The most common material is mild steel, which is why you will find minimum and maximum wall thicknesses based on that. DOM, Chromolly 4130 and 303 or 304 Grade Stainless Steel can also be bent. 316 Grade Stainless Steel can not be bent. If you are using aluminum, please contact your supplier to determine if the grade you are working with is bendable. We also recommend our special delrin inserts when bending aluminum to prevent scratching. Please note, delrin inserts are not available in square die sets and therefore, we can not guarantee that aluminum will not be scratched.
Die sets are measured by outer diameter (OD) and center line radius(CLR). OD refers to the outer diameter of the tubing or pipe to be bent. The center line radius refers to the distance from the center of the die to the center line of the tubing. If you bend a piece of tubing 180 degrees and measure from the center of one side of the tubing to the center of the other, you will have the center line diameter. Divide the center line diameter by two to get the center line radius. A smaller CLR will produce a tighter bend.
The minimum wall thickness required to make a nice smooth bend depends on the OD and CLR. Bending tubing with less than the minimum wall thickness can result in wrinkling or breaking. Bending tubing thicker than the maximum wall thickness can damage the bender. The recommended range is listed in the description of each die set.
They are both round, but common round tube is classified by outer diameter (OD) and by wall thickness (or gauge -- 13 gauge=0.095"wall). Pipe is often used for liquid flow, so is classified by the inner diameter (ID), and then by schedule, which designates standard wall thicknesses. For example, a Schedule 40 1" pipe has an ID of 1"and an OD of 1.315". The OD is the measurement by which we classify all die sets.
The Model 54 Bender is the only bender we can do custom die sets for. However, custom dies cannot be guaranteed for perfect bend quality since we have not tested them to the same extent as standard die sets. This will require the signing of a Custom Product Liability Waiver before purchase. Our customer service department can give you more specific information.
Die sets are only interchangeable for Model 3 dies in a Model 4 bender. The reverse (Model 4 dies in a Model 3 bender) will not work. No other current models are interchangeble. To ensure that customers who still use Model 1 and Model 2 benders can purchase dies, the Model 1 uses Model 4 dies and the Model 2 uses Model 3 dies.
We stopped making the Model 6 Bender in 2000 due to space constraints. However,we continue making the dies. Please contact customer service for pricing and availability.
It is not aluminum but we consider the material a trade secret so we do not disclose that information. However, we can tell you that we use a special bearing-grade alloy that provides unmatched tube support and protection from scratching and galling.
Most dies have a center mounting hole plus several drive holes, but dies with a 2.25” CLR have the center hole only, due to the fact they are too small for drive holes. How to use them is explained in great detail in the Model 3 Manual. Click on "Downloads"under the Support drop-down menu. Page 7 of the Model 3 manual explains the bending procedure.
Most of our customers purchasing a bender have told us that they have the capabilities to make a stand or would rather mount the bender to a table or a rolling cart. Shipping costs tend to be pretty expensive so instead we offer the plans free of charge if you would like to build your own. We do sell a stand separately if you would like to purchase one.