.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=133412

:eek:

I bet they went home and kissed that bender! LOL

Do you have any pics of the actual cage before it was twisted into a ball of nothing?

Camp
January 25th, 2006, 12:36 PM
I don't think I do have anything of the cage. And I think they probably went straight to the bar after that :D

Actually, I know they went home to get more vehicles to go back and recover the wreckage with.

Colt
January 25th, 2006, 08:43 PM
I don't think the bender is really going to make much difference in the overall safety of the cage. I think design and welds are going to play a bigger part in the overall safety as long as you don't compromise the tube by crimping or collapsing it with the HF bender. I have seen cages built with either bender that were designed crappy or put together badly, as well as nice cages. I think in the long run you are going to build a nicer cage with a more expensive bender, but if you can only afford the hf bender and are aware of it's limitations then by all means get it and build a cage so you can wheel.

JeepTherapy
January 25th, 2006, 08:54 PM
I don't think the bender is really going to make much difference in the overall safety of the cage. I think design and welds are going to play a bigger part in the overall safety as long as you don't compromise the tube by crimping or collapsing it with the HF bender. I have seen cages built with either bender that were designed crappy or put together badly, as well as nice cages.

Several years ago I worked as a welder in a fabrication shop making steel frame camper shells. My job was making the end pieces to be integrated into the cage of the overal camper shell. We used 1"x1" square tubing that was not thick by any means. I tried to double up on my welds and voiced my opinion to the boss that stronger welds would make the shells hold up better during roll overs. The next rolled shell (3 complete rolls on back of truck) we had come in, I got the job of dismantling it and inspecting the welds and not one of them cracked. Not saying that I would used such thin walled tubing as was used back then, but the arguement of the structure of the cage does ring true.

THETODD
February 28th, 2006, 10:24 AM
This may sound like a dumb question but here goes anyway-Are you guys talking about the bender that bolts down or the press?

Sean Dogg
March 1st, 2006, 02:06 AM
This may sound like a dumb question but here goes anyway-Are you guys talking about the bender that bolts down or the press?

I'm pretty sure you mean the 30 ton press that Flashover turned into a bender. That's not a kit, that's just a one-off that he was able to turn something cheap into something to bend tube. To my knowlege, HF only sells 2 benders, and they are both vertical, bolt-down style.

flashover
March 1st, 2006, 09:24 AM
Sean, I think that you may have me mixed up with someone else. I built a press brake for bending sheet metal, not tube. I use a JD2 bender for that.

Ryan