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Thread: Rod Bender, Cheap n' Cheerful

  1. #1
    PJs
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    Rod Bender, Cheap n' Cheerful

    I had been bouncing around for a while on how I could bend "smoothly" some 3/8" O1 tool steel. Marv had a great Beefy Bender idea and This Old Tony recently did a great YT video on his. Unfortunately I didn't have the right materials on hand to tackle the task. C-Bag however threw some ideas my way that he uses, that I could make with things on hand fairly quickly. Thanks to you all for the Ideas! The best of the best here on HMT!!

    Basically this is an old HFT drill press vice I spent way too long, cleaning up, flattening the base, trying to square the jaws, and minimize tilt. Better than horrid but Cheap and Cheerful and didn't really care if I dinged it up since I got my Rohm 3 way a while back.

    I cut up 2 pieces of 1/8" X 1-1/2" X 6" angle iron I had. Layed out the notch and tongue and cut them with the saws all and a hacksaw. The trickier part was to keep the center of the rod as low as I could to the jaws so I clamped the removed jaws to the angle and used a transfer punch to locate the holes and drilled them to match the vice, then bolted through the angle and jaws to get them as low as I could (see pic).

    Next required a trip to the hardware store because the screen rollers I had in the bin were too small and didn't have a piece of 1-1/8" anything (or larger) which was close to what I needed in radius for the bends. Luckily have a Great Ace down the road, that has a good scrap bin and pretty much anything a guy like me needs. Found the piece of stainless (a weld on pipe cap) in the scrap bins and some big screen rollers all for <$10. (good deal on the Stainless).

    Laid them out and ended up cutting slots for the screen rollers so I could move them in and out or individually if I needed to. With no mill I just layed out the slots and drilled a bunch of holes, Dremel'ed and clean everything up with a file. Chucked up the stainless and brought it down to 1.15" OD which is what I actually needed, center drilled it clearance for a 1/4-20 and off I went. The only other things needed were the 1/4-20 button head cap screws, nuts, and 4-8mm X 12mm X .1 SHCS for the jaws which I had on hand.

    Here are the results.

    Rod Bender, Cheap n' Cheerful-bender1-web.jpg Rod Bender, Cheap n' Cheerful-bender2-web.jpg
    Rod Bender, Cheap n' Cheerful-bender3-web.jpg Rod Bender, Cheap n' Cheerful-bender4-web.jpg

    Note: the screen rollers are specified 1/4" but when I measured the radius they were closer to 5/16" which didn't end up marring the surface too badly.

    I tried to bend the O1 with out heat but the vice started to get a hernia and afraid I'd strip the screw, so I backed off and heated it then made the bends a bit at a time until I got what I wanted.

    I've posted this separately because it worked out so well on this heavy lift, but for smaller round bar or rod this thing will do a lot I believe. I have a set of bushing drivers that can be mounted on it with an insert and believe this setup can pretty much handle any size under 3/8" and can be shaped anyway you want including 3 Axis. Especially with the tongue and notch feature.

    You'll get to see what I did with it in another post I'll link in shortly. A fun quick build in my Modus Operandi of Cheap n' Cheerful. Hope it helps others.

    ~PJ
    Last edited by PJs; 10-15-2016 at 10:22 PM.
    ‘‘Always do right. This will gratify some people and astonish the rest.’’
    Mark Twain

  2. The Following 7 Users Say Thank You to PJs For This Useful Post:

    C-Bag (10-15-2016), Captainleeward (01-01-2018), Frank S (10-18-2016), Jon (10-20-2016), Paul Jones (10-15-2016), sossol (12-29-2017), Tuomas (10-19-2016)

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    Nice Wiz!

    Much cleaner build than mine. The slots for sliding glass door rollers...very nice improvement....how'd you do that? I thought you didn't have a mill?

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    Paul Jones (10-18-2016), PJs (10-18-2016)

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    PJs,
    Nice reuse of the HF drill press vise and luckily the threaded rod doesn't strip out with all the extra force. The sliding glass door rollers are well built for the rod bending. The bent O-1 forms for the wood chisels proves your rod bender does the job it was intended to do.
    Thank you, Paul

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    PJs (10-18-2016)

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    PJs
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Jones View Post
    PJs,
    Nice reuse of the HF drill press vise and luckily the threaded rod doesn't strip out with all the extra force.
    Thank you, Paul
    Thanks Paul. I believe the threaded shaft on the vice is in fact very poor quality, chrome plated acme thread but definitely made from inferior materials and the casting is not much better. Luckily it held up to the task once I heated the rod to red hot.

