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Tube Bender and what Tube to use?

Discussion in 'Builds and Fabricators Forum' started by Warloch, Sep 17, 2004.

  1. Sep 17, 2004
    Warloch

    Warloch Did you say Flattie??? Staff Member Sponsor

    Falcon, CO
    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2003
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    4,454
    Guys - looks like I am going to buy a Tube Bender to do alot of the work I have scheduled for my jeeps and a buddies (he is going to put in a paint booth for us to use - this is my part). I am not all that familure with some of the newer tech and I know some of you here know ALOT more about these than I do.

    Looking at the M-Tech Model 3 - or something simular.
    M-Tech Model 3

    Can anyone say ya or nay to these?
    Are there better ones out there for the $$?
    We are going to do Cages and racks (to start). What kind of tube is best for these?

    All of the Cages I built in the past were made from welded HD smooth gas pipe we had at the farm. Well the supply is drying up so lookin to this for strong (and I hope) lighter solutions.

    Any advice is welcome - who knows - I might get good enough to do this for folks in a couple months.

    :stout:
     
  2. Sep 17, 2004
    Michaelo

    Michaelo Member

    Seneca, Kansas
    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2002
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    88
    I haven't heard too good of things about that bender. People i've talked to either don't like it or just says it gets the job done. I know alot of people like the JD2 pipe bender
     
  3. Sep 17, 2004
    69CJ

    69CJ Sponsor Sponsor

    Denver, Co
    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2002
    Messages:
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    i use the pro-tools 105 heavy duty version and have no complaints. stand is easily made yourself, save the money. I didn't get the degree wheel, but probably could have benefited by it a couple times.

    I got what I believe to be a good deal through a vendor I found on the pirate4x4 site. His prices were better than those listed on pro-tools' website. Check pirate's vendor section for further info.

    Give some real thought to the dies you buy. you may get better pricing by buying two or three as opposed to just one. On the first order, I picked up 1 1" round, 1.75" round & a 3/4" square die. The dies are heavy and may be a little costly to ship. I also grabbed a pro-tools tubing notcher at the same time. Notches can be made a variety of ways and I still use a chop saw to fit stuff, but the notcher makes for some really nice fits - which of course are much easier to weld up.

    If you are new at bending, check the tube bending 101 link that can be found on pirate as it's much better than the instructions that come with the bender.

    It appears I'm just a ways up the road from you (Thornton), feel free to give me a shout and you can come check out what I have. The email links in my writeups are old and won't work. If you're interested in dropping by, shoot me an email at JonHeikka@comcast.net and we can go from there. (I can always use a spray booth!)

    Hope this helps,

    Jon
     
  4. Sep 17, 2004
    Warloch

    Warloch Did you say Flattie??? Staff Member Sponsor

    Falcon, CO
    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2003
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    Thanks for the info - what about the type of tube to use to build with? Any recommendations?

    69CJ - might take you up on that...if for nothing more than to get a quick leason. We just moved back from Aurora to the Springs, we like it alot better down here.
     
  5. Sep 18, 2004
    Jeepenstein

    Jeepenstein Me like Jeep.. Sponsor

    Middle TN
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    Jun 15, 2003
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    I have the JD 2 MODEL 3 bender.. works good as long as you follow their guidelines for radius VS. wall thickness which is true with any bender but me being me had to push it and found out why they have those guidelines.. haha.. anyhow stich to ERW or DOM for tube. DO NOT use schedule pipe... the OD of these are different and the dies are precision made for exactly the size you get (i.e. a 2" die need exactly 2" OD tube).

    BUBBA
     
  6. Sep 18, 2004
    69CJ

    69CJ Sponsor Sponsor

    Denver, Co
    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2002
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    I'll typically use HREW rather than DOM as steel is pretty darn expensive right now. Size and thickness depend upon what your building. I use 16ga for roof racks, and no less than .120 (11ga I think) for sliders/cages. NHRA specifies no less than .120 wall for cages, and typically roll cage kits are shipped with .134 to give a little extra. Don't know what the 4x4 comp rules specify for cage tube size/thickness.
     
