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  1. #1

    Next project-mandrel bender

    Well I have another crazy idea! I've wanted to build a bender for a while now and have been doing a lot of research. Actually the reason I found this forum is for the hydro conversion on a bender. So after a lot of research and thinking I've decided to attempt a mandrel bender. Might as well go all out if I'm going to build a bender!

    With my strut spring compressor nearing the finishing stages and the rim clamp coming along good I decided to start doing some serious homework on a mandrel bender so when the other projects are done I can start this one. A few years ago I bought a greenlee 555 conduit bender from an electricain going out of business for a good price. I used it a couple of times for some exhaust pipe and it worked OK. It can bend 2 1/2" rigid conduit so I believe it has the power to bend most pipe/tube. It has a double reduction chain drive so it shouldn't have a problem bending some pipe.

    So my plan is to build a stand/frame for everything and then rip the 555 bender apart and mount all the drive components. Then I'm thinking I will buy one set of dies to use to fab everything up. Later down the road I plan to attempt to make my own dies after I get a lathe. Once the dies are in place and it's working half way I will start the mandrel part of this. I plan on using a ram to pull the mandrel out of the bent pipe.

    This is what I've come up with for now. I still have a lot of homework to do to make this work. I'm sure that some speed bumps will come along just like my other projects but I believe I can work threw them and make a quality bender for way way way less than what you can buy one for. Any input/advice will be appreciated. Thanks, Scott

  2. #2
    Contributing Member MXtras's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Somewhere in Virginia

    Re: Next project-mandrel bender

    Once again - looking forward to this coming together!

    If it wasn't for the last minute I wouldn't get anything done

  3. #3

    Re: Next project-mandrel bender

    Me to! I posted this on a different forum and the only replies I got back were that a mandrel bender can't be build by anyone that's not an engineer. I know I'm not an engineer and I also know that I have a lot of homework for this project and that there will deffinitely be some setbacks during the building process. But I also know that it can be done. If it doesn't work I figure out why and fix it.

    I've been doing ALOT of reading of others bender projects. Right now I'm doing some learning of electronics and plc controls. I want to add an encoder to measure the angle of the bend and display it and stop the bend at a preset angle. I have some experience with encoders but used them for sensing speeds but no experience with plc or digital displays.

    I will have my spring compressor all done this week minus the painting. Then I'm going to jump on the rim clamp, I'm really looking forward to this one. I just ordered a 60:1 gear box for this. I'm hoping to get this done in the next couple weeks also. Then I will start the bender, this will probably be my winter project and it will probably take more time than these two projects.

    Thanks for the encouragement! It means a lot after getting a bunch of negative feedback from others, especially coming from someone with your caliper of work.


  4. #4
    Registered User blaserman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Glen Burnie,MD

    Re: Next project-mandrel bender

    Scott: Everything takes time and that is the only way to get it done. Remember we all learn by our mistakes, but keep going.


  5. #5

    Re: Next project-mandrel bender

    Thanks Art. I will build this(or make one heck of an attemp!) in the near future. I'm spending about 2 hours everynight just reading what i can on benders and mandrel benders to learn everything I can, and all the other things like the hydralic/electronic controls.

    Thanks for the encouragement! Scott

  6. #6
    Registered User VegasBruce's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Henderson, NV./ Huntsville TX.

    Re: Next project-mandrel bender

    After your spring compressor, I'm looking forward to seeing this come together.

    A craftsman is someone who does a better job than anyone thinks is necessary.

  7. #7

    Re: Next project-mandrel bender

    Thanks Bruce. The spring compressor should be done this week and then I need to finish the rim clamp I started the same time as the spring compressor, posted it on here somewhere. Think I finally worked out all the issues so that should go together fairly quickly(famous last words!) and then I want to start on the bender.

    Right now I plan on making it an electric bender with double gear and chain reduction and then a gear reduction box with a 60:1 ratio. I will have to do some figuring and see how much power it will have in the end. Then the fun part of trying to design a mandrel that works!

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