    ~PJ
    ‘‘Always do right. This will gratify some people and astonish the rest.’’
    Mark Twain

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    Those slots look good, Lots of work drilling holes grinding and filing but the results are the proof in the pudding that anything is possible. Often I am just too lazy to set up my mill for just a couple of slots, so I grab a torch or the plasma then grind and file
    Never try to tell me it can't be done
    When I have to paint I use http://kbs.justoldtrucks.com/

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    PJs (10-20-2016)

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    Jon
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    Congratulations PJs - your Rod Bender is the Tool of the Week!

    Quite a week, and our new tool queue still needs to catch up with the backlog! Some picks: Mini Table Saw by morsa, Gear Train Shroud by DanLins, Tapping Stand by Metaler, Thin Parting Tool by olderdan, 3-Wheeler Front Loader by 3ruedas, Scroll Saw Key by PJs, Hollowing Tools by PJs, and we got another update on a Gantry-Style CNC Router by Captainleeward.

    Plus a hat tip on PJs bender to a previous Beefy Bender by mklotz.

    You'll be receiving a $25 online gift card, in your choice of Amazon, PayPal, Giftrocket, or bitcoin. Please PM me your current payment email address and gift card choice and I'll get it sent over right away.

    This is Tool of the Week win #2 for you. Your previous win is the popular Knurling Calculator:



    I'll go ahead and embarrass PJs publicly: he's insisted on generously donating proceeds from his Knurling Calculator Plans to the site. This week we also had our biggest money-saving tool plans submitted, with these Abrasive Tube Notcher Plans from KustomsbyKent, which can easily save a builder over $1,000. More good news: people browsing the site today will notice that we've started removing some of the banner ads, and we'll be replacing these with in-house listings for tool plans.

    Congrats again and nice work!

  11. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Jon For This Useful Post:

    Captainleeward (01-01-2018), PJs (10-21-2016)

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    you go PJ's, congrats!

    Couldn't happen to a nicer Wizard

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    PJs (10-21-2016), Toolmaker51 (10-21-2016)

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    This is one of the most elegant designs for a rod bender I've seen. Great job, I'm jealous of your metal working skills.

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    PJs (10-21-2016)

  16. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by canzo View Post
    This is one of the most elegant designs for a rod bender I've seen. Great job, I'm jealous of your metal working skills.
    Thank you very much Canzo, a high compliment and much appreciated! ~PJ
    ‘‘Always do right. This will gratify some people and astonish the rest.’’
    Mark Twain

  17. #10
    PJs
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jon View Post
    Congratulations PJs - your Rod Bender is the Tool of the Week!

    You'll be receiving a $25 online gift card, in your choice of Amazon, PayPal, Giftrocket, or bitcoin. Please PM me your current payment email address and gift card choice and I'll get it sent over right away.

    This is Tool of the Week win #2 for you. Your previous win is the popular Knurling Calculator:

    Congrats again and nice work!
    Thank You Jon for the kind words and the gift card. I am once again honored to be winner among all these fine folks and this amazing forum you and your team work so hard on! I'll PM you the info shortly. Really surprised this won because it's one of those tools we build, to build a tool and honestly felt I kind of whipped it out to get on with the Hollower builds. I'm sure it will have many uses in my little shop and hope others find something useful in the idea of it...lots of room for improvement still, in my book.

    I also hope the Knurl Calc brings some good revenue to this wonderful site and that it inspires others to "Pay it Forward" in some fashion, whether purchasing the Knurl Calc or some other way...it just feels good and right. Like I've said a few times, I'm not much of a "Joiner" but this forum and the people here are some of the best I have had the privilege to share, be helpful, cantankerous, and yak (ok Spew) with...puts the "Home" in HomemadeTools!

    Thanks Again! ~PJ
    ‘‘Always do right. This will gratify some people and astonish the rest.’’
    Mark Twain

  18. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to PJs For This Useful Post:

    Captainleeward (01-01-2018), Toolmaker51 (10-21-2016)

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