Pipe bending part 3

OK, where I left things before was that I’d abandoned the idea of bending copper pipe into a ring by running a profiled roller around a former and reverted to Plan A, a 3-roll pipe bender. And I’d decided to try using a vice and Dexion to make my new bender.

Removing the replaceable vice jaws revealed little ledges that they rest on. The Dexion is wider than the vice jaws are tall, which meant I needed to cut pieces of plywood to sit on the ledges behind the Dexion.

That done, I could screw the Dexion onto the vice, through the plywood, using the same machine screws as held the removable jaws. And when I tried bolting my one existing roller onto the horizontal flange of the Dexion, I was pleased to find it was high enough above the vice for there to be enough clearance for the bolt head. This is a top-down view.

I’ve 3D-printed a second roller of the same size to attach next to the first one on the Dexion strip that’s screwed into the vice’s moving jaw, and also a larger roller to attach to another Dexion strip on the fixed jaw.

The larger roller is the driven one. I bent a strip of aluminium to form a crank and screwed a handle on the end of it. The whole caboodle is bolted together with a bunch of M8 bolts, washers and nuts.

But disaster has struck again. Before I’d achieved much of a bend at all on the offcut of copper pipe I had left after the previous attempt, it proved too hard to turn the handle to wind the pipe back and forth between the rollers.

When I looked at them from one end I realised why – the Dexion was flexing, allowing the rollers to tilt out of the horizontal plane.

Clearly the force I’m applying by winding the vice jaws ever closer is enough to take the 2mm thick steel angle strips into the elastic deformation zone.

So it’s back to the drawing board again. I’ll have to find a way of stiffening the thing up.


About yorkshirecrafter

I live and work in West Yorkshire.  I've always enjoyed crafts of all types, from woodwork to lace-making.  I also enjoy anything mathematical, which makes knitting a favourite pastime, especially complicated designs.  I've been advising businesses and industry on environmental matters for 30 years and also have an interest in green living, especially where it saves me money. I live with my husband and our Maine Coon in a 100-year-old cottage that constantly needs something doing to it.  Fortunately, I enjoy DIY too.
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