Bending steel can be accomplished either through using heat or through using manual force. Making a U-bolt out of a threaded-steel rod is a project that can be done through manual force by most people of average strength. A sturdy workbench, several basic tools and the physical ability to exert a moderate amount of downward force is required. Once completed, you'll have a U-bolt that fits your specific needs.
Determine the dimensions of your bolt. A U-bolt will have two straight legs of equal length connected by a bend. Determine the length of the straight leg of the bolt. Mark the length on the threaded steel rod and screw a nut on the rod until it reaches the mark.
Secure the steel rod in the vice. Use a vice that is securely mounted to a workbench. Clamp the rod so that the jaws of the vice squeeze the nut, not the threads of the rod.
Align the nut so that it is level with the top of the vice. Tighten the vice so that the rod is firmly secured in the jaws of the vice. Do not allow the jaws of the vice to mar the threads of the rod.
Bend the rod using a steel pipe. Slide a steel pipe over the outside of the rod. The pipe should be just slightly larger in diameter than the steel rod. Allow the pipe to slide down until it hits the top of the vice and the nut. The pipe should be one to two feet in length in order to provide sufficient leverage.
Wear safety glasses. Grab the pipe and push downward with steady pressure until the steel rod begins to bend. Continue pushing until the rod is bent into a U-shape.
If you have trouble bending the rod, try using a longer pipe to increase leverage.
Tips and warnings
- If you have trouble bending the rod, try using a longer pipe to increase leverage.