You use a tubing bender to get an accurate and consistent bend on various kinds of tubes, including those made of copper, steel and aluminum. Although manual pipe benders are still being used, you’ll find a lot of automated tube benders that make tasks easier. These automated tube benders are either electrically or hydraulically powered and since they are rather bulky, they may not be ideal in sites that don’t have the needed power connections. This is where manual pipe benders come in to save the day.
A manual bender can be used with ease and someone with minimal training can manipulate it fairly easy too. Most manual pipe benders these days are capable of bending tubes and pipes up to 180 degrees when in finished form. If you want to learn how to use a manual pipe bender, here are some great tips to remember.
1: Pick The Right Pipe Bender
There is a recommended limitation regarding the size of the tube or pipe that can be effectively bended by a manual tube bender. There are many factors for the limitation, and those include the material the tube is made of and the tube’s cross-section and thickness. So before you choose a bender, make sure it is applicable to what you are using it for. The last thing you want is ending up with a bender that is useless.
2: Set The Tubing Bender
A bender has an adjustment dial which you will need to set based on the size of the tube you will be working on. You will have to set the right radius and the degree needed for the bend. Sometimes, you may have to perform adjustment calculations in order to achieve the results you want. Then again, there are common bend adjustment charts that you can use to help you with your calculations.
3: Make Marks Indicating Bend Directions And Reference Points
There will be times when you will be making more than one bend on a single tube. As such, you have to mark the tube with a longitudinal line which will serve as your reference point. You have to make sure that this line will always be in the opposite direction of the bend direction you intend to achieve.
4: Align The Tube Into The Bender And Insert
To ensure that the reference marks you made are always visible, swing one of the two bending arms up so that you can insert the tube into the bending die. When the tube is in, lower the second arm using the latch mechanism so that the tubing is held in place. At the same time, doing this allows you to make minor adjustments as well.
5: Begin The Process Of Bending
You can start bending by gripping the roll support arm firmly then bringing it down until such a time when the bending die indicates you’ve reached the desired degree mark. Also keep in mind that a lot of tubes and pipes will spring back after they are bent. Pipes made of copper are the ones that have lesser tendency to spring back.
6: Remove The Tube From The Bender
Lift the roll support arm up so you can unlatch the remove the tube from the die. You can then take out your finished tube from the bender.