I have designed a piece that requires short 90 degree bends in 1/2" dia. silver tubing and I refuse to cast them. After trying commercial tubing benders, the two handled kind and spring wire kind, I tried filling seamless tubing with pitch and then lead and repeated the attempts. I am currently fabricating them in two parts from synclastically and anticlastically raised elements, which is working. However, I wonder if there is an easier solution and welcome any suggestions.



Tags: bending, problem, technical, tubing

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Hmmmm I've never tried to bend a 1/2" tubing to 90'!! in the smaller tubing I put annealed copper wire as a support through tubing but I've never even done that at 90'  Two parts sounds good...boy if someone knows better I will be glad to learn the answer!!!!!
I woul approach this like you are bending a spiculum.  If you hammer the tube to be an oval that is widest in the direction of the turn, as you bend it, it goes back to being round.  I  imagine that this will not be a quick process.  Take your time and anneal often.  I would also reccomend that you bend as much with your hands to spread the force along the bend, instead of focusing the force in one spot on a tool.  How thick is the wall of the tubing?
Why not cast?  It is hard for me to imagine the magnitude of the challenge. Would you mind telling the other dimensions of the required component?
We'd do it on a hydraulic press. Carve the tube shape in an acrylic die and press a sheet into it to form half the tube. Repeat with another die for the other half. Solder together.
Probably my solution is too simple, but did you try filling the tube with sand before bending ?
Marcus, this would have been my approach too.

There is a commercial tube-bending spring available for plumbers, which you can use, depending on your wall thickness. This is the first link I came across, so it is only to give the idea.



I have used one of these on reasonably thick brass tubing and it works well.

I'll post a pic when I have finished those parts, which should be today. I attached an image to my original post that should give you a better idea of the shape I am trying to make. I appreciate all the suggestions!


Sean - I might try the oval/spiculum thing next time. I could make the wall as thick or thin as needed.


Pal - The reason I am not casting is stubborn-ness. I am replicating an existing object in miniature and am determined to do so with metal-forming skill set alone.


2 Roses - I thought about the press since I have one but was worried about how deep I would have to go past the 1/2" depth to accommodate the loss of the flared part near the flange. Then again, I would be ready for the next time already. Plus I think I would have had to carve a positive to act as a pusher, and its always a toss-up of the best way to utilize one's time.


Marcus and Brigitte - does sand work better than pitch and lead? I have never tried it. 


Justified- Yes, I tried those kinds of tubing benders, but they couldn't get the sharp turn I needed.


Thanks all!

This one was done by making thick (16 ga) fine silver tubing, notching the bend, then welding and filing. I am actually much happier with this one.
This one is done with the anticlastic and synclastic raising I told you about.
It seems to me that you managed to come up with a new solution ( well, actually two). That notching and welding seems like a nice one. Thank you for posting the question! On my part I learned a lot. I only tried something similar once, that time I formed the two parts - length wise - by chasing ( in pitch ). I guess that could also be called the poor man's alternative for die pressing:)
Wish I had thought of the notching and bending when I had a mind bending project years ago... a client wanted me to try and make a Klein Bottle (blown in glass typically) out of sterling... involved raising, bending, etc... after several attempts I had to decline the project... still haunts me - LOL


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