  7. Sep 20, 2004
    nickmil

    nickmil In mothballs. Sponsor

    Happy Valley, OR
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    Sep 23, 2002
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    I also have the Pro-Tools unit and am very happy with it. I got the degree ring and stop kit and it comes in real handy. A good tubing notcher is worth it's weight in gold, as well as a chop saw. I also use ERW except when DOM is required mostly due to cost. Make sure you put the seam on the inside of the bend though to keep from having strength issues and that distorts the seam the minimum amount possible.
    If you look, most "sport bar" manufacturers like Smittybilt also uses ERW.
    Nickmil.
     
  8. Jan 19, 2005
    JohnyJeep

    JohnyJeep BLOWING A XING NEAR U@2AM Sponsor

    Beautiful Cody WY
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    Bringing this topic back to life. Me and Super Davecj6 are thinking about going in halfs on a unit. Seems as though a $700 bill is required just to start out. :shock: Might be worth it though, as we both want to do rollcages. Dave doesn't even have one, and I would like to redo mine differently. Mainly for more headroom, and 4 point harness mounts, along with frame tie in. Figure I could sell of my old 6 point cage to help offset some cost.
     
  9. Jan 19, 2005
    nickmil

    nickmil In mothballs. Sponsor

    Happy Valley, OR
    Joined:
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    That's why I bought mine. The local race fab shop wanted $900-$1,000 just to bend up my 12 point cage in the race Jeep. I bought the bender and built the cage for about that and now have a good quality bender to use at my leisure! :D It's a big initial investment, but if you use it enough it pays for itself. Nickmil.
     
  10. Jan 19, 2005
    mruta

    mruta I drank with Billy! Sponsor

    Downers Grove, IL
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    Sep 22, 2002
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    I think the M-Tech Model 3 and the JD Squared Model 3 are the same thing. I thought that all of the benders sold as a "Model 3" (at least the ones I looked at) were all the same- made by JD Squared... When I was researching benders, there were at least three places to buy a Model 3 . All were branded differently but they were all called the Model 3.

    Does anyone know for sure?
     
  11. Jan 19, 2005
    Warloch

    Warloch Did you say Flattie??? Staff Member Sponsor

    Falcon, CO
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    Guys - I went with Pro Tools Bender - and the notcher. I have not had a chance to use it yet as I am fighting 'other demands' to get my new shop's electrical all wired up. Got 2" round and 1" square to work on things I have dreamed up... Also got a Harbor Freight bandsaw - my hand is not as steady as it used to be with the Blue Cutter on pipe.

    I am still looking for a good source of tube if anyone has ideas.
     
  12. Jan 19, 2005
    JohnyJeep

    JohnyJeep BLOWING A XING NEAR U@2AM Sponsor

    Beautiful Cody WY
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    Seems as though pricing is pretty consistent on these @ right around $295 for the bender. There is a guy on ebay that sells plans for building a bender. He wants about $18 for the plans. You use a mfg's dies, in which he will supply the link when you purchase the plans. I guess doing this would allow you to purchase more dies, if you were on a set budget. I checked the guy's feedback and he was at 100%, with some people having purchased the plans to build it.
    It is here:
    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=3867977367&rd=1&sspagename=STRK:MEWA:IT
    What do you guys think about this. Seems like it might not be a bad way to go.
     
  13. Jan 19, 2005
    vanguard

    vanguard Guest

    Looks pretty interesting. Put me down for $5.
     
  14. Jan 19, 2005
    vanguard

    vanguard Guest

  15. Jan 19, 2005
    JohnyJeep

    JohnyJeep BLOWING A XING NEAR U@2AM Sponsor

    Beautiful Cody WY
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  16. Jan 19, 2005
    vanguard

    vanguard Guest

    For that comment I expect you to send $5 this way! :D

    Seriously though, if you do this lets talk production numbers! :twisted:
     
  17. Jan 19, 2005
    JohnyJeep

    JohnyJeep BLOWING A XING NEAR U@2AM Sponsor

    Beautiful Cody WY
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    Yeah I'll have to build one first to test with, and if it seems to work well, we'll go from there.
     
  18. Jan 19, 2005
    vanguard

    vanguard Guest

    Harbor Freight should have the cylinder pretty cheap.
     
  19. Jan 19, 2005
    vanguard

    vanguard Guest

  20. Jan 19, 2005
    vanguard

    vanguard Guest

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