How to bend square tubing

Written by justin obrien
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How to bend square tubing
(http://www.ucs.louisiana.edu/~ats7118/vise3.jpg)

A variety of household and steel projects require pipe and steel tubing, such as roll bars for a go-kart, a frame for a work bench or a support on a hay bale holder. Unlike PVC pipe, joints and connectors for steel square tubing can be expensive and a hassle to assemble and connect. Knowing how to properly bend square tubing will prevent you from spending more money on replacement steel square tubing--because of all the kinks you will put in it if you attempt to bend it incorrectly.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • Duct tape
  • Fine sand
  • Bench vice
  • Heating torch
  • Protective leather gloves
  • Protective eye wear
  • 2- to 3-foot steel round pipe or steel square tube with an opening that is just a bit larger than the tube you're bending

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Tape duct tape over one end of the steel tube. Fill the tube completely full of sand and duct tape the end shut.

  2. 2

    Tighten the tube vertically into a bench vice, just below where you want the bend in your tube to start.

  3. 3

    Use a torch to heat 3 inches of the tube, starting at where it is tightened into the vice. Heat the tube until it is glowing red hot.

  4. 4

    Slide the larger steel tube or pipe about 6 to 12 inches onto the top of the tube you heated with the torch. This tube will be used as a leverage device to bend the square tube.

  5. 5

    Bend the tube slowly by pulling the leverage tube toward yourself. Reheating with the torch may be needed to complete the bend you desire.

Tips and warnings

  • Always practice safety when working with a torch. Wear protective leather gloves and protective eye wear.